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'Til the Wheels Fall Off

Producer, Jack Shuler

Jack Shuler is a journalist and English professor at Denison University where he directs the Narrative Journalism program.  He wrote a story about the Portsmouth Stealth for 100 Days in Appalachia, and it became one of his most shared pieces.  He has been hands on in field production, securing start up funds, and focusing of the story throughout this process. 

Director and editor, Doug Swift

IDoug Swift has previously directed two feature docs, Up River and Breathe Free, as well as numerous shorts.  Most of his films focus on the issues presented to post-industrial communities in Ohio, and the efforts of local citizens to forge community and  recovery.  n Up d edit me. It's easy.


Jojo Parker was a star football player for Portsmouth High School and had a promising football career before he got sidetracked with an opioid addiction.  "This is what I came to after I got out of rehab in 2010.  I was afraid, how am I going to get on with life.  Football.  I came to semi-pro.  This is what it's been for the past seven years for me."  Jojo started the Portsmouth Stealth football team in 2013.

Emily Owens and her husband Matt joined the Stealth during a difficult time in their lives.  They found the community values of the team healing, and put themselves into the organization so thoroughly they became co-owners.  She has observed that "There are people who come and play here that leave everything they have, they have so many problems, and when they walk on that field it's like they're cleansed of them, it's like they're gone."  


Corey Carver's mom was 14 when she had him, already addicted to opioids.  His father was incarcerated, so he was sent to live with his paternal grandparents, who later were arrested for selling opioids.  At the start of filming, Corey had just earned his GED.  "Our team is not a team," he says, "it's a family.  It's a good organization to be in for me, especially how I see shit."

Tim "Aries" Green was passed from foster home to foster home in his youth.  Football was his one anchor.  After serving seven years in prison, he came to the Portsmouth Stealth because of the emphasis he found on family and community.  Tim said that "Semi-pro is not because we're crappy or we're sucky.  You have a lot of good talent.  It's just sometimes family or just your circumstances don't allow you to go to college and play at the next level."  He struggled throughout the season with concussions and seizures.  

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