Sam Walker wins a track scholarship to East Catholic. Some in the majority-white student body resent Sam's presence, especially Tommy DeFelice. Sam and Meg develop a friendship, even creating a record-swapping club while meeting at the Vinyl Crocodile record store. He is caught in the riots that shook Philadelphia in the summer of 1964.
Meg and Sam survive the riots unharmed. He wins a scholarship to the University of Pennsylvania. He and Meg are arrested at a campus rally protesting the Vietnam war.
Sam and Meg consider the possibility of a romantic relationship, but both JJ and Nathan discourage the idea.