Monday, August 13, 2012

Review of Must Win: A Season of Survival for a Town and Its Team by Drew Jubera

This has been described by some as the Georgia version of Friday Night Lights, regrettably I haven’t read Friday Night Lights to offer a meaningful comparison of the two, but there are definite similarities between the two stories.
Two small towns where Friday Night high school football is king, where championships are the expectation and losing is unacceptable.
Valdosta Georgia is the winningest high school football program in the United States, but the last few decades have not been kind to the historic football power or the town that feels the teams success or failure down into their bone marrow.
 Any coach who dares take on the challenge of coaching in Valdosta is stepping into the shadows of two still god-like figures August Wright Bazemore and Nick Hyder.
On many levels though, this book isn’t a football story, but a story about life. New coach Rance Gillespie is viewed as the last chance to save Valdosta from football irrelevance. The story of Valdosta football parallels the story of the town itself as the traditional American values (excellence, God, and football) are being challenged by a new generation of teenagers who live on social media and face challenges like teen pregnancy, foster homes, and gun violence.
These are the forces Gillespie must fight against in bringing back the winning tradition. Drew Jubera uses a short episodic type format to take the reader through the trials and tribulations of a Southern football powerhouse.
Its’ perfect for football fans looking for something to read between games, but it also works well for the non-football fan because Jubera paints the coaches, team, and townspeople in such a light that the reader finds themselves invested in the Wildcats success down to the final page.
Just Win is a Must Read

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