Top 10 high school sports movies to watch

Steve Montoya | MaxPreps.com Friday, March 20, 2020 5:15pm

From 'Remember the Titans' to 'Wildcats,' here are some flicks while we wait for high school sports to return.

Video: Top high school sports movies
These four are all-time classics.

If you're like me right now a little high school sports would go a long way. In the meantime, while I wait and hope that we may see spring sports this school year, I need to get my high school fix in.

I've watched some of the top games from this season back on the NFHS Network, I caught ESPN's airing of LeBron's televised high school games, and I keep watching GoPro footage from the high school team I coach. But it's still not enough. So, I started to re-watch high school sports movies. I guess some good news, it sounds like Ben Affleck's new movie "The Way Out" will be released on demand early.

When I think of a really good high school movie it either brings back that feeling of playing, makes me laugh because some of it reminds you of how you and your friends acted, it was based on a really good true story, pulls at your heart, or all of the above.

Top 10 high school sports movies to watch

1. "Remember the Titans"
Release Year: 2000
Why Watch: This movie has it all. It's based on a true story of African-American high school football coach Herman Boone, portrayed by Denzel Washington, who's newly appointed and trying to make a racially integrated unit come together. It has humor. It has emotional highs and lows. It reminds you why high school coaches are so important in life.

2. "Hoosiers"
Release Year: 1986
Why Watch: Have you ever heard someone say a gym or atmosphere is "Hoosier-like"? Well, the phrase comes from this 1986 film based around failed college coach Norman Dale (Gene Hackman) who tries to lead a basketball program at a tiny Indiana high school. Basketball in Indiana is often compared to Texas high school football. To this day, kids still want to be Jimmy Chitwood.

3. "Friday Night Lights"
Release Year: 2004
Why Watch: When towns shut down on Friday night because of high school football, you know it's a big deal. "Friday Night Lights" is based on a Texas town that obsesses over its football team. For those in Texas and small areas around the country, Friday Night Lights means everything, and this movie sheds a light on it.

4. "Varsity Blues"
Release Year: 1999
Why Watch: This one is for humor, which we could all use right now. It also shows the passion and life of a Texas high school football player. Coyotes' coach, Bud Kilmer (Jon Voight), is not someone you want to mess with, but he ends up pushing it too far. My personal favorite character is Charlie Tweeder, who is that "one friend" we all had.

5. "He Got Game"
Release Year: 1998
Why Watch: Jesus Shuttlesworth (Ray Allen), in real life, would be ranked No. 1 overall in the country by 247Sports. Every college wants him. His dad, Jake (Denzel Washington), is let out of prison for a week to persuade his son to play for the governor's alma mater in exchange for a reduced prison sentence. Obviously not based on a true story, but the movie does a good job pulling in big-time college coaches and great actors.

6. "McFarland"
Release Year: 2015
Why Watch: Based on a true story, cross country coach Jim White (Kevin Costner) discovers that a predominantly Hispanic high school in California's Central Valley has some boys with exceptional running ability. He attempts to turn them into championship runners and learns a bit about himself. This is a great movie to watch as a team.

7. "Teen Wolf"
Release Year: 1985
Why Watch: Another movie for comedy. At this point it's almost so fake it's amusing. Scott Howard (Michael J. Fox) discovers werewolf runs in the family, and somehow that turns him into an amazing high school basketball player. Sounds legit, right?

8. "The Final Season"
Release Year: 2007
Why Watch: This is a feel-good high school baseball movie based on a true story. The school is about to shut down and the baseball team has one final season of play. The boys are without their legendary coach and must lean on new coach Kent Stock (Sean Astin). This is one of those movies that makes me remember why I love high school sports.

9. "Coach Carter"
Release Year: 2005
Why Watch: Based on a true story around coach Ken Carter (Samuel L. Jackson), who returns to his old high school in Richmond, Calif. to turn around the basketball team. While he does that, his team's grades slip. Instead of playing through it, Carter shows why they are considered student-athletes first, and not athlete-students. Again, another movie that shows why high school coaches are so important.

10. "Wildcats"
Release Year: 1986
Why Watch: Molly McGrath (Goldie Hawn) goes from female track to head coach of a high school football team. This movie has comedy, but it also deals with both racial and gender prejudices. The inner-city Central High goes up against Prescott in the final. It's a good watch to see how far we have come.