This movie is based on a true story revealing the racial segregation situation that was on its pick since 1947 in the south of Birmingham, Alabama. Even though measures had been put forward by a federal ruling system of that time to fight the discrimination of the black race during the 1960s, the southern part of the city was very slow and still rigid at embracing the integration of the blacks and whites in the different high schools.
Woodlawn high school became the pioneering school in ensuring an end to the segregation of blacks in Alabama whereby the school decided to enroll 500 black students out of the entire population of 2,500 students in the School.
This movie showcases a courageous African American by the names of Tony Nathan (Caleb Castille) who is a professional running back in the Woodlawn School’s football team. He endures a lot of racist tendencies which exerts a lot of pressure on him to quit the game. His seen also attacked at his home where the racist attackers throw off a brick wrapped with a paper through the window that almost hits his little brother while at home. This incident comes to him as a threat trying to force him to quit the football game.
There are fights amongst the students on the grounds of racial difference which results in the hospitalization of some of them due to injuries attained in the process.
The movie also features Tandy Gerelds(Nic Bishop), the coach of Woodlawn Football team who tries to help his team to understand and just accept the integration of the blacks and whites race in the school that has affected even the school’s football team. He charges his team to divert the anger on the racial differences and segregations they have towards each other to win the football games they have before them.
The school has an evangelical Christian sports Champlain called Hank Erwin(Sean Astin). Due to his passion to preach the gospel and win souls to the kingdom, Hank makes his way to Woodlawn football team and requests their Coach Tandy Gerelds for permission to share his faith with his football team. Coach Gerelds hesitates in the first place but eventually accepts him to share his faith with his team for 5 minutes. He shares with them for an hour and supernaturally succeeds to convert almost the entire team. Due to their new faith that emphasizes love and unity, these resort to dropping off their racial segregation habits in the team and decide to live as brothers and work as a team.
Coach Gerelds also decides to embrace the same faith of his football team after being moved and inspired by their new faith and the evidently changed behavior of his football team.
In the midst of the tough times of racism and hatred that is going on in the school, Tony Nathan rises up as a first top African American Football player after working hard with his team and winning a very key match that had attracted a very huge audience in the city of Birmingham. A spiritual revival and awakening kick-off where many students and people in the city resort to dropping off the black race segregation tendencies following the remarkable victory of the Woodlawn football team that was embracing the integration of the blacks and whites.
Love and Unity are very powerful aspects of life that make us achieve certain goals in life. There is a saying that runs like “united we stand and divided we fall”. The Woodlawn football team embraced unity by dropping off the segregation tendencies which enabled them to win various matches. As this made them stronger and focused on their game.
Working as a team through training and everyone executing their role in the game is an important factor that led to the success of Woodlawn School’s football team as this helped them to eliminate all sorts of weaknesses in the team associated with lack of teamwork. It’s a lesson to us to always work as a team so that we have the confidence and strength to overcome all the challenges before us through a combined effort.
Whether black or white, we are one people. This movie showcases to us that we are all human beings with equal talents and unique abilities to perform certain tasks in this life that can make us very valuable people in society. There is no need to underestimate anybody because you don’t know what they can become in the future when they make use of their rare God gifted natural abilities.
Anger management can save us from lots of trouble. It’s a very normal thing to get angry but it’s important to learn how to control our anger towards our fellow human beings as this can lead to fights and also deaths in the process. The bible instructs us in Ephesians 4:26 to get angry but we should not sin in the process of our being angry. We should rather apply our anger on situations and challenges so that we do whatever it takes(fighting our way) to achieving something we desire in life.
Being courageous in circumstances where you are surrounded by lots of fears and threats is very important in life.
Looking through Nathan’s situation, we can appreciate this courage approach to any relatable circumstances in the course of our lives. You can’t just quit when you have something great you are pursuing in your life just because of the pressure exerted on you by your haters and critics.
Sometimes we need to persist in sharing the love gospel message with others when we have convictions in our hearts to do so. The sports Champlain did so well to persist on the Football team’s Coach for an opportunity to share with the team. The message shared revolutionized the school’s football game as these dropped off their differences and resorted to living as brothers, loving one another and working as a team.
In conclusion, I provide this movie with a 4.8 –star rating. This sports movie is a must-watch for all athletes and those that love faith-based movies. It unfolds and demonstrates the very vital elements of life “Love and Unity” which are a power source for healthy relationships and success in the various team-work related sports games.