Q: How does a high school cross country team win 24 state titles in 45 years?
A: They install a coach who is good-hearted and batshit crazy.
"The Long Green Line," a documentary showing at Des Peres Theater Wednesday and at Moolah Theater on Thursday (both shows at 7 p.m.), not only reveals how physically small certain high school freshman are these days.
It lets you follow around the loose cannon coach Joe Newton of York High School in Elmhurst, IL., who is, let's say, intense. (Observe his reaction to spilling mustard on the slacks his wife had just bought for him.) But he also barks and shouts and cajoles and inspires his boys to win state titles, and in so doing, has compiled one of the winningest records in American high school sports (according to back of the DVD case).
Our favorite Newton quote, shorn of all complexity: "However fast you are running, run faster!"
According to Ben Rosario of Big River Running Company, a couple of Newton's former runners made this documentary that follows York's season-long quest to win the coach his 25th title.
Do they pull it off? We shan't tell. View a trailer after the jump.