Wildwood, Florida, 1964
2,300 loyal fans in a town much like Mayberry
20 undersized sons of railroad men, farmers & storekeepers
A brilliant coach with a broken moral compass
1 impossible dream!
It Only Happened Once … and Will Never Happen Again
In 58 years of Florida high school football playoffs, only one school has claimed a state championship it wasn’t entitled to.
Cats With 12 Lives is the incredible true story of that school’s remarkable team,
larger-than-life coach, and their quest of a real-life impossible dream.
There was no playoff system in place for Florida’s smallest schools in 1964, so Wildwood High’s brilliant young coach Robert “Byrd” Whigham demanded that his team be allowed to compete “up” in a higher classification against schools four times as large.
No one outside of Wildwood expected Byrd and his Wildcats to win enough games to qualify for the Class A playoffs, let alone go all the way. It defied imagination that one of the smallest Class B schools in the state (192nd in enrollment) with a roster of less than 20 players, all of them undersized, could be crowned Class A champion.
How the underdog Wildcats defied the odds will leave you believing anything is possible.
The unforgettable story of the ’Cats with a dozen lives is the stuff of legends.
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