Kellie Wagner's Reviews > The Sacred Acre: The Ed Thomas Story

The Sacred Acre by Mark Tabb
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's review
Aug 26, 2011

it was amazing
bookshelves: ya-lit-2011-2012
Read from October 13 to 18, 2011

I couldn’t put this book down! Since I was aware of the overall story about this Parkersburg, Iowa coach, I assumed it would be an okay read. It was terrific! Inspirational, religious, and true, this book is a great read. It tells the truth behind the Parkersburg leader, Coach Ed Thomas, his family, his football team, and his town. This is a great book for all ages, but high school football players would especially love it because of the name drops included. I had no idea that coach Thomas led four of his players to the NFL. It also includes Iowa Hawkeyes coach Kirk Ferentz and his team helping with the tornado recovery. It goes above and beyond the story of a football team and shows how this coach had the goal to help develop great men and women in his students and athletes.

The story takes place in a small-town Iowa community of Parkersburg, Iowa. After an EF5 tornado rips though the town demolishing homes and businesses as well as a majority of the school and ruining the football field. Ed Thomas looks at this act of Mother Nature as an opportunity. He preaches that his football team will play their first home game on that very field in just over 100 days. Football practices become building sessions, and celebrities and townspeople join in on the rebuilding process. Their team did just that and opened their season under the lights.
Just a year later, Ed Thomas was beginning to feel normalcy in his life again when he was working with young students in the weight room one June morning. A former student walked in, shot, and killed the super-star coach and small-town celebrity.

Ed Thomas is the main character. Although I knew the story about this inspirational coach, I had no idea how religious he was. He inspires his students through example, and was a friend to all he met. His abilities went far beyond the football field or classroom, as he really reached everyone he met.

A few unique aspects of this book include a section of photos. These include the cover from ESPN magazine after Thomas was shot and even a photo of his formal students and current NFL players carrying his casket.
Another great resource within this book is the youtube videos sited at the bottom of the pages when the story came with footage. This included the opening night of the football game and the candle vigil at the football field the night Thomas was killed.

I can honestly say I’ve never cried reading a book, but this hit my emotions pretty hard. It’s an incredible story about the respect between an adult, his students, and his athletes.
“If all I have taught you is how to block and tackle, then I have failed you as a coach,” Ed Thomas.

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Reading Progress

10/18/2011 page 153

Comments (showing 1-1)

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Stacy McElliott I'm glad you enjoyed this book as much as I thought you would! I agree very inspirational! Both matt and I couldn't put it down! I'm glad his family decided to share the whole story that I don't think everyone knew! Everyone should definitely read this book :-)!

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