When Tyndale House Publishers offers free books for review, they first show me products they think will interest me. This book didn’t show up on that list. I found it in their complete list of available titles. But I’d already heard the story of the final game of the 2008 season for the Faith Christian Lions. (Watch for the movie to come out soon!) When I read that this book was about the whole season, I was curious to learn about events leading up to that final game—even if I’m not a big football fan!
I wasn’t disappointed. Author David Thomas followed the team for a full year, from a heart-breaking end of the 2007 season loss to the final 2008 game. As he takes us through the year, he reveals the story of an incredible head coach/mentor/teacher/friend. Coach Hogan is the kind of influence every Christian parent prays their teenager will meet. He not only teaches the sport, elements of teamwork, and good sportsmanship, but he also shows kids how their relationship with Christ should impact every area of their life. He holds his players to a high standard while teaching Christian values that stick.
Also woven into the story are the personal testimonies of individual players, their families, and other teams impacted by this one. True, there’s a lot of “football-ese,” but it’s understandable even for those who don’t follow the game closely. I enjoyed this book and recommend it to fans of inspirational biographies and as an idea resource for people who work with teens.