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Fronteras: From Latino caddies to champs: The story of the 1957 San Felipe High School golf team

In the 1950s, a group of five Mexican American teen caddies formed their school’s first golf team in the border city of Del Rio.

Lupe Felán, Felipe Romero, Mario Lomas, Gene Vasquez, and Joe Treviño played with outdated equipment on their own homemade courses.

J.B. Peña, the superintendent of the mostly Mexican American San Felipe Independent School District, helped guide the players to defeat all-white teams to win the 1957 Texas state championship game.

The story of the five boys is told in the 2012 book Mustang Miracle by Humberto Garcia, a San Antonio lawyer and writer.

Though Garcia was born and raised in the San Felipe area of Del Rio, he only learned about the team during a high school student reunion golf tournament in 2008.

He said he knew right away he wanted to help highlight a small but significant piece of history.

“It was a small step, I think, in breaking down those barriers that existed because of racist attitudes in this country,” he said. “It may not have been as significant as the Civil Rights Act or some other civil rights pioneers, but it was a little piece that helped break down that huge wall that we faced.”

Garcia’s book was adapted into the new film The Long Game. It was released in April under the Latinx multimedia production company Mucho Más Media.

Garcia said it was a long road to get their stories on screen, especially as the five grew older.

“To some extent … this was the right moment,” he said. “This was the right time to come out with a type of story like ours, especially with the conditions or circumstances in this country as they are.”

The movie is streaming on Apple TV, Google Play Movies, and Amazon Prime.

View the trailer below:

Norma Martinez can be reached at norma@tpr.org and on Twitter at @NormDog1