“16,” a documentary celebrating the life and legacy of the late Wellesley High School and Penn State University lacrosse star Connor Darcey, makes its area premiere next week at Babson College’s Sorenson Theater.
It’s been more than 6 years since Darcey died at the age of 21 in a 2015 car accident in Boston that also killed the driver and injured Wellesley High grad Harry James.
While family, friends and teammates mourned Darcey they have also honored his memory in numerous ways that have benefitted many. These efforts have included various sports-related fundraisers, his initials and #16 adorning Penn State lacrosse helmets, and most notably, in the form of a plaque on the donor wall at the Wellesley High School track and field which underwent a renovation funded in large part through the efforts of Darcey’s family and friends.
And now the documentary directed by Penn State alum and Opening Statement Productions’ Paddy Cotter, and produced/edited by Wellesley High alum Connor Cassidy, shares Darcey’s story with a wider audience. Tickets for the Oct. 24 (5pm) Babson screening and a Q&A with the filmmakers afterwards are available for purchase by the public. The film begins streaming on Nov. 3.
We caught up with Cassidy, whose family is close with the Darcey family, to learn more about the film, which has been in the works since 2018.
Cassidy, who credits Julie Spilka’s classes at Wellesley High for inspiring him to get into filmmaking, saw a rough cut of the film in early 2020 and Director Cotter asked for his thoughts on it after interviewing Connor Darcey’s brother Will. This united Cotter, who was closer to the Penn State side of things, and Cassidy who was closer to the Wellesley end.
“’16’ was an emotional rollercoaster, but I am grateful Paddy trusted me to help him tell the Darcey’s story,” Cassidy says. “The film was about 95% finished—some scenes needed some reworking and the total run time needed to be shorter, but overall it was in really good shape. With the backing of the company I work for, Boomshot, we helped recut and finish the film in NYC.”
Cassidy sums up the film as tackling “how a group of friends, family and a lacrosse team deals with the loss of a loved one from a tragic accident. Lacrosse has long been regarded as a game of medicine and healing. This theme plays an important role in ’16’ as the subjects use lacrosse and Connor’s jersey number to persevere through grief and continue to honor Connor’s legacy.”
Cassidy hopes the film will gain a special place in the hearts of those who knew Darcey and introduce him and his friends and family to those who didn’t.
“The film will make you laugh, cry, and will tug at the heart strings of anyone who enjoys a good sports story,” he says.