Pearl Fletcher, a senior at Harry S. Truman, is gaining a lot of accolades on and off the mat these days. She'll be attending SUNY Cortland in the fall on a C.U.R.E scholarship. 

Though she entered Truman's doors as a freshman wanting to play football with the guys, she was instead encouraged to join the boy's wrestling team. By sophomore year, she helped her coach create the girls wrestling team. The team, and Fletcher, have since helped girls wrestling take New York by storm.  

The Truman girls wrestling team was among the top two girls wrestling teams in the city last year. They faced off against Brooklyn Tech's girls team for the PSAL Girls Freestyle Dual Meet Finals, which took place at the 2016 BTS Benefit in Times Square. Though  Brooklyn Tech took the win as a team, Fletcher's favorite memory was when her hand was raised that day for winning her individual match on the big stage in the middle of Times Square. "Not only did I win my match, but I dominated the match and it was the best feeling ever," recounted Fletcher. 

Fletcher devotes a large amount of her time to training. She trains every day from 2:20 to 5:20 after school. She also trains on Sundays at Columbia University with Coach Jacque Davis, BTS Head Girls Coach.  Considering she competes almost every Saturday, Fletcher ends up wrestling every day. She wasn't kidding when she said, "Wrestling has significantly figured into my life." 

Ted Cook, Fletcher's proud coach at Truman, confirmed this when he described her as "one of the hardest workers in the room." He continued by listing her achievements on the mat, crediting her work ethic with helping her become a two-time All-City in Folkstyle, City Champion in Freestyle, Women's Folkstyle State Champion, and a Cadet Freestyle All-American.  

Fletcher's goals for her wrestling career include being able to place in nationals at least once more and to become a two-time city champion. 

Fletcher's advice to younger wrestlers just getting started is to "more than anything, just have fun." She assured that wrestling won't always be easy. When wrestling gets tough, a wrestler must always remember to keep a positive mentality and never give up, according to Fletcher. "I've learned you don't have to be great to start but you have to start to be great," said Fletcher. 

Regarding Fletcher's performance off the mat, Cook described her work ethic as also translating to the classroom. Cook even went as far to say that  he has "never worked with such an organized and focused student athlete before." Cook continued by saying that "I have no doubt that she will exceed all expectations when she attends Cortland next fall." 

Fletcher has committed to SUNY Cortland, where she plans to pursue wrestling. As she's done before, she plans to create a girls club or a wrestling team. She will be attending Cortland with a scholarship provided by the Cortland Urban Recruitment of Educators (C.U.R.E) program, which aims to fully train educators to work in high poverty urban areas and improve the quality of education experienced by NY children who live in those areas. More information on C.U.R.E can be found here 

Fletcher will receive $15,000 over four years as long as she continues to meet the program's goals year after year.  By the end of her four years at Cortland, as a requirement of the scholarship, Fletcher will commit to teaching in a urban school for at least two years. In addition to her goal of becoming a physical education teacher, Fletcher hopes to be a wrestling coach in the future. 

The idea of Fletcher returning to NYC as a teacher and coach makes Coach Davis "so happy." According to Davis, Fletcher would make a great leader for the next generation of female wrestlers in NYC. Davis continued that "Fletcher is a true joy and will no doubt develop a powerful community of student-athletes." 

We can't wait to see where Fletcher's path takes her. We congratulate her on the accolades she has received thus far and wish her the best in all her future endeavors—hopefully one will be her return to NYC as an educator and BTS coach!

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