Cochran, Thomas. Roughnecks. Harcourt Brace, 1997. ISBN 0-15-201433-0. $15.00. 248 pp. B 7-12 FI Reviewed by Rachel L. Wadham Roughnecks, by Thomas Cochran, chronicles a day in the life of high school senior Travis Cody as he prepares to battle the Pineview Pelicans with his team, the Oil Camp Roughnecks, for the Louisiana AA State High School football championship. In this final game of his high school career, Travis desperately wants to redeem himself for having cost his team an undefeated season as he once again faces his arch-rival, Jericho Grooms. Highly praised by several professional football players on the dust jacket, this is definitely a book that junior-high- and high-school-age football fans will love. Using a straightforward style, Cochran moves chron-ologically through Travis's day. With flashbacks filling in the gaps, the reader can truly feel the anxiety and excitement generated by this landmark event in a young man's life. Introspective reflections and musings on time's ability to speed or crawl make Travis a realistic character with strong morals, aspirations for college, and respect for his girlfriend. This novel's major flaw is not the smattering of locker-room vulgarities and sexual innuendo, but the ending, which completes the story but leaves the reader unsatisfied. Overall, this outstanding novel would be excellent to put into the hands of a reluctant reader who watches or plays football.
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