Joe Drape: Our Boys

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Kansas City native and New York Times reporter Joe Drape draws an inspiring portrait of an extraordinary high school football team whose quest for perfection sustains its hometown in the heartland
Monday, August 24, 2009
8:30pm @ Plaza Branch
Recommended reading:
High School Football

Kansas City native Joe Drape presents his book, Our Boys: A Perfect Season on the Plains with the Smith Center Redmen, on Monday, August 24, at 6:30 p.m. at the Plaza Branch, 4801 Main St.

Drape, a reporter for The New York Times, moved his family to Smith Center, Kansas, to follow the Redmen, a high school football powerhouse that had won the last four state titles and owned a 67-game winning streak with revered coach Roger Barta at the helm.

In his book, Drape captures the essence of a football team whose desire for perfection sustains its hometown in the heartland while embracing Barta's philosophy to "respect each other, then learn to love each other and together we are champions." But as the team embarked on a quest for a fifth consecutive title in the fall of 2008, it faced a potentially destabilizing transition: the greatest senior class in school history had graduated, and Barta was contemplating retirement after three decades as a coach. In Smith Center—population 1,931—Drape found the town revolves around "our boys" in a way that goes to the heart of the values in America's heartland today.

The event is co-sponsored by Rainy Day Books.  Copies of Our Boys will be available for sale, and the author will sign copies purchased during the event.

Admission to the presentation is free. Click here or call 816.701.3407 to RSVP.

Listen to the audio