Martin Luther King Jr High School has a troubled history. It hit the news in 2002, when a student shot two fellow students, seriously injuring them. Shortly afterwards, it became one of the first in New York City to be closed due to low performance and high drop-out rates. The building now houses six smaller schools. Their 2,400 students still have to pass through a metal detector and file past two uniformed police officers to get to their classrooms.
But its boys' football team, still playing under the MLK banner, is a success by anyone's measure. Not only has it won 12 out of 14 city championships, its players also have one of highest graduation rates and are regularly awarded scholarships to prestigious colleges.
The man behind the success of the team is Martin Jacobson, aka Coach Jake.
Recorded, photographed and produced by Vanessa Buschschluter and Phil Coomes. Published 17 March 2010.