Josh Ferenczy, center left. Via Liberty University Wrestling Facebook.
Beat the Streets alumnus Josh Ferenczy placed second this year at the 2016 National Collegiate Wrestling Association Club National Championship. Ferenczy, a Staten Island native who attended practices at the Manhattan Training Center growing up, is a wrestler at Liberty University in Lynchburg, VA.
Ferenczy’s wrestling career started in 2007 when he was a freshman at Curtis High School. He started attending Beat the Streets’ practices and was a regular throughout his time in high school. “I have always tried to study under as many different coaches as possible and then take their best techniques and add them to my arsenal,” he said.
One of the memorable experiences BTS provided for Ferenczy was when Olympic champion Kendall Cross came to the summer camp he was attending. Ferenczy found the story of Cross, who won the gold at the 1996 games in Atlanta and went on to graduate from Oklahoma State University, to be both inspiring and motivating. “All he went over were upper body throws and takedowns, but I loved it. Ever since that day, I have modeled my wrestling style after his.”
Though he had a wildly successful run at the NCWA Championship, Ferenczy holds himself to incredibly high standards. “The national tournament was without a doubt the most disappointing and heartbreaking day of my wrestling career.” Ferenczy points to his champion-level coaches, training partners and facility at Liberty and says there are “zero excuses” for not being a national champion. He’s already set his sights on improving and coming back in his next and final season as an undefeated champion. He’s off to a good start: Ferenczy has finished off his junior year by being nominated for the Liberty University Club Sports “Male Athlete of the Year” award.
Ferenczy’s advice to kids who want to go on to wrestle is that, above all, they have to be tough in their resolve. “It is okay if you are not good enough, strong enough, fast enough or experienced enough. Pure toughness will help you overcome all of those and make you into a championship-level wrestler, no matter what obstacles you face.”
Though he is currently a criminal justice major, “My real passion is athletic competition.” He is currently both an MMA fighter and a wrestler, and has aspirations to open his own gym in the future. We are sure that he will continue to serve as an inspiration for kids in Beat the Streets -- and perhaps worldwide audiences -- for years to come.