Debts Threaten To End Football Program At Beach Channel
The football program at Beach Channel Educational Campus is currently in $7,000 debt and the four high schools which are housed inside the building have not come up with the funds to pay that large sum. Varsity football coach Victor Nazario told The Wave that he is quite worried that if the debt is not paid off as soon as possible, the program may have to be shut down.
“I’m trying to fight the good fight. I came to them about it. I got to do these things to keep the program alive,” Nazario said.
The campus includes Channel View, Rockaway Collegiate, Rockaway Park High School for Environmental Sustainability, and Beach Channel, which is being phased out and will close in 2014. A student who attends one of the schools can compete on the team. Nazario approached Athletic Director Laura Iovano to discuss paying off the debt last November after the conclusion of the varsity football season. Beach Channel qualified for the PSAL Bowl playoffs last fall with a 6-3 regular season record and were eliminated in the quarterfinals by Grady High School.
He asked Iovano if the four schools inside the campus would contribute funds to help pay for equipment, helmets and other expenses owed to Riddell, a company specializing in sports equipment from high school to the pros and other vendors.
“When I ran it by her, she said we don’t have money. We are still in debt with Riddell for $7000, but she said we don’t have the money. I told her, how do you expect us to have a football program?” Nazario said. “I was trying to say to her that after all these years we might not have a program. She didn’t say anything that I can remember that would solve the problem.”
Calls made to Iovano for comment were not returned.
Nazario said this problem was rectified in the past when he was a physical educational teacher inside the building. He said a number of players and coaches would help fundraise to solve similar debts.
It’s harder now to raise money, according to Nazario, because he is not a teacher within the campus and it’s hard to coordinate with coaches and players to fundraise. According to the head coach, if the four schools could provide a small amount, even just $500 each, it would start to aid the solution.
Another goal is to raise awareness to middle school children in the Rockaways that Beach Channel is a viable place to play football. There will be a mandatory football meeting in the Beach Channel school auditorium on January 12 at 3:30 p.m. for any incoming ninth-graders wishing to play.
“I just want the community to know what’s going on. I’m not trying to bash the building,” Nazario said. “I’m not giving up on this program. This school needs it. They have to look at all resources to get kids in the building.”
“If you have a strong athletic program, then some kids might want to come into the building which should improve enrollment. Whatever tools you have in the building, you got to use it.”
Nazario told The Wave that the team is looking for donations from alumni and/or former players. Checks or money orders can be made out to Beach Channel Football, 100-00 Beach Channel Drive, Rockaway Park, NY 11694 Attention: Coach Nazario, Jr.