PBS to air film on 1983 MUHS basketball season
MIDDLEBURY — A feature-length documentary film that chronicles the Middlebury Union High School boys’ basketball team’s surprising 1983 undefeated season and state title will be aired on a Vermont TV station eight time over the next week.
Vermont PBS Plus, Vermont Public Television’s new high-definition channel, will broadcast “The Green Mountain Upset” between Wednesday, Oct. 15, and Tuesday, Oct. 21.
“Green Mountain Upset” filmmaker and MUHS graduate Mark Mooney Jr. said his movie could gain more airtime if all goes well.
“If the station gets a favorable response, they are strongly considering that it becomes a pledge show in March,” Mooney wrote in an email.
Mooney said PBS welcomed the movie.
“The Vermont PBS programmer could not believe that the story had not been done yet and called it a gem,” he wrote.
The film, which debuted this past March in Middlebury’s Town Hall Theater, focuses on the Tigers’ 24-0 season and upset of two-time Division I state champion St. Johnsbury and standout Henry Dalrymple, who went on to star at Georgia Tech.
The film includes rare game footage and reflective interviews with team members, their coach and opposing coaches, journalists, and community members.
Mooney, now a Virginia resident and businessman, funded the project with a Kickstarter campaign that ultimately exceeded its target, and the film is directed by Washington, D.C., videographer Nick Hanson.
Mark Mooney Sr., a teacher and coach at Middlebury Union for more than four decades, served as the film’s principal interviewer and assistant director. Mooney Sr. captained his Pittsford High School basketball team to the 1961 Vermont state championship.
“The Green Mountain Upset” was made in Vermont, with artwork from Hans Schmitter and Joe Bolger; narration by Marshall Eddy; original music by Banjo Dan & The Mid-nite Plowboys, Deb Brisson & The Hayburners, and The Bengsons; photographs from the Addison Independent and Valley Voice; and original television and radio recordings.
The movie has earned praise from viewers, including the following:
• “It is a great film that captures the golden era of Vermont hoops perfectly.” — Jimmy McCaffrey, former Vermont high school basketball standout and NCAA Division I player.
• “Watching this film makes you wish you were at the greatest upset in Vermont sports history.” — Don Fillion, former Burlington Free Press sports editor.
• “The Green Mountain Upset is a homespun classic and a must-see if you love Vermont basketball history. It’s entertaining and fun.” — Bob Fredette, Rutland Herald sports editor.
• “A wonderful story, beautifully told. Another example of what sports can do to teams and towns. Hats off to Mark Mooney — a Vermonter who gave the film a perfect Vermont touch!” — Tom Brennan, former University of Vermont basketball coach.
The Vermont PBS Plus broadcast schedule is as follows:
• Wednesday, Oct. 15, 8 p.m.
• Thursday, Oct. 16, 1 a.m.
• Saturday, Oct. 18, 12 noon.
• Saturday, Oct. 18, 7 p.m.
• Sunday, Oct. 19, 4 a.m.
• Monday, Oct. 20, 10 p.m.
• Tuesday, Oct. 21, 3 a.m.
• Tuesday, Oct. 21, 5 a.m.
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