Season 7

Episode 719: “The Penalty Box”

Episode 719: “The Penalty Box”
Original Air Date:April 8, 2001
Written by::Brian Bird
Directed by:Bethany Rooney
Produced by:

Martha Williamson
Jon Andersen
R.J. Visciglia, Jr.

Guest Cast:
Jeff McHenry Zachery Ty Bryan
Chase Jennings Brian Gross
Randy Templeton Adam Hendershott
Jack McHenry Eric Pierpoint
Coach Hall Scott Wilkinson
Stephanie Brom Star LaPoint
Nolan Pierce Brad Dutson
Scout Tim Nelson
Announcer Eddie Frierson

Star hockey player, Jeff McHenry, a senior at the exclusive St. Crispin’s prep school enjoys the privileged lifestyle afforded to him by his father’s wealth.  With his team on the heels of the playoffs and his father’s financial support to attend Harvard, Jeff’s future seems secure.  Jeff’s arrogance fuels a rivalry with teammate, Chase Jennings, and draws alliances from both on and off the ice rink.  When Jeff’s substitute History teacher, Andrew, tries to teach his class about the St. Crispian’s Day speech from Shakespeare’s Henry V, it is clear that Jeff has never understood or practiced the humility that made Henry V a great leader.  Jeff’s mettle is tested when a bad investment bankrupts his father.

Jeff painfully accepts his transfer to a public school, but is allayed by his father’s assurance that his college tuition is safe.  Jeff’s adjustment to the socially and economically diverse Eastside High proves to be a difficult one.  He refuses Monica’s invitation, as the interim hockey coach, to join the team.  His disparaging remarks about the last placed team, alienates the players.  That night, Jeff attends a St. Crispin’s house party and discovers that he is no longer part of that social circle.  Even more distressing, is the circulating news that his father’s financial troubles have forced him to tap into his college fund.  Realizing his need for an athletic scholarship, Jeff joins the Eastside team in the hopes of impressing a Harvard scout.  Jeff’s rigorous and punishing practices are in opposition with Monica’s good-natured coaching.

Monica questions Jeff’s incessant determination to go to Harvard and learns that it is part of his fulfillment of his deceased mother’s dream.  Jeff dismisses Monica’s advice that his character determines who he is, not the name of his school.  At the last game of the year, Eastside vs. St. Crispin, Jeff faces off with his school rival, Chase. Jeff tells his teammates that their only chance of winning is for him to shoulder the offense.  Jeff’s talents and selfish play are unable to overcome the dominating St. Crispin’s team.   With only few minutes left and Eastside is being shut out 3-0, Jeff’s frustration mounts.  When Chase insults Jeff, a fight erupts and the two players receive penalties.   A defeated Jeff buries his face in his hands only to look up to discover the entire arena has come to a standstill.

Monica reveals herself as an angel and tells Jeff that although investments go bad and plans change, God’s love for him is constant.  Monica tells Jeff that even though he made a promise to his dying mother, his mother is at a peace in God’s presence.  But this game is Jeff’s chance to prove that he is a true leader.   The arena becomes active and Jeff is released from the penalty box.  He apologizes to his teammates and inspires them with a version of the St. Crispian’s day speech.  Tess and Andrew, spectators at the game, direct the Harvard scout’s attention to Jeff.  Working as a team, Eastide is able to score two quick goals.  Their efforts fall short as time expires before the tying goal reaches past the goal line.  Despite the loss, Jeff’s leadership skills impress the scout, who suggests that there might be an available scholarship for him next semester.

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