2009-07-03 / Sports

Nazario Enjoys Opportunity Coaching At Empire Challenge

By Elio Velez

Victor Nazario. Photo by Damion Reid-Five Boro Sports. Victor Nazario. Photo by Damion Reid-Five Boro Sports. Beach Channel/Channel View High School varsity football coach Victor Nazario wasn't happy as the final whistle blew at James M. Shuart Stadium last Tuesday night on the campus of Hofstra University.

Nazario was standing on the losing sidelines as the New York City all-star high school football team lost to Long Island, 31-14 at the Outback Empire Challenge.

But the experience of being selected for the first time to coach with the N.Y.C. all-star team outweighed the negative result at the end of the game. Nazario was pleased to be on the sidelines in a prestigious high school football game as special teams coach.

He was standing on the sidelines along with some of the top high school coaches including Louis Vesce of the PSAL champion Port Richmond Red Raiders, longtime Holy Cross coach Tom Pugh and Vinny Laino, the Belle Harbor resident who won back-toback city titles as the head coach of Fort Hamilton this decade.

"It was nice and the coaches treated me well, since I was the only coach who was new," Nazario said.

"The eight practices we had were nice and the kids were great to coach."

Nazario was selected because of the banner year Beach Channel had on the football field in 2008. The team finished the regular season at 8-1, but they would shock the PSAL football world in the citywide playoffs.

Going into the first round, Beach Channel was the 15th team out of 16 playoffs to qualify. But the Dolphins would stun the defending city champions, Curtis, the second seed, on the road with an 8-0 victory.

Though Beach Channel would lose to Port Richmond in the second round, Nazario got plenty of attention and notice for the Dolphins first round victory. He believes that's one of the reasons he was selected by the Empire Challenge organizers.

"Nobody ever really explained why I was chosen, but I wasn't going to turn it down. The opportunity to coach and talk to the other Brooklyn and Staten Island coaches was good."

Taking part in the Empire Challenge the past few weeks provided a brief, but welcome, respite for the Beach Channel coach.

On June 15, Nazario found out he was losing his job as a physical educational teacher at Beach Channel. He was among a number of teachers who were excessed by the Department of Education.

Though Nazario worked at the school for 12 years, he is among a number of teachers who retain the right to teach at any city school, but must reapply to find a place which has an open position.

Nazario will remain as the head coach at Beach Channel and will try to find a teaching job as close as possible.

"I was speaking to the other coaches and they've been helpful and told me if they hear of anything, they will let me know," Nazario said.

He remains optimistic in securing a new job before pre-season varsity football practice starts in August.

"It's tough not being in the building. But I'm not the only one who is going through this."

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