Real life ‘Field of Dreams’ takes over Kensington

IMG_8411
Coach Ellwood Erb had a vision for the Kensington Tigers. Now he’s helping his players realize their dreams.
/Photo courtesy of Steven Reitz

 

Three years ago, Kensington football coach Ellwood Erb had a vision. His vision was to have Friday Night Lights under the El stop at Front and Berks streets.

Three years later, the vision has been put into action … but there’s still a long way to go.

“This isn’t the NFL, this isn’t college, we’re a public-league, high-school football team with rocks and glass on our field,” said Erb. “We have little equipment, but what we do have is a ton of heart and a ton of pride.”

Days before Kensington embarked on its second season last September, Erb was busy using buckets of paint to cover up a graffiti-defaced wall that hovers over their practice field. In its place was going to be another piece of his vision: a gigantic Kensington Tiger football mural.

Erb was approached by Max Pulcini, who was covering a story for the Fishtown Spirit.

“He told me, ‘This is our second season. We went 8-1 in our first season. We have no funding from the city or state. We run this program with zero dollars,’” said Pulcini. “There was a little bit of money donated by the district when it first started, but just enough to get kids practice pants, which in football terms is like nothing … The majority of the money comes right out of coach Erb’s pockets.”

After a two-hour conversation with Erb, Pulcini had his own vision and he decided to make their next season into a documentary.

Pulcini, a journalism student at Temple, didn’t have too much videography experience. He asked his friend, Matt Albasi, a video production guru, if he could help. Albasi fell in love with the human side of the story.

“These kids are from Kensington. They don’t get movies made about them,” he said. “We allowed for these kids to feel a sense of importance and self worth. A lot of these kids do come from broken homes and do come from non-existent families, but when they were with us they felt important. That was one of our other goals with this project, making these kids feel important because every kid deserves to feel important.”

Pulcini and Albasi have worked tirelessly over the past eight months on the documentary, while Erb has continued to do everything he can to advance the program. Pulcini hopes the documentary can change the status quo of Kensington.

“When you hear about Kensington, you hear about drugs, gangs, violence and murder,” said Pulcini. “What we discovered was loving and supportive families. Families that want nothing more than to see their kids succeed. We also saw kids who were trying to reach their dreams. Kids who are sending in their applications and hoping to further their education and get out.”

 

sptp_kenso-2
Members of the Kensington Tigers bring it in for a rally cry after practice.
/Photo courtesy of Steven Reitz


News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
Local

Brooklyn man charged in roommate's stabbing death

A Brooklyn man accused of violently stabbing his roommate to death on Monday is in police custody and faces murder charges.

International

Dinosaurs could have survived asteroid strike

It turns out there is a good and a bad time for the planet to be hit by a meteor, and dinosaurs were just unlucky.…

National

OkCupid admits to Facebook-style experimenting on customers

By Sarah McBrideSAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - OkCupid, a top U.S. matchmaking website, intentionally mismatched users to test its technology, the IAC/InterActive Corp service said on…

Local

MTA fares still increasing 4 percent in newly…

The agency said the 4 percent increases, previously announced in December, will remain steady even as the MTA deals with increasing labor costs.

Movies

Interview: Brendan Gleeson on the way 'Calvary' depicts…

Brendan Gleeson talks about how his new film "Calvary" began over drinks and how his character here is the opposite of the lead in "The Guard."

Movies

'Get on Up' producer Mick Jagger on the…

Mick Jagger, a producer on the James Brown biopic "Get on Up," talks about the time had to tell the singer some bad news and his favorite JB record.

Television

'Glee' star Lea Michele to appear on 'Sons…

"Glee" star Lea Michele has been confirmed as a guest star in the final season of "Sons of Anarchy."

Television

TV watch list, Monday, July 28: 'The Bachelorette'…

See Andi Dorfman make her big choice on tonight's 'Bachelorette' finale.

MLB

Angelo Cataldi: Ryan Howard deserves better from Phillies

Just last week, Ryan Howard endured the embarrassment of a benching that was inevitable, and yet still shocking.

NFL

Larry Donnell has inside track in Giants tight…

Little-known Larry Donnell of Grambling State currently has the inside track, as the second-year player has received the bulk of the first-team reps.

NFL

Computer to Jets: Start Michael Vick over Geno…

Jets general manager John Idzik says the choice of who starts between second-year quarterback Geno Smith and veteran Michael Vick will be a “Jets decision.”

MLB

Yankees looking to trade for Josh Willingham: Report

CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman reported Sunday the Yankees are interested in Twins outfielder Josh Willingham.

Travel

Glasgow: Hey, hey, the gangs aren't here

This European city has done a good job getting rid of its more violent residents and revitalizing with artists.

Education

Babson College tops list of best colleges for…

Money magazine has just released its inaugural list of "The Best Colleges for Your Money" -- and the answers have surprised many. Babson College, which…

Education

NYC teens learn how to develop apps during…

Through a program sponsored by CampInteractive, the high schoolers designed their own community-focused apps.

Tech

The Ministry of Silly Walks app is both…

Monty Python have dug into their back catalogue for cash-ins once more, but with the Ministry of Silly Walks app, they've made something that's fun too.