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Filmmakers capture story of Highland rugby team

   |  Posted Apr 3rd, 2008 @ 6:15pm


Carole Mikita reporting

Highland High School's rugby team has a phenomenal win record and 17 national championships. But it's how Coach Larry Gelwix does it that has brought the group so much attention and praise over the years.

Spencer Vickery

Thousands of young men have been members of a unique Utah team for more than 33 years. Highland High School rugby has 391 wins, nine losses and 17 national championships. That story is now a film.

The equally famous coach says the movie portrays what he does. "It's a true story, and it captures the essence of who we are, what values we hold dear, what we try to teach the boys, who we are and what we stand for," coach Larry Gelwix said.

Highland rugby attracts players from different schools. They may be opponents in football, teammates here.

Isi Sofele

"I love how you can think of how many people have worn the same number as you and how you're not only playing for yourself but for them as well," said Spencer Vickery, Highland rugby player.

The team's motto is the same as the title of the film: "Forever Strong."

"It's a good motto to live by, just disciplines the team. That's why we're so good," said Isi Sofele, also a Highland rugby player.

Jordan Price

Teammate Jordan Price said, "You want to be forever strong on the field and off the field. I don't know, there's just three things that Coach Gelwix says: that you don't want to do anything that will embarrass yourself, your family or your teammates."

The filmmakers say that's why they chose this story. It's about becoming champions off the field as well as on.

A 30-minute special "The Making of Forever Strong" will air on KSL-TV Channel 5 this Saturday at 4 p.m. The film will premier sometime this fall.


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