Young Dolphins Preach Patience In Upcoming Campaign
Victor Nazario felt confident enough last season that his Beach Channel/Channel View Dolphins could make a big splash in their first season in revamped PSAL Bowl Division.
The Dolphins head coach felt that way after they went off to a 5-1 start. But their playoffs aspirations fell to the wayside as inconsistency and late game heartbreak began to plague team. A 14-13 last second loss to Truman High School began a three game losing streak which cast the Dolphins out of the playoff hunt.
Now with many of the important players that were the bedrock of the team graduated, Nazario is a bit pessimistic about his talented, yet inexperienced team. He will find out on September 11 at Tilden in their season opener.
“ I told Carlos [Flores, the Dolphins assistant coach] this year we are going to find out how good coaches we are,” Nazario said. “Talent wise, we’re not the same as last year. We may be a bit more athletic but we are inexperienced in a number of positions.”
The inexperience comes from a number of departed players that were big contributors to the successful Beach Channel team in 2008 that went 8-1, and upset second ranked Curtis in the first round of the PSAL playoffs.
Beach Channel will have to replace top running backs Jahleek Austin and Turran Rhodes in their offense. The offensive line is a bit young, and senior Patrick Burrello is currently dueling in a three way battle at quarterback against sophomores Breland Archbold and Isaiah Robinson.
A running back by committee approach will be used. Justin Zemser, Javis Black and the 5-6 junior Andre Armstead, a speedy RB who rushed for 550 yards on the junior varsity level, will each compete for carries.
“It’s tough to replace those kids,” Nazario says about his departed players.
“The good thing is we have six or seven RB’s who will compete for the job. I might have to play running back by committee. But again life goes on. If you lose your best players, we got to pick up the slack.” Nazario may direct his offense to pass the ball a bit more because of his tall wide receiver targets. Javhari Joseph and Demetrius Pelt will be some of the top choices to catch the ball because they are 6-feet or taller. Joseph may be a first year player, but the senior showed his athletic promise last year as a surprise contributor to the varsity basketball team.
The defense will be young on that side of the ball as well. Nazario will give such former junior varsity players as Henry Adengule the opportunity to snatch any of the open spots on the defensive line.
Pelt, a starting linebacker/defensive end last year should help stabilize the defense. It will be a big boost if Wayne Harris, who starred linebacker last season, will be eligible to finish his final year.
The 19-year old senior, who will graduate in January, is hoping for the PSAL to grant him the opportunity to play after entering the school at 15 years old from Guyana.
Nazario would like Harris to come back, but he is preparing for the chance he doesn’t. There will be a lot of opportunities for players to step up and get starting roles. His coaching staff is doing a lot of teaching and will have to be patient.
The division is once again shaping up to be a competitive one. 2009 PSAL Bowl champion South Bronx and runners up Automotive joins the division. Bayside and Columbus will move down from the PSAL Championship Division to regain their past wining form. And not to mention last year’s playoff teams John Adams and August Martin.
“We’re going to give guys opportunities to play. They just won’t sit on the bench just because they moved to the varsity,” Nazario said.
“They’re going to have to go through their growing pains. We’re going to have to compete. Last year we should not have been a 5-4 team. I think we’re underachieved. Hopefully this year, maybe we can overachieve.”