By MARK HIGLEY
The book The Miracle Season took its author, Kathy Bresnahan, four long,
tear-filled years to write. In it, the former volleyball coach at Iowa City West High School, tells the inspirational story of 17-year-old volleyball player Caroline Found who was killed in a moped accident on the way the hospital to visit her terminally ill mother.
Her death, followed by that of her mother’s 12 days later, devastated her family and the Iowa community. It also sent her high school volleyball team into a nosedive – they lost their spirit, focus, and motivation to win.
Now the motion picture by the same name is set to release April 6. The PG-rated film stars Academy Award winners Helen Hunt as team coach and William Hurt
as Caroline’s father. The role of Caroline is played by up and comer Danika Yarosh; Erin Moriarty and Tiera Skovbye are teammates who help rally the squad.
As the “setter” and leader of her team, Caroline or “Line,” as her friends called her, was the captain, the star player, the one who had rallied her team to
one state championship – then planned for another. In a scene from the movie, Caroline hops on the moped, flashes her infectious smile and tells Kelly, “This is our year, Kel!”
After her tragic death, the tough love coach (Hunt) presses the girls to pull together and find a way to win.
“I told you to win for Caroline,” she tells her girls, “but if we want to show her how much we miss her, we should just play, for joy.”
“Live Like Line” becomes the team mantra which honors Line’s acts of kindness and her amazing spirit and accomplishments.
The movie is directed by Sean McNamara, who had also directed Helen Hunt in Soul Surfer. And if The Miracle Season feels as though it’s similar in tone to the inspirational high school movie, Friday Night Lights, it may be because both screenplays were written by David Aaron Cohen.
Hurt has also worked with McNamara — the two just completed the action adventure fantasy film The King’s Daughter, which is to be released later this year.
If you’re looking to take the grandchildren to a motivational movie that shows how resilience and determination pay off and how hope and optimism can trump
tragedy, then this one should score big.
Chances are, those grands may be cheering “Live Like Line” as they walk out of the theater.
Mark Higley is an Emmy award-winning screenwriter who
has written for many soap operas including One Life to
Live and Days of our Lives