Beat The Streets - New York City Wrestling


Beat the Streets has announced the names of the 12 student-athletes, coaches and volunteers that will be honored at this year’s Annual Benefit, Rumble On The River, on May 17 at Seaport District NYC's Pier 17.

BTSNY selected this year’s recipients after receiving nearly 450 nominations on behalf of over 70 members of the New York City wrestling community from fellow coaches, student-athletes, parents, supporters and administrators.

Beat the Streets, in conjunction with BTSNY Board member Hooman Tavakolian, has also announced the winner of the “Become Your Own Dream” Scholarship. The BYOD Scholarship, founded by Tavakolian, Lorelei Martin and Jon Tush in 2011, is a one-year award that is given to a New York City student-athlete who has overcome hardship, graduated from high school and plans to wrestle in college.






Junior League Girls Wrestler of the Year – Nathaly Pichardo

School and Year: Inwood Academy, 8th Grade
Years Wrestling: 3
Career Highlights: Three-time BTSNY Junior League Folkstyle City Champion (2016-18)
Beginnings In Wrestling: Joined the first Inwood Academy girls team in 2015 as a fun activity to do with her friends
Why She Loves The Sport: “I love wrestling because it gives me the opportunity to do something that mentally and physically challenges me, has made me the person I am today and continues to shape me into a better person every day. It has also allowed me to make a new family and meet wonderful people.”
Beat the Streets’ Impact: “I enjoy Beat the Streets because of the wonderful opportunities it has presented me and will continue to present me.”
Other Notes: “I just want to thank everyone who has supported me throughout my middle school career, especially my coach for dealing with my annoying and stubborn self. I love you all!”

Junior League Boys Wrestler of the Year – Mitchell Barcus

School and Year: Eagle Academy, 8th Grade
Years Wrestling: 3
Career Highlights: Runner-up at 2017 USA Wrestling New York State Championships…2018 USA Wrestling New York State Champion
Beginnings in Wrestling: Introduced to the sport by a cousin back in the fifth grade
Why He Loves the Sport: “I love wrestling because it helps me strive to do better and it keeps me focused in school and life. I’m at a point now where is natural to me.”
Beat the Streets’ Impact: “I enjoy working with Beat the Streets because they have helped me go places in life and they also take care of us. Beat the Streets is like a family to me.”
Other Notes: “My college plans are to go to Iowa State or any Division I college because I want to wrestle at the NCAA Division I Championships.”

Female Student-Athlete of the Year – Nia Crosdale

School and Year: Harry S. Truman, Senior
Years Wrestling: 4
Career Highlights: 2018 Girls Folkstyle State Champion…2018 PSAL Girls State Champion…multi-time USMC National Championships All-American…2017 Super 32 Runner-Up...2017 Third Place finisher at Body Bar Invitational
Beginnings in Wrestling: Started wrestling during her freshman year, using the sport as an avenue for self-improvement
Why She Loves the Sport: “I love wrestling because the sport gives anyone a chance to be great. You could be the most unathletic person out there but if you work hard, you can become a great wrestler.”
Beat the Streets’ Impact: “I enjoy working with Beat the Streets because all of your coaches honestly care about you and want to see you do well as much as you want to do well for yourself. They create an environment that allows for an immense amount of growth in more than just wrestling.”
Other Notes: She will be attending King University in Bristol, Tennessee on a wrestling scholarship

Male Student-Athlete of the Year – David Traub

School and Year: Tottenville, Senior
Years Wrestling: 6
Career Highlights: 2017 USA Wrestling New York State Greco Champion, Freestyle Champion and Freestyle Finalist…multiple PSAL Borough and City championships…2018 Eastern States medalist…2018 Bronze at Mayor’s Cup and MacArthur…over 150 career victories
Beginnings In Wrestling: Joined a club named CJA as an eighth grader after being introduced to the sport by his brothers
Why He Loves The Sport: “I love wrestling because it motivates me to work hard day in and day out. The journey to get better every day is something I really look forward to when I wake up in the morning.”
Beat the Streets’ Impact: “Working with Beat the Streets has led to many great relationships with people I would have never met if it weren't for them. They were always there for me, whether it was taking me to a wrestling tournament, or if I needed a coach in my corner.”
Other Notes: “I will be attending the University of Chicago next school year. I plan on doing very well academically so I can one day make enough money to give back to Beat the Streets. I also plan on becoming a NCAA Division III All-American. Thank you to everyone that has helped me during my journey as a wrestler in New York City.”

GRIT Award – Julius Whetstone

School and Year: Martin Luther King, Senior
Years Wrestling: 4
Career Highlights: Two-time PSAL City Championship qualifier…2018 Mayor’s Cup medalist...two-time MAWA Southeast Regional qualifier
Beginnings In Wrestling: Learned that WWE superstars like Kurt Angle and Brock Lesnar had Olympic and collegiate wrestling experience and decided to follow in their footsteps as a high school freshman.
Why He Loves The Sport: “Everything that I've wanted to do in life, I've been able to do it with wrestling. My God given talent is being able to work hard and I’ve worked hard at everything I've ever done. Wrestling gave me the chance to work hard at something that I enjoy doing. Other life benefits - real friends, coaches having my back, traveling, academic success – have come from wrestling as well. This is something that I'm proud to say I'll be involved with for the rest of my life.”
Beat the Streets’ Impact: “Beat the Streets is phenomenal in the impact it has on us young guys and girls. The coaches here helped me mature and have a more positive outlook on things. Even when I struggled on the mat, the coaches and other wrestlers never gave up on me, made sure that I didn't give up on myself and made sure that I got better. That's why I love Beat the Streets, and I'm still going strong now.”
Other Notes: Julius has been accepted to ten colleges, including Oregon State University and Niagara CC. He has attributed his success to the Beat the Streets coaches and staff, his high school and club coaches, and his teammates.

LADY LIBERTY Award - Hailey Cancelleri

School and Year: Curtis, Senior
Years Wrestling: 4
Career Highlights: Two-time Gotham City Girls Open Champion…2016 USA Wrestling Cadet National Champion…multi-time All-American
Beginnings in Wrestling: Transitioned into wrestling at the recommendation of her father after training in ju-jitsu
Why She Loves the Sport: “Wrestling revealed my true character and really pushed my limits. It took so much discipline and time to get where I am. In a sense, I love wrestling because, like life, I have to work for everything I want. In wrestling, you're constantly evolving and being forced to adapt. I knew I loved wrestling when I found myself sacrificing any free time I had to be on the mat to get better, even when I was injured.”
Beat the Streets’ Impact: “Beat the Streets has given me so many opportunities and tools to improve as a wrestler, student and person. Without Beat the Streets, none of my accomplishments would have been possible.”
Other Notes: Hailey will be graduating with an Advanced Regents Diploma from Curtis and joining Nia at King University in Tennessee. She credits her family, coaches, and BTS coach Jacque Davis for playing a part in her accomplishments.

ATLAS Award - Jayson Gomez

School and Year: Eagle Academy, Senior
Years Wrestling: 7
Career Highlights: 2018 NYSPHSAA Division II State Finalist…2018 Mayor’s Cup champion…multi-time city champion and All-American
Beginnings In Wrestling: Started wrestling as a sixth grader after Eagle lost its flag football program and continued with the sport to this day.
Why He Loves The Sport: “I love wrestling not only because I like to win but it because it helped me discipline myself so I don’t need that constant discipline from someone else. Wrestling has taught me many life lessons, like accountability and that there are people out in the world that want to see you succeed and be successful. Most importantly, I’ve built a family aside from my own with Beat the Streets.”
Beat the Streets’ Impact: “I love working training at Beat the Streets because with them I feel happy, safe and comfortable and the coaches make practice and tournaments enjoyable. I never feel pressured or bad about myself when I don’t get something right.”
Other Notes: “I just want to thank my mom Jennifer Peralta, my sister Rachel Gomez and all my coaches. They’ve supported me through a lot and I’m just happy that I was able to finish my high school career with them at my side.”

Become Your Own Dream Scholarship Winner - Yusif Noori

School and Year: Robert F. Kennedy, Senior
Years in Wrestling: 2 ½
Career Highlights: Runner-Up at PSAL Queens and Division II City championships
Beginnings in Wrestling: Decided to begin wrestling as a path to a healthier lifestyle.
Why He Loves the Sport: “I love the sport of wrestling because you learn lessons of humility, perseverance, and consistency that ultimately make you a better person as well as a wrestler.”
Beat the Streets’ Impact: “I enjoy Beat the Streets because it inspires our youth and helps our community develop a culture that encourages growth as a student and an athlete.”
Other Notes: Yusif will be attending Hunter College in the fall and plans to wrestle for the Hawks. He thanks the staff of Beats the Streets for their hard work, calling their efforts “life-changing.”

Junior League Coach of the Year – Eric Palmer

School/Team: Harlem Jets
Years in Wrestling: 23 years coaching (1995-present); 17 competitive (1977-94)
Career Highlights: Competed as a Division I wrestler at Wilkes University in Pennsylvania
Beginnings in Wrestling: A lifetime in the sport started by learning the sport in gym class
Why He Loves the Sport: “I love wrestling because it is a no excuses sport. You can't blame anyone for your failures and take all the credit for your successes. I love that it exposes a person mentally, physically.  Wrestling is constantly rewarding you whether you win or lose, it’s your choice if you choose to learn from all your wrestling experiences. I love coaching more than competing.  I miss the adrenaline rush, the preparation and the feeling of getting your hand raised. All those things do not compare to watching the growth of young people as they progress in the sport. Seeing them develop into respectable, socially conscious, hard-working and tough individuals exciting and never gets old. Equally important is what coaching youth wrestling gives back to me. It keeps me young. It puts many of life's difficult and successful situations into perspective.  I love the kids I coach and those I encounter through coaching. Wrestling as both a competitor and a coach has taught me to "enjoy the journey and embrace the grind.”
Beat the Streets’ Impact: “I enjoy working with Beat the Streets because they are supportive of the Harlem Jets program and have similar goals and objectives for the kids in their programs. Their staff puts up with all my nonsense with a smile on their faces.  They provide opportunities for their participants to wrestle year-round.  They are building a wrestling community for our youth in NYC.  They have taken the time to learn about the community they are serving and are trying to provide every opportunity for them to succeed on and off the mat.”
Other Notes: “I would like to thank BTS for this award…it means a lot. Some of the events we take our kids to would not be possible without BTS. My staff at the Harlem Jets is truly dedicated to the kids that come into our program. I would also like to thank Steve Umlauf and Jamel Wright for providing support and trusting me to run the Harlem Jets Wrestling program as I see fit.  I especially want to thank Coach Ahmeid Potts for his dedication as my assistant head coach for the past six seasons.  Most important I would like to thank my wonderful wife Ngozi for finding the Jets and sharing me with my community for seven months a year.”

High School Assistant Coach of the Year – Philip Squatrito

School/Team: Tottenville
Years in Wrestling: 16 years coaching
Career Highlights: Three-time CHSAA Individual Champion and three-time CHSAA Sectional Place winner as a wrestler…produced 13  consecutive CHSAA city championship teams, nine Mayor’s Cup Team Champions, one CHSAA Sectional Championship team, a dual meet and tournament PSAL city championship team, NYC’s only two-time Division I New York State Champion,  13 NY State Place winners, six All-Americans, and 44 Division I NY State Qualifiers as a coach
Beginnings in Wrestling: Wrestled for Monsignor Farrell and began coaching immediately…spent 14 years at Farrell (nine as AC, five as HC)…joined Tottenville in 2018
Why He Loves the Sport: “Being a wrestling coach allows me to give back to the sport that has done so much for my own life. It helped me become goal-oriented and allowed me to have the mental toughness to make my way through Dental School.  As a coach there is no better feeling to see a student-athlete grow into a respectful and hard-working individual through the life lessons they have learned from being a wrestler.  Being able to assist others making a better future for themselves is the most rewarding experience anyone could have.”
Beat the Streets’ Impact: “Beat the Streets and their hard work through the years has helped so many students become better individuals through the dedication they have had for NYC youth.  The countless amounts of camps, tournaments, and life skills that are given to these wrestlers is priceless. We are blessed to have a resource that has done so much for NYC wrestling.”
Other Notes: “I just want to thank the Tottenville wrestling program for their support in welcoming me as a coach. This is a shared award for the hard work of all the coaches, parents, and wrestlers.”

Girls High School Coach of the Year - Josue Herrera

School/Team: Francis Lewis
Years in Wrestling: 23 years coaching
Career Highlights: Led Francis Lewis to playoffs each of the program’s four years of existence
Beginnings in Wrestling: Picked up the sport as a student-athlete at Far Rockaway High School
Why He Loves the Sport: “Wrestling kept me off the streets and now I want to give back to the community and help kids stay off the streets.”
Beat the Streets’ Impact: “Beat the Streets has done a tremendous job helping wrestling grow in the city of New York.”
Other Notes: “I would like to thank Beat the Streets for the support they have given the coaches and athletes.”

Boys High School Coach of the Year – David Olah

School/Team: Petrides
Years in Wrestling: 16 years coaching
Career Highlights: Four top-three New York State finishes (2014, 2016-18)…six-time Division II team champions…over 140 career victories
Beginnings in Wrestling: Began wrestling as a middle school student in the Mininsink Valley (N.Y.) Central School District
Why He Loves the Sport: “I love coaching wrestling because it builds lasting relationships with wrestlers, coaches, and officials.”
Beat the Streets’ Impact: “I enjoy working with Beat the Streets because of the fundamental principles they instill into the wrestling community working with coaches and wrestlers.”
Other Notes: “I would like to thank my two assistant coaches, Larry Cantor and Joe Diforte, who put in countless volunteer hours to help the Petrides Wrestling program. I would also like to thank all of the past and present wrestlers who have gone through the Petrides Wrestling Program. Tradition Never Graduates.”

Volunteer of the Year - Summer Stoff

School/Team: Former Manager at Cardozo; Junior at Stony Brook            
Years in Wrestling: Volunteered with Beat the Streets for over two years
Beginnings in Wrestling: Started in high school by helping Cardozo head coach Chris Milani with mat-side tables at wrestling tournaments and with the in-season team. Continued assisting at tournaments after high school after helping PSAL Wrestling Supervisor Ken Bigley during a tournament.
Beat the Streets’ Impact: “I love running tournaments and volunteering for Beat the Streets because of the PSAL coaches and the BTS staff. It is a pleasure to work with such kind, funny, talented, and overall amazing people. Even through the long hours at big tournaments, working with such wonderful people makes the hours fly by. The people at Beat the Streets are the reason I enjoy what I do. Even when under the stress of running a large tournament with hundreds of wrestlers, coaches, and parents, they can always manage to put a smile on my face.”
Other Notes: “I am currently majoring in Biological Anthropology with a minor in Biology at Stony Brook with plans to go to graduate school for forensics. I would like to thank Ken Bigley for offering me a job with the PSAL and Beat the Streets; the PSAL coaches, especially Ted Cook and John McGarry, for making those long tournaments a little more enjoyable; and, above all else, Coach Chris Milani for bringing me into the world of wrestling and introducing me to Beat the Streets.”




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