Posted by: Jill Potts Jones | September 24, 2015

‘Woodlawn’: the story that inspired the movie

woodlawnTandy Gerelds, legendary Alabama high school coach, had a four decade career including coaching jobs at Shoals Christian School, Belmont High School and Deshler High School.  His most memorable job was as head coach at Woodlawn High School during the peak of integration.

Until an evangelist came to the school and talked to the players, Blacks and Whites were unable to get along and play as a team.  After the evangelist Wales Goebel spoke to the players, most of them gave their lives to Christ and things began to turn around for the team.  They learned the true meaning of being a team.

Gerelds’ story is closely similar to “Facing the Giants” as the chaplain of the Woodlawn team challenges the players to play football to the glory of God and see what happens.  Some of the anecdotes are choppy and incomplete.  Otherwise, the memoir comes at a time when we are still dealing with racial issues and tension.  The true story shows that when God is involved and we love with the love of God, the things that divide us will no longer be an issue.

Click here to purchase from

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Howard Books, a division of Simon & Schuster, Inc., as part of its Blogging Program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”



  1. Another friend was telling me about this just a little earlier today. Significant timing, indeed.

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