Joseph Roy (right) at a NYC Mayor's Cup tournament.
Beat the Streets has produced a number of college wrestlers in the training rooms and tournaments at New York City. Joseph Roy, who currently attends Johnson and Wales in Providence, is one such student-athlete who got his wrestling start in the city.
Joseph Roy, a Brooklyn native and BTS alum, started his involvement with wrestling during his sophomore year at Edward R. Murrow high school. He recounts seeing a poster in the school hall way.
For the next 3 years he tirelessly dedicated himself to the sport by attending any and all practices, camps, clinics, and competitions that he could find. It eventually became clear to him that he had a love for the sport that he could not imagine giving up when he graduated from high school, so he began his search for the perfect college program. Roy describes receiving an acceptance to Johnson and Wales as one of his happiest memories of the year.
When Roy first arrived on the Johnson and Wales campus, he was happy to be becoming part of one of the best teams in the country, but what he didn’t know is that he was about to walk into a wrestling room that Head Coach Lonnie Morris describes as, “very deep. We have four NY state placers and one NY finalist that can’t even start [so] it is hard for any kid to start as a freshman”. Because of this, Coach Morris said that collectively, his coaching staff felt it was necessary to cut Roy from the team.
“After I did not make the team, I felt a mixture of emotions. I felt sadness, frustration, but most of all, I felt like a failure,” says Roy, “I just remember grabbing my stuff and running back to my dorm”. The next day, despite the heartbreaking news that Roy received, he did something incredible; he went back, and wouldn’t stop coming back.
Every day, Roy walked into the room, poured his heart into his practice, and stayed late to ask questions as well as do extra drilling. “I was going to come until either I made the team, or until the coaches told me I could not wrestle in the room anymore,” says Roy, “I simply had a goal to make the team and I was not going to let anyone stop me.”
This hard work did not go unnoticed. “He wouldn’t leave!” says Coach Morris. He kept coming, and training, and staying late…everyday! His work ethic was contagious and his love for the sport was authentic. [Essentially], He made us change our minds; he did end up making the team, and he did it through hard work and perseverance”.
Roy explains that he was so focused on his goal that he had no idea he was inspiring others in the process. Looking back, he is happy to know that his efforts were being recognized but he also acknowledges that coming to practice and working hard is something that he wakes up every day eager and excited for. Why? Because “I love wrestling!” says Roy, “[It] has impacted my life in so many ways; it taught me to have confidence in my abilities, to overcome my social anxiety, and to take my hard work out of the wrestling room and into the classroom.”
Before joining wrestling in high school, Roy had a C-average. Once he realized that his grades affected his eligibility and were a direct reflection of his work ethic, he hit the books and ended up graduating with an A average. Roy plans on continuing this academic success in college, where he intends to reach and maintain a 4.0 GPA as he pursues his studies in the Culinary Arts. After school, he wants to put his education to use by opening his own restaurant.
His advice for younger wrestlers is simple: “hard work will ALWAYS pay off.”