'Courageous' Hits Home With Auburn Football Team

Aug. 16, 2011


AUBURN, Ala. --The Auburn football team took a break from practice and team meetings last week to attend a special screening of "Courageous," a riveting film set for release on Sept. 30.

There was roaring laughter from the players, moments of silence and sniffles from the coaches wives during the film, a stirring story of four men sworn to protect and serve as law enforcement officers. Tragedy forces them to confront their faith, their fears and their responsibility as fathers.

Members of the Auburn football team said the message hit home in a powerful way.

For Onterio McCalebb, it was personal.

"It really meant a lot to me because I have a daughter," McCalebb said. "I actually just called to tell her that I love her. I think it was awesome. "It touched a lot of players on our team."

The film's penetrating message also resonated with Nosa Eguae.

"I really liked the message that came across. It can really touch anyone, it doesn't matter what walk of life you come from. I really like the message that it brings about growing up and becoming a man. I would tell anyone whether they are fathers or not, that if they are looking for something inspirational, they should watch it."

Ken Bevel, who plays Officer Nathan Hayes in the movie, spoke to the team after the screening.

"I came out of a similar situation like that," Bevel said. "How many guys here came out of a similar situation like that? What I want to tell you is, the story is not over. You've got a lot going for yourselves. You're on a great team. You're in a great family. This team is your family, but what are you going to do when the football is gone? Are you going to leave a legacy that will last a lifetime with your children?"

Head Coach Gene Chizik called the film a "tremendous movie with a great message."

"I want this to hit you because it's got nothing to do with football," Chizik said. "It's about you being a man. That, long after all this is over, is the most important thing, and it's not even close."

Executive Producer Michael Catt also attended the screening and addressed the team. Courageous is the fourth movie produced by Sherwood Pictures, a ministry of Sherwood Baptist Church in Albany, Ga. It will be in theaters beginning Sept. 30.

Bevel said he was honored to watch the screening with the defending National Champions.

"I hope the message they get from this is you have to be intentional about being a father. I think what Coach Chizik is doing here is great. He is trying to make sure they leave here not only as better football players but also as better men."

For more information on the film, including the movie trailer, visit www.courageousthemovie.com