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The Story of Hand High School Football

Mike Seib, a Daniel Hand High School graduate, will soon be graduating from the University of Connecticut. He’s discovered his passion along the way and that is film making. Since May of 2010 he has been doing dozens and dozens of interviews for a film called “Tiger Pride~The Story of Hand Football.” It chronicles the forty years of the football program at his alma mater.

Mike knows first hand about this team, he played on it throughout high school and three of those years Hand was state champion.

The team has accomplished nine state championships in its four decades.

The team plays at Strong Field in Madison, Connecticut which is arguably one of the most gorgeous locations to play the game in the country. Where else do you go to see a game on the coast? In this case it’s Long Island Sound where there is a beach called the Surf Club where generations of families have gone for decades. There is a playground there for children and a park where you can barbecue in the summer and boccie courts and boats bobbing up and down in the water, it is a very special place.

Through private donations only, a board has come together, volunteering their time to rally the town to work toward a makeover for Strong Field for generations to come. The renovations will not only build a state-of-the-art football field, but also a cultural arts venue where families can come to see all kinds of concerts. There aren’t enough bleachers for such shows now, and the current stands don’t fit new standards.

Over the years the elements have taken a toll on the field. The club house has been outgrown and the concession stand needs a lot of help, there just aren’t enough outlets to handle all that chili made by the Moms of players for spectators on those cold fall nights.

Mike Seib, is helping this process along by making his Tiger Pride film, a documentary actually which will tell the history of the players and the coaches. Mike is also weaving very beautifully all aspects of the town into his work including the barber shop on main street where many of the players have had their hair cuts over the years. Inside there are tons of photographs of generations of Hand High football players.

Mike is creating what I would call a piece based on good ole Americana, where a town has pride in its people and are working to ensure that Strong Field will continue to have a special place in people’s hearts.

Having seen what he has laid down already, it will charm the socks off viewers and will generate a lot of good will in the town of 18,000.

I talked to Mike in my backyard about what he’s trying to accomplish with his work as a former “Tiger” as a film maker and as a resident of this small town.

See for yourself what this young 22-year old is up to. You’ll find that his passion for film making will jump off the screen at you.

Take a moment and watch.

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Copyright secured by Digiprove © 2010 Ann Nyberg


  1. Helen Bennett
    Posted August 27, 2010 at 6:11 pm | Permalink

    Ann – that film short really is a grabber. Interesting story and I wish this young man great success!

    • Annie Mame
      Posted August 27, 2010 at 8:52 pm | Permalink

      The film is really going to be great, Helen.

  2. Lou Lange
    Posted August 27, 2010 at 9:49 pm | Permalink

    As a DHHS graduate (Class of 1978), I was so moved by the short film Mike has made and am looking forward to see the finished product. I spent many a night as a student and alumnus watching DHHS make history as a Shoreline Conference and then SCC football power.

    • Annie Mame
      Posted August 27, 2010 at 10:37 pm | Permalink

      Lou, Mike is really working hard on this film, he’s 4 months into it and it’s going to be great.

  3. Posted August 28, 2010 at 1:00 am | Permalink

    Ahhh….love it Ann! Thanks for posting!

  4. Heidi Conti
    Posted September 7, 2010 at 9:39 pm | Permalink

    Ann..what a special project. I am looking forward to the final film.
    Thanks for sharing.

    • Annie Mame
      Posted September 7, 2010 at 10:10 pm | Permalink

      Heidi, thanks so much for replying here on my blog. I’m so happy for Mike and how well he is doing, you must be so proud, now if we can just put some new luster on Strong field.

  5. Wendy B.
    Posted January 4, 2011 at 10:04 am | Permalink

    As a more recent Hand graduate (class of ’07), I feel differently about the way the football program is being portrayed here so far. Yes, the program has been very successful over the years, and yes, we put up great numbers both academically and athletically. However, There are a lot of behind the scenes sacrifices that students make to get these numbers as high as they are. Anyhow, it will be interesting to see Mike’s finished product, and how it is received among the different crowds. Thanks for posting.