Football fans around the world rejoice, as a film adaption of the Neil Hayes book entitled, "When the Game Stands Tall" is set to open nationwide August 22.
The film tells the true and inspiring story of Concord's De La Salle High School Spartans and their 151-game winning streak under the guidance of coach Bob Ladouceur.
The trailer for the movie was recently released, and it stars "Passion of the Christ" actor Jim Caviezel who plays De La Salle coach Bob Ladouceur and Michael Chiklis as longtime defensive coordinator Terry Eidson. The film is produced by David Zeon, whose former films include "Soul Surfer" and "Never Back Down" and directed by Thomas Carter.
Although De La Salle's football program is famous for its many wins-undefeated, with 151 victories in 12 years-- this movie is about something far richer at its heart.
"It's not about sports, it's about. ... growing up ... forgiveness. ... commitment. ... and brotherhood," reveals the trailer.
According to Ladouceur and other former players, De La Salle's program was truly never about winning, but about integrity and purpose.
"Ladouceur wasn't about winning. No yelling and slamming clipboards down. He was about developing these boys into great young men. So I thought, let's show everybody how they did it," said Zelon.
Thomas Carter agreed:
"When he took this job, [the team] had no wins, and he built this amazing juggernaut--but he wasn't interested in just getting wins. He was interested in building young men of character, to finish the program and be better people, to contribute to their communities. A sense of selflessness, a brotherhood, a sense of love-- that's what he focused on. What made you excellent was your commitment to the guy next to you."
However, in the film, the seemingly invincible team is thrown a massive hurdle: the shooting of one of De La Salle's greatest players, Terrence Kelly, who was murdered the night before he was to leave on scholarship for the University of Oregon, and a heart attack Ladouceur suffered. The team is forced to decide if the sacrifice, commitment, and teamwork they have always trusted in can rebuild what is now disintegrating around them
According to Hayes, movie is fairly close to the book, though some key games were placed in a different time frame for dramatic purposes and not every student in the film is based on an actual player.
"But everything is really true to the spirit of the school and what they believe in," Hayes told the Associated Press.
Ladouceur returned to coaching as a De La Salle assistant last season when the Spartans finished 14-1, losing in the CIF Open Division game to St. John Bosco (Bellflower, Calif.). They figure to be another Top 10 national team again in 2014.