Valdosta Daily Times

Local Sports

December 30, 2013

Valdosta Football in the Movies

(Continued)

VALDOSTA — FACING THE GIANTS (2006) "Facing the Giants" is also a movie of an indomitable spirit as well as finding the spirit of God in all things we do. As one character tells losing football coach Grant Taylor early in this movie, one must prepare one's fields for the day when the Lord grants His blessings. Taylor goes from a sad-sack coach with a losing record to an inspired coach ready to face an unbeatable opponent, but he has prepared his fields by training his players for the victory that can be theirs if they can keep the faith. Not a Valdosta connection but a South Georgia connection: This movie was filmed in Albany.

BLEACHERS. This is not a movie, at least not yet, but a football novel by John Grisham. It is about a town coming together to remember a championship football coach who has died. Anyone who recalls Nick Hyder may wonder if Grisham didn't base this novel's coach on the legendary Wildcats coach. Almost word for word, the novel's coach says lines similar to Hyder's pep talks. In this book, the coach's coffin is placed on the 50-yard line of the football field where he had led his team to so many victories. Hyder's funeral was held at Cleveland Field; his casket on the 50-yard line. Grisham may not have based his coach on Hyder, but Valdostans reading "Bleachers" may get an eerie feeling that there's a whole lot of Nick Hyder in this fictional coach.

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