TO BE THE BEST began as a “must read” for Wrestlers and Teenage Boys but quickly crossed over to multiple age groups due to its universal themes. It follows high school wrestlers through three seasons with a focus on Ron Castle, a naturally gifted wrestler who makes it all the way to the state championship his sophomore year and his younger brother Nick, who lacks Ron’s natural talent but works relentlessly to achieve his own success on the mat. See below for summaries of all three books.
To Be The Best
Brothers Ron and Nick Castle grew up watching the Riverside High School wrestling team and dreaming of the day when they would prove themselves to be the best by bringing home state high school wrestling titles.
Ron’s talent earns him a berth in the state championship match his sophomore year, gaining him statewide recognition. Younger brother Nick however struggles in Ron’s shadow, trying to both earn his own success and live up to his brother’s legendary reputation.
As both boys confront their own unique challenges on and off the mat, each chooses his own path. Ron faces all obstacles in solitude while Nick accepts the mentorship and guidance of Riverside’s assistant coach Sean MacCallister, a kind young man with a troubled past.
Follow their journey as both boys strive to take down their barriers and shoot for their dreams, embarking on a course to defy the odds and be the best.
To Be The Best: Rematch
The Castle brothers return to the Riverside High School wrestling room as the specter of Travis Spegidos looms large over the state’s wrestling scene. For all three there is a single goal, “Bring home the state title.”
Nick Castle picks up where he left off his sophomore year. Yet, as his star continues to rise, he soon finds that some of the greatest challenges to his season dwell inside his very own wrestling room.
Meanwhile, older brother Ron recuperates from the injuries that sidelined him as a junior but finds himself in unfamiliar territory, lost in the shadow of his younger sibling.
Recovering from his own injuries and struggling with their after-effects, Sean MacCallister also returns as assistant coach for Riverside. Still haunted by demons from his youth, he reaches out for anything that resembles stability, including vices from his past, and finds his life in a relentless downward spiral.
Unwilling to settle for mediocrity, life-altering choices will be made by each as they endeavor to be the best.
To Be The Best: Overtime
Five years after Rematch, a chance meeting of a weathered former coach and a broken ex-wrestler gives the opportunity to revisit the story of Nick Castle’s senior year.
Nick enters his senior season with everything in his life being nearly perfect. He has a loving girlfriend, a following of fans, a legendary coach and like the end of his junior season, he is ranked first in the state. Yet, the cracks surface quickly as past agitators and teammates alike seem focused on keeping him from realizing his wrestling dreams while others seem intent on damaging his relationship.
Nearly 1,000 miles away, Sean MacCallister’s new career is off to a promising start, but when his company is acquired, budget cutbacks and corporate politics become stifling. His long-distance relationship is impacted by both his relentless work schedule and a new co-worker whose intentions are unclear.
New allies and extreme dedication will be needed by both as they continue on a path to be the best.