‘Woodlawn’ not what expected, pleasant surprise

By Bailey VenJohn
Online editor

Heading into free movie night Wednesday evening I wasn’t sure what movie I wanted to see. None of them jumped out at me or were movies that I had wanted to see.

I refuse to skip a chance to see a movie though so I opted for the movie Woodlawn. I chose it because I knew it was about football and I have yet to see a sports movie that I didn’t like.

I had heard that Woodlawn was a good movie so I thought I would check it out for myself.

The movie lived up to expectations and I enjoyed it but it wasn’t the plot I was expecting.

The plot took a twist towards Jesus. I had anticipated a story of an African American boy who made a name for himself in the state of Alabama during a tough time.

The story was based in the 1970s when integration was taking place in the state of Alabama, specifically Birmingham.

Tony Nathan played for a struggling high school football team in the school’s first year of being integrated. The coach first fought the urge to play him but once the fans and coach caught sight of what he was capable of, Tony saw the field and led his team to victory.

Amidst the mess of the racial dispute, a man named Hank goes to the head coach and asks to speak to the team about Jesus. At first coach refuses but then allows Hank five minutes after practice.

He ends up talking to the team for an hour and they follow his word about Jesus. The team begins praying before games and uses their faith as common ground to bond over.

With the addition of Tony playing and the bonding through God, the team sees success.

The University of Alabama’s head football coach starts recruiting Tony as do many other coaches but I won’t go any further to keep from ruining the story for you.

Overall I thoroughly enjoyed this movie. It was yet another inspiring movie through an athlete’s eyes. I would recommend it to anyone.

Bailey VenJohn is a senior majoring in communication. You may email her at bailey.venjohn@sckans.edu.

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