Sports News Without Fear, Favor or Compromise
Sports News Without Fear, Favor or Compromise

Casting The Movie "11 To 1: The Avella High School Football Story"

Illustration for article titled Casting The Movie 11 To 1: The Avella High School Football Story

If this true life film isn't on the Disney release schedule by Christmas 2010, then I will move to Western Pennsylvania and start a high school football team myself. It's the tale of tiny Avella High School, in the cradle of football Eden, where their local gridiron gang lost all nine games this season by a combined score of 417-62. They are a horrible program with a listless fan base, disinterested student body, angry parents, and an angrier coach who quite possibly has no idea what he's doing. It might also be "the most inspiring sports story since 'Hoosiers' (—" The school has 200 students and has won only two games in the last five years. Thirty-eight kids signed up for football in the spring, but they played most of the season with a roster of about 13. Their 6'6'' offensive (and defensive) lineman plays trombone in the marching band at halftime. Junior Jesse Noble plays quarterback, cornerback and running back, and when he got hurt in the next-to-last game, they played the entire second half with only 10 players and held their opponent to just six points (for a 56-0 loss.) But the real, page-turning, tear-jerking, heart-bursting-forth-with-the-joy-of-the-human-spirit moment came when the team was running out of healthy players—so the head cheerleader joined the team simply so they wouldn't have to forfeit. She even made a Rudy-esque tackle in the final game (which they lost 40-6, but the triumph of sport, etc.) The story writes itself, obviously, but I think we should help the inevitable filmmakers out and cast this Oscar-bait for them. Here are the dramatis personae: • Anastasia Barr, the captain of the cheerleading squad, point guard on the basketball team, member of the track team, and now defensive back on the football team who saves the program in its hour of need. • Frank Gray, the grizzled old coach who defies a community and pushes his team to believe in itself. • Jesse Noble, the triple-threat athlete whose dramatic injury rallies a nation. • Neil Gossett, the big but lovable lineman/trombone player who speaks his inner beauty through music. • Mitch Spencer, the all-state wrestler who risks his dream to stand by his teammates in a losing cause. (And also play in the band.) • Walter Cornblatt, the evil school principal who wants fire the coach and destroy the program so he can build condominiums on the abandoned football field. (Note: Not a real person.) Leave suggestions in the comments for actors you think should play those roles, so we can steal them and not give you an associate producer credit. • "For this team, winning is just showing up" [Christian Science Monitor]

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