As Tiki and Ronde count the days until the start of football season, the basketball coach approaches them looking for new recruits, and Tiki and Ronde sign on.
While Hidden Valley Junior High has always been a powerhouse in football, the school has never done as well in basketball. Ronde is a good passer, but he needs Tiki to get free to sink his shots. Tiki doesn't feel the inner confidence he felt on the football field: it's one thing to play in the driveway, but it's another to sink one on the court, when so much is on the line. The brothers need a winning attitude-and they need to bring everyone together to win. That is their only way to victory. Can they do it?
Tiki and Ronde have grown a lot during the spring and summer. At the start of ninth grade, they’re not only wiser and more mature, but they’re also taller and stronger—with bigger muscles and bigger hands to grab and hold the ball. Factor in the return of their beloved Coach Wheeler, and the boys couldn’t be readier for football season.
But when Tiki wins an essay contest and gives an inspirational speech in front of the whole school, he becomes sought after for guidance and advice. The school paper even wants him to do a Dear Tiki column! However, Tiki would prefer to make his mark on the field—and with the Eagles starting 4-0 and a perfect season in sight, he’ll have to put a lid on his advice column and concentrate on football.
The eighth-grade season couldn’t be going better for the Barbers’ team, the Hidden Valley Egales. Everything is off to a strong start—until one of the key players on the team is benched for academic probation. Without good grades there is no playing time. No exceptions. Ever. Will the team’s hopes for the season be demolished, or can they find a way to help their teammate get his grades up? Fortunately for the Barber brothers, it turns out that the team that plays together can study together too.