2009-12-11 / Sports

Possible Athletic Issues In Beach Channel Shutdown

By Elio Velez

The Department of Education announced on Monday afternoon that Beach Channel High School would be the latest in a number of academic institutions that will be phased out and closed within the next three years.

The school will then be renamed Beach Channel Educational Campus.

Channel View High School of Re search, a 6-12 grade program, already located inside the Beach Channel campus, will not close. It's not known wheth er the school, which has 566 students enrolled, will increase their numbers dramatically in the next few years.

The shutdown of Beach Channel is similar to what Far Rockaway High Sch ool is now going through.

The DOE closed Far Rockaway in 2007 and was divided into five smaller academic schools. Freshmen were not admitted to Far Rockaway, and the last graduating class will be this June.

If Channel View does not increase their enrollment, or when students eith er graduate or transfer from Beach Channel, participation will shrink in the 21 junior varsity and varsity sports that are offered

In the short term, Beach Channel varsity football coach Victor Nazario says his team won't be affected. The majority of the players that will return for the 2010 football season are Channel View students.

He estimates at least 14 of his players who could possibly return next season are enroute to graduating from Beach Channel.

What he does admit is that it's a trying time for students and teachers. Nazario is a physical education teaches at Jamaica High School, which is also slated to be closed within the next few years.

"It's a frustrating time to be a teach er. I'm going to sit down with my team and talk to them about it," Nazario says.

When the Department of Education closes a school, student-athletes are allowed to transfer to another school without losing a year of eligibility. It remains to be seen how many students will depart the school and how it will affect the athletic program.

Basketball Wrapup

Beach Channel (1-1) got a game high 16 points from Cynithia Smalls (1-2) in a 47-29 victory over James Madison last Friday. Sophomore center Elnora Ferguson scored 12 points and grabbed 18 rebounds.

The first year Scholars Academy varsity girls program fell to 2-2 after losing at home, 51-29, to Forest Hills on December 7.

The Beach Channel boys program lost a heartbreaker on the road, falling in overtime, 76-70, at Thomas Edison on Tuesday.

Four players scored in double figures for Edison (3-0). Christopher Thomp son scored a game high 25 points, along with Kevin Marmolejos and Demitrius Pelt each adding 15 points for the Dolphins (1-2).

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