Beat The Streets - New York City Wrestling

On Saturday, October 28, 275 Junior League wrestlers competed in Beat the Streets tournaments held at Lehman High School (Bronx) and Wingate High School (Brooklyn) The tournaments featured divisions for boys, girls, and novices. Though this competition had a ton of action on the mat, off the mat development included Wrestlers Mark awards and high school connectivity. 

At Lehman, the Harlem Jets won the Boys Division while Inwood Academy and Twin Parks tied for the Girls Championship. At Wingate, David Boody won the Boys division, while Leonardo DaVinci edged out Robert Van Wyck by a point to claim The Girls Championships. 

Midway through both tournaments, wrestling was paused to recognize the Wrestler’s Mark award recipients. Wrestler’s Mark is a BTSNY character development program that emphasizes the positive personal, character, and life skill attributes that wrestling helps young people develop. Awarding youth wrestlers for displaying these attributes acknowledges and celebrates student-athletes as they incorporate these traits from the mat to their life.  “Move Your Feet” was the October Wrestler’s Mark – moving your feet on the mat means creating offense and maintaining defense while moving your feet off the mat means being responsible for your commitments, being on time for your commitments, and not procrastinating. During this past weekend’s tournament, one wrestlers from each team was recognized as best exemplifying the character traits of Move Your Feet. 

"Although it was a long day for the student-athletes, they enjoyed wrestling their competitors," said Andy Martinez, coach for Robert F. Wagner Middle School. This was the first full-length tournament that included team awards. While this made the day noticeably longer, the tournament became more competitive and created an environment for teams to become excited. Martinez feels that because of this, his team has finally found love for the sport. "They always want extra matches even when they are done for the day," said Martinez. He has also noticed that the parents eagerly look forward to future events.   
Penn Gottfried, Junior League Director, thought it was "all in all, a great day." The tournaments were designed with every type of attendant in mind. Besides have fun, the Junior League wrestlers had the opportunity to wrestle in matches and hear from "City Stars," current NYC high school wrestlers. The "City Stars,who hailed from the Bronx and Brooklyn, spent approximately an hour talking about their high school experiences, on and off the mat. This was followed by a warm-up, led by the City Stars. 

Junior League parents were able to learn more about the sport of wrestling, as well as about the high schools that offer wrestling—something they were able to do due to the matriculation expert, who was present to answer any questions parents or students may have had. The tournament also presented an opportunity to distribute the BTSNY High School Wrestling Guide to Junior League parents. The guide lists and describes every single NYC high school that offers wrestling.  

Lastly, coaches had a great time coaching, as well as learning about how to better aid their kids with the high school application process. The latter was due to an hour-long talk the matriculation experts designed for the coaches, specifically to help them coach their kids off the mat. 

Sulayman Bah, a 7th grader from Twin Parks, enjoyed his Saturday tournament. Bah enjoyed wrestling his matches and testing the skills he's been practicing"Even though I lost it is a chance to go back and watch my video and correct my mistakes--I rate [the tournament] a 10/10," said Bah. 

Dylan Febus, 6th grader at PS 71 Rose E. Scala, enjoyed the tournament for the team aspect. "Before I joined the wrestling team, I didn't really feel comfortable going out and talking to different kids. Now that I am on the team, I have a lot of fun with the team and am comfortable talking to a lot of other kids," said Febus. 

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: