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marlene lopez

S. L. Price, a senior writer at Sports Illustrated since 1994, is the author of three previous books: Heart of the GamePitching Around Fidel, which was a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize; and Far Afield.  Playing Through the Whistle (Atlantic Monthly Press) is his most recent book. Aliquippa, Pennsylvania is famous for two things: the Jones & Laughlin Steel mill, an industrial behemoth that helped win World War II; and football, with a high school team that has produced numerous NFL stars including Mike Ditka and Darrelle Revis. But the mill, once the fourth largest producer in America, closed for good in 2000. Price tells the story of this remarkable place, its people, its players, and through it, a wider story of American history from the turn of the twentieth century. Price expertly traces this history, while also recounting the birth and development of high school sports, from a minor pastime to a source of civic pride, to today, when it sometimes seems like the only way out of a life of poverty, drug abuse, and crime.