Soul Sprints

Lake Barrow, Florida is a small, central Florida farming community which prides itself on loving three things: faith, family, and the mighty Spartans of Sims County High. The tiny Bible-belt town is also home to a long-standing feud between two of its most prominent families, the Gills and the Danforths.


Jayce Leonard is a hometown football hero from Lake Barrow who is all too familiar with the Gill-Danforth controversy. After achieving success as a college quarterback at a small university, Jayce is called home in 2003 to coach at his alma mater at the age of twenty-four, making him the youngest high school head coach in the state of Florida. However, he soon finds himself squarely in the middle of his hometown’s checkered history again as he seeks to start a family and successfully lead his beloved Spartans on the gridiron. Alongside him is his college teammate and best friend, Soul Rasheed. “Coach Soul,” as he is known to the team, is a Muslim and former favorite receiving target of Jayce‘s whose enthusiasm and charisma quickly endear him to the players. However, Soul’s presence in Lake Barrow – along with his faith – soon generates fresh strife in the midst of the ongoing discord that has plagued Jayce’s small town for years.


Soul Sprints is a football tale of love, friendship, tolerance, and the ties of family and community that bind, even in the unceasing presence of bitterness and prejudice in post-9/11 America.”




About the Author

John W. Gibson

John W. Gibson is the award-winning author of four books; Patriot Victory, Painkiller, Soul Sprints, and Arduous Vales (a self-published book of poetry). He proudly serves as a chaplain in the United States Navy and is even more proud to call northwest Florida home. He lives with his wife and two children.


Soul Sprints Reviews

The book was exceptional. Great story line and real-life issues. Would recommend. This book keeps your attention. Also, teaches of honesty and integrity. – Reviewed by Joyce Stafford via Amazon

A picture containing text Description automatically generated

Soul Sprints generates an all too real feeling of a small-town and follows a dramatic narrative as progress and change create turmoil in the easy way of living. The incredible character development (especially Soul Rasheed) and timeline will have you sprinting to finish the story!

John Gibson created a piece that illustrates just how difficult it can be to see someone else's viewpoint yet made it easy to understand the dichotomy of perspectives. A truly incredible piece of literature, that should be on the must-read list for kids in school. – Reviewed by Patrick Bohdan via Amazon

A picture containing text Description automatically generated

Just finished the latest John Gibson book. This one captured me from the first few pages and never let me up! I so identified with the background of this one because we lived in small rural towns in southwest Alabama. On Friday nights the towns literally shut down and everybody was at the high school football game. Small towns were great (think Mayberry!) but also had inborn prejudices and pecking orders as John's book reveals. Great read--ready for more! - Reviewed by Larry Morris, DMD via Amazon

A picture containing text Description automatically generated

This award-winning book kept me up all night!- Reviewed by Tammy K. via Amazon

A picture containing text Description automatically generated

If you liked the movie "We are the Spartans" you will love Soul Sprints by author John Gibson. This is so much more than a football tale. A modern-day twist on this tale of pride and prejudice and hometown values.

The main character Jayce is a returning hometown hero who doesn't want to see his hometown fall apart. When his eyes are opened, he must re-examine his life. Seeing clearly is truly an eye-opener. This story will resound in your heart and soul. A read for all ages, that will delight your spirit. - Reviewed by JJ

A picture containing text Description automatically generated

"Soul Sprints" is a story of a hometown football team that must come together in the face of prejudice and bigotry. In this small town, one man makes all the decisions, Jim Gills. Jim has his finger in all the pies from Lake Barrow to the Governor's mansion, he has the money to pay for what he wants.

Lake Barrow will remind you of hometowns across the USA! Cheer for the Spartans as they grow into a family. This endearing story will tug at your heartstrings and resonate in your soul long after you finish reading. It could be made into a motion picture on the big screen. - Reviewed by Paula

A picture containing text Description automatically generated

Soul Sprint is a great book. If you like sports like football, then you must read this book. With a young man who once was a football player and then turned into a coach for his small town. This book encourages others to go for their dreams no matter what the circumstances are for the people you work for. As long as you put others' wants besides the fact of what is the real reason for the game and not be sucked into what others want you to do like cheat at the game then all other things will fall into place. Other people will enjoy this book once they get to read it. All dreams will come true if you set your mind to them. Always put friends, family, and God first. - Reviewed by Tiffany

A picture containing text Description automatically generated

Soul Sprints -An amazing story about family, friendships, loyalty, honesty, and honor. It's also about family feuds, football, and a team rivalry between Lake Barrow and Barton City. Two big wig families power struggle that could get costly and not just in their finances. Pride, prejudice, life, death, and religion make this book a learning experience for many.

How costly does it get? Is it all worth it? Will those involved get it together or will it be too late? Can Jayce an enthusiastic football hero really makes a difference? A must-read for all. – Reviewed by Carol

A picture containing text Description automatically generated

This book shows us that as long as we stand beside each other as a community anything is possible. Soul Sprints bring football and small hometown living together for an enjoyable read. Soul Sprints even though your soul is hurting for a little while, your strength remains forever. Words from a football coach to his players but a motto we all could live by. A must-read for any football fan. - Reviewed by Michelle

A picture containing text Description automatically generated

A must-read for football fans, coaches, players, and observers. A definite writing of serious issues

we are facing today. Problems with society looking at the cover of a book instead of reading it and knowing the whole story. A great heartfelt book that will hopefully open the eyes minds and opinions that we need to live life together and play fair ball. - Reviewed by Ann

Other Books by This Author

After years of alcohol abuse, Raldo Cisneros, a former Marine, is desperate to rekindle his strained relationship with his young daughter. He gets back on his feet and begins working security for a billionaire financier only to discover a dark secret that he feels may cost him his soul. Through the help of his former Navy chaplain - a suffering soul in his own right - Raldo comes to face-to-face with the decision of his life and will be forced to risk it all for those he loves most.  By John Gibson