The Great Surrender


A disillusioned former high school football star’s life is left in ruins after a tornado puts his mother in a coma, which in turn, awakens his purpose, but it may not be enough to overcome a tragic past he’s lied about.


Zackary Foley grew up in Oklahoma where he played high school football for the Stillwater Pioneers.   Now in his 20s, Zachary finds himself back at his old high school, hired to work the same field he once played on and employed by the same kind-hearted man who once coached him. Zachary is a lost soul with no sense of direction or responsibility. He harbors secrets about a championship game he played back in high school as well as an incident that permanently injured his brother Ethan and killed his father.

Zachary’s mother, Laura, has a passion for books. Years ago, her husband built a library attached to the local church where Laura works. The Bethel Church was once a prosperous place but lately it has fallen on hard times.  Things take a turn for the worse when a tornado hits the city of Stillwater, destroys the library, and puts Laura in a coma.

Zachary’s given the crushing news that his mother’s condition is critical and he is left alone to raise his disabled brother.   Ethan is a fun-loving 15-year-old boy who gets around with walking sticks and attends a special needs school. He suffers from memory problems and has tantrums when his routine is disrupted.   Zachary struggles to contain Ethan’s anger once he learns of their mother’s dire condition.

When a buried book is found in the library rubble, Zachary is inspired to embark on a spectacular journey. Encouraged by his former coach, Ethan’s teacher, and Bethel Church’s office manager, he begins to rebuild the library, which renews Ethan’s hope that their mother will soon be home.

The demons of his past come back to haunt Zachary when a local reporter wants to do a story about him and the library.   The reporter brings up the last football game Zachary ever played – the championship final, which the Stillwater Pioneers lost.   He questions the persistent rumours that Zachary was not himself during the game. Tensions heighten when he is confronted by what really happened to his father and brother on the drive home following the devastating championship loss.

As his lies threaten to expose him, Zachary quits the library rebuild, but the book found in the rubble reminds him that he must “stay the course” and keep doing what he is doing. Despite his crippling doubts, Zachary forges on and in the process his life is transformed through searing revelations, particularly when he is forced to tell Ethan how he was injured. This moment of truth culminates in a cathartic event surrounding the library re-opening, which not only has a profound affect on his brother, but also on the lives of those around them in unexpected and miraculous ways.



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