|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
"A little uncomfortable. No, I'd say a lot uncomfortable," says Coach Ladouceur. The filmmakers and Ladouceur's close friends thought that it was a good story to tell, so why not let it be told. "I thought, sure, you know, I agree. I'm real proud of our kids and I'm proud of what we've done, so I was kinda, 'Okay, I'll bite my lip and let it go.'"
"I hope [the message] it sends is what is possible with high school and adolescent kids, or anybody that can come together and not care about who gets credit but is all-in on trying to accomplish something worthwhile." -When the Game Stands Tall Press Interview
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
No. As stated earlier, the When the Game Stands Tall true story revealed that Chris Ryan and his father Mickey are both fictional characters. "...I've never witnessed anyone hitting their kid in the parking lot," said Assistant Coach Terry Eidson. Mickey's obsession with his son breaking the touchdown record is also fictional.
No. Though a good fit for the themes of service and brotherhood expressed in the movie, the real De La Salle Spartans 2004 team never visited a VA rehab center. Assistant coach Terry Eidson believes this scene was inspired by an event that took place during a trip to Hawaii for a road game in 2002. While there, he took some of the players to visit a Shriners Hospital for Children in Honolulu, Hawaii. -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. 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
"Well, we'd usually start out with a song," says Coach Ladouceur, "and then a requirement was that they had to bring in a New Testament scripture piece that they'd have to speak to, and then some other motivational reading that they'd have to bring also, and once those were presented by the kids, they had to tell what it meant to them or why they brought those or why they chose them and then we opened it up to the whole team for discussion."
"It was real powerful," adds Ladouceur. "It's something that you get to do away from the field. A lot of it has nothing to do with football and it's consistent with what our school does and in the classroom. So, we wanted to infuse that into our team also." -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
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.
Yes. In a poetic manner that took the praise off himself, something that he always stressed to his players, De La Salle coach Bob Ladouceur retired after achieving 399 wins. The then 58-year-old made the announcement during a press conference on January 4, 2013. "I would probably still be coaching if I didn't have the perfect guy to take over," Ladouceur said of 33-year-old Justin Alumbaugh, a former player. Ladouceur coached the De La Salle High School Spartans for 34 seasons.
It should be noted that Bob Ladouceur did not leave the De La Salle program entirely. He still helps to coach the running backs, and he can still be seen on the sidelines on Friday nights. -MaxPreps.com
"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 produced by
the High School Television Network 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.