Film Premiere Inspired By Legendary Coach & Epic Football Game
Coach Ron Signorino Sr. with (back row) Jon Kuntz, Pete Bush, Bill Malast, Harry Walters and (front) Bob Hermanni, John Pedone, Rip Scherer & Rich Longo
I was 13 years old and while most details have been forgotten I do remember some things from that November day in 1969. I recall quite vividly getting to what is now Detwiler Stadium (maybe it was then as well) at least three hours before kickoff and I remember it was cold. Before there were any state playoffs Toms River South hosted Middletown High School for the mythical championship in New Jersey. The teams were ranked 1-2 in the state which in itself was a big story because Shore Conference teams were not held in high regard by the powers up north.
More than 50 years later it still is the greatest game in the history of the shore for what it meant, what it did and the some 10,000 people who crammed in every possible spot to watch it including hanging out of trees. What I remember most about the game was the Indians kept turning the ball over and in my mind were clearly the better team. They lost 14-8 and the Lions finished #1 in The Star-Ledger rankings.
That magical game is partly the inspiration for South Football’s Impossible Dream, a one-hour film which will debut on Sunday, January 22 (2pm) at the Grunin Center at Ocean County College. The film centers on how legendary coach Ron Signorino Sr. turned the Indians into a state power and rare footage of that game against Middletown will be shown publically for the first time.
I have been asked and agreed to play a small role when the film debuts a week from Sunday as I will introduce Sandra Levine, a veteran filmmaker and producer whose previous works include a documentary about local recovery from Superstorm Sandy as well as South Baseball-The Spirit of Winning which focused on coach Ken Frank. Levine is a graduate of Toms River South.
Tickets to the premiere are available at www.grunincenter.org. A short meet and greet with Coach Signorino will immediately follow the screening and several players from the 1969 team are expected to be on hand.
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