**Named one of the Top 10 Sports Books of 2013 by Booklist**
**Named a Top 10 Book of 2012 by Paste magazine and Atlanta magazine**
“The ‘winningest’ sports bio of 2012.” —accessAtlanta.com
“Filled with insights . . . Skillfully reported and written with style.”
—The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
"Drew Jubera's Must Win is an elegiac and riveting look inside the myth-making factory of small-town high school football, and a meditation on the strange power of sports to give meaning to our lives." —Warren St. John, New York Times bestselling author of Rammer Jammer Yellow Hammer and Outcasts United
“Jubera unspools a sophisticated saga of a comeback season for storied Valdosta High School . . . He captures the slang and race relations and home-town hopes better than any writer since H.G. Bissinger got it so right with Friday Night Lights. Jubera’s eye for detail, ear for dialogue, and heart for young hopes delivers a helmet-to-helmet blow.”
—Paste magazine, “Our Favorite Books of 2012”
“The depth of detail and craftsmanship of a gifted writer at his peak . . . You don’t have to know a tight end from a Hail Mary to appreciate this book. On virtually every page, there is a reason to stop, to reread, and to marvel. This is a book worth cheering about.”
“Must Win—must read!” —Jeff D’Alessio, SportingNews
“I can think of very few books about high school football that I would lay in the hands of anyone, from a fruit vendor in Delhi to a grandma in Des Moines. In fact, maybe only one: this one.” —Gary Smith, Sports Illustrated
“The best nonfiction book I have read since the year 2000 . . . Jubera superbly captures it all—the town, the characters, the motivations, the dreams, the follies. [He] offers a book about all of us, football fan or not. It’s a book about what we try to achieve in the small town filled with big dreams inside every human heart.”
—Charles McNair, Paste Magazine
“Must Win is the inspiring tale of how a coach with a grand vision and even bigger heart plucked his players out of jail and off the farm and made them believe they were champions as they returned Valdosta to its rightful place as one of the most storied programs in high school football. Jubera knows South Georgia and makes you feel the gnats buzzing around your head, the barbecue on your lips, and buy into a community where Friday night football is much more than a religion—it’s a passport to heaven."
—Joe Drape, author of The New York Times bestseller Our Boys: A Perfect Season on the Plains with the Smith Center Redmen
"Football is riddled with hype, hypocrisy, and greed on both the college and pro levels. But in Valdosta, Georgia, the game is about life, and that is what Drew Jubera so expertly and eloquently writes about. I love a story that digs into your soul. This is not necessarily a sports book. It is a character-driven tale of survival and the desire to be a champion again."
—Jim Dent, author of Courage Beyond The Game and Twelve Mighty Orphans
"Drew Jubera’s Must Win is a must-read, a book that not only makes good on the promise of its title, but makes its title come blazingly alive. You start reading it because you want to know how a team from a small town in South Georgia—the Valdosta Wildcats—became the greatest and most storied team in the history of American high school football. But Jubera is a writer who can go deep, and the story he’s telling is the story of how even winners can become underdogs in post-crash America, and how even underdogs can find a way to beat the odds and win again."
—Tom Junod, Esquire
DREW JUBERA is an award-winning journalist who has written for The New York Times, ESPN The Magazine, Esquire, Texas Monthly, and many others. He covered the South as a national desk reporter for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. He lives with his family in Atlanta.
There are so many great real life characters that you follow along during this time in their lives.
Valdosta, Georgia was much like small town Texas and for generations had a winning football team that bound the community together.
Take it from this football dummy, Must Win is a great sports book that every non-sports fan should buy and read.
A great story and I, along with my grandsons, enjoyed it and the lessons learned are well worthwhilePublished 1 month ago by Richard L Mason
If you love high school football, this book is as must! Drew Jubera did an amazing job of telling a story about a team, town and wonderful coach.Published 3 months ago by Mitchell Baden
A great story of people, a time in history, and determination. I am not a big sports fan and I thoroughly enjoyed this story. I highly recommend this book.Published 4 months ago by brooklyn
Must Win is a great story-- embedded journalism inside the most winningest high school football program in the country, although it has been a while and this team desperately needs... Read morePublished 10 months ago by Sherri Caldwell - The Rebel Housewife(tm)
Great book!!!! This book is about the REAL FRIDAY NIGHT LIGHTS in my hometown of Valdosta Ga , loved it from a Nick Hyder Wildcat c/o '94Published 11 months ago by Jimmy
Not only a good book for football fans, this is a tale of survival and success and failure for everyone. Read morePublished 13 months ago by E. Crew
Realistic and quick read - enjoyed being back in southern high school football -- I covered Valdosta games for the Atlanta Journal Constitution in 1980 and this brought back fond... Read morePublished 13 months ago by Brooks Fan
Even if you don't like football, which I definitely do not, you can enjoy Jubera's book on a small Southern town and its football team. Read morePublished 13 months ago by Chris
As I played against Valdosta in high school in the mid seventies, the referral back to those Glory Days for Valdosta meant a lot to me. Read morePublished 14 months ago by Bubba Ivey