Watch A Coach's Beautiful Speech To Students Hit Hard By Hurricane Sandy
"We take care of our business and then we go home to deal with the dark." Beach Channel, a high school in the Rockaways, was devastated by Hurricane Sandy, but its football team played on, and their coach's pep talk was a tour de force.
Few locations were hit harder by Sandy than the Rockaways — tens of thousands of residents remain powerless two weeks later, and schools in the area have been re-purposed from education institutions into shelters and emergency staging areas. Beach Channel Campus is no different — helicopters had been landing on their practice field; only 15% of the student body was able to attend class when officials tried to hold it at another site.
Nevertheless, the Beach Channel Dolphins were expected to play in a playoff game against the favored and much-larger Port Richmond Raiders, and, even though players were staying in hotels, shuttling emergency supplies around, and sleeping on their cousins' floors — one player said he never knew "a carpet [could] be cold" — the team decided to compete. Coach Victor Nazario assembled 25 guys, and this tape from the Gotham Schools site shows what happened before the team went out to play despite having not seen each other in half a month.
The odds against the Dolphins proved to be too large, and Beach Channel lost the game to Port Richmond 38-6. But senior captain Justin Zemser delivered another moving speech after the game.