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WVIA set to premiere ROAR: The Story of the Southern Columbia Football Tigers this Thursday on WVIA television

PITTSTON, Pa. – WVIA will premiere original documentary film ROAR: The Story of the Southern Columbia Football Tigers this Thursday, May 11 at 8 p.m. on WVIA television. The documentary chronicles the 2022 Southern Columbia Area High School Football Tigers as they chase a PIAA (Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association, Inc.) record sixth consecutive state championship.

Award-winning WVIA filmmaker Alexander Monelli tells the story of their season from the locker room to practices to the sidelines of the games, giving viewers an up close and never-before-seen look at one of the top high school football programs in the state. Located in rural Catawissa, Pennsylvania (near the world-renowned Knoebels Amusement Resort), the film aims to discover what makes the small-town team so successful year after year.

The film will feature interviews with the 2022 Southern Columbia football team and its coaches alongside interviews with former NFL players Henry Hynoski (Southern Columbia, New York Giants) and Bo Orlando (Berwick, Houston Oilers), as well as former WNEP sports director Jim Coles, who covered Southern Columbia and regional high school football for 33 years, and current WNEP sports reporters, Landon Stolar and Steve Lloyd.

"I can't wait for people to see this documentary about the Southern Columbia high school football team. I spent every day for a year working on this film. I spent the last two months waking up at 3:45am every single day to finish the film properly,” said filmmaker Alexander Monelli. “It's always exciting when WVIA puts out a new original documentary and I'm just super honored to be a part of that legacy. This company is the home of documentary filmmaking in the region and I'm proud to share this film with all of you on May 11th."

“What I hope people will say after this documentary is ‘they do things the right way,” said head coach Jim Roth. “As far as the way we work, the way we treat players, the way we interact, and then the rest takes care of itself and translates into wins.”

“Southern Columbia High School football is a unique story, and we are excited to give our viewers an up-close and personal view of this team,” said Ben Payavis II, WVIA Chief Content Officer. “WVIA takes pride in shining a light on the stories of our region and giving them a platform to be shared with the world.”

The trailer for ROAR: The Story of the Southern Columbia Football Tigers can be viewed here: https://www.wvia.org/roar-the-story-of-the-southern-columbia-football-tigers

The documentary film will broadcast on WVIA television and will also be available to watch on WVIA’s YouTube channel at https://youtube.com/live/D3EHpfDDq0I?feature=share and Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/events/575101254451175/. In addition to the broadcast premiere, there will be exclusive interviews with director Al Monelli, Southern Columbia Football Coach Jim Roth, and former WNEP Sports Director Jim Coles.

About Southern Columbia Area High School Football Tigers

The Southern Columbia Football Tigers are the most decorated high school football team in the history of Pennsylvania. Prior to the 2022 season, they have won 12 PIAA state titles (1994, 2002-2006, 2015, 2017-2021). Head coach Jim Roth has a record of 475-64-2, which is the most wins by any head football coach at any level in state history.

About WVIA

WVIA is the PBS and NPR affiliate serving over 22 counties in Northeastern and Central Pennsylvania. For over 50 years WVIA has been committed to serving the people by offering informational, educational, and entertaining content that enriches and expands viewpoints and serves as a catalyst for positive change. WVIA television channels include WVIA TV, WVIA PBS Kids 24/7, and WVIA Create. WVIA’s radio channels include WVIA Radio, WVIA HD2, and the Chiaroscuro Channel. WVIA’s programs can also be found streaming live and on-demand on wvia.org and the WVIA app.

WVIA Mission

WVIA educates, inspires, entertains and fosters citizenship, diverse cultures, and perspectives to nurture community.