There is a lot of debate as to when is the right age to introduce the violence of check hockey to youth players in the United States. I have coached players going into their first year of checking for three years and at first I thought it was just unfair, but when my daughter played it for a year with boys, I realized how dangerous it really is. So when my son, Grayson, an undersized 12 year old was going to into his first year of checking, I decided to document the year. We interviewed experts from The Mayo Clinic in Minnesota and shot in Pennsylvania, California, Detroit, Buffalo and Toronto as Grayson and his teammates faced their fears. motion picture film youth hockey sports courage heart
Michael Messner has been directing and producing for over 25 years. He is a partner at the Pittsburgh based, Awesome Films. He has won regional Emmys including Best Director in the Mid-Atlantic, Sunshine, and New York chapters for his collegiate sports television shows.
He and his partner Barry Reese were Executive Producers on Alex Gibney's film, The Last Gladiators.
Michael played hockey at Penn State and received the Distinguished Alumni Award in 2016.
1st Year Checking documents the life of Grayson, a 12 year old hockey player, and his teammates as they go into the dangerous and unknown world of check hockey.
30 Second Teaser
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