From veteran YA-writer Dygard (Tournament Upstart, Rebound Caper), a paean to football as redeemer of an almost bad-apple. Joe Atkins has moved--bad grades, bad attitude and all--from Worthington to Graham, leaving his old friends behind. Distrustful of ""snoots"" and ""jocks,"" he goes out for football anyway, makes the team because of his pass-catching ability and running skills, and becomes an overnight sensation. His sudden stardom on the field works miracles, as his grades and behavior do a 180Â° turn. But he's dogged by fears of his past coming to light and resentments of being considered an outsider (Dygard is good at capturing how small, unintentioned slights magnify into smouldering hurts). His old pals surface to vandalize his school's office; he wrestles with conscience, duty, tears and comes out fine--just in time to star in the team's last game. Average kids might have trouble believing Joe's athletic prowess--he never makes a mistake, never fumbles--and he remains strangely distant even at book's end. But the football scenes are lively, and the trauma of moving to a new town nicely caught.