Dolphins Want To Incorporate Pride And Passion
It was during an afternoon break in the second week of pre-season football practice that Victor Nazario, head coach of the Beach Channel Dolphins, could smile after just seeing one of his players display a bit of passion on the field.
Sophomore right tackle Robert Berardino gave the first hints of it last Monday. After failing to make a block on a running play, Berardino was chewed out by assistant coach Carlos Flores for his lack of execution.
Berardino walked away from the field in disgust but he reversed course after realizing his error. He then took his frustrations out by shouting a warning to the defensive line that he would be coming for them.
Nazario was beaming and so was the rest of his coaching staff. It is their hope that Berardino will channel his aggression in a more positive manner by making the right play. He hopes the majority of his players do the same on the football field this season.
The Dolphins start their 2008 campaign in a non-league home game against Nazareth this Saturday at 1 p.m. Their PSAL varsity football campaign starts at home on September 6 against Truman at 12 p.m.
"We only lost 6 seniors; we brought up a dozen kids from the junior varsity. We're deeper, bigger and more experienced. That should translate to more wins this year and I don't see why we shouldn't."
Nazario also made shifts in his football philosophy after a tough 3-6 campaign in 2007 and where they failed to score in four of their losses.
He's excited about his improved backfield, senior leadership at quarterback with Benjamin Burrello and an offensive line which is bigger and stronger than in years past.
In the offseason, Nazario knew he had to create a plan which would best suit his players.
"My emphasis this year was that I sat down with the coaching staff, and obviously you have to look at the mirror on how to fix things."
"I had to figure out how I can be a better coach and how the rest of the staff is going to change and get better and we knew we have to change things this year," Nazario said.
The Dolphins have installed a new offense, which the head coach says emphasizes speed and power
Nazario says Burrello, has shown improvement in guiding the team on the field. At the end of last season, junior running back Turran Rhodes became a dual threat carrying and catching the ball.
He will be spelled by newcomers Jahleek Austin, who can use his speed to run past the defensive ends and RB Wayne Harris.
Their offensive line is a mix of size and experience. 6-3, 325 pound Dominique Wharton anchors the line at center. He will be partnered with Robert Smalls and Berardino, who are both 6-foot and above. Senior tackle Matthew Lopez is 6-1 and Roy Drinkakle is the smallest at 5-11 and 230 pounds, which isn't too shabby.
Senior linebacker Travis Scott, a three-year varsity player, leads a defense which is strong up the middle but is undersized at the ends. Nazario hopes to combat that with speed that will contain opposing running backs.
This season, the Dolphins, who are a 3-rated team, will only battle similar teams like Flushing and Bryant High School. Familiar foes such as Far Rockaway have dropped to the Cup Division. They will not battle yearly foes such as Campus Magnet and Bayside, who are 5-rated teams.
The Dolphins have to play whoever is on the schedule. And Nazario says his team will be ready.
"We're going to take it one game a t a time," Nazario said. "I'm not talking expectations with them but I did talk about the playoffs because I don't think it's an unrealistic goal. The emphasis is on team, discipline and we stick together through the ups and downs."