All over social media, you could see the outrage over the hiring of a superintendent who has a $90 million “reverse discrimination” against New York City Board of Education and suspension of a football coach. In our outrage of the aforementioned, our rush to share and complain anything negative, did we forget to celebrate the New Rochelle High School football team who just won the 2019 NYSPHSAA Football State Championship – all without their popular leader, “Coach D.”
While the displayed outrage over both situations is understandable, no matter what side of the coin you are on, why wasn’t there as much posted on social media and media coverage for that matter when the New Rochelle Huguenots captured the third state championship in program history on Saturday night at the Carrier Dome in Syracuse when it defeated McQuaid Jesuit of Rochester 28-0, despite the forced absence of their beloved coach.
We spent so much time talking about how all this is unfair to the students, it’s almost overshadowed the student’s great achievement. We failed to discuss how the team didn’t throw in the towel and say how are we going to win without our coach, but used that incident as motivation. They did not give up, they did not give in, they did not abort the mission but they overwhelmingly won the state championship in a rout. All of the highly publicized adversity and community outrage was not enough to keep the team from achieving its ultimate goal. Winning the third championship in the program’s history.
“We knew this was the goal,” senior Jessie Parson told Lohud after the game. “No matter what was going on around us, we never lost sight of the goal. We just kept our eyes on the prize and ultimately got the job done.”
Let’s not let our thirst for negativity overshadow celebrating the New Rochelle Huguenots’ huge win to put an exclamation mark on an incredible season that came in the midst of a controversy involving New Rochelle’s longtime coach, Lou DiRienzo.
The newly hired school’s superintendent, Laura Feijóo – who The Collective, a group of parents and community leaders, have filed legal action in state Supreme Court claiming her hiring isn’t legitimate – reassigned the coach, just as the team was headed in the postseason while education officials investigate the coach’s alleged involvement in a disciplinary matter involving a student, who reportedly a relative of DiRienzo.
The undefeated Huguenots played all three state playoff games without head coach Lou DiRienzo, who was reassigned by the school despite protests by the community and students.
Let us celebrate the New Rochelle High School student-athletes who had to perform amidst the turmoil, and that continued on Saturday. Following thrilling wins the last two weeks, the Huguenots left nothing to chance. Cornerback/ Running Back Jessie Parson rushed for 177 yards and scored two touchdowns, while senior Ali Paul and junior Gary Phillips III each had touchdowns.
Black Westchester salutes the New Rochelle Huguenots and encourages all reading this to take a break from the outrage and let’s just celebrate our youth. Showing the adults how to get it done despite adversity. The controversy with the superintendent and the coach will be there to bitch about in a few days. For now, let us celebrate the Huguenots’ state championship and undefeated season.