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OFF THE MAT by Jeff Bibbey


by Jeff Bibbey

238 pages
Throughout years, a wrestling coach mentors athletes addicted to methamphetamine.

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Category: Fiction:Literary
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About the Book
Devin Thomsen and Steven Matchik seek intensity, and unity of body and spirit. Their demanding coach Sean Cardsen shows the way on the wrestling mat Ėwill it be enough?

Devinís existence is steeped in violence. His alcoholic mother and crank-addled stepfather have given him little. Heís drawn to stories of Jesus and he fights what could be an inner demon. Stevenís middle-class home has disintegrated in a fog of deception, betrayal and misplaced disgust. His mother canít stand the sight of him.

The physicality and family of the Braxton Junior High wrestling team provide a place to fit in. Through a season equally funny and disturbing, the boys lead their team toward a championship. Are the boys in charge of their bodies, or are their bodies in charge of them? One thing is certain; blood and sweat have bonded them to Cardsen.

Risk-takers to the core, Devin and Steven find methamphetamine. Can bonds hold under such an assault? Violence, sex, and ceaseless energy contend with love and salvation. As lives spin out of control, Cardsen gropes for faith and answers. Confronting those who question his methods, Cardsen goes deeper to stay connected with the boys.

When the action goes Off the Mat, competing requires everything theyíve learned, and some help from above. By way of crank houses, a meth lab, jails, rehabs, and a prison work gang, the path leads inevitably back to the wrestling mat, where some resolution may lie with Stevenís little brother Alan.

Set in the rain-drenched atmosphere of the Pacific Northwest, Off the Mat is an honest and savage journey through addiction, loyalty, and attachment to youth.



About the Author
Jeff Bibbey Jeff Bibbey has been a teacher, coach, and mentor for over twenty years. He resides with his family in Laporte, Colorado.



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