SUISUN CITY -- The tears flowed from the eyes of Landrin Kelly, his wife, Mary, and daughter, Trameka Godfrey-Kelly, as they watched a private showing of "When the Game Stands Tall."

They knew that Terrance Kelly and his killing would be depicted in the film about De La Salle High's legendary football program and coach Bob Ladouceur. But seeing Terrance portrayed on the big screen was another matter.

"We cried the first half of the movie. ... There are a lot of parts in that first half that have to do with Terrance," said Landrin, Terrance's father. "Just to see him on the big screen and how well they portrayed him, and then what really inspired me, they put the funeral in there. I think they did a really good job with that, too."

"When the Game Stands Tall," the film adaptation of former Contra Costa Times columnist Neil Hayes' 2003 book, opens in theaters nationwide Aug. 22.

Tuesday marks the 10th anniversary of Kelly's death. A star De La Salle player who was days away from leaving for the University of Oregon on a football scholarship, Kelly was shot and killed in Richmond by a 15-year-old while sitting in his car waiting to pick up a friend. For Terrance's stepmother, Mary, parts of the movie were hard to watch.

"The whole scene that showed he was murdered ... the funeral setting ... it brought up so many raw memories," Mary said. "I thought the film was a good film. I thought that if they didn't put that portion in there (about the murder), it would be just another football film."


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Even watching the movie's trailer was initially too much for Mary.

"I just wasn't ready to see that," she said. "I didn't look at it for a long time in its entirety."

Before the filming began, Landrin said producer David Zelon asked if he could use Terrance's story in the film. Landrin agreed to it.

"De La Salle has been good to me," Landrin said. "They always supported us, had our back, and I thought it was the right thing to do."

Landrin said that he didn't give away full rights to Terrance's story because he is writing a book about his son. Landrin also said he was sent scripts before and during filming about what was going to be used.

Both Landrin and Mary are impressed with the film.

"They portrayed Terrance really well," Landrin said. "I thought they did a really good job of it."

"They did a wonderful job. They showed Terrance's true character. He was a leader," Mary said.

Dealing with Terrance's death the past 10 years has not been easy for Landrin and Mary.

"There are days when you get up and keep moving, and there are days when you lay in bed and don't want to go. It's up and down," said Mary, who was part of Terrance's life since he was 4 years old. "There are birthdays, there are holidays, there are times when you go on an emotional roller coaster. There are a lot of 'what if's.'"

Landrin said it helps him to talk about it.

"I went to counseling, and I still go to counseling once a week and just let it out. It helps me," Landrin said.

The Terrance Kelly Youth Foundation, which Landrin created after Terrance's death and of which Mary is very involved, has made a positive impact. The foundation provides community outreach for children and youths ages 5 to 17 through a variety of cultural and educational programs.

"I'm glad that the movie was made because it's letting everyone ... see what happened to us, what happened to him," Mary said. "I hope it makes people ask, 'What is this family doing now? How are they doing?' I hope it sends them to dig more information."