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Kensington seniors fulfill one wish before graduation – to save their sports teams

How Mastbaum High School's graduating seniors saved their sports teams
How Mastbaum High School's graduating seniors saved their sports teams 02:59

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — At Mastbaum Technical High School, a group of seniors had one wish before graduating — to save their sports teams.

A student documented the journey in a short film about how sports may have saved his life.

Mastbaum is a vocational school in the heart of Kensington with options ranging from culinary classes to filmmaking and this time football.

As a junior film student, Hector Rios worked on a short documentary called "Breaking the Cycle," following a star high school baseball player navigating fatherhood and his senior year.

This year, as part of Rios' senior project, he tells his own story.

"My senior year has been up and down like a roller coaster," Hector said.

Hector says he struggled socially this last year, was suspended and eventually kicked out of his parents' home.

Thanks to teachers and coaches, they inspired Hector to pursue sports. Unfortunately, those opportunities were limited at Mastbaum.

Hector and several students like Jahmeen Ross brought back fall sports, including football, soccer and cross country.

"From day one, we came out every orientation day and talked to every freshman and tried to motivate them to play football," Jahmeen said.

Athletic director Antoinette Calimag said since COVID-19, they've seen a huge decline in high school sports.

"The fact that they not only participated in three sports but they helped maintain and recruit sports that we really didn't have," Calimag said.

Through recruiting and a lot of planning, these seniors helped sports to make a comeback.

For Hector, sports became a good distraction and a new focus that got him to the finish line. He hopes his story can also be an inspiration for future students.

Hector received the Rising Student Award for his short film at the NFL Films Student Film Festival.

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