Beat The Streets - New York City Wrestling

On Thursday, September 21 and Friday, September 22, Beat the Streets kicked off the 2017-2018 College Visit lineup with trips to Hofstra University and Stevens Technical Institute, respectively. These visits were exclusive opportunities for BTSNY student-athletes to take a campus tour and practice in the wrestling room. Lunch and transportation were provided by BTS.

12 student-athletes took a bus to Hofstra. Makar Tchekalenkov and David Nemirovsky were the chaperones for this Hofstra trip. Tchekalenkov and Nemirovsky are former co-captains of the Midwood High School wrestling team. Both have remained involved with Beat the Streets as tournament managers and TOP Camp counselors since graduating. As recent high school graduates and current college students themselves, both were able to provide an informed perspective of the day.

The group was greeted by the Dennis Papadatos, Hofstra Wrestling's Head Coach. Jake Patacsil, an Assistant Coach, then took the group to Hofstra's wrestling room, where they got on the mat and practiced for an hour and a half. During this session, a former All-American taught the group some new techniques. After showering, the group ate lunch in Hofstra's cafeteria.

After lunch, Coach Patacsil gave a tour of the university, showing the youth all there was to see on the campus, including college classrooms, dorms, the weight room, the swimming pool, and the lacrosse field. "Although not being a very large campus, the kids were amazed at how much open space there was and how much freedom there was at Hofstra," said Nemirovsky.

During the tour, the student-athletes learned all the essentials of Hofstra admissions-- GPA and standardized test score ranges, financial aid and scholarship information, the various majors and areas of study. "All the students on the trip were informed of various expenses associated with college and the loans and scholarships available to them," added Tcheklenkov. Tcheklenkov felt the admissions tour was especially important because high schools generally don't provide enough in-depth education on the costs and requirements for various colleges.

The youth concluded their day back at the wrestling room to observe a Hofstra University wrestling conditioning practice. Tcheklenkov felt this was a "priceless experience" for the high school wrestlers. "The discipline and intensity that the college wrestlers demonstrated was inspiring to the high school wrestlers, showing the hard work required to be a Division 1 wrestler," said Tcheklenkov.

Both Nemirovsky and Tchekalenkov believed that this was a greatly beneficial experience for the youth to have. "They were able to get a taste of what life is going to be like at a college outside of the city, where things are a little more isolated," said Nemirovsky. Nemirovsky felt that the kids comprehensively learned about what would be expected of them as students and as athletes in college--"dedication, proper time-management, and lots of hard work."

"Some of the kids said they're definitely considering Hofstra University after their visit," noted Nemirovsky.

6 student-athletes took the trip to Stevens Institute of Technology. They got to meet Head Coach Joe Favia. Jaime Gray, BTS Director of Programming, chaperoned the Stevens visit. Gray observed that Coach Favia and his staff took the time to "provide a great experience that left a lasting impression on our kids." The group who visited Stevens also got to have an admissions and campus tour, lunch on the grounds, and a visit to the wrestling room.

Though Daisy Bravo, a senior at Wingate, is currently interested in a major not offered at Stevens, she wishes they did "because the school seems amazing."  Bravo described how the group learned about campus life, the degrees and majors offered, job and internship opportunities, and the classes freshmen typically take. The group also got to see the kinds of projects students work on, such as building robots. Bravo was impressed by how, after graduation, Stevens alumni can find employment that makes about $67,000. Bravo noted liking the variety of athletic offerings, the opportunities to take pre-law or pre-med classes, the ability to easily go to and from NYC, and the social events organized by Stevens. She was happy to learn that although the wrestling team is just for men, women are allowed to join workouts and become a part of the Stevens wrestling family. "The coaches are great and really nice," added Bravo. If given the opportunity, Bravo expressed that she'd want to attend.

Hailey Cancelleri, a senior at Curtis High School, was also extremely impressed with her tour to Stevens. “The people, the atmosphere and the eagerness to learn are what really drew me in,” said Cancelleri. She feels that Stevens is very focused on its students, with professors striving to help students reach their full potential. She also noted the availability of on and off campus dorms. “They have so many opportunities,” said Cancelleri. She too is now considering applying to Stevens.

Michael Babbcort, a junior at Wingate, also benefitted from the visit. "Visiting Stevens Tech allowed me to meet great wrestlers who are not only good on the mat, but also good in the classroom."

Gray felt that both programs did a great job of accompanying the group. "At Hofstra, our kids were able to start the day with a clinic with a member of the coaching staff.  Steven's provided a great experience for kids wishing to stay in NYC and receive a great education in a specialized institution," said Gray.

Six more college visits will be taking place this year. Lunch and transport will be provided for these, as well.



Oct. 9: Rutgers
Nov. 7: Nassau CC
Jan. 15: Hunter College
Feb. 16: Columbia
Mar. 30: NYU
June 7: LIU Post


Beat the Streets Wrestling is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. If you would like to support our mission to improve the lives and futures of New York City public school students by giving them the opportunity to wrestle, please click the donate button below: