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High school notebook

Madison Park tale hits the big screen

By Anthony Gulizia
Globe Correspondent / April 27, 2011

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When Madison Park basketball coach Dennis Wilson and filmmaker Rudy Hypolite arrived in San Jose, Calif., for the Cinequest Film Festival last month, Wilson said he wasn’t sure how the documentary, “Push: Madison vs. Madison’’ would be received.

“I was sitting in the theater with individuals I didn’t know, not knowing whether people would walk out or be thrilled and entertained,’’ Wilson said. “But it got a great response and that calmed my nerves, and there was a great Q-and-A afterwards.’’

The film, which makes its Boston debut Saturday, follows Madison Park’s 2007 basketball season, as the team chases its first undefeated campaign and a state championship. The tribulations of inner-city life put the Cardinals’ record in jeopardy.

Specifically, the film documents the struggles between captain Raheem “Radio’’ Singleton and Malik Smith, who come from rival neighborhoods, the Heath Street and Academy projects.

Each feels the other is getting too much publicity, and that results in selfish play by two star athletes that compromises the strength of the team.

Wilson hopes the film will give viewers a glimpse at inner-city life and a school system that he feels is failing the community.

More important, he said, he wants the inner-city children and the school system to realize how to make the best of a bad situation.

After a successful showing on the West Coast, the film was selected to be part of the Independent Film Festival of Boston and will debut at the Somerville Theater Saturday at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $10 and can be purchased from the film’s website, pushmadison.com.

“We added footage, moved some scenes around, added motion graphics and new music,’’ Wilson said. “It was a good film before, and now it’s a great film.’’

Football The Massachusetts High School Football Coaches Association will induct six new members into its Hall of Fame Saturday at Lantana’s in Randolph: Winthrop’s Tony Fucillo, Hopkinton’s David Hughes, Foxboro’s Jack Martinelli, Holyoke’s Ray Mitchell, Marshfield’s Lou Silva, and Gloucester’s Terry Silva.

This year’s Distinguished Service Award will be presented to retired Lexington coach Bill Tighe.

Five seniors will be presented with the Courageous Player Award for courage and inspiration during the 2010 season: Mansfield’s Kevin Barsomian, Austin Prep’s Billy Maradei, Acton-Boxboro’s Michael Morris, Andover’s Brian Miller, and Shawsheen’s Ryan Woolaver.

For tickets or more information, call Paul Costello at 781-585-9409.

Hockey The 39th State Hockey Coaches Hall of Fame Dinner is Sunday at the Montvale Plaza in Stoneham. Four head coaches will be inducted: Silver Lake’s Bill Donovan, St. John’s Bob Marinelli, Billerica’s Jim Wronski, and Holliston’s Peter Torilli. The Stewart Award will be presented to Boston University hockey coach Jack Parker. For tickets call Charlie Driscoll at 978-777-7075.