The Animal Keepers tells the true story of the Stevens Point High School cross country team and their unforgettable journey through the 1985 season. Joined by first year runner Scott The Animal Longley - a developmentally disabled student who lived in a group home - the year takes an unexpected turn as this most unlikely hero leads them on a quest for a state title. Surrounded by a group of serious and dedicated runners The Animal set out to prove he belonged. Driven by his incredible enthusiasm and never ending optimism the 85 season became a voyage of discovery for Scott, his coach, and his teammates as they worked to assemble a competitive team from a jumble of spare parts. Told from the perspective of a young coach this is a book about running, competing, and team building, but at its center this is the story of a young man with physical, cognitive, and emotional disabilities who loved to run, loved to compete, and most of all loved being part of a team.