The book details the controversial 1962 season, the first under coach Charlie Bradshaw, whose brutal winter conditioning and practice regiment reduced the UK roster from 88 to only 30 players.
As Ragland pointed out, the UK roster included a disproportionate number of players from eastern Kentucky, including Perky Bryant, of Evarts, and Clarkie Mayfield, of Black Star.
The book has a chapter on Mayfield, who died in 1977 in the Beverly Hills Supper Club fire in northern Kentucky. Ragland described life in the coal mining camp of Black Star in the 1950s, when Mayfield was the school's star player.
"There was a boy who died in a place that's not here anymore that came from a place that's not here anymore and this unassuming, apparently average boy grew to be most extraordinary and heroic at critical moments of his life," said Ragland to open the chapter on Mayfield.
Black Star hadn't posted a winning record since 1941 when Mayfield, who was a quarterback and kicker, led the the team to a breakthrough season as a senior in 1958 and earned third-team all-state honors.
Black Star lost only once (to Somerset) and had one tie (against Bryant and Evarts) and was invited to play in the Black Diamond Bowl against Harlan at Huff Park. Mayfield scored on a punt return and had an interception as Black Star won 27-14 over the Dragons and star running back Howard Mize, who also signed with the University of Kentucky.
Mize left the team, but graduated from UK and went on to medical school at Louisville. He is now a doctor in Kingsport, Tenn.
Mayfield was limited to kicking at Kentucky and had some big moments, including the game-winning field goal as Kentucky edged Tennessee 12-10.
Bryant, a standout running back and linebacker for coach Charles Hunter at Evarts, drew praise in the book for his hard-nosed style of play and mountain charm.
"He was a Man of the Mountains if there ever was one," said Ragland in the book. "A fullback by trade, Perky was built like a truck, at least in the thighs. When he took the football, he'd churn up field, initiating contact and spinning out of it."
Bryant was second on the 1962 team in rushing and led in touchdowns with four, including three in a win over Detroit.
After a long career in coaching and school administration, Bryant is now retired and lives in Loyall.
Another Evarts star, Roy Evans, was also a member of the UK squad before transferring to Eastern Kentucky University, where he earned all-conference honors and finished his career as a captain in 1964.
Kentucky finished the year with a 3-5-2 record, but the season was marked more by controversy than football.
In addition to describing the coaching staff's brutal workouts, Ragland also touched on sex and gambling scandals in the book, which was recently released.