Dolphins Tennis Team Reaches PSAL Playoff Semifinals
By Elio Velez
In the biggest match of the season today for the Beach Channel girls' tennis team, a victory over Boys and Girls in the semifinals of the PSAL B tennis playoffs can land them a berth to the championship at the United States Tennis Center at Flushing Meadows.
The Dolphins, the #3 seed in the city, breezed past EBC/Bushwick in the quarterfinals last Tuesday 4 to 1. Today's opponent, Boys and Girls, ended their dream of making the championship with a 3-2 victory at Beach Channel High School also in the semifinals on May 11 of last year.
The rematch, which will be played at Queens College at 3 p.m., also features American Studies and Robert F. Kennedy in the other semifinal.
PSAL Creates New League
The debate for the PSAL in the last few years was a way to come up with a means to make their basketball league on par competitively and in prestige with the CHSAA.
Powerhouses like Abraham Lincoln and Benjamin Cardozo would breeze through regular season teams in their division at times who were not able to compete.
In a proposal to remedy those concerns, the PSAL recently announced that they created a three year pilot program which will realign teams in three new leagues.
Three competitive divisions will be formed in the PSAL which is similar to the setup that the CHSAA has. The top league will be the AA Division, followed by an A and B Divisions, which have their own regular season, playoffs and title game.
The teams who will form the new AA division in Queens are based on their winning percentage and success in the playoffs.
Beach Channel will be joining the new AA setup in a nine team Queens division including Cardozo, Bayside, Long Island City, Bryant, Jamaica and former Queens AIII rivals Campus Magnet, Van Buren and Springfield Gardens.
The Dolphins were asked to join the AA division based on their competitive play and their two playoffs win the recent PSAL basketball playoffs. Assistant coach Morris Johnson says the school has no hesitation in playing against their Queens rivals. "They called us and asked us to join
the AA. It's a tough division with some tough teams but we've gone to the playoffs every year. We know we can compete," Johnson said.
Far Rockaway, which has gone through tough times on the court with successive losing seasons has been relegated to the A division along with August Martin, John Adams and Richmond Hill.
Johnson said that other coaches throughout the city who was asked to participate in the discussion of the realignment have voiced concerns about travel.
Due to the long distances from the peninsula, such as one and half to two hours to travel to schools across Queens such as Cardozo and Long Island City via public transportation, Beach Channel could have problems making games that start at 4 or 4:30 p.m.
The PSAL have not made a decision in providing transportation such as a bus or a van to make trips to those schools. Also the peninsula rivalry between Far Rockaway and Beach Channel are in jeopardy as both teams are not allowed to crossover in their respective leagues to play each other in the regular season.
Other Notes-Fayon Malcolm's three goals were all that Far Rockaway (3-2-2, 12 points) needed in their 3-0 win over Springfield Gardens on May 8.
Beach Channel remained in first place in the PSAL B III girls (5-2-2, 17 points) with a 1-0 win over Richmond Hill on May 8.
Pitcher Jonathan Melendez improved his record to 5-0 as Beach Channel drubbed Jamaica 14-4 on May 9. The Dolphins are in first place in Queens South B with an 11-1 record.
All girls who are interested in playing for the 2006 Empire State Games scholastic basketball team can tryouts will be held on Saturday May 13th and 20th at Bishop Ford High School from 10:00 am to 12:00 noon.
You can download an application at empirestategames.org Bishop Ford is located at 500 19th Street in Brooklyn. Directions to Bishop Ford High School: F train to 15th Street/Prospect Park then walk to 19th street or you can take the B67, B68, B69 and B75 buses which all stop within a few blocks of the school.
Be ready to work out and bring a reversible jersey if possible.