You wanna stay alive, you gotta make a life for yourself outside of your set. The Mustangs played Montclair tough and lost on a goal-line stand by Montclair in the fourth quarter. He was signed by the Seattle Seahawks as an undrafted rookie free agent in 1998 and spent the next 2 seasons on the practice roster before signing as a fee agent with the Dallas Cowboys in 2000. You can get shot and killed for no reason.". Porter sees the letter and feels bad for Willie. "I took football as a joke," Black said. Sean Porter: No. IN SIX YEARS, Michael Black has evolved from a young offender to a college senior on track to graduate. How to vote. He didn't come in here and say, `I wish it was warmer in the winter.' You’re a good kid, Roger. It was coached by Probation Officers Mo Freeman and Howard Gold, in addition to Sean Porter. Read Article. Willie Weathers is not a real person. The Mustangs did not have female cheerleaders from a separate girls correctional facility, as depicted in the movie. Kilpatrick was different from other county-maintained facilities because it fielded a football team that played small Southern California high schools. He put football aside, got a job building scaffolds at Anheuser-Busch north of Los Angeles and went to night school. Black surpassed the 300-yard plateau on a 55-yard scoring run with 1:31 to play. The scene in which the team presents Coach Porter with flowers for his dying mother did happen in real life, and represented a significant turning point in the boys lives: The death of Coach Porter’s mother also represented a turning point in the Mustang’s season. "School is more important than going pro any day," she said. "Gang members thought they were somebody else. Actual clips of Porter’s speeches are shown at the end of the movie as the credits are rolling. He participated in a lively debate on the best way to resolve racial tensions on campus, suggesting the art of compromise, but soon realized the solutions were as confounding as life itself. “We were lucky we had some good schools that would play us and believed in what we did.” The team did not have any home games and had to travel as long as four hours just to get to games. A basketball team was the first sports program introduced at Kilpatrick, in 1986. At practice, Junior gets hurt and has to go to the hospital; he returns the next day, and although Junior is not medically cleared to play, the team surrounds him to welcome him back. In their next game, the Mustangs play better but still lose. Seeing him plow past would-be tacklers like a bowling ball, it is difficult to imagine Black sitting in a California Youth Authority prison cell going nowhere, as he was four years ago. He was finally offered an opportunity at Washington State, where he enrolled in January 1996 and was a two-year starter for the Cougars. He said, `This is what I need in my life right now.' Price knew of the risks of signing a recruit with a criminal past, but saw growth and maturity after meeting Black, who chose WSU over Arizona and Texas. While driving home one evening, Porter passes a high school football game and he gets an idea. Parts of the audio are hard to hear, but it’s still interesting to listen to the stories. He wants to play football and says to Porter, “I’m tired of bein’ a loser man. Black served 20 months in a Norwalk, Calif., youth authority prison, often a ticket to lifetime institutionalization. "I took everything as a joke. A quick, 6-foot running back, Black started immediately at West Los Angeles. Jackie Lacey vs. George Gascón: What to know about L.A County district attorney’s race. Furthermore, the community begins to rally behind the prison football program. Porter goes to speak with him, and Junior says that he just got a call that his child turned two years old. I could not see myself being there for the rest of my life. "Take time out to ignore the L.A. stuff. While at Norwalk, he earned his high-school diploma and worked as a plumber. Over the next series of practices, Coach Porter tries to understand the problems that his players have. “They didn’t know how to handle that type of loss,” Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson said in an interview. Judicial seats on the Superior Court may seem the most obscure ballot items, but they now loom large as building blocks in a foundation of justice. Lee Stanley, a Los Angeles filmmaker whose documentary "Gridiron Game" followed Black's team seven years ago, said: "Every kid who is locked up just ran out of excuses if they sit down and see what happened to Michael Black.". Everyone seems committed, works hard, and follows the coach’s program until an overweight player, Jamal Evans, quits because it’s too tiring. Black expects to graduate in May, and you can bet his mother will be there to see the first member of her family get a diploma. “He’s an actor. In the film, the Mustang players cried after losing their first game, which happened in real life. Sean Porter: Roger, you’re 17-years-old. When I got in there, it wasn't for me. Your way got you here. Porter sits down with Bates and through tears Bates says, “I just want my mom to love me.”. Off the field, the players each begin writing letters to their families to try to heal broken relationships. After viewing the film, test audiences found this part of the movie hard to believe, that gang members would cry like that. A lot of the motivational speeches in the movie were based on real speeches that Porter gave. One night in the juvenile center, a kid named Roger Weathers attacks another inmate and is sent to an isolation room called “the box”. The players protest and refuse to run or play until Porter relents. While Willie and Kelvin have started to disassociate themselves from their respective gangs, the former affiliation still causes problems. Endorsements. Where to vote. Black knows the line between success and failure is fiber thin: "It's all about how much you want to achieve and believe in yourself," he said. "It's scary because I'm so close to getting there," he said. They spot Kelvin and because he used to be connected a rival gang, they shoot but do not kill him. Black was sentenced to three years in jail and spent 20 months in the California Youth Authority facility at Norwalk as a two-time loser. Jason Lamb (Kenny Bates in the movie), was a car thief and habitual offender, but never got arrested again after his experience with the Mustangs. September 5, 2016. It is all here. "He was a special person and probably didn't get the full benefits of camp," said Sean Porter, a Kilpatrick probation officer who coached Black. Black rushed for a career-high 342 yards in 27 carries and Wilson chipped in with 92 yards in four carries to lead the Mustangs (9-3-1). Later, Willie finds out that Kelvin survived and is okay, but he is still angry and scared. When released, Black called Stanley, the filmmaker whose WINGS Foundation gives financial aid to troubled youth who want to attend college. The team and the crowd celebrate the amazing victory. He wants to push Willie to get past the inner demons holding him back. "I did something wrong and had to pay for it, but in a sense, it woke me up," Black said. "I appreciate this more than people coming out of high school.". I don't like being in my room. I don’t know that people really appreciate the actor that he is, but if you see the movie, and then get an opportunity to see the documentary, you’ll really appreciate what he did.”. When the NFL players went on strike after the third week of the 1987 season, Moore was signed as a replacement player on the Los Angeles Rams and played in 3 games; after the strike ended, he was released, re-signed, but later cut. Roger Weathers: In jail. At the next practice, Junior runs over players and shows a tremendous amount of football skills. The cast and crew were surrounded by high fences and tightly secured with guards at each exit, while more than 100 real inmates went about their day with a movie shooting around them. In 1990, the program changed to an 11-man team in order to increase the program’s exposure and the number of teams it could compete against. the racial riots going on. Willie is sent to the same juvenile prison where his cousin Roger had been — the facility run by Sean Porter. He never quit believing in himself even when others did. Camp Kilpatrick actually started a sports program back in 1986 with a 12-man basketball team because it required little equipment and few participants. Sean Porter, along with Probation Officers Mo Freeman and Howard Gold, started the Kilpatrick football team in 1988 with a 8-man football team.
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