The New York Times
The Hurricanes: One High School Team's Homecoming After Katrinaby Jere Longman
In August 2005, Hurricane Katrina pummeled the lower end of Plaquemines Parish, Louisiana, a peninsula housing one of the nation’s most isolated, vulnerable, and vital counties. A year later several ravaged communities came together to form South Plaquemines High. Kids who were former rivals defiantly nicknamed their football team the Hurricanes and made the… See more details below
In August 2005, Hurricane Katrina pummeled the lower end of Plaquemines Parish, Louisiana, a peninsula housing one of the nation’s most isolated, vulnerable, and vital counties. A year later several ravaged communities came together to form South Plaquemines High. Kids who were former rivals defiantly nicknamed their football team the Hurricanes and made the 2006 state playoffs.
In 2007, South Plaquemines set its sights on a state championship. The Hurricanes used a trailer as a makeshift locker room and lifted weights in a destroyed gym that had no electricity. For the players, many of them still living in FEMA trailers, football offered a refuge.
Bestselling author Jeré Longman spent two seasons following the team. In The Hurricanes, the team’s journey provides a lens through which to view the legacy of Katrina, the cycle of poverty in rural America, and the attempt to maintain traditions in the face of uncertainty. Football is a familiar remnant of the way things used to beand a sign of hope in a place of disaster.
The New York Times
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Longman follows high school football coach Cyril Crutchfield, Jr., in his dogged determination to rebuild Louisiana's Plaquemines Parish through the sport. Teen rivals from three different schools joined together at the new South Plaquemines High. Overcoming many obstacles-including lifting weights in a makeshift training room in a ruined gym while watching highlights of opposing teams on a VCR run by a generator-this team made it to the 2006 state playoffs. Their goal for the next season was the state championship at the Dome in New Orleans. In addition to being a story about football, the book showcases the rebuilding of a community rich in tradition and commitment to family. It also highlights struggles with insurance companies, the poorly built FEMA trailers, and government subsidies. Share this title with fans of Friday Night Lights or those who want to learn about the effects of Hurricane Katrina on a small community.-Gregory Lum, Jesuit High School, Portland, OR
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Meet the Author
Jeré Longman, a sportswriter for The New York Times who has written about sports for over thirty years, grew up on the Cajun prairie in Eunice, Louisiana. Jeré is the author of the New York Times bestseller and Notable Book, Among the Heroes: United Flight 93 and the Passengers and Crew Who Fought Back, The Girls of Summer, and If Football’s a Religion, Then Why Don’t We Have a Prayer? He lives in Philadelphia.
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