A new season for SC Featured, the award-winning storytelling brand of SportsCenter, will open Sunday, Feb. 11, with the story of a high school football team carrying on its season after the devastating California wildfires.
Since its debut in 2013, the SC Featured brand has brought unique and compelling feature stories to ESPN’s flagship news and information program. SC Featured stories air on SportsCenter during the months of the NFL offseason, usually debuting in the Sunday 10 a.m. ET edition with a re-air in the 11 p.m. program and over subsequent days.
SC Featured is produced by ESPN Features, which, since its creation 15 years ago, has received 78 Sports Emmy Award nominations resulting in 13 Emmys. SC Featured had 10 Sports Emmy Award nominations in 2017.
“Last year was one of our most memorable years for SC Featured,” said Victor Vitarelli, senior coordinating producer, ESPN Features. “I think we have raised the bar even higher this year. Every week our goal is to deliver a story that surprises and resonates with our fans.”
To open the 2018 season of SC Featured, Tom Rinaldi will tell the story of Cardinal Newman, a high school in Santa Rosa, Calif. On the night of October 8, 2017, the Tubbs Fire ripped through northern California’s Sonoma County and among the more than 36,000 acres burned and 5,000 incinerated structures was Cardinal Newman. SC Featured documents the school’s football team centered on two of its seniors: quarterback Beau Barrington and wide receiver Kyle Carinalli, who both lost their homes in the wildfires. Beginning with their first game back after the fires, viewers will follow the team’s journey all the way to the North Coast Sectional Championship while getting a glimpse into the heart and determination of an entire community as it looks to recover from the most destructive fire in California’s history.
Also in February, as part of ESPN’s Black History Month content initiatives across platforms, SC Featured will air two related stories:
BUBBA WALLACE — Sunday, Feb. 18, NASCAR’s biggest race, the Daytona 500, will be run at Daytona International Speedway and competing in the race will be Bubba Wallace. Driving for the legendary Richard Petty, Wallace will become the first fulltime African American NASCAR Cup Series driver since Wendell Scott in 1971. Reported by Ryan McGee, the feature will have an early debut on Saturday, Feb. 17.
THE BLACK 14 – On Sunday, Feb. 25, SC Featured will debut “The Black 14,” a multiplatform presentation which also will have elements appearing on ESPN.com and The Undefeated. In 1969, a group of 14 black players were kicked off the Wyoming football team for wanting to wear black armbands in protest of what they perceived to be several racial injustices by a conference foe. In this historical snapshot, SC Featured interviews some of those players, who reflect on that moment amid today’s environment in which protests are a constant thread of the sports conversation.
Among other stories that will be told during the upcoming season of SC Featured:
A MOUNTAIN TO CLIMB – Pratima Sherpa was raised in a maintenance shed behind the third hole of the Royal Nepal Golf Course. She is attempting to become the first female golf pro in her country.
JAMIE NIETO – Paralyzed former Olympic high jumper Jamie Nieto defies medical odds in hopes of walking his fiancé down the aisle at their wedding.