From the author of Irish Thunder comes the true story of the Chelsea, Massachusetts, High School football team. Friday Night Lights meets the gang warfare of a desperate Northern city in this book about a football coach (who is also a cop in the city's Gang Unit), who pulls kids off the streets and puts them on the field with a combination of kindness and intimidation. Author Bob Halloran gets inside the life-or-death struggles of student-athletes from the Bloods, Crips, MS-13s, and Latin Kings. While exploring the anger, fear, and violence of these young men, Halloran follows the Chelsea Red Devils as they vie for a championship and the players try to make football their way out. Meanwhile, tough-love coach James Atkins serves as a cop in the Chelsea Police Department's Gang Unit, asking for his players' blood, sweat, and tears on the field . . . and hoping their blood doesn't spill off it. But even he has his own run-ins with the law.
Today, football, drugs, and violent crime seem inseparable—even at the professional level. This gritty story of an implausibly successful team of poor and troubled youths and their hothead cop-coach gives us a glimpse into where the intersection of football and ganster culture might begin.