BTS wrestlers, many attired for Halloween weekend.
On Sunday, October 30, 40 Beat the Streets kids participated at the Danbury Pre-Season Folkstyle Tournament in Danbury, Connecticut. This co-ed competition saw a number of NYC kids take first and second in their weight classes.
One unique aspect of the Danbury tournament was that some of the proceeds went to benefit Sacred Heart University wrestling. Because of this, the whole college team and coaching staff was there helping out with the tournament.
Derek Moore, the Assistant Coach, was generous with his time and gave the kids a talk about college after the tournament. He discussed everything from how to get scholarships to what it takes to wrestle at the collegiate level. One tip he divulged was that college coaches actively seek out high school athletes who show an interest in their school in particular: three emails and three phone calls might “sound a little crazy,” but showing such a strong interest in a given school is an asset in the search process.
Odean Gray (Grand Street Campus), Zacc Romero (Brooklyn Tech), and Antonio Brito (Metro Campus) took first in their respective classes. Dylan Nerich (W.C. Bryant), Kai Yudelson , and Jayden Cardenas (Grand Street Campus) were also top performers. “Our kids showed that they can not only complete, but beat a lot of kids,” said Coach Penn Gottfried, who was in attendance.
Gottfried notes that Gray wrestled hard throughout the tournament. “He never shut down, even when he was winning. He was always looking for opportunities to score.”
Dylan, who was only defeated in his final match in triple overtime, was also always on the attack and looking to score. “It is awesome to watch him because of his athleticism and quickness. He fought all the way to the end and even though he lost in the ultimate tiebreaker, he never stopped fighting and it showed.”
Gottfried observed a lot of progress from all of BTS wrestlers in attendance. “Our kids are showing that they can both ride and turn kids. This is so important from both a mental aspect and a physical aspect.” Our wrestlers are finding new and more daring ways to score, as well as outlasting their opponents on their feet.
Coach William Yee (Brooklyn Tech) also noted that the kids wrestled hard and did not give their opponents an edge. “They did really well on top, and need to fix minor but important details in neutral and bottom. Other than that, it was a great day to rep the city!”
Coach Adam Albert (Uncommon Charter) also saw the day as a good start. “A lot of kids wrestled tough and we brought home a lot of hardware.”
Wrestler Daniel Bogie (Eagle Academy) said that it was a great experience to be on the mat and wrestle. “Now it’s time to get ready for the season and chase my dreams.”
All in all, it was a great introduction to the season for Beat the Streets. “We are developing into well-rounded wrestlers that are capable of scoring in every position,” Gottfried said. “I know that they will take their success in this tournament in stride and start off sprinting into the season.”