|The Players Prepare|
|Mike (Jason Stojanovski) Watches Yet Again the Replay|
|Jason Stojanovski (Mike) & Wiley Naman Stasser (Jerry)|
Jason Stojanovski as the wheelchair-bound Mike gives a performance that soars in every respect. We watch as he studies intently from every angle of what we come to realize was his life-altering injury, always pausing in that same spot as he is flying high in the air with his arm outstretched and body prone. We visibly experience close-hand his mental and physical pain as he struggles through very real rehabilitation exercises with his always encouraging, yet persistently demanding therapist/counselor Jerry (Wiley Naman Strasser). Their exchanges are at times like sparring boxers and at other times, like a comedy duo. (Mike: “You seriously talk more than anyone I ever met.” Jerry: “I am just trying hard to put the therapy back into physical therapy.”) As Jerry, Mr. Stasser pushes hard and then pushes some more to persuade Mike to let go of regrets of things he cannot change and to tackle with his old, on-field vigor the task at hand: rehabilitation of both body and mind.
|Cameron Matthews (Marcus) & Thomas Gorrebeeck (Young Mike)|
We smile, laugh, and sigh as Mike remembers scenes on field and in gym of quite purposeful bumping, tumbling, and touching with his darkly handsome, curly/coiled co-captain Marcus as well as their hotel-room, first night of cautious, then passionate encounter. As Marcus, Cameron Matthews never totally comes clean about his feelings for Mike in words but his eyes and those touches on arm, leg, and butt say loudly what is rumbling on deep inside him. Scared of being discovered in a sport where being ‘that way’ could end his dream of the professional league, Marcus does sheepishly agree someday to meet Mike “at a little chateau in the South of France.”