Amy Bass’ new book about the Lewiston boys’ soccer team’s run to a state title in 2015 was featured on NBC’s “Today” on Tuesday morning.

Jenna Bush Hager interviewed Bass, Lewiston soccer coach Mike McGraw and several of his players about the team’s success.

Bass’ book, “One Goal: a Coach, a Team, and the Game that Brought a Divided Town Together,” tells the story of the team’s journey to a state title.

The team, comprised of students from six countries, won Lewiston High School the state title in soccer for the first time in history.

Bass described the team in the interview as “a source of pride” for Lewiston. “It’s about a community, it’s about their families, it’s about refugees from around the world.”

The interview describes how a growing Somali population first came to Lewiston in the early 2000s, and the ensuing community tension.

“When they first came in, people kind of looked with a squinty eye,” McGraw said.

But Bass got it right when she said, “Lewiston loves its Blue Devils.”

McGraw saw an opportunity to win more games and win over more minds by having a more diverse team.

“When everyone roots for the same team, a unique bond happens,” Hager said. She described the team as helping to break stereotypes by having one common goal.

Mwesa Mulonda, one of McGraw’s players, said the coach changed his life.

“He kind of brought us together,” Mulonda said.

The program also used photos and video shot by Sun Journal chief photographer Russ Dillingham.

“One Goal,” is Bass’ fourth book. It takes readers behind the scenes of that championship season, but also behind the scenes of the players’ everyday lives, and into the back stories that forged their characters. And it is set against the backdrop of racial tension that continues to divide cities, large and small, all over the country.


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