Courageous sparked roaring laughter alongside serious reflection from players and moments of silence and sniffles from the coaches' wives over the story of four law enforcement officers forced by tragedy to confront their faith, their fears and their responsibility as fathers.
Courageous is the fourth movie produced by Sherwood Pictures, a ministry of Sherwood Baptist Church in Albany, Ga.
For junior running back Onterio McCalebb, the film hit home.
"It really meant a lot to me because I have a daughter," McCalebb said. "I actually just called to tell her that I love her. I think it was awesome. It touched a lot of players on our team."
Courageous also resonated with sophomore defensive end Nosa Eguae.
"It can really touch anyone, it doesn't matter what walk of life you come from," Eguae said. "I really like the message that it brings about growing up and becoming a man. I would tell anyone whether they are fathers or not, that if they are looking for something inspirational, they should watch it."
Ken Bevel, who plays officer Nathan Hayes in Courageous, spoke to the team after the mid-August screening.
"What I want to tell you is, the story is not over," Bevel said. "You've got a lot going for yourselves. You're on a great team. You're in a great family. This team is your family, but what are you going to do when the football is gone? Are you going to leave a legacy that will last a lifetime with your children?"
Head coach Gene Chizik called Courageous a "tremendous movie with a great message."
"I want this to hit you because it's got nothing to do with football," Chizik told the team. "It's about you being a man. That, long after all this is over, is the most important thing, and it's not even close."
Bevel said he was honored to watch the screening with the defending national champions.
"I hope the message they get from this is you have to be intentional about being a father," Bevel said. "I think what Coach Chizik is doing here is great. He is trying to make sure they leave here not only as better football players but also as better men."
Michael Catt, the film's executive producer and pastor of Sherwood Baptist, also was on hand for the screening.
Used by permission of Auburn University's sports information staff. For more information on "Courageous" by Sherwood Pictures, including the movie trailer, visit www.courageousthemovie.com.
Copyright (c) 2011 Southern Baptist Convention, Baptist Press www.BPNews.net