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Thursday, August 15, 2013

Film: "Season of a Lifetime"

TITLE: Season of a Lifetime
PRODUCER: Rick Cohen
PUBLISHER: Nashville, TN: Word Entertainment, 2013.

[Release Date: August 27, 2013]

Can a relatively unknown high school ever become known in public eyes? Can a small football team in a small town ever make it to the big stage? Can a man diagnosed with ALS help in 2008 help lead a football team to success in the 2010 high school football season? As far as Jeremy Williams is concerned, the answer is a resounding YES!

"It ain't over until it's over!" comes the refrain of Jeremy Williams. His never say die attitude is infectious. It turns around a group of football players into greatness. It gives national attention to the spirit of the human soul. It provides a can-do attitude for anyone who tends to be discouraged by illness, disease, and dire situations.

This is an inspirational documentary about a man who dares to defy the odds. It is about how one looks at the word "impossible" into "I am Possible." The can-do attitude defines the life and determination of Jeremy Williams, who suffers a progressing ALS disease, also known as Lou Gehrig's disease. Despite the condition and the deteriorating effects of the disease, Williams lets his actions talk. He commits himself to be the head coach of his hometown's Greenville Patriots for one last season, to give of his best, but more importantly, to challenge others around him to give of their best and be at their best. The results are phenomenal. Greenville High School is the only high school in Greenville town, about 60 miles south west of Atlanta, Georgia. With a population of less than a thousand people, the documentary even says that it has just one red light junction!

How on earth can a small team make it to the big arena? By winning? Not really. It is not the winning per se, but the winning attitude that grows from largely the energy and determination of one man. Voted the National High School Coach of the Year for 2010, Jeremy Williams shares his family, his faith, while others revel in his fame and fantastic life of courage. Williams garners many public recognition. From being a recipient of the national show, Extreme Makeover, to the 2010 High School football season that epitomizes his life, Williams has become a symbol of hope and courage. Producer Rick Cohen, after reading about the inspiring story of Williams in the Atlanta Journal Constitution, decides to make a film that traces the life, and the gruelling challenges of being a head coach, who eventually leads the team to its first ever undefeated season, and to play in the coveted playoffs for the championship.

So What?

The film is devoid of all the glitzy and glorious Hollywood style rags to riches atmosphere. Yet, there is a gradual buildup of expectations of great things that are to come from humble beginnings. Inspiration comes not through a superficial bowl of glittering images, but through simple deep and honest doses of energy and belief that cut through the no's of discouragement, to reveal the yes's of determination. Williams's power of belief is infectious. Just seeing how he fights his own physical ailments is enough to energize people around him to achieve what many people say is impossible.

In the first few minutes, viewers will be introduced to the debilitating effect of ALS, the seemingly low probability of success of Greenville football team, and the very ordinary town of Greenville. Filled with snippets of the football team, interviews with family, friends, school staff, and many, we are given an idea how formidable the barriers are to lead the team to success. The producers even included the subtitles to aid viewers to understand what Williams is saying.

Just to give us an idea of the mountain of challenges for the Williams family, not only is Jeremy dealing with ALS, his son Jacob continues to battle Spina Bifida, a birth defect that affects Jacob's ability to walk normally. His wife Jennifer has also been diagnosed with breast cancer and is undergoing chemotherapy. One wonders why this family has to go through so much. You can follow and support the fund raising campaign here. Jeremy and Jennifer will also be publishing a book called "Tenacious" due to be released this month.

(Jacob, Josie, Jennifer, and Jeremy; Sep 2012)
Photo Credit - Robin Trimarchi

If you enjoy football, you will enjoy this film. For the rest, the story itself is bigger than the football. Overall, this is a great film, but don't expect Hollywood style frills. There is no need as the story is already inspiring in itself. For more information click here.


This DVD is provided to me free by Word Films without any obligation for a positive review. All opinions offered above are mine unless otherwise stated or implied.

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