|REEL FACE:||REAL FACE:|
Born: September 26, 1968
Mount Vernon, Washington, USA
Born: July 3, 1954
Birthplace: Detroit, Michigan, USA
Born: August 30, 1963
Lowell, Massachusetts, USA
Position: Assistant Coach (Defensive Coordinator)
Born: December 16, 1993
Toronto, Canada, USA
Terrance "T.K." Kelly
Born: April 23, 1986
Birthplace: Oakland, California, USA
Death: August 12, 2004, Richmond, California, USA (gunshot wounds)
Position: Outside Linebacker and Tight End
Born: January 15, 1948
New Orleans, Louisiana, USA
Born: February 8, 1944
Death: October 7, 2004, Richmond, California, USA (heart failure)
Born: May 5, 1987
Birthplace: Contra Costa, California, USA
Position: Wide Receiver
Cameron "Cam" Colvin
Born: March 5, 1986
Birthplace: Pittsburg, California, USA
Position: Wide Receiver
In researching the When the Game Stands Tall true story, we discovered that Bob Ladouceur began coaching at De La Salle High School in Concord, California in 1979 when he was 24. The real De La Salle Spartans had only won one game during the season prior to when Bob Ladouceur came on board. Prior to taking the reigns at De La Salle, he had been an assistant coach at Monte Vista High School in Danville, California. It was around that time that Ladouceur worked briefly as a counselor at a juvenile hall. Watching the same kids returning over and over, it was there that he realized that he wanted to mold young people before they had a chance to veer in the wrong direction. -ESPN
No. "I play Chris Ryan, who is a fictional character," says actor Alexander Ludwig, "but this whole story is a factual one, and he's kind of been inspired by multiple people who've actually been in and out of De La Salle." -sportsNOLA.com
Yes. The When the Game Stands Tall true story confirms that on New Year's Eve 2003, Bob Ladouceur went into full cardiac arrest. He had ignored symptoms earlier that season, chalking them up to indigestion. Despite eating healthy, exercising frequently, and avoiding alcohol, Ladouceur, unbeknownst to his players, had been a closet smoker. -When the Game Stands Tall Book
"I remember thinking right away how he had just lost his dad and I didn't want to lose mine," son Dan Ladouceur said in the days following his dad's heart attack. He was referring to the passing of his grandfather to cancer just two months earlier. "I mean, I couldn't ask for a better dad. He [has] to coach me my senior year and watch me play in college and see me get married and raise a family. It's amazing how much goes through your mind in a time like that." -SFGate.com
The longest winning streak in football history, dubbed "The Streak", began on September 11, 1992 with a 34-14 season-opening win over Merced High School. It ended twelve years and 151 games later against Bellevue on Saturday, September 4, 2004 in a 39-20 loss. Ladouceur later called the defeat the worst performance in the program's history. -When the Game Stands Tall Book
Yes. Terrance Kelly was home visiting friends and family after spending much of his summer at the University of Oregon, the school he would be attending with three of his La Salle teammates, including Willie Glasper, Jackie Bates, and Cameron Colvin. Terrance was killed in a shooting after driving to a house to give a friend a ride home on August 12, 2004. After calling his friend to tell him that he was pulling up, his friend walked out the door less than a minute later to discover Terrance had been shot in his car. Terrance's father Landrin and grandmother Bevelyn, who had raised him as her own, rushed to the scene. His grandmother collapsed of a heart attack. She recovered to attend Terrance's funeral, but she passed away less than two months later. Initially, the police had no motive and zero suspects. -When the Game Stands Tall Book
Yes. The commitment cards are a tradition at De La Salle and are still in practice today. Players write down an expectation or commitment that they plan on making to the team -- to return a kick for a touchdown, to make an interception, to block a punt. During chapel visits, players then reveal the promises on their commitment cards.
No. The player in the movie who has a big ego and struggles to understand the definition of team, Tayshon Lanear (Jesse Usher), is a fictional character meant to represent the general attitude of some of the players on the 2004 team.
Yes. However, the Long Beach Poly game took place in 2001, not 2004 like in the movie, and it was a junior named Maurice Drew who performed the somersault into the end zone, not the movie's fictional senior Chris Ryan. The true story behind When the Game Stands Tall reveals that Maurice Drew's somersault resulted in him being flagged for an excessive celebration penalty. As stated in the When the Game Stands Tall book, Coach Ladouceur did tell him that they were not a celebrating team, but it happened when they got home, not on the sidelines.
Yes. In a somewhat secular society that has tried to remove faith from schools and related school activities, including football, Bob Ladouceur believes the opposite. "I think that's an easy question," says Ladouceur. "When does faith and anything not come together? I mean, you carry your faith everywhere, and you can't take it off like your shirt or anything like that. It's a part of you.
So, [Assistant Coach] Terry and I have always believed that wherever we're going or whatever we do, we carry our faith with us and try to act from that as best we can, our faith beliefs. Football is no different. People look at it and say, 'Hey, that's an anomaly or that's strange.' I've never thought about it that way and I don't think Terry ever did either." De La Salle's motto, which appears on the school crest, is "Les Hommes De Foi", or "Men Of Faith". -When the Game Stands Tall Press Interview
Yes. Like in the movie, the De La Salle Spartans walked out onto the field for games in pairs holding hands. This is briefly shown in this clip from the Perfect Effort documentary. Another tradition that is true to the movie is the players sliding head first into the end zone after winning a championship.
Yes. During our exploration into the true story behind When the Game Stands Tall, we learned that the day before every game the coaches and players would pray together and have reflection. -EWTN
"Yes," says former De La Salle head coach Bob Ladouceur. "It was important because we want those kids to know that there's people there to support them, and there are people that will always be there for them, and it's a safe environment to do that. It's okay to open up and tell how you're feeling, and it's okay to open up and tell your fears or your triumphs and share it with other people. Everybody's there to help them and everyone's there to support." The sharing was usually done during the chapel sessions. -EWTN
"The only thing that was really not historic was the sequence of events," says the real Bob Ladouceur. "They kind of took three years and condensed it into one. But they mostly took everything from our '04 season and our transition from our '03 to '04 season, which was the murder of Terrance Kelly. I also had a heart attack that offseason." -TheFootballGirl.com
Not exactly. At 151 games, the De La Salle Spartans hold the record for the longest winning streak in American high school football, but not high school sports in general. The Passaic High School boys basketball team in Passaic, New Jersey won 159 games from 1919-1925, and the girls basketball team in Baskin, Louisiana won 218 games from 1947-1953. However, it can be argued that such streaks in basketball are easier to achieve since more games are played in a shorter period of time, resulting in things like players leaving the team due to graduation being less of a factor.
"I've never really considered college coaching," says Ladouceur. "My strength is in teaching. Plus, I have a feel for the physics and geometry of the game, and see how it applies on the field. I saw the difference between high school and college. College is a job. High school is about teaching and the joy of the game."
Ladouceur says that he was offered the head coaching job at St. Mary's College in Moraga, California, and he was also approached about interviewing for the staff at Stanford. In addition to coaching at De La Salle, Ladouceur also served as a religious studies teacher at the school. -ESPN
To learn more about the When the Game Stands Tall true story, watch a short De La Salle High School football documentary, in addition to an interview with the real Bob Ladouceur and Terry Eidson.
WATCHBob Ladouceur Locker Room Speech
Listen to De La Salle coach Bob
Ladouceur's locker room speech that he
gave to his players the day before their
game against Mater Dei High School in
2000. He talks about truly discovering who
you are when faced with adversity and
realizing that you are not alone in making
that discovery. You are part of a team and
you are all facing the same challenge.
Like in the movie, the players can be seen
holding hands as they head out to the
WATCHDe La Salle High School Football Documentary
This De La Salle documentary takes a
closer look at the school, the coach, the
team and what makes them so successful.
The subdued atmosphere at the school is
showcased and Coach Bob Ladouceur
discusses why it's important to not focus
on wins and losses, being that they are
merely outcomes. Defensive coach Terry
Eidson also comments on the emphasis on
brotherhood and teaching each player that
there's someone more important in this
world than you.
WATCHBob Ladouceur and Terry Eidson Interview
Coach Bob Ladouceur and Assistant Coach
Terry Eidson are interviewed about their
reaction to the movie and what made them
want to become coaches. Ladouceur comments
on the similar reserved demeanor that he
shares with his onscreen counterpart, Jim
Caviezel, and Terry Eidson talks about
convincing Ladouceur that the movie was a
WATCHJim Caviezel and Michael Chiklis Interview
After watching the interview with the real
Bob Ladouceur and Terry Eidson, check out
this interview with their onscreen
counterparts, Jim Caviezel and Michael
Chiklis. The actors talk about the
difficulty in portraying living coaches
and what makes When the Game Stands
Tall different from other sports
WATCHWhen the Game Stands Tall Trailer
Watch the When the Game Stands
Tall movie trailer for the football
movie starring Jim Caviezel and Alexander
Ludwig. The film tells the true-to-life
story of high school football coach Bob
Ladouceur (Caviezel), whose De La Salle
Spartans achieved a record-setting
151-game win streak.