Underdogs: Malcolm X Shabazz HS

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Band of Brothers
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Band of Brothers

Once the high school of former New York City mayor Ed Koch (it was called South Side High School then), Shabazz is now located in one of the most gang-infested parts of Newark. Students arrive from all different parts of the city, none of which would be considered safe. Even if several different parts of Newark are represented at Shabazz, Friday night is showtime. The football team looks playoff-bound again this year and "The President's Band," which has performed for Presidents Bill Clinton and Barack Obama, is always there to perform.

Violence, rivalry, drugs and conflict lingers near the Shabazz field, but Coach Darnell Grant says it hasn't crossed its gates. Under Grant, the team is a brotherhood, it's only enemy, it's weekly opponent. Because, as the team motto states, if you're not a bulldog, you're dog food.


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