ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED on LINKEDIN.COM, Nov. 14, 2022
Exactly one year ago today I read a tweet that contained a spark of a story, which I’m thrilled to now share in the short film linked below. It springs from the football world of one small town. But even if you’ve never been there, never met someone from Washingtonville, New York, chances are you know someplace like it. The fortunate among us certainly know a Coach Green, a Mrs. Gallivan, a Sugar Bear – the people in all walks who quietly change the world one moment, one student at a time.
What a difference a year, a person, even a Tweet can make. Hope you enjoy the story this one inspired, and that maybe it inspires you to reach out to YOUR Coach Green.
Thanks to all those in the last 365 who contributed to this project, starting with Scott Pioli. Without his public expression of love and gratitude for his teammates and coaches, this film would have never happened. Thanks to all my NFL Films teammates who brought The Ville to the the screen, particularly Director of Photography Dave Malek, Location Sound Mixer Mark Ricci and Archival Producer Mikayla Rhoda. Thanks Brian Connolly and his team at Washingtonville High School, as well as to all the ’81 Wizards. Forty-one autumns ago, your selfless commitment to each other created something that lives forever.
Finally – thanks to all MY Coach Greens, in particular David Doemel, at Christian Brothers Academy, Albany, who I thought of often during the production of this film. As a Teacher, Principal, Coach, Counselor, and Dad, Mr. Doemel has worked tirelessly for more years for more people than I could count. He’s a five-tool servant-leader, equally capable of communicating the necessary message through an example, a word, or a look. It’s now been decades(!) since I watched and experienced it firsthand, yet Mr. Doemel’s influence has only grown stronger and more relevant the further life’s journeys take me from those years. Sending much love, gratitude, and respect, Mr. Doemel, for everything you did to help me and so many others write our stories.