Beat The Streets - New York City Wrestling

This past weekend, from December 16-17, 21 BTSNY female wrestlers attended the My House Open at the Wyoming Seminary School in Kingston, PA.

While the actual competition was on Sunday, December 17, BTSNY arrived a day early to participate in a mini-camp opportunity with Terry Steiner (U.S. Women’s Olympic team coach) and Adeline Gray (2016 Olympian and 3x World Champion). The BTSNY girls practiced with wrestlers from Team Ontario, Team BTS Providence, and Team Wyoming Seminary. During this opportunity, the girls worked on the same parterre techniques that are practiced at the Olympic Training Center on a daily basis. Breaks in the cafeteria from these invaluable mat sessions allowed the BTSNY girls to get a feel for the boarding school atmosphere.

After the sessions were done for the day, the girls took a trip to a grocery store to restock on healthy tournament snacks. This was followed with helping the Wyoming Seminary girls roll out mats and set up tables for the next day. The night ended in the wrestling room with a fun sleepover, which included dancing, singing, and dodgeball. Right before bed, Adeline Gray stopped by to give out healthy frozen fruit popsicles to all the girls. She emphasized the importance of nutrition when training and competing. Though the tournament the next day was smaller, the brackets still had a variety of experience levels competing. The BTSNY girls were the youngest and least experienced at this event. Though some had never even seen a freestyle wrestling match before, they put an impressive amount of effort into the tournament. Coach Jacque Davis, BTSNY Girls Development Director, listed the following as standouts: Shameka Samuel (7th grade, Explore Charter), Alessandra Elliott (7th grade, Tottenville), Keyanie Riddick (8th grade, Excellence Charter), and Nathaly Pichardo (8th grade, Inwood Academy).

Nighyar Calliste, a senior at Edward R. Murrow who was recently accepted to Ferrum College and its wrestling team, placed third in her bracket. As is often the case for many wrestlers, the key to her success was to cast aside doubts and negative emotions whenever the whistle blew. “I’m grateful for the practice that I had to prepare me for more struggles and my wrestling career,” said Calliste in reference to the camp held the day before.

Kadejah Gentle, a senior at Edward R. Murrow High School, didn’t perform as well as she hoped, but she did learn a lot. “I did enjoy myself and didn’t leave this tournament empty handed or minded,” said Gentle. “I learned new techniques to keep practicing, received great wrestling & life advice, and met new people (shoutout to Caitlyn from sem!),” continued Gentle.

Walter Peppelman, Volunteer Coach and BTSNY Leadership Council member, was very proud of the performances given by the girls this weekend. Peppelman noted how attentive, focused, and eager to learn the girls were during the mini camp. He also noticed how the girls wrestled hard and applied the new techniques they learned during their matches the next day. “Looking ahead to this year’s girl’s season and beyond, we have a lot to be excited about,” concluded Peppelman

Destane Garrick, BTS alum and volunteer coach, appreciated the great level of sportsmanship shown by all the girls. She was impressed to see the girls be competitive on the mat while maintaining camaraderie off the mat. “Every trip that I’m on with Beat the Streets, I learn new names, as well learn more about these girls; I appreciate all these wonderful athletes, they all are champions in my eyes,” said Garrick.

We are always glad to hear that the girls are meeting challenging opponents—we’re positive that these experiences will help them develop into even stronger wrestlers.

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: