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“The Miracle Season” tells the story of a volleyball team rocked by the tragic death of their captain and friend, Caroline “Line” Found, and their subsequent attempt to win the state championship in her honor. While the story of the team’s tragedy, grief, determination and success sound like the sort of picture perfect story Hollywood would create. The inspiring tale, however, is true. According to Caroline’s father, Dr. Ernie Found, Hollywood stayed “very true” to the actual story of Caroline and the West Side girl’s volleyball team.

“One of the reasons we went ahead and said it was okay to go ahead [and make the movie] was the trust we developed in the people who were going to be putting the movie together,” said Dr. Found. “It’s not a documentary, it’s a movie. They had to combine a couple emotions, a couple of players into one player, but for the most part the message they wanted to portray for the most part got across and their job is a tough one. They were asked to take four months of life’s highest and lowest emotions and put it into, what, 1 hour and 55 minutes?”

Though the movie turned out to be an excellent representation of the West High School’s most tragic and inspirational season, Dr. Found was not always certain that would be the case of a Hollywood portrayal. He admitted he was “fearful of what Hollywood could potentially do” with the story of the West High team, but he decided to move forward with the movie. “It was a 49-51 decision,” Dr. Found confessed. “As time went on, we kept thinking and reflecting on everything. There’s not been any real female sports team inspiration-type movies, at least recently, and it’s time for something like that to happen. There was the hope that this movie would empower young woman to be strong and rely on each other and commit to each other, and if that message can be carried through that’s something that Caroline would have liked to have gotten across. That’s what told us it was alright to try.”

Actually seeing his experiences and the experiences of Caroline’s team come to life on the silver screen was “a little overwhelming.” “It’s a little surreal,” Dr. Found said. “You kind of think about it and anticipate what it might be like but you can never really prepare for it. It took my breath away.”

During the filming of the movie, which required him to relive some of the worst moments of his life, Dr. Found fell back on what helped him get through the emotional roller coaster the first time: faith. “I felt comforted by all those who were involved in the movie,” Dr. Found said. “It was clear that they wanted to make this meaningful and do the best job they could. They kept saying they were so honored to be a part of this, and to me that comes from above and from others feeling their hearts try and direct them.”

When thinking back on how his faith helped him deal with the dual tragedies of Caroline’s accident and his wife’s death from cancer, Dr. Found said, “Faith is something that evolves. There are times of hardship when faith in whatever way one interprets that comes to the forefront, and when I think about faith for me during all of this, it was the love that was shared among family and friends. It was the reliance on each other. To me those are all offshoots of faith. Understanding that there aren’t answers to a lot of the questions we ask, and when difficult things come along you’ve got choices to make. Where you put your trust and where you put your heart is what faith is and that helps direct you.”

As for Caroline’s opinion on a movie about her and her team? “I think Caroline would be all for it,” Dr. Found said. “We sat around at Christmas time when the whole idea and concept of a movie was presenting itself, and we all kind of said, ‘What do you think Caroline would think about all this?’ And one of her teammates said, ‘What a movie about me? Hell, yeah!’…I think if it can help other people in some way shape or form make better decisions and move in a positive direction, she’d be all for it.”

The story of determination and overcoming grief promises to leave movie goers smiling and crying in equal measure as they watch the inspiring story of the girls who refused to let grief rule them and decided instead to “Live Like Line.”

“The Miracle Season” premiers in theaters Friday, April 6, 2018, and the trailer is currently available online.

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