Martin Luther King High School football documentary premieres in NYC

Watch the report from Action News' Sharrie Williams.
April 23, 2014 8:54:16 PM PDT
The football team from Martin Luther King High School in Philadelphia is getting the red carpet treatment, starring in a documentary.

The MLK Cougars are the focus of a documentary, "We Could Be King."

The team went to New York City on Wednesday for the film's premiere at the Tribeca Film Festival.

"It feels great! We're here, we're all together talking to everybody, it feels great," said Dontae Angus, teammate.

Everyone was all smiles but the film tells a story of ups and downs.

The passion and the struggle gets displayed on the big screen, telling the story of two Philadelphia schools forced to become one. Cameras followed the players throughout their season as budget cuts forced King to merge with rival Germantown High.

"Everybody had disagreements about stuff, they hated each other," said Salvatore Henderson, teammate.

Tensions often escalated to violence between the two but the newly formed football team bonded, sparking a common goal for the students and the community.

"It brought a lot of the King and Germantown students, even if they did have negative intentions, it brought them together If the football could have success then now everybody in the school could have success," said Nicko Bryant, teammate.

Principal William Wade brought in Coach Ed Dunn, who'd worked at Germantown, to merge players from the two former rival high schools into one team.

Dunn led his team to victory against all odds, winning the City Championship and setting an example for the rest of the school.

He says the film has a message of trial and triumph that many Americans will relate to.

"We get the chance to share our story with the rest of the world and our story isn't a singular one it repeats itself. Dealing with some of the obstacles, our kids are dealing with macro issues like budgeting. Hopefully this shines a light in the positivity and energy that can be created from a sports program," said Dunn.

Principal Wade hopes the documentary will help bring positive light to King.

"If we can use the athletic programs to draw some attention to our other academic programs then so be it. Now people are giving us a closer look and all of our different programs we have to offer," Wade said.

The big showing was in New York on Wednesday but there will also be a screening at the high school on Thursday.

For the rest of us, we'll have to wait until it airs Saturday night on ESPN2.

Disney is the parent company of 6abc and ESPN.


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