During the Great Depression, high school coach Rusty Russell (Luke Wilson) gives up a privileged position to coach football at an orphanage in Fort Worth, Texas. The Mighty Mites go from playing without shoes—or even a football—to playing for the Texas state championships. Over the course of their winning season, these underdogs and their resilient spirit become an inspiration to their city, state, and an entire nation in need of a rebound, even catching the attention of President Franklin D. Roosevelt.
Few knew Rusty's secret: that he himself was an orphan. Recognizing that his scrawny players couldn't beat the other teams with brawn, Rusty developed innovative strategies that would come to define modern football. Whipping his young players into shape, they soon become an inspiration to their city, state and an entire nation.