2009-09-04 / Sports

BCHS Dolphins Ready For PSAL Bowl Title Quest

By Elio Velez

It was a surprise to high school football coaches and media pundits when they got word of what happened last November in Staten Island. Beach Channel/Channel View had pulled off the major upset of the PSAL campaign as the 15th ranked Dolphins defeated the second seed Curtis Warriors, 8-0, in the first round.

Though the Dolphins went on to lose 54-6 to eventual champion Port Richmond in the next round, Beach Channel had already established themselves as a team on the rise. They went 8-1 last season in the regular season and received plenty of plaudits for their good campaign. But varsity football coach Victor Nazario knows that his team won't surprise anyone this season, especially when they take on Franklin Delano Roosevelt on Saturday (12 p.m. at New Utrecht High School in Brooklyn) in the PSAL varsity season opener.

We're not catching anybody by surprise. We have a bullseye on our back," Nazario said. "That's the way it is. They know every game will be a battle. We just got to execute."

The Dolphins remain a 3-seeded team and take part in a revamped PSAL Bowl Division in which they face teams who have a similar seeding. Nazario has heard from coaches that the Dolphins are the favorite to capture the title this season. The Dolphins head coach is very sure his team won't get too cocky about their chances and he dismisses the talk his team should already be crowned the title winners.

"Nothing will be a walk in the park and we won't take anyone lightly but I like our odds," said Nazario. "I like the way we look."

Nazario is counting on his potent running back duo of Turran Rhodes and Jahleek Austin. Austin, who is the speedier of the two backs, rushed for 820 yards last year and scored six touchdowns. Rhodes combined for 853 all-purpose yards. Austin, a junior, said his teammates wanted a chance at winning a championship and opted to stay in the PSAL Bowl Division.

"We were thinking about moving up to a five. But we wanted to show to ourselves that can we get something here," Austin said. "We want to win in the end."

Beach Channel will return four out of five starts on the offensive line and protect the ball for new quarterback Patrick Burrello or Daryl Sanford. Beach Channel will have plenty of speed and also depth on defense. Wayne Harris provides a blend of speed and power from either the safety or the linebacker spot on defense. Rhodes wants to win so badly he finally convinced his coach that he could start on defense and play at cornerback. The senior knows his team has what it takes to compete.

"Everybody is gunning for us. That's what makes us train harder. We practice even harder," Rhodes said. "Teams are going after us and we got to play with out 'A' game."

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