As a proud Wake Forest University grad and former Wake football player I enjoyed the 2006 football season more than any other in the history of our school. The team was picked to finish last in the ACC that year and expectations were very low for this team which plays in a conference with some historic football powers like Florida State and University of Miami. Despite odds being long against the team Wake won the ACC Championship that year and earned a trip to our first ever BCS bowl with a trip to the Orange Bowl.

Our emotional leader that spearheaded this unlikely journey was Joh Abbate, our middle linebacker that year. I attended several home games in Winston-Salem that year and can remember raising my hand at the beginning of the fourth quarter in honor of Luke, Jon’s younger brother,  representing  what became known as the 5th quarter.

Jon’s leadership grew that year as he rose up to lead Wake in a historical season. His role as the emotional leader of the team was born out of tragedy though. The story behind the story is coming out next week in a movie, The Fifth Quarter, that has been made to detail that incredible season and how the events of a tragic February day resulted in a journey of grief and faith that have unfolded in such a way as to touch the lives of many in an inspiring and eternal way.

Below is an interview with Jon’s parents at our church this morning as the discuss the journey they have been on for the past five years and how the movie came to be and what their hopes are for its release next week.

Here is a link to look at the movie trailer:


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