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The Varsity is best described as a saga in the classic Hero’s Journey format. At age fifteen, and for different reasons, two best friends enlist in the Army and Marines to fight in World War II. Its storyline follows them through the travails of the killing zones of Europe and the Pacific, then home to Pt. Loma at war’s end. Like many others, without a high school diploma they are ineligible for the GI BILL and must return to the high school they left three years earlier. There, the coach asks them to help transform his losing varsity football team. Drawing upon team-building skills learned overseas, the challenge is accepted. While the protagonists are fictional, they represent amalgams of actual Veterans of Underage Military Service interviewed by the author.
Born in Texas and raised in Pt. Loma, Lee Brown spent time in various fields across the country before returning to San Diego and embarking on the VARSITY project. Sparked by a reunion conversation with a fellow Pt. Loma High varsity football player, Lee delved into researching the stories and challenges these veterans faced upon their return to high school life.