Hurricane Katrina hit the Gulf of Mexico the same weekend as the first game of the 2005 high school football season. That Friday, as the Patriots of pigskin powerhouse John Curtis Christian School endured another grueling practice under the demanding eye of head coach J.T. Curtis, there was little reason to suspect that the next weeks would bring anything other than the usual fabulously successful season19 state titles since 1975. Within days, Katrina changed all of that, scattering the players all over the Southeast, instantly changing the definition of victory from championship to survival. Somewhat belying their professed identity as the Rolls-Royce of athletic factories, the schools modest facilities did not even include a home field. Thompson (""Driving with the Devil"") has crafted a no-nonsense account jammed with familiar archetypes (first and foremost the tough veteran coach, whose harsh regimen masks a more tender regard for his charges, plus scads of likable, hardworking young men). Katrina still possesses the power to shockthe scenes of the hurricane, its aftermath and the difficult season will move even the stoniest of hearts. ""Friday Night Lights"" in crisis mode, this book packs an undeniable emotional punch. ""(July)"" .