Farmer’s baseball championship revisited

New version of documentary to be shown in Asheboro

ASHEBORO — When filmmaker Michael Bronfenbrenner heard a few details about a small-town baseball team from several decades ago, it perked his interest.

From there, it became an obsession to tell the backstories of the 1970 Farmer High School baseball team.

“Oh my gosh, this should be a film,” Bronfenbrenner said of his reaction.

A revised version of the film, Just Plowboys, will be shown at 4 p.m. and 7 p.m. Saturday at Sunset Theatre in Asheboro.

Woody Younts was the coach of the team that captured the Class A state championship to conclude the final year of the school’s existence.

Bronfenbrenner was living in California when a friend’s wife, who was from Farmer, told him about the 1970 championship. The filmmaker sensed there was much more to the story and was intrigued to find out.

“I kept finding more and more about the story,” he said.

He didn’t stop researching. For many of the players and community members involved, he knows what has taken place in their lives across the past 50 years.

There are so many questions to be answered, many related to a 17-inning game in the championship series against Robersonville.

“That game is legendary in central North Carolina,” Bronfenbrenner said.

There has been a reunion between the two teams, a gathering that Bronfenbrenner helped set up. Earlier Saturday, there’s a scheduled dedication of the trophy case – something provided by members of the Robersonville team — at the old Farmer school.

Among the other topics addressed in the documentary: Why did third baseman Junior Hunt turn down a chance to join the Cincinnati Reds organization? Why is there a mention of Richard Petty in the film?

Bronfenbrenner, who now lives in Connecticut, said his passion for this story and others that have popped up on his radar in the region have caused him to make many visits to the state.

“I’m almost about to get a house in North Carolina,” he said.

This second release of the documentary is the film festival version. There are alterations and new footage compared to the 2019 edition, something that Bronfenbrenner said makes it an improved flick.

“It’s a much different film than the one before,” he said.

The film is dedicated in memory of Brenda Hunt, who was wife of Junior Hunt and sister to catcher Bear Lanier. Mrs. Hunt died in December.

 

By Bob Sutton

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