The one-year anniversary of the West fertilizer plant explosion that killed 15 people is a couple weeks away, and will no doubt bring with it some thoughtful coverage from various media outlets around town.
Among that coverage, we now know, will be an hour-long documentary from WFAA, which will have a premiere of sorts this weekend in West.
The movie centers around David Woodard, head coach of the town's struggling high school football team, his family and a few of his players. It traces the recovery of the team and the town through the season's first game, and first win.
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The project was led by reporter David Schechter, who went to West the night of the explosion and spent a lot of time there over the ensuing year. I know Schechter and have seen a cut of the movie. It is, I think, a really cool look at small-town life, the role sports can play in healing and the emotional devastation that hangs around long after the bulldozers go quiet. I might have cried.*
It's also no small undertaking for a news team to put together a project like this, especially while still chasing scoops at City Hall. The station, which underwent an ownership change in the middle of production, deserves kudos for supporting them on it.
The movie will screen at an event in West this weekend, for which I recommend they double the Kleenex budget. It will air on WFAA on Saturday, April 12, at 6 p.m. Alert your DVR.
*I totally cried.