Going to the Mat

Last Updated on: June 26th, 2024

Going to the Mat (Disney Channel Original Movie)

“Going to the Mat” is a Disney Channel Original Movie that premiered in 2004. Directed by Stuart Gillard, the film tells the inspiring story of a visually impaired teenager named Jason “Jace” Newfield, portrayed by Andrew Lawrence.

Jace is a talented wrestler who moves to a new town with his mother and younger sister. He hides his visual impairment from his peers, fearing that they will treat him differently. At his new school, he encounters the popular wrestler, Nick, played by Khleo Thomas, who becomes his reluctant friend.

As Jace becomes involved with the school’s wrestling team, he faces various challenges and struggles to fit in. He forms an unexpected bond with Mary Beth Rice, portrayed by Alessandra Torresani, who helps him come to terms with his identity and accept himself for who he is.

Throughout the movie, Jace learns important life lessons about friendship, self-acceptance, and the true meaning of strength. As he gains the courage to confront his visual impairment and use it to his advantage in wrestling, he inspires others around him to embrace their uniqueness as well.

“Going to the Mat” received positive reviews for its heartwarming and empowering storyline. It highlights the importance of inclusion and acceptance of individuals with disabilities, promoting a message of resilience and overcoming adversity. The film showcases the power of sports to unite people from different backgrounds and foster genuine friendships.

With its uplifting message and strong performances, “Going to the Mat” continues to resonate with audiences, leaving them with a sense of hope and encouragement. It remains a beloved Disney Channel movie that promotes themes of tolerance, diversity, and the value of being true to oneself.

Additional Details

  • Movie Studio:
  • Year Released:
  • Type of Movie: Live Action
  • Movie Platform: Disney Channel Original Movie
  • IMDB Link


  • Andrew Lawrence: Jason “Jace” Newfield
  • Alessandra Torresani: Mary Beth Rice
  • Khleo Thomas: Vincent “Fly” Shu
  • Wayne Brady: Mason Wyatt
  • D. B. Sweeney: Coach Rice
  • Billy Aaron Brown: John Lambrix
  • Brenda Strong: Patty Newfield
  • Brian Wimmer: Tom Newfield
  • T.J. Lowther: Luke Nolan
  • Marcus T. Paulk: Peter


  • Director: Stuart Gillard
  • Producer: Don Schain

Movie Trailer:

About the Author

Craig Smith
I am founder and editor of DisneyNews.us. My passion for all things Disney goes pretty far back to my first trip to Walt Disney World in the mid-80's. I have since returned to the magical place more than 20 times. I started this site when I came to the realization that I spent a significant portion of my day reading articles about Disney and watching Disney content with my 8-year old, so it made sense that I would start sharing some of what I read and see and building a little community around it. Other interests include 80's nostalgia, vintage toys, video games, LEGO, Star Wars and tech gadgets. Other sites include DMR and VideoGamesStats.com.