St. Aug sports documentary tells story of trials and triumph

July 4, 2017 | Updated: 6:42 p.m., July 4, 2017

NEW ORLEANS- St. Augustine High School is probably best known today for producing many of our city's leaders and its famous Marching 100.

But an acclaimed new film called "Before The West Coast" sheds light on a pivotal time in our city's and the school's history with athletics.

Oyd Craddock, producer/writer and director of the film explains, "Before the West Coast is a documentary that captures a very special part of our city's history. St. Augustine High School was a leader, one of the leaders in the city in fighting for social justice, and it turns out in 1967 the school won a court case in federal court to compete in the Louisiana High School Athletic Association, which had been an all white association."

Craddock went on to say, "The documentary take you from the point of that decision, being made and St. Augustine beginning to compete to and walks you thru the yeas of challenge that it faced, there was reluctance to change to say the least and how the school, the leaders, and to those challenges."

"Before the West Coast" is narrated by New Orleanian Wendell Pierce.  The title comes from the fact that Coach Otis Washington was said to employ elements of the famed West Coast Offensive scheme long before it was official called that. The screening of the film is Thursday night (July 6) at 7 at the Historic Carver Theater, followed by a panel discussion led by St. Aug grad and Civil District Court Judge Kern Reese.