On a Thursday night in November, the atmosphere at Richmond’s historic Byrd Theatre felt like a family reunion. The mostly UR-affiliated crowd was there for the local premiere of Just a Kid from Fall River, a documentary by Randy West, ’03, about Marc Megna, ’99, his fellow Spider football captain.

“Knowing his story, I thought his life was a great example for a lot of our youth,” said West, a former teacher and coach at his high school alma mater in the Richmond suburbs. “I wasn’t trying to make an artistic masterpiece. It’s one continuous message that you can do whatever you put your mind to.”

The film features cameos from family, friends, former coaches, and UR teammates like New York Jets general manager Joe Douglas and ESPN NFL draft analyst Todd McShay, both ’99. It traces Megna's journey from a hardscrabble Massachusetts upbringing and stellar college career to the ups and downs of his professional football tenure and transition to personal training in Miami, where he owns a state-of-the-art facility.

Megna attributed his track record of perseverance throughout his life — including when he initially struggled with UR’s academic rigors — to his late mother’s philosophy: “Dream big, never quit.”

“I made the decision to give insane effort in everything that I do because that’s the only way I can pay it back to her,” he said.

Editor's note: Per West, the filmmaker, the documentary will be widely released on multiple platforms (Amazon, Apple TV, Google Play, and others) in early February, following a screening in Miami, where Megna resides.