The Voice Tells The Story of Last Chance U

By Donny Chedrick

“It was as authentic as it could be.”

The highly-anticipated fifth season of hit Netflix series, Last Chance U, will be released on July 28th and is set to cover Laney College in Oakland, California. Season five will be the final season that football is the main focal point as basketball will be covered starting in season six. The series revolves around junior college football programs providing another chance — a last chance, if you will, for college football players who are trying to make it at the Division 1 level and hopefully reach their goal of the NFL.

The first two seasons of the Emmy-nominated series followed East Mississippi Community College before jumping to the state of Kansas, covering the Independence Community College Pirates. Indy would see a massive turnaround with its football program thanks in part to the national attention and former head coach, Jason Brown. Season three (the first with Independence) of the series showed off a highly successful season for “Dream U.” The team went 9-2, including a win over Northeastern Oklahoma A&M College in the Midwest Bowl Classic by a score of 30-20. The second and final season covering Indy was an utter disaster by all accounts. After a week one win, the Pirates lost eight in-a-row before winning in the season finale to finish 2-8. After the season, the controversial Jason Brown would step down as head coach, giving way to Kiyoshi Harris, who spent the two prior seasons as the associate head coach, offensive line coach and recruiting coordinator. Harris would lead the Pirates to an 8-2 season, outright winners of the Jayhawk Conference, in his first at the helm.

Providing a more in-depth look at the coverage and impact Last Chance U had on the Indy Pirates is their play-by-play voice, Jeff Carpenter, who has been covering his hometown junior college football program for nearly 20 years. Carpenter is a born-and-raised Independence, Kansas resident, who is a “regular guy” who got into local radio, covering high school football, college football and college basketball — both at Independence.

It should be refreshing to find out a fan-favorite reality show is legitimate in an age when many programs let Hollywood go to work and it affects the final product. According to Carpenter, Last Chance U is basically as real as it gets.

Jeff Carpenter on the authenticity of Last Chance U

A good show relies on good drama, and Last Chance U certainly had that through players and head coach, Jason Brown. Brown did not have many defenders by the time season four came to an end, but somebody that was always there in the foxhole for him was Carpenter.

Jeff Carpenter on Jason Brown

A high recommendation to any sports fan, especially football fans, to check out Last Chance U on Netflix if you have not already. New season available on July 28. A great look into the life and journey of junior college football players and coaches looking for that last chance.

Full COMON Network interview w/ Independence Pirates PxP voice, Jeff Carpenter. This and the rest of Episode 8 of the podcast is available on the podcast page of this site or wherever you get your podcasts.

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