Peralta Community College District's Only Student-Run Publication
Peralta Community College District's only student-run publication.

The Citizen

Peralta Community College District's only student-run publication.

The Citizen

Peralta Community College District's only student-run publication.

The Citizen

    ‘McFarland, USA’ spotlights a truly inspiring story

    What do you get when you mix a high school coach, low-income minorities, and cross country team in Central California? 
    Well, you get Disney’s “McFarland, USA,” starring Kevin Costner and currently playing in local theaters. 
    The movie, set in 1987, follows the real-life story of Jim White (played by Costner), a schoolteacher and high school coach who moves into the small country town of McFarland, located in the Central Valley.
     After previous failed stints as a coach, one of which included a shoe-throwing incident in which a student came away with a cut on his cheek, White finds himself getting his last shot as district employee. 
    White is installed first as life skills teacher to go along with his duties as an assistant football and PE coach. The coaching gig winds up falling through as a result of a disagreement with the head football coach.
     On his last chance to make things right in his life, White puts together a cross-country team comprised almost entirely of Mexican farm workers.

    Disney Pictures image

    After a slow start, the team goes on a run for the ages, winning the California state title. 
    Like many of his films, Costner’s character acts as a stable force in the younger generation’s lives. Many of the kids in the area are born into a farming culture built on grit and hard work. 
    Most don’t venture out of the city, and don’t even know a world exists outside of the San Joaquin Valley. 
    This notion is captured in the movie when White surprisingly takes the group of teenagers to the beach after a meet. 
    The kids are amazed when they encounter an ocean that previously could only be glimpsed on TV or in a magazine. 
    The inspiration for the film came from a 2004 Sports Illustrated article by Gary Smith. White’s McFarland teams won nine CIF titles in the 23 years he coached at the school.

    About the Contributor
    In the fall of 2019, The Laney Tower rebranded as The Citizen and launched a new website. These stories were ported over from the old Laney Tower website, but byline metadata was lost in the port. However, many of these stories credit the authors in the text of the story. Some articles may also suffer from formatting issues. Future archival efforts may fix these issues.  
    Leave a Comment
    Donate to The Citizen
    $0
    $500
    Contributed
    Our Goal

    Comments (0)

    All Sort: Newest

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *