Saturday February 2, Beat the Streets Coach Penn Gottfried led 50 Junior League members to West Orange High School in New Jersey for the Co-ed West Orange Youth Tournament. Ten schools from NYC were represented from across the five boroughs.
Both Elementary and Middle School kids competed at this tournament allowing kids of many age groups and wrestling levels to meet, interact, and cheer each other on. Not only does this allow the wrestlers to begin to create friendships and community amongst other NYC wrestlers, but it also encourages less experienced wrestlers to keep at it because they can see the progress their peers have made. From Middle School All Americans, to first year wrestlers, Beat The Streets kids were in full force.
The Junior League typically competes within NYC during the Fall, and travels to away tournaments during the winter. This tournament was one of two competitions that Beat the Streets funds annually so the Youth Program can experience some new competition. For some wrestlers, this was their first out-of-state tournament allowing them to gain valuable experiences that will help to further their wrestling careers.
"I think our kids really wrestled with heart this weekend. Win or lose (and there were a lot of wins), we fought for everything and I was proud of that." -Penn Gottfried, BTS Junior League Coach.
"It was a very good tournament. Very close to the city was nice. Tough competition, great experience for the younger guys- check marking their first out-of-state tournament."
-Jon Alicea, Cornerstone Academy.
"The wrestling was tough because the kids had a lot of experience, but it was fun to meet wrestlers and coaches from other teams. We got to talk and play in between matches"
-Logan Sealy-Nelms, Excellence Charter School.
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