Football teaches life lessons

Kelly Hurla / Washurn Review

It’s about football, but at the same time, it really isn’t. “Our Boys” highlights the triumphs of a team and of the whole community.

It’s funny because when I was in high school, my newspaper and yearbook advisor had recommended the same book to me. I told him that I didn’t have the time. That’s where it gets funny though, because once I started, I read this book in less than 24 hours.

I didn’t read this book two years ago, because I thought it was just some football book, a play-by-play boring account of some team and their road to the championship.  You see, my advisor was also the head football coach of my high school.

I thought that I had heard  enough from the coach about football plays, leadership meetings and taking pictures on the sidelines. I had enjoyed football, but it was getting to be a bit of an overload.

It says “A Perfect Season” right in the title. It was obvious that the team held their winning streak and would go on to win the state championship. I thought that it would be silly to read a sports book, knowing the outcome before even opening the cover.

What I didn’t think was that by the end of the book, I would feel so enlightened.

“Our Boys” may be a book about football, but at the end of the book (probably even earlier) you feel like they’re “your boys” just as well.

I’ve been around football before, but by no means am I an expert on the subject. While there are some plays and tactics of the game discussed throughout the book, they never threw me off guard. I was able to follow along and understand just what was taking place on the field and off.

Joe Drape does an amazing job of showing you the town and painting a picture of almost all of its occupants. He does this in such a way, that it’s not overwhelming and yet it’s just enough for you to get the best idea of who these people and the community as a whole really are.

The lessons these boys learned were lessons that they could use in their daily lives. They were taught family values, humility and pride.

As Smith Center coach Roger Barta states in the novel; “Life is not about winning or losing; it’s about competing. It’s about working hard and getting a little bit better each day.”

So if you’re skeptical about reading a book just about football, don’t be. And if you’re having second thoughts because it might be a boring read, well I dare you to try and put it down after you’ve began.