In the late 1920s, a team of ill-equipped and scrawny football players from the Masonic Home Orphanage in Fort Worth, Texas proved that hope and strength can come in unexpected forms. In his 2007 book “12 Mighty Orphans”, writer Jim Dent reintroduced to the public the story of the Depression-era boys whose gritty determination to win, despite insurmountable obstacles, captured the country’s heart. Now, Lake Highlands High School graduate Ryan Ross wants to reach an even larger audience by bringing “12 Mighty Orphans” to the big screen. Along with his friend, Matt Barr, and Barr’s father, Mike, Ross formed the company 12 Productions and purchased the book rights. Today, Ross is in Los Angeles working hard to secure a movie deal with a larger production company. He is optimistic but realistic. “Hollywood seems to be responding enthusiastically to this idea. It seems especially relevant now, during this crucial time in America when people need inspiration,” Ross says, “but I do understand we are up against big odds — you know, like the orphans were.” While Ross was attending LHHS, he participated in drama and danced with the Wranglers. Shortly after graduating from University of Texas film school, he scored a job at Imagine Entertainment, where he gained production and project development experience working in close proximity with directors Ron Howard, Clint Eastwood and Ridley Scott, to name a few. When Matt Barr came to him with the orphans idea, Ross loved it, but the decision to leave his high-potential job was difficult. “It was a tough call to go work full time on “Orphans” … the people from Imagine were very supportive.” Ross draws hope from the orphans: “They didn’t even have a football. In their first game, they made a bet — ‘If we win we keep the ball.’ But then they went on to an incredible [127-30-12] record. Ross believes that if the young orphans could make such big things happen, he, too, can beat the odds. It will just take persistence and enthusiasm to get the story to the silver screen.