Take an inspirational journey with 'McFarland, USA'

Based off the true inspirational story of an underdog high school cross country team, "McFarland, USA" is running towards a theater near you this February 20. (Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures )

The city of McFarland isn't what you typically think of when you picture California. Lush beaches and Hollywood celebrities are nowhere to be found in this small central California town, heavily populated by a large Latino, agricultural worker community. But if you ever have a moment to walk across the town's faded streets, you'll feel the spirit and determination of some of the country's greatest cross country runners who were proud to call McFarland home. Now the story of these medal worthy runners has hit the silver screen in "McFarland, USA."

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Disney's inspirational film "McFarland, USA" is based on the true stories of these former high school athletes, who in 1987 were able to defeat the odds and win championship success under the tutelage of coach Jim White, played by long-running sports movie icon Kevin Costner.

Coming from a predominately Latino high school with much less resources than their rivals, these students banded together and pushed themselves towards greatness, establishing a dominating streak of athletic excellence that has echoed throughout the state of California and beyond. Take a look at the video below to see how cross country has impacted real life residents of McFarland.

What's important to remember about the athletes in "McFarland, USA" is that they didn't have the advantages and wealth that many other California high schools are able to provide to their students. They were able to succeed based on the size of their own determination and resilience, not how much money was in their wallets. This powerful message has resonated with underprivileged youth across the country. Take a look at these youth with the National Police Athletic League who were able to get a sneak preview of "McFarland, USA" across the country.

"This movie shows how kids that don't have anything can achieve the top goal in life. Hopefully it'll inspire them to reach higher and to set their goals higher so they can become a very productive citizen as they grow up," Fresno PAL founder Grey Wallace said.

"McFarland, USA" is in theaters on February 20. You can learn more about the film at the links below.

'McFarland, USA' website
'McFarland, USA' Facebook page
'McFarland, USA' IMDb page

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