Beat The Streets - New York City Wrestling

150 student-athletes braved the cold and descended on this year's BTS Winter Break Training Camp, which was held from December 27 to  December 30 at the Bayard Rustin Education Complex in Chelsea. The camp was open to all BTS members from K-12th grades, allowing youth wrestlers from all five boroughs the opportunity to train with one another. Camp included two wrestling sessions a day, ensuring that NYC youth wrestlers are keeping their skills sharp. 

Mike Krause, who has several national accolades and is often considered one of the best youth wrestling coaches in the whole country, was the guest clinician on Wednesday, December 27Krause used his positive and encouraging style while coaching wrestlers throughout the day at both sessions.  Krause describes his style as "hard and fast." "I'm known for bringing the heat, as you can tell—I'm sweating like crazy today," said Krause as he pointed to the sweat dripping down his face. Though he sensed that the kids were surprised by him at first, he saw that they were bringing "the heat" too. Krause, who is based in Michigan and has worked with BTS Detroit before, thought that the BTSNY kids are fantastic. "There are some studs here—the little kids, especially the girls, are tough as nails," he said as he also complimented Coach Jacque Davis for her skills with the girls. He also believes at least a half dozen of the high school wrestlers are quite talented, with one standing out to him as a potential future state champ. 

Layla and Alma Dervisevic, sophomores at Forest Hills High School and twins, are in their second year of wrestling. Both enjoyed camp a lot and found it be a beneficial experience. "I like it because we're learning more specific technique—we get to see the basics pieced together to make more advanced techniques," said Layla. Alma agreed with Layla, and added that the camp environment is helpful for technique because "drilling it makes it become muscle memory." They both saw this camp as an opportunity to work on their resolutions for the New Year. Alma would like place in the top three at the city championships and Layla would like to improve on her leg riding technique. 

Pearl Fletcher (BTS and Truman wrestling alum, 2017 Lady Liberty winner, current SUNY Cortland student) is one of 10 alumni who acted as assistant coaches and counselors. "I'm giving back to Beat the Streets, and that's what I really wanted to do today," says Fletcher.  Giving back to BTS is important to Fletcher, partially because one of her goals after college is to come back to NYC and help coach.  She believes that the sport is definitely growing in NYC since she noticed many more younger kids at this camp compared to previous years. In fact, Onyx Fletcher, Pearl's brother and a 6th grade Junior League wrestler from M.S. 181 in the Bronx, was also in attendance. Onyx is very much following in his sister's footsteps, having won a Wrestler's Marks award and two gold medals at the Junior League City Championships. We're also proud to say that Pearl Fletcher finished her first semester with a 3.5 GPA. Keep it up, Pearl! We look forward to having you back again and again. 

January will be a busy month for BTS wrestlers as they compete in four different tournaments, including Eastern States and Mayor's Cup. Especially after this camp where every wrestler was giving their best, we look forward to seeing how they perform in the coming month. Good luck to you all and continue working hard. 

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: