Disclaimer: I attended a media preview at no cost.
McFarland, USA is now playing in theatres everywhere!!!
Based on the 1987 true story, “McFarland, USA” follows novice runners from McFarland, an economically challenged town in California’s farm-rich Central Valley, as they give their all to build a cross-country team under the direction of Coach Jim White (Kevin Costner), a newcomer to their predominantly Latino high school. Coach White and the McFarland students have a lot to learn about each other but when White starts to realize the boys’ exceptional running ability, things begin to change. Soon something beyond their physical gifts becomes apparent—the power of family relationships, their unwavering commitment to one another and their incredible work ethic. With grit and determination, the unlikely band of runners eventually overcomes the odds to forge not only a championship cross-country team but an enduring legacy as well. Along the way, Coach White realizes that his family finally found a place to call home and both he and his team achieve their own kind of American dream.
FUN FACTS:“McFarland , USA ” is inspired by a 1987 true story, in which an unlikely band of inexperienced, under - equipped , young Latino runners with exceptional determination rise to become cross - country state champions under the leadership of their coach, Jim White. Over the years since then, the McFarland High School cross - country teams have won nine state championships and the small school is considered a powerhouse in the sport.
Coach Jim White is retired now, but if you go to McFarland, chances are you will see him out there on his bike, keeping up with the kids every evening with a lot of his original team running alongside as well. White retired in 2002 after teaching in McFarland schools for 40 years and coaching for 25 years.
A number of the original runners on the championship 1987 cross - country team became educators in the McFarland school district . The former teammates are not only working in their home town, but also raising their families there and actively supporting the cross - country teams of today by coaching, helping out with the meets and practices and donating goods or money so the teams have what they need.
Three out of the seven young actors on the team in the movie are from the McFarland area — Sergio Avelar who plays Victor Puentes and Michael Aguero, cast as Damacio Diaz, are actual runners and Ramiro Rodriguez, as Danny Diaz , was a champion soccer player.
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