On Sunday, October 9, 20 BTS kids went to the York Expo Center in Pennsylvania to take part in the Columbus Day Duals, a co-ed tournament open to middle and high schoolers.
“Overall, we had an extremely young team for both middle and high school,” said coach Penn Gottfried. “For high school, it was much younger than Waterway Duals,” Gottfried said, referring to the tournament from last month. However, “this did not stop our kids from winning every match they could and working as hard as they could.”
On an individual level, there was a good deal of skillful wrestling from the BTS contenders. Middle schoolers Eli Emery and Isaias Torres both wrestled fiercely against tough and experienced competition. High schoolers Jayden Cardenas (Grand Street), Daniel Bogie (Eagle Academy), Jayson Gomez (Eagle Academy), and Dylan Nerich (W.C. Bryant) all had 5-0 records. The high school team ultimately took 7th with a 3-2 duals record.
At one point, the BTS team was up 2-0, and with 3-0 would have progressed into the semifinals. Unfortunately, the team lost the pivotal match by one point, but, as Gottfried saw it, “the kids were excited and pumped up that they were almost in that position to win the tournament. Now almost is not good enough, but they saw the potential that they have and how close that they are to being right there with the best.”
“BTS is definitely on an upward trend,” Gottfried continued. “While we may not be the most technical at all times, we just find ways to win matches...we dug deep in close matches and pulled them out when it counted. I can’t wait to see the future of NYC as well as the current competition this season."
As a co-ed tournament for middle and high schoolers, many kids got to enjoy mixing with their peers and, in the case of the younger wrestlers, seeing where they could be in a few years with hard work. The boys made sure to cheer on the girls during a number of close matches.
“I can’t wait until five years from now when these middle schoolers become state champs,” Gottfried said, “and we can look back when they wrestled their first Columbus Day Duals tournament.”
New BTS staff member Jamie Gray said it was great to see the kids competing for the first time, “especially at that level.”
“Our kids fought hard and really showed a lot of poise in matches that came down to the wire,” Gray said. “I learned a lot about our team and this will definitely help as we prepare for the upcoming season.”