Yes, the story has been done before - home town girl and college jock, but I've never read it written like this before. I have not read the full length novel, in fact this is the first manuscript I have read from this author. It is, quite possibly, one of the most beautifully written pieces of prose I have read in a very long time. Marx turns phrases like Bob Ross turns a white canvas into a meadow. With the flip of a wrist, there is a happy little tree then suddenly a pond and a mountain. It's mesmerizing, and anyone will admit to sitting down and watching a full episode of Bob Ross on late night PBS just to see what he does and to watch the magic happen. That is what it was like reading Cutters vs. Jocks for me.
When I started, I had no idea what a Cutter was. I think this is a local dialect phrase, and would have liked some introduction or one sentence of explanation at the start. Where I went to University, there wasn't that kind of division between the locals and the university students, so the division in Cutters vs Jocks required a bit of acclimation for me.
The head-hopping was another acclimation point, and I am not normally very fond of this style. Marx rotates each chapter between the two lead characters in first person narrative. There were some times, however, where I found myself forgetting whose head I was in for a sentence or two.
Regardless of these two minor points, this short prequel was masterfully written, and although it isn't a normal genre I read, it has me wanting to pick up the full length novel.