The Walk On

A John Feinstein Novel

The New Kid

The main character in the walk on is 16 year old Alex Myers, a gifted quarterback with an amazing arm. He moves into a new town at the beginning of the school year, and instantly sets out to prove himself. However, he must deal with Matthew Gordon Jr, his competition for the starting QB spot, and Gordon's dad, the coach of the football team.

Supporting Characters

Pivotal Event: Knocked Down

In the first game of the season, Alex's team outclasses their opponent in every way, and Alex is put into the game at the end to execute a "kneel down" to end the game. A "kneel down" is used to run down the clock at the end of a game, and is universally seen as a victory formation. However, an opposing player runs through this victory formation to knock down Alex. It is later revealed that the player was mad at Alex's coach for running up the score. This event is Alex's first experience as a Chester Heights football player, and he starts to see the major flaws of his coach, which are that he favors his son too much, and only cares about getting him exposure so Matthew Gordon Jr can sign at a good college.


Steroids play a huge role in this book as when Alex takes his steroid test, it shows that Alex took steroids even though he has never taken steroids in his life. This leads Alex and Christine Whitford to believe that someone has edited Alex's steroid test. In the end, Matthew Gordon Jr admits to taking the steroids. He said that he felt pressured to do better because Alex was such a good quarterback, so he took steroids to give him an edge. However, he forgot about the drug testing, and after he tested, he confessed to his father (the coach) that he took steroids. The coach then edited the steroid test so that Alex was framed, which is something that Matt never wanted to happen. Matt resigns the team and Alex is named starting QB as the coach resigns.

This book was one of the most highly entertaining sports novels I have read in a while, and I would definitely recommend this to anyone who loves sports books.