The film about a high school girls' volleyball team's road to victory serves an inspiring message about faith and healing after terrible loss.
- Posted on Apr 6, 2018
The Miracle Season is the kind of feel-good sports movie you haven’t seen before. It focuses on a high school girls’ volleyball team – the Iowa City West High Trojans.
Sports movies often feature a team of men and women trying to overcome insurmountable odds. But The Miracle Season isn’t just about the road to victory – it’s about healing.
The movie follows the true story of Caroline Found (nicknamed Line by her teammates), a young woman full of personality, drive, and compassion who passed away after a moped accident. Her death, and the consequences of it fuel the film. Found was so loved by her teammates, her school, and her community that losing her left an unfillable void.
In 2001, I was diagnosed with breast cancer. I wasn’t a good candidate for chemo. I took tamoxifen instead and gave my trouble to God—just as Dr. Peale suggested in his book, "Thought Conditioners". Since then I’ve remained cancer free. -Guideposts Magazine reader
That’s why Caroline’s father, Ernie Found, decided to give his blessing to the movie.
“We were trying to think of what good can come from this in some way, shape, or form,” Found tells Guideposts.org of his daughter’s passing and her team's efforts to rally and win a state championship in her name. “Not that only good can come of it. It stinks, and it hurt immensely, but here's more to it. If this film can help others, it'll be worth the effort.”
Found, who lost his daughter and then his wife to cancer just two weeks later, features heavily in the film. He’s played by Oscar-winning actor William Hurt on-screen. The movie not only follows the girls as they struggle to fill Line’s spot on the team and make it to another state championship but Found as well.
After the passing of his daughter and wife, Found could’ve easily retreated into himself, shut out the world, and grieved in private. Instead, as the film shows, he made a point of attending every volleyball game the season after Line died.
“I felt like I had to go,” Found says. “I was hurting, they were hurting, friends were hurting, classmates were hurting. I just felt like, it's going to be good for everybody, just to hang in there together. Let everybody know that we're all in this together and every little bit can help.”
That sense of community and togetherness is what ultimately tugs at the heartstrings when watching the film. With Line serving as the team’s guardian angel – angel imagery is featured heavily in the movie – Found providing comfort and a rock-steady presence. With the team’s coach, played by Helen Hunt, driving them to success, we watch as this group of girls galvanizes an entire town to honor their teammate with an inspirational motto: “Live Like Line.”
“’Live like Line’ means to live to put a smile on somebody else's face, to try to bring joy to others, because it's in giving of joy that you're going to be also receiving joy,” Found says of the message of the film and his daughter’s legacy. “To live like Line, means it's a privilege, an honor to be living, and it's okay to go the extra mile. It's okay to work hard, it's okay to make mistakes.”
He hopes that’s what audiences will ultimately take away from his family’s story.
“When you get right down to it, living like Line is, "Let's all do this together."’