"Our Boys is about far more than football. It’s an inspiring story about how a coach and a community are building young men with the simple values of love, patience, and hard work. This is a great book."—Joe Paterno, head football coach, Pennsylvania State University
"If you want to turn away from the high-voltage auctioneer babble that surrounds big-time, big-money sport, take this trip to Smith Center, Kansas, with Joe Drape. This is organic stuff, a fat and healthy slice of unadulterated American life. Simply terrific."—Leigh Montville, author of The Big Bam and At the Altar of Speed
"Our Boys delves into the heart of America in a manner that reminds me of The Last Picture Show and Friday Night Lights. Joe Drape crafts a terrific tale that will make you laugh, cry, and think. This is a story about small-town America that will make you shout."—Jim Dent, author of Twelve Mighty Orphans and The Junction Boys
"Joe Drape tells the remarkable story of the Smith Center Redmen, not only their success in winning football games, but also in swelling pride for a community and building character in young men. He shows that Roger Barta and the people in Smith Center are winners in every sense of the word."—Bob Stoops, head coach, University of Oklahoma
"Joe Drape has caught something deep and beautiful in Our Boys. It is true to the reality of life on the plains, much more than another football story."—David Maraniss, author of When Pride Still Mattered: A Life of Vince Lombardi
"A great read for all, but even more so for big-city readers to get a taste of the quality of life and genuine caring of this small community and its revered teacher, mentor, and coach – Roger Barta. It is not so much a story about football but about the true meaning of midwestern values, family life, and the spirit of small town Kansas and its special people. I couldn’t put it down."—Bill Snyder, head coach, Kansas State University
"A feel-good story of youthful drive, great coaching and the value of unflagging communal support."—Kirkus Reviews
"The tale [Drape] spins ends up being one that transcends athletics, a story of adolescence and smalltown life. . . . From the opening practice to the Redmen’s final game, Drape flawlessly paints a picture of how Smith Center achieves perfection year after year. . . . Drape gives the reader a team worth rooting for."—Publishers Weekly
“‘Hoosiers’ on a football field.”—New York Post
“The most improbable, unabashed love story I've read in years.”—Minneapolis Star Tribune
“A compelling story expertly told.”—Pat Forde, ESPN.com
This is real, a true story although it seems too good to be true at times.
Joe Drape weaves a story of the passion, dedication, persistence, grit, family, and pure love surrounding the sport of high school football in Smith Center, Kansas.
Coach Barta and his staff impart life wisdom to the group of remarkable young men you will come to love as you read this book.
It is an easy read but packed with a lot of food for thought. It would also be good for book club discussion.Published 2 months ago by Mzia
An easy read, full of accurate information and interesting insight into the making of sensitive and focused youth from a sports perspective as well as "it takes a village to... Read morePublished 15 months ago by Anna Mae
If you appreciate the values of growing up in a small town, this is a wonderful read.
After I read the book, I took a trip to this small Kansas town to see a football game.
Great football book that is more about teaching the kids how they should look at their lives and the lives of everyone around them.Published 19 months ago by Gene Esch
I've read books like this that take place in Texas, Florida, Georgia and California. Great to read a book about high school football from a different and unlikely perspective!Published 20 months ago by Jacob Serafini
I thought the book showed the passion small towns have for high school sports, especially football. I liked how the author captured the feelings and emotions of the players and... Read morePublished 20 months ago by Amazon Customer
I would recommend this book. My son and I read it together and discussed it along the way. It was fun.Published 22 months ago by Amazon Customer
Excellent book about life in small town America and how these coaches and the town have meshed to create a generation of not only good football players but good kids. Read morePublished on December 20, 2012 by Amazon Customer