2003-02-22 / Sports

PSAL Playoffs Is The Opportunity For Beach Channel


ELIO VELEZELIO VELEZ

Far Rockaway’s gym is small and intimate. Everyone from the fans to the press is next to each other. As the Transit Tech-Far Rockaway playoff game started, the home crowd seemed to be stunned by the play of Transit Tech. The Express came out on fire as they scored the first 7 points and the fire seemed to be taken out of the crowd.

The crowd was trying to cheer the Seahorses back into the game. Down 55-41 and without Forbes, Far Rock played enough D and Sheldon Scott and Warren McAllister scored to make it 63-55 and teased a major comeback. But a miracle did not happen at Far Rock.

The best part of the playoffs is good teams face off in competitive games that highlights the great talent that the public schools have. It also gives attention to the unknown teams and Transit Tech is that perfect example.

For Beach Channel, the #4 seed Dolphins are starving to redeem themselves from a terrible performance in last year’s playoffs as Canarsie beat the Dolphins 69-35. But the confidence is oozing from seniors such as Rahshon Clark and Victor Alvarez to be the best. Beach Channel wants to prove to the rest of the city that they got game. And why shouldn’t BC have that confidence?

It’s not a trade secret in the Rockaways that most high schools from outside of Queens avoid coming to play here. The excuses are valid with the travel it takes for teams such as Brooklyn powerhouses as Lincoln or Banneker to get here after school. Except for division games, BC and Far Rock can only play a few outside games with opponents willing to play them. Beach Channel and Far Rockaway know how good they are. But how great would it be for the teams to face fresh opponents that are well regarded in the whole city.

The folly of the PSAL this season was to move up the start of the season a month. Instead of starting the PSAL conference games in December, both Rockaway schools had to start in late November. The month of November could have been the opportunity for the schools to schedule non-conference games. The experience would have been invaluable and the athletes would have fun in facing opponents they have never faced.

For the PSAL next season, there must be a greater cooperation with the Rockaway schools to face teams from not only all of the Queens schools but a smattering of other boroughs. The commitment by both schools to build great athletic programs is underway. The greater exposure helps the programs have a certain chance to build a consistent winner.

Just as certain high school players look to winning college programs to give them the best chance to be successful, the same 7th and 8th graders look toward our schools to give them a chance to be a great athlete. Those players that go to other Queens schools such as Bayside or Brooklyn schools might stay here to compete.

The problems won’t be solved overnight but the dialogue must take place now to help our schools. If it happens now, the Rockaway schools have a chance in a few years to be noticed by the city as a powerhouse.

Steinbrenner Must Chill

George Steinbrenner better get his head out of his butt. Steinbrenner tears down Jeter’s image as some kind of motivation tool for success, the reputation of Derek Jeter is damaged. Instead of a hard player, Jeter may now be labeled as a hard partier. Jeter is not a party animal that gets arrested and has illegitimate children littered around the country. Jeter is responsible for his actions and knows when to get out of trouble. If Steinbrenner wants to bring back the Bronx Zoo Yankees of the 1970s, Georgie is doing a great job.

Until next time, Peace.


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