Beat The Streets - New York City Wrestling

July has been a busy month for Beat the Streets student-athletes looking to expand their wrestling skills. BTSNY partnered with three collegiate programs - Cornell University in Ithaca, N.Y., Edinboro University in Edinboro, Pa., and Gannon University in Erie, Pa. - earlier in the month to provide our wrestlers unique opportunities to learn and train.

The first camp Beat the Streets attended this month brought more than 25 NYC girls wrestlers to Erie to work out at Gannon. The joint camp was a tremendous experience for everyone involved.

For BTS, the group got to spend time learning from Gannon head coach Christen Dierken, a former U.S. Senior National Team member, and Tiffin University head coach Britney Gadd at the first school in the state of Pennsylvania to sponsor women's wrestling.

For Gannon, the camp allowed the young program to extend its reach and get a first-hand look at the future of women's wrestling while running the only all-girls freestyle camp on the east coast.

“It was an honor to host Beat the Streets for our first-ever all-girls freestyle wrestling camp and have such a large group of girls in our wrestling room,” Dierken said of the camp. “We had over 40 athletes in attendance, learning basic and advanced freestyle techniques. We had a good mix of drilling, intense live action, cross training, and mental toughness/character development.”

The intangibles the girls experienced on the trip were just as valuable as the skills they learned. The group was able to bond with wrestlers from along the east coast, got a taste of the collegiate lifestyle by staying in the Gannon dorms, and helped with a GU campus initiative that lets the student body interact with local youngsters.

A half-hour away from Erie, 70 BTSNY boys participated in one of Edinboro’s annual Technique camps. The camp was staffed by a number of elite coaches and athletes, giving our wrestlers yet another opportunity to hone their craft in the presence of experienced and accomplished grapplers.

“I don't usually do camps like this, but I genuinely enjoyed the Edinboro camp a lot,” Eagle Academy junior Malachi Porter said of the experience. “I competed against and became friends with a mix of quality wrestlers from different areas. Not only did we learn different setups and finishes, but we also learned principles that will  benefit us on and off the mat.”

Christa McAuliffe coach Ruben Durandis observed the positive impact the camp had on the student-athletes first-hand. “My favorite part of camp was being asked to stay back by some kids to give them extra work. It was inspiring to see the kids go the extra mile and beyond and important as a wrestling experience and life experiences.”

The ability to learn lessons on and off the mat at Edinboro was embodied by U.S. World medalist and Olympian Tervel Dlagnev, who led on-mat instruction and a session on character building at the camp.

The final camp Beat the Streets wrestlers had access to this month was back in New York but outside of the city limits. Cornell has hosted BTSNY groups in the past and the Big Red once again provided an outstanding camp filled with quality guidance.

Nearly 30 kids took the four-hour drive north to Ithaca to take part in the the four-day camp led by long-time Cornell head coach Rob Koll.

“I thought that the camp went well. It was good exposure for the kids to see high-level talent,” said BTS coach Adeshola Logunleko of the turnout. “The kids got to see clinicians like Kyle Dake, Yianni Diakomihalis and coaches Mike Grey and Rob Koll teach them moves and help them get better.”


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: