Brooklyn Boro

Nazareth High School Football: R.I.P.

August 29, 2022 Andy Furman
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Domenick Laurendi’s dream has turned into a nightmare.

The man who started the football program at Nazareth High School – in 1981 – saw the program end last week.

Nazareth High School football is no more.

“It’s a sad day for Nazareth football alumni,” Laurendi said, “Despite the efforts of coach Desmond DeFreitas.

“I had a great experience at Nazareth,” Laurendi continued, “Great teachers, coaches and kids.”

One of those kids was DeFreitas.

“I played on the first freshman championship team in 1981,” DeFreitas said.

And now the eight-year head varsity coach – he served as Nazareth’s Defensive Coordinator six seasons – is out of a job.

Not really.

“I’ll be coaching football this Fall in Nassau County at Kellenberg Memorial High School,” DeFreitas said.

As for the footballers at Nazareth, the juniors and seniors will be permitted to transfer – and play – without the normal one-year sitting out, DeFreitas said.

“I had to resign,” he said, “That makes the situation a hardship case, so the kids can play immediately if they decide to transfer.”

DeFreitas claims the Nazareth Athletic Director – Augustine Quiles – “wasn’t big on football.”

But the former coach adds: “Our principal, Rob Dire was a football man. He was a former coach at Holy Cross High School.”

Desmond DeFreitas, for sure, was – and is – a football man.

He starred as a running back for Nazareth from 1987-91 – and was a member of CHSFL championship teams his freshman and sophomore seasons.

A member of Special Units Squad 28 in Queens, he joined the FDNY in 2002 as part of the first class after September 11, 2001.

He played for the FDNY football team – and this was after a brief stint playing arena football for the Las Vegas franchise.

His FDNY football teams won four national championships – DeFreitas played running back, wide receiver and kick returner.

That FDNY football team, DeFreitas said, was coached by Tim Smith – the present football coach at Flushing’s Holy Cross High School.

It was Smith who helped DeFreitas break into coaching, according to DeFreitas. In fact, Smith was Nazareth’s head coach when DeFreitas handled the defensive backs – before he became Defensive Coordinator.

“I wasn’t really surprised with the announcement,” DeFreitas said, “we never really had enough kids here at the school to field a really competitive football team.”

The dream of a football team at Nazareth High School ended suddenly last week – and it somewhat brought shockwaves around the borough.

“Nazareth High School dropped their football program today. Once a really great program. Sad. Something we can never let happen here,” said Tom Ferrante, a member of the New Utrecht High School Football Alumni.

Andy Furman is a Fox Sports Radio national talk show host. Previously, he was a scholastic sports columnist for the Brooklyn Eagle. He may be reached at: [email protected] Twitter: @AndyFurmanFSR.

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