Martin Sheen Luke Wilson Rusty Russell Jim Dent Texas Football Martin Sheen Luke Wilson Rusty Russell Jim Dent Texas

‘12 Mighty Orphans’: the underdog Depression-era team that rocked football

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Twelve Mighty Orphans: The Inspiring True Story of the Mighty Mites Who Ruled Texas Football” by sportswriter Jim Dent. The movie is based on the book and stitches together significant events and characters to portray a “miracle” inaugural season where the underdogs reach the state finals. “This isn’t your standard [sports] story,” said Roberts.Both versions center on legendary coach Rusty Russell, a WWI veteran played by Dallas native Luke Wilson, who gave up a cushy coaching job to start a team at the orphanage.

When Russell, his teacher wife Juanita and their young daughter Betty arrived at the bleak Masonic home — which housed orphans of freemasons and emphasized labor over education — he found nothing but a crew of shoeless, undersized.

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