Texarkana's Russ Nelson wrote a fictional book about Arkansas High football that's worth reading

With the upcoming football faceoff of Texas versus Arkansas coming up on Friday, there is no better time to grab your Kindle and download a fictional book about the football team of Arkansas High in Texarkana.

Exactly two years ago today (September 4, 2017), a man who might be the Twin Cities' most popular physical therapist, published a compelling fictional novel titled "A Fall of Football: A Year in the Life of Arkansas Football."

The book imagines a football team that has been struggling for a few seasons with lower enrollment and not even a returning quarterback.

However, the book is hopeful and uplifting as Nelson describes a group of unorthodox coaches for Arkansas High that is taking charge of  what he calls a "diverse team of high school boys during a fall of football."

Coming in at 141 pages, Russ Nelson's book is a quick read that is filled with fictional characters based on real ones from Texarkana.

A writer for TexarkanaNews.com and TexarkanaSports.com interviewed Nelson when his book was first released in 2017 for another publication.

Nelson told him: "Some of the stories that you're probably sure are fictional in the book are ones that really happened."

He said he finished writing the book in the early 2010s, but only decided to publish the novel after his wife read the eBook of "The Martian" by Andy Weir. This gave him the idea to publish his own book.

"I cleaned it up and changed the names," Nelson said. "I put certain names to remind who I was writing about as well."

When Russ Nelson decided to publish the book, he called the people who had inspired the novel's characters.

"I even called relatives of one person who passed away," Nelson said.  Everyone was very nice. and the conversations were beyond what I had suspected."

Besides being heartfelt, the book offers subtle humor mixed with fascinating stories.

Indeed, Texarkana readers may be able to deduce who the characters are based upon.

The book provides an authentic look at a young team and coaching staff because Nelson has a long history as a physical trainer for both Arkansas High and Trinity Christian School. He stepped away from Arkansas High because he was a volunteer and now works exclusively with Trinity Christian School's track and field program.

As a physical therapist providing outpatient care for Christus St. Michael Health System, few local health professionals are more popular. One of his patients told Texarkana Sports that he calls the physical therapist "Russ Golden" instead of "Russ Nelson" due to his "golden, healing hands."

That's high praise for his physical therapy skills, but his book deserves love from the community as well.

Moreover, there is no better novel to download and read as you get ready for Friday's big game. Nelson will obviously be rooting for Arkansas High. However, his book can be enjoyed by Texas High fans, too.

Editor's note: Russ Nelson's book titled "A "A Fall of Football: A Year in the Life of Arkansas Football" can be downloaded on Amazon.com for all Kindle devices by clicking below. A paperback is also available.