Roughnecks

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Overview

With the whole town watching, Travis Cody prepares for the most important football game of his life. He'll have forty-eight minutes head-to-head with the phenomenal Jericho Grooms. Forty-eight minutes to prove he isn't a quitter. Forty-eight minutes to redeem himself for letting Grooms break him on the play that cost the Roughnecks an undefeated regular season. And as Travis says, football is about lining up against somebody and finding out who can and who can't, who's a winner and who's a loser. It's about ...
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Overview

With the whole town watching, Travis Cody prepares for the most important football game of his life. He'll have forty-eight minutes head-to-head with the phenomenal Jericho Grooms. Forty-eight minutes to prove he isn't a quitter. Forty-eight minutes to redeem himself for letting Grooms break him on the play that cost the Roughnecks an undefeated regular season. And as Travis says, football is about lining up against somebody and finding out who can and who can't, who's a winner and who's a loser. It's about facing-and defining-the truth about yourself. "This is a promising debut: thematically complex, strongly written."-Kirkus Reviews 5-1/2 X 8-1/4.

Travis Cody prepares for the final game of his high school football career, a rematch with his school's chief rival.

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Tim Whitney
Once in a while you get a second chance, and for high school senior Travis Cody this is one of those times. The Oil Camp Roughnecks are going up against the Pineview Pelicans for the Louisiana AA state high school football championship. Travis now has forty-eight minutes to redeem himself and erase the stigma of having let Jericho Grooms break him on the play that cost the Roughnecks an undefeated regular season. The story takes place in one day, the day of the Pineview game, with much of the action told through the flashbacks of Travis' memory. Readers looking for play-by-play football action and an ending with all questions answered will not be satisfied. Readers with a passion for football who enjoy a book delving into the main character's life will.
VOYA - William R. Mollineaux
Football is such an obsession with the residents of Oil Camp Louisiana, that when a boy is born, he receives a miniature plastic football from the town's Touchdown Club. A collection of state championship trophies fills Oil Camp High's trophy case, and the Oil Camp Roughnecks appear to be on the threshold of adding another if they beat archrival Pineview, who defeated Oil Camp earlier in the season. Not only is this game a rematch between the schools, but for Travis Cody, the Oil Camp center and noseguard, it is a chance to redeem himself, since he feels personally responsible for the previous loss for failing to contain Jericho Grooms, his Pineview counterpart. Even worse, he beilieves he did not go down fighting, that Grooms forced him to give up before the play was over, something he had never done before. If you are expecting a great deal of football action, you will be disappointed. However, if you want to discover how a likeable young man haunted by one mistake matures and rises to the occasion, you will love this story. It takes place in one day-the day of the state championship game. Through the skillful use of flashbacks, we become privy to Travis's thoughts and feelings about his economically dying town, widowed mom, deceased grandfather, friends, teammates, girlfriend, and future. Travis, like anyone who completely devotes himself to a sport or activity, questions whether the time and pain devoted to it are worth it. Because he loves football, his answer is, unhesitatingly, YES! Cochran has speckled the story with characters reminiscent of people we might have met in our lives. Travis's memories about his grandfather, Pawpaw, are particularly poignant. He feels guilty about pulling away from the man Pawpaw became after he had a stroke; instead he dwells on the Pawpaw who was like a father to him. The humor and kindness of Mr. Shackleford, his boss at the gas station where he works part-time, are unforgettable, as is old Mrs. Hammontree, whose declining driving skills render her a hazard to drivers and pedestrians alike. And there is Nita, the beautiful, understanding girlfriend who will go just so far, and Crews, the driving and demanding football coach, who molds a group of individuals into a team, concomitantly forcing each to realize his potential. Most of all, however, there is a young man who knows there is just so much time in life and that he better make the most of it. As with real life, the ending is uncertain, with Travis pancaking Grooms in the first play as the Roughnecks pass for a touchdown. But what a start! Readers who enjoyed Jimmy Doyle, the main character in David Klass's Danger Zone (Scholastic, 1996/VOYA April 1996), and who appreciate Chris Crutcher's humor will find Roughnecks a winner! VOYA Codes: 4Q 4P M J S (Better than most, marred only by occasional lapses, Broad general YA appeal, Middle School-defined as grades 6 to 8, Junior High-defined as grades 7 to 9 and Senior High-defined as grades 10 to 12).
The ALAN Review - Chris Crowe
This is the best YA novel about high school football ever written. It is the story of Travis Cody's preparations for the final game of his senior year, the Louisiana state championship against the Pineview Pelicans, his team's archrivals. As Travis prepares physically and mentally for the big game, he recalls events from the past season, especially his blown assignment that ruined his team's perfect season. The state championship game is his chance to redeem himself, and he is riddled with anxiety that when he faces the best nose tackle in the state for the second time, he might fail again. Cochran gets it all right: The writing is clean and direct, and the story is engaging; the football details-the game action, the players' conversations, thoughts, and attitudes, the feeling, the tone, and the setting-are perfect. Fortunately, this novel is much more than just a story of a boy getting ready for his last big game; it's really a coming of age story. Travis is a football player, but football is only the vehicle used to reveal Travis' concerns and to allow him a place to mature and to make important discoveries about himself and about life. Readers who liked David Guy's Football Dreams will love this novel, but so will anyone interested in football or in seeing the human, personal side of high school football.
Kirkus Reviews
Cochran's first novel puts a fresh angle on a familiar story: Rival high-school football teams square off for the state championship. Instead of putting readers on the field, though, Cochran takes them inside one player's head for a full day's mental preparation, rituals, flashbacks, and general ruminations.

Senior Travis Cody, raised in a Louisiana town so obsessed with the sport that every boy gets a toy football at birth, looks with mixed feelings at what will most likely be his final game. He is eager to face the team that handed the Oil Camp Roughnecks its only defeat in the regular season, but all the backslapping and boosterism is beginning to wear thin, and the once-remote prospect of life after football is upon him. Rising before dawn on game day, Travis mulls over the personalities and personal influences of nearly everyone he knows, recapping the history of his dying oil town, college plans, football's pleasures, pains, and character-building aspects, and other topics. With an artfully suspenseful set of pre-game preparations, the stage is set, but the characters remain stuck in prescribed, limited roles; Travis occasionally sounds more like an adult looking back than a teenager looking ahead. Cochran primes readers for an explosive contest, then pulls out the rug by ending the story after one play—closure on an intellectual level, but not an emotional one. Despite the unevenness, this is a promising debut: thematically complex, strongly written.

From the Publisher
"This book brings life back to high school football. It shows it’s all about passion, glory, and the strength to overcome your greatest fears.”—Dan Marino, Miami Dolphins
"A promising debut: thematically complex, strongly written.”—Kirkus Reviews
"Authentic, intense....A very promising first novel.”—Booklist
"A winning combination....Uplifting.”—Publishers Weekly
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780152014339
  • Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
  • Publication date: 8/28/1997
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 256
  • Age range: 12 - 17 Years
  • Product dimensions: 5.70 (w) x 8.43 (h) x 0.94 (d)

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 13 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 13 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 23, 2008

    Grooms vs. Cody. Who will win?

    Travis Cody is senior at Oil Camp High School, and plays football for the Oil Camp Roughnecks. Travis and hid team do very well during regular season and only loose one game, but the one game that they lost was to the Pineview Pelicans their rivals. The reason that they lost to the Pelicans was because Travis missed hi block on a two point conversion and Jerico Grooms, one of the best nose guards in the state of Louisiana from Pinevewe, tackled the fullback stopping the two point conversion causing the Roughnecks to loose seven to six. Travis gets lucky though and gets a second chance to beat the Pelicans in the State Championship game. Throughout the day Travis performs his daily rituals before a game. Like in the morning he eats toast, and then he reads the paper, ect. After the town pep rally the team heads down to the football field to prepare for the games. This book had some things in it that I liked and it had some things that I didn¿t like. One thing that I liked about it was how the author made it so that Travis was telling the story which gave you a better understanding of what Travis felt. One thing that I didn¿t like about the book was how the author went into every little detail of Travis¿s day which got boring. Another thing that I liked about the book was when the author talked about the game that the Roughnecks lost. I didn¿t like how the author only talked about one play out of the whole state game, and he didn¿t even tell you who won the game. Thomas Cochran is the author of the book and it is not part of a series. This book kind of reminds me of the movies Friday Night Lights because the team in the movie is good too. If you are a person that likes a lot of detail and very little action than I think that you would like this book

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 19, 2007

    A reviewer

    Travis Cody an Oil Camp Roughneck football player and his team made it to the championship against a team they lost to during the regular season. The Pineview Pelicans a team that plays dirty and they got a very good player Jerico Grooms. Last time the two teams played Jerico made Travis mess up, and Travis cost his team the game which also cost them an undefeated season. Now that Travis and his team have to play them in the championship Travis has a chance to redeem himself. Travis has also being getting home calls and the callers have been telling him why did you cost us the game. Travis has also had one person who has encouraged him and that is his brother Glen. Glen has been telling him to not worry about what happened last time be good when it counts. He got to play good now so you¿ll have to find out if Travis redeems himself. To tell you some likes I had about the book. One thing was that I liked was the way the author had the people were telling him that he isn¿t good and he better do better next time. Another thing is that I liked the way the author explain the way his brother talked to him and told him to forget what people were telling him. One dislike I had was that the author didn¿t explain how Jerico made Travis mess up.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 11, 2006

    Tackling Fuel

    Have you ever stepped out onto a football field on Friday night? The feeling you get is unimaginable. The feelings you get while playing the game knowing that all the practices you went through has finally paid off. Well in the book Roughnecks it tells you how that feeling is and shows you the hardships a player deals with. It starts off with Travis (the main character) waking up and him talking to you about himself and what Oil Camp the town he lives in, and how they are all about football. Where it means everything to them. He then goes into how good the football team is and how they are on their way to state. The team¿s only loss came to the rival town Pineville and their all-state football player in Jericho Grooms. Travis is an average football player as well but nothing compared to the monster Grooms. He¿s very athletic but is kind of sensitive when it comes to things about his family and his girlfriend Nita. He¿s sensitive to the fact about his family because he only has his mother and his brother left. He lost both his grandfather and father in an accident that deals with the oil refinery in Oil Camp. This is all a problem for Travis but the main problem is the game he had before with Grooms and how he blew it in the final seconds, which resulted in Oil Camps only loss in the season. The whole town wants revenge on Pineview and wants to beat them in the state championship game. And everywhere Travis goes he is reminded of how he blew the big game against them the first time and if he will be able to overcome it or crash and burn under the pressure again. All of this and still he has to deal with his family and his girlfriend. Cochran shows the true meaning of what it¿s like to play high school football. It shows how the coach treats a player and how the coach pushes you to be better than you already are. He also shows the team aspect of the game. Like how close the team has to be in order to be good. While I was reading this book it reminded me of a game on Friday night, and how close you are to your friends on the team. If you ever played football and know how it feels to be a football player this book is a must read for you. If you ever saw Friday Night Lights and liked that you probably like this book because it¿s about the same. Will Travis finally redeem himself against rival Pineview? Will he win the state championship for Oil Camp? Will he win a state title? Something his father and brother never did. If you¿re a fan of football this book is a must read for you.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 3, 2006

    Roughnecks

    Thomas Cochran¿s novel Roughnecks is a story about a long tradition of football greatness in Oil Camp, Louisiana. It goes through the daily game day routine of the main character Travis Cody, who is the starting center and defensive tackle. He has a tough task in the 1AA state championship trying to handle the all-state nose guard, Jericho Grooms. He goes through many rituals and events like he does on every game day. The state championship is on a Saturday so his usual schedule is a little out of whack because he has to try to fit in working at the gas station. He still does his best to keep his schedule as similar as he can by wearing the same double cotton turtleneck to asking Beep for a comb at the pep rally. The Negatives on this book are that it would be hard to relate to if you don¿t have any interest in football. It¿s easy to lose interest in this book because it takes place within one day. Cochran did a good job of showing the emotions and the pressure that high school football brings on the players. I couldn¿t really relate to the book because it was based on a lineman. I really lost interest because you wouldn¿t think of a lineman being the ¿stud¿ of the team. Other than that though, I thought the book was well written and brought back a lot of memories of my last game. I would recommend Roughnecks to someone who likes football.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 13, 2006

    Awesome Book

    The Roughnecks is a wonderful Highschool Football story. Travis Cody makes a mistake in perhaps one of the most important games of his life, the district championship against the Pineview Pelicans, but is given a second chance in the Louisiana state championship game, where Oil Camp will again face the Pelicans. Knowing that not many second chances come in life, Cody does his best to prepare himself to face Jericho Grooms, A sure division one college signee. Cody has to do a lot of soul searching to decide whether he has what it takes to beat Jericho Grooms. His Job is simple keep Grooms occupied long enough for a play to develop. I would recomend this book to anyone who has ever played football. As a football player you can relate a lot to Cody in the Roughnecks. Even if you have never played football though, Thomas Cochran has done a wonderful job of writing this book, and i would recomend it to everyone.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 14, 2005

    This was a great book about football

    If you like books about Football and you would love Roughnecks by Thomas Cochran. This book takes place in an Oil Camp, a small oil-mining town in North Louisiana. It brings you through the last day of Travis Cody¿s senior football season, right before he plays his last game. He is a good football player that is trying to get a scholarship to college so he can keep playing football, the game he loves. But there is one problem. He has to play the whole game against his districts best player, Jericho Grooms. Can he lead his team to victory and win the state championship against his team¿s archrival the Pineview Pelicans. You have to read to find out. Roughnecks is a great book that is very well written. I would recommend this book to anyone who likes football and enjoys reading about it.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 4, 2005

    What a let down

    The book was written decently, although the informative form of writting got boring after a while. The ending of the book was a real let down. There was no CLIMAX in this book. One play in a game and it's over! Even so...he had good character development

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 9, 2004

    Roughneck Review

    Roughnecks is a realistic book and anyone who has played high school football can relate.I liked the story because it brought me into the book and made me remember all the pressures and injuries and people when you are a high school athlete.This book is not for everyone though...if you are not into a third person piont of view throughout a whole book then this book won't pull you in like it did me. One main character's life (Travis Cody) is what the book is about. Most of the book is the main character's flashbacks.Some would say that Roughnecks leaves you hanging, but they are wrong.They either didn't connect with the book or don't have a passion for football.I highly recommend this book to anyone who plays football,has a love for football, or has never played high school football at all and wants to find out what an impact it makes on an athletes life.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 8, 2004

    AWESOME!!

    This book is awesome!! I am a football manager and that's how it is!! It was fun for once to see it from a guys point of view though! I would totally tell anyone to read this book!! It's GREAT!!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 29, 2001

    One yard short

    Roughnecks was a book about how a Football Player overcame a past mistake to become a better football player and a better person. I loved it because It really showed the tension showing up to a football game and how sometimes people won't let go of certain mistakes no matter how good you get. The only part I disliked was how the ending was so unclear. We learn that he achieves what he wanted by pancaking him first play and the play goes off. But I wouldn't be so frustrated if they had done the whole game. But that could lead up to a sequal. Well that's all.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 15, 2000

    l Love this book.

    This has to be the best book I have ever read. I have been going to the Penn High School football games for the past two years.This year will be the start of the third. And the first year they got to the semi-state and then were defeated 7-9. It was there only loss of the season. The next year they lost to Ben Davis the second game. But this only made them stronger. The went on the the state finals but ended up facing BD again and lost by a much greater margin. But anyway I read the book in 3 days on my trip to Indy and back home. I could understand where the players were coming from and it really touched me. I was going through the same thing. I had actually experiecned it. It was like I could feel what the characters were going through. Even though i didnt play on the football team it just made it a reality and it felt like I was right there on the field with them. I would recommend this book to anyone who wants a good read. I really hope he writesmore books. I know i will read every one.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 19, 2000

    Excellent!!!

    This is a great book! It's true too. I am a football manager and this is how it is. It's a great first novel and I hope he writes more!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 2, 2012

    No text was provided for this review.

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