by Edward Bloor
Coach Betty Bright
Betty Bright, the Tangerine soccer coach, had a promising track and field career until she was hurt in a race (in her eye, where else?), and then missed the Olympics due to the 1980 boycott. Now, she's a great motivator, a protective coach, and is the one that Shandra turns to in the end, when Antoine feels he needs to tell the truth. Maybe Mrs. Fisher should take some parenting tips from her.
Mr. Donnelly writes for the Tangerine Times, the local newspaper. We like him right away, when we learn that he's defied the Home Owner's Association by putting up a bunch of lightening rods. And he really wins us over by taking an interest in Paul and the soccer team.
Mrs. Gates is exactly the principal that all those meanies at Lake Windsor Middle School deserve. She's obviously annoyed when Mrs. Fisher asked her to take her handicapped son through the school before the first day, but all fake and polite when she's approached by Mr. Costello, a lawyer whose son is killed on school property.
Coach Walski is the Lake Windsor soccer coach and he really has it in for Paul—he throws him off the Lake Windsor soccer team and then tries to get him removed from the final game when the War Eagles play Lake Windsor. Oh, and then there was that time he yelled at Joey that he couldn't play soccer for Tangerine, either. Basically, he's kind of a jerk.
Coach Warner is Erik's football coach, so obviously he's bad news. He fights Mrs. Fisher's proposal to change football practice times to the morning, even though it could save student lives—and he's also the one Paul jumps on to free Tino to escape.
Mr. Murrow is the school guidance counselor at Lake Windsor Middle. He's all right by us. He allows Paul to compromise on having a guide, even though he has an IEP. He also believes him right away when he tells him that he and his friends were not involved with the carnival vandalism.
Mr. Bridges is the principal at Lake Windsor High School. He comes to the Fisher's house for the meeting about changing the football practice times.
Dr. Johnson is the principal at Tangerine Middle School. She expels Paul, and suspends Tino and Victor, but, to be fair, they did break the rules.
Mr. Costello is Joey and Mike's dad, and the head of the Lake Windsor HOA. He is a kind man even though he's almost as into football as Mr. Fisher. The difference is that he's truly concerned with listening to and dealing with his neighbors concerns about the various problems in their community.
Wayne volunteers for the Tangerine Fire Department, and also runs a mosquito sprayer truck. He lives in the older part of Tangerine, and is Henry D's brother. He often drives the kids to and from Tino's house and Paul's house.
Tomas is Luis, Tino, and Theresa's dad. He owns the tangerine grove they all work on, and welcomes Paul's help during the freeze.
Old Charley Burns
Charley is the director of the county civil engineering department in Tangerine, until it comes to light that he was taking bribes and approving everything, no matter how unsafe. Why all the corruption? He preferred the racetrack to the office.
Cara is Joey Costello's girlfriend, and calls Paul, with Kerri listening in on the other line, to see if she can trick him into saying he likes her.
Brian is Antoine's friend, who helps Luis up after Arthur hurts him, and helps make s fool of him in the football game that follows, by snapping the ball in crazy directions on purpose.
Paul and Erik's grandma (Mrs. Fisher's mom) was concerned about Paul's safety when he was in kindergarten, and she is still concerned about him now. She is the only one in the entire family who actually asks Paul if he is okay after the sinkhole incident. Plus, she thinks that Erik should have been punished for hurting Paul. She's definitely got our vote.
Mrs. Fisher's dad is very blunt, and has always said that Erik needed not just a spanking, but medical help, after what he did to Paul. (We're with him on the medical help.) He is upset that they let it go, and upset that Mrs. Fisher thinks she has to make up for living in older homes growing up by living in a ritzy neighborhood now.