Undefeated is a coming of age documentary from filmmakers T.J. Martin and Dan Lindsay based on the 2009 football season of the Manassas Tigers. The original plan was for a thirty minute documentary focused on O.C. Brown, and that turned into a full-blown movie project. Undefeated recently won the Oscar for Best Documentary!!
Manassas High School was founded in 1899, and the Tigers had never won a playoff game. It’s a school that doesn’t have the funds for a fancy field, proper equipment, or even a coach. What it does have though, is kids that want to be a part of something bigger.
Bill Courtney loved to coach. It was his dream actually, but it wouldn’t pay the bills, so he started his own business in 2001. He says he never quit coaching though. Coaching was his passion. His passion led him to Manassas, and 17 players that had a 6-54 record for the previous six years.
Courtney and his team of volunteers impacted those boys that were from the inner city. They cared about them and they prayed with them. It was more than just football, but it changed the way that football was played by those kids.
It changed lives.
It changed Manassas football.
There were a few times that I cried while watching. The stories of the boys are so endearing and heart breaking too. I was rooting for them personally and on the field, just like Courtney was.
There’s a line in the film where Courtney says, “If you think football builds character, it does not. It reveals character.” It’s such a powerful moment. I think I can still hear him saying it.
My husband came in while I was watching it, and sat down with me. He’s telling his friends they need to see it. That’s what I’m telling you. See it, it’s great. There are a few curse words in it, so you’ve been warned. It is PG-13, from The Weinstein Company.
Click here to watch the trailer. UNDEFEATED