Beach Channel Chooses Coach… For Now
As the high school varsity football season approaches, teams throughout the city are practicing for the first week. Beach Channel not only has to worry about their first game against Lafayette, but also wait with baited breath on who their new or returning head coach will be.
It was a few weeks ago that the Department of Education fired longtime head coach Marty Senall due to a reported incident with Senall and a player during spring practice. Senall filed a grievance to appeal the decision but in the meantime, the Beach Channel Dolphins were left without a head coach.
For a few weeks, Steve Goldman, assistant coach under Senall, ran the program. But with the season only a week away, Beach Channel’s new principal, Barbara Plener decided to name an interim coach from inside the school. Plener asked Girls Varsity Basketball head coach Victor Nazario Jr. to take over the job.
"I’ll prepare them as best as I can and I have no control of what decision is made in the future", said Nazario.
It’s not as Nazario expected to take over the job. He was called up last Monday night by Assistant Principal Mark Sanchez and was told to meet with the new Beach Channel principal about the job. Nazario, who previously coached the junior varsity team for three years, accepted the provisions that until the decision is made with Senall’s appeal, Nazario will run the practices.
In his first practice last Wednesday, Nazario’s familiarity with the players helped create a stable environment even in these strange times for the football program.
Marty Goodman remains as an assistant coach and is preparing the team for the upcoming season. Goodman coached with Senall for 10 years at South Shore High School in Brooklyn says that Senall is pushing for a quick decision. Until that decision is made, Goodman is focused on how the team will look this year.
After a 3-5 season last year, Beach Channel will be an experienced team as juniors and seniors compose a majority of the roster. "We’re very experienced with the offensive starters and we have a lot of linebacker type players we can play", said Goodman. Senior QB Luis Santana will helm the offense with Lamar Hilliard and Tommie Stephens returning as the backfield duo.
Four-year starter Alan Trujillo will split time at linebacker and defensive end. Trujillo may see a lot more time at defensive end. Goodman notes that the offensive and defensive line is where the team may be weak. "We’re going to need all of the starters to remain healthy", said Goodman.
Another issue is overall depth for a team that was ahead or tied in the first half in their losses to Madison, Kennedy and Lehman. The team currently carries 30-35 players and most schools carry at least 40-45."We just got tired in the second half and we wore down", said Goodman, who along with Nazario, hopes that with the start of school, students may be interested in joining the team.
There is a lot of motivation for Beach Channel to have a good season. The Dolphins move up to a level 5 rating and they will face some good teams this year. O’ Shea Walford, a junior center/guard, says that the team is ready to compete. " We have a lot of good guys on this team and we feel should go out on the field, be serious and we want to make a statement.
Nazario wants to concentrate on getting the team ready for the season. "I’m willing to make the sacrifice for these kids. For how long I don’t know, but I’m enjoying it".