We all know the brilliant film Remember The Titans starring Denzel Washington, right? Of course we do, it's a damn classic. Remember The Titans celebrates its 15-year anniversary this year and what better time to re-watch the film? Well that's precisely what I did, and after this 800th re-watch, I noticed something. Something extremely important and integral to the way this film should be remembered. Sheryl Yoast is the real hero of Remember The Titans . For those who may not totally remember the film, Sheryl Yoast is the daughter of Coach Yoast, the football coach who gets looked over for the head coach position at TC Williams High School in favor of Coach Boone, aka Denzel Washington. Now I know what some of you might be thinking, how could a young child (played by the always awesome Hayden Panettiere) be the true hero of a real-life sports story that also tackles racism and other important, still relevant issues?
Well for starters, she's really the only person in the film who doesn't pay so much attention to those exact issues. She's all about the football and can't understand why anything has to get in the way of coming together to win. She loves her father, she's a good daughter and she's an all around awesome kid.
1. She's Extremely Football Savvy
Have you seen the way she talks about football? She knows when the coach makes the right call, and she understands the referee's job way better than the ref himself. She even gives Boone some pointers, though he doesn't really listen to her (which is definitely a bad move).
2. She Doesn't Give A Damn What People Think Of Her
Speaking of Boone, when Sheryl would give him suggestions on plays and players, he would tell her in the film to go play with dolls. What Boone could never understand is that she's not a dolls kind of girl and she won't apologize for not being what people want her to be. She loves football, she loves her dad, she loves the team. And should could not care less if people think that's weird.
3. She Doesn't Deal With The Tension Of The Film
Clearly Sheryl proves that the tension of black and white doesn't affect her at all. She doesn't see race, she doesn't make any assumptions based on stereotypes. All she sees is a team that needs to come together and win. That's it.
4. She Shows A Different Side Of Females
Sometimes Sheryl is portrayed as a stereotypical tomboy while Boone's daughter Nikki is portrayed as a "girly girl" stereotype. But what I do appreciate about Sheryl is once again her acceptance of her personality. She knows she doesn't like dolls or dresses or getting her hair done. She wants to like what she wants to like, and she has strong opinions on that matter.
5. She Knows How To Win
Duh. She knows precisely the strengths of each of the players and how they will work well together. Sheryl is crazy smart when it comes to football and Boone should have realized this a little faster.
6. She Helps Bring People & The Team Together
When the team starts fighting because of racial tension, and the fact that combining schools means the players have to fight for their given positions at their own schools, Sheryl doesn't care about any of that. Instead she just yells at the players because she knows that coming together is the most important thing the team has to do. They have to put aside their differences and play the game they love. Nothing else should matter.
7. She Truly Understands Right From Wrong & Helps Her Father Understand As Well
Look, obviously Sheryl wanted her father to be in the Hall of Fame, but she knew that when the members of the Hall of Fame committee wanted to do something morally wrong in order to get that done, that was it. They were in the wrong and it was no longer an honor to be included in their brotherhood. Coach Yoast struggles with this idea for a little while, mostly out of desire to be on top again, but Sheryl helps him realize that this is not the way to become the best.
Sheryl, I salute you. You are very clearly the hero of Remember The Titans. Now it's time for more people to get it.
Images: Screenshot (5)/Walt Disney Pictures