Boston Sports Day

B.C. Grad Williams’ Community Org To Launch Film On Yonkers Football

Yonkers Force2 ENew Films

Boston College graduate and former football standout Quentin Williams captained the Eagles in the Doug Flutie era. And while he went on to a role with the National Football League leading community programs, a stint as president of an NBA D (now G) League team, time at law school at St. John’s University, a period representing NFL players in their contracts, time as an FBI agent and professor back at his alma mater, St. John’s, it is his role today as the founder and chief executive officer of the nonprofit organization Dedication to Community (D2C) of which he is, understandably, most proud. The community advocacy program engages middle school through college students, law enforcement, and community groups and inmates as audiences for building strong professional relationships and making positive, healthy and rational life choices.

Today, D2C, in partnership with ENew Films announced the official launch plan for “I Got Your Back,” a critically important 14-minute short film that tells the story of how, Yonkers Police and Fire personnel, as volunteers and with the assistance of Gorton High School football Coach Dan DeMatteo and others, found a way to keep high school football alive in a cash strapped school system and impacted the lives of hundreds of young men, their families and the entire Yonkers community through teaching life skills, teamwork and dedication to cause. The film, directed by Eric Newman, chronicles the stories of the Yonkers Force, its players, coaches and families beginning in 2018 (the program’s current season has been postponed until April due to restrictions on high school sports because of COV-19).

The free debut of the full film will take place in mid November, details on the online launch will be coming in the next week.

“At a time when people are questioning the ways law enforcement can positively impact communities, we give you The Yonkers Force,” Williams, a Yonkers native, said. “The work these men and women put in, on their own time, to help give these young people direction and purpose is inspiring, and shows what can be done with listening, purpose and conviction.”

The Yonkers high school football glory days have seemingly passed, and football has been struggling. After extreme budget cuts and concerns over safety, eight Yonkers high school football teams that were formerly rivals have been merged into two programs. With the police and fire department working as mentors, the newly formed teams are aptly named the Force and the Brave. In the midst of these uneasy alliances, a coach and his staff work hard to build bridges and save high school football in Yonkers, while law enforcement and teenagers take the necessary steps forward towards trust and respect. These alliances and a new rivalry have now set the scene for a rebirth in Yonkers that culminates with a newly shared tradition, under the Friday Night Lights.

The initial 14-minute short film highlights this crucial merger whose big picture goal is to be an example of a creative solution to solve both a local community and national problem that continues to cost lives. Weaved into the narrative is both the past and present DNA of the Yonkers community, what this merger does for the city off the field, the negative effects felt when public schools eliminate sports programs due to state budget cuts and the nationwide issue of police/community tension.

An expanded feature length film is currently being planned as well.

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