Go Tigers!

Director: Kenneth A. Carlson
Screenwriters: Kenneth A. Carlson

Institute History

  • 2001 Sundance Film Festival


Massillon, Ohio, is a town that lives in the shadow of a crumbling Norman Rockwell dreamscape, a Rust Belt casualty facing an ongoing fiscal decline that threatens its very existence. But although the steel mills have closed, the town's identity remains intact, for with a passionate zeal that can only be compared to religious fervor, Massillon is the home of the Tigers, "the greatest show in high school football." In a stadium complete with locker rooms and facilities that most modestly endowed colleges would sell their souls to have, the Tigers play before 15,000 fans (a number they've drawn for most of the century), making Massillon ground zero for the most visible tradition in high school sports.

However, this year's season is different for the team. In the 106th year that Massillon High School has fielded a football team, the town is facing a crucial tax levy that will determine if the school district is able to maintain itself and protect jobs and activities, including parts of the athletic program. The Tiger players are used to a pressure-packed environment, but this year their success or failure may determine the future of a century-old institution.

Veteran documentarian Kenneth A. Carlson chronicles the Tigers' 106th season with the kind of skill you expect from an award-winning filmmaker. But this is not just a film for sports fans. Go Tigers! is a riveting narrative about the passing of an American way of life and a portrait of kids, coaches, and a town that find their reason for being in football.

— Geoffrey Gilmore

Screening Details


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