Wrestlers Jose Perez (left) and Joe Diforte.
On December 13, the PSAL, in cooperation with the New York Yankees, honored 55 student-athletes from New York City at the 2016-17 MVP Scholar Athlete Awards, including several wrestlers associated with Beat the Streets. The dinner and ceremony, which took place at Yankee Stadium, was the seventh year.
Jose Perez of the Bathgate Educational Complex was one of the 11 winners from the Bronx and the only one from the borough representing boys wrestling. His coach, Daniel Cyrus, remembers meeting him as a scared and uncertain freshman, “still trying to find his way.” Cyrus says that Jose has grown “tremendously,” not only as an individual but as a leader, as well.
“He is now the captain of the team in only his second year wrestling!”
Perez has always shown initiative and taken the young wrestlers under his wing and train them on his own. He has also become a semi-assistant coach, Cyrus says, helping to set up and make decisions for the team.
“I would love for Jose to have a successful senior season this year and be eligible for the borough, city, and hopefully state tournaments.” Coach Cyrus also looked towards Perez’s future. “I want him to be safe and proud as a United States Marine. Thank you, Jose, for your service.”
Joe Diforte, who won his PSAL award for football, is a senior at Michael J. Petrides School and also an accomplished wrestler. According to a post on his father’s Facebook, this captain of his football and wrestling team is enlisting in the New York Marines RSS Stated Island Delayed Entry Program. “His leadership and maturity will be an essential asset,” the senior DiForte said, referring to his son’s likely future in ROTC in college before an active duty military assignment.
Diforte has been wrestling since he was a little kid and started with Petrides when he was in seventh grade. He finds that the sport complements football extremely well because of its rigorous nature. “All of the lessons about taking losses and hard work transfer well to any sport,” he said.
Diforte says that the support of his coaches at Petrides, David Olah and Larry Cantor, are “one of the main reasons he’s achieved all of this.” He advises newer wrestlers to “continue working for as long as possible. Do extra practices and workouts, it’ll only help you.”
BTSNY congratulates these wrestlers on their accomplishments and wishes them the best in their future endeavors!