Local film crew creating documentary on Lincoln Prep football team’s hard work, heart in urban core

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KANSAS CITY, Mo — A metro film crew is working to capture treasured moments of an urban football team as part of a message they hope to deliver nationally. 

The Lincoln College Preparatory Academy football team has had cameras following them for months. Filmmaker Jacob Handy said this could be the greatest story ever told.

“You have a lot of single parent households. You have a lot of these young men being raised by grandparents. You have a lot of these young men that are basically being raised by these coaches,” Handy said.

In the months he and his team have attended practices, games and meals, they’ve watched young men work relentlessly toward both honing their craft and making sure their peers and potential scouts know you can succeed right in the heart of the city.

“They don’t see how much work we actually put in behind; come in every day of the summer and every day of the week to get work in,” junior defensive end/tackle Antonio Jones said.

“We’re trying to get people to see you don’t have to go out to a suburban school to get a Division I offer because you can stay here and do it with the people that you grew up with and still make it to the next level,” he continued. “Everybody out here is like a brother to me. We grew up playing.”

Offensive coordinator Donnell Fletcher is a product himself of Kansas City Public Schools. He may be coaching the boys, but he said he’s the one walking away with life lessons.

“Just like we’re teaching them and grooming them to play football and be young men; they’re teaching us as well,” he said. “To see them grow, young men, it’s something special and just the fact that they put the city on their back — they love the fact.”

The documentary will be called “For the City,” and even though it’s still months away from wrap and post-production, part of the beauty for the participants is the journey itself.

“It’s just always been a special part of what Kansas City is,” Fletcher said. “You have the 18th and Vine District down the street, the Jazz District. It’s something special to keep this preserved, keep this area special, so that’s what we’re trying to do. We want to put a light on this.”

If you’d like to support the documentary or follow along on its progress, visit its Kickstarter page.

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