Documentary, movie planned for Donna Redskins championship season photo

A Hollywood filmmaker told Action 4 News that he plans to make a documentary and later a movie about the 1961 state championship season for the Donna Redskins.

Producer Frank Aragon is currently in the Rio Grande Valley to promote his upcoming gang movie "Down For Life."

The film debuts this weekend and features Danny Glover and Kate Del Castillo.

Aragon said he learned about the Donna Redskins story while in the Valley and now wants to put the season on film.

The team is the only high school football team in the Rio Grande Valley team to win a state championship.

Integrated Team

The Los Angeles filmmaker told Action 4 News that Hispanics and Whites did not play together on the football until legendary coaches Earl Scott and Bennie Le Prad put them together.

Aragon said Hispanic players were children of migrant farm workers who had to overcome racial prejudice to win respect on the field and later a Texas state championship.

"There were racial tensions," Aragon said. "But these coaches treated these young kids as players and not by the color of their skin."

The filmmaker said racial tensions were an obstacle but were overcome by the excitement of heading to the state championship.

"Whatever racism and prejudice existed in that town went away after the they united in support of the team," Aragon said.


Aragon said a Donna High School graduate first told him about the team on Facebook, while he was promoting "Down For Life."

The filmmaker said he looked into the story, became intrigued and interviewed several players and one coach involved with the championship season.

Aragon said a two-hour documentary is expected to come out about the team in November 2011 -- just in time for the team's 50th year reunion.

Feature Film

Aragon said the feature is a project that will likely come out three years down the road.

A number of sports movies involving integration of Blacks and Whites such as Denzel Washington's "Remembering The Titans" have critically acclaimed and proven popular and the big screen.

Aragon said the Donna Redskins story would be the first involving the integration of Hispanics and Whites on the football field.

The Hollywood filmmaker said the players of Donna Redskins championship played offense and defense and had to work hard to win.

"You name it, they did it," Aragon said. "They overcame a number of obstacles."

Click here to learn more about the 1961 championship season

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