Botensky Bauzile finds love of wrestling with Beat the Streets
The Thomas Edison senior wrestler eyes city championship and state tournament run.
This feature story is part of a three-part student-athlete series for the 2022 Beat the Streets year-end campaign. To help Beat the Streets New York continue to make a lifelong impact on student-athletes like Botensky, donate today at give.btsny.org/yearend2022.
Botensky Bauzile started wrestling before he knew it was a sport.
He wrestled with his older brother, Jerson, who is eight years older than him, in the backyard of their family home in Haiti. Without a television or a phone, the brothers and their friends found ways to entertain themselves through wrestling.
"He used to beat me a lot, but I bet now I could give him a run for his money," Botensky said.
The Bauzile family immigrated to New York when Botensky was 8 years old. He learned English and started to assimilate into school, where he first found a wrestling mat at a dual meet.
Bauzile won his first match against an experienced wrestler, who invited him to a Beat the Streets practice for a rematch. But the result was the same. Bauzile was hooked on the sport and the Beat the Streets community.
"I found the room was filled with all different types of wrestlers," he said. "Good people, people that had placed at the (New York City championship), at Mayor's Cup (tournament), so I just stayed because there was good competition in the room."
Bauzile developed his wrestling skills on the mat and his social skills off the mat. His confidence grew as he improved in wrestling and with the more people he met through wrestling.
"I didn't really use to spread out when I (went) to tournaments because I usually just stay with my team," he said. "But now I can go to another school and see people that I recognize from BTS and I can just talk to them."
On the mat, Bauzile's goal for the 2022 season was to win the annual Mayor's Cup tournament and city championship. To achieve his goals, the Thomas Edinson wrestler devoted more time than ever before to hone his craft.
"I always just worked out after school, go on runs to keep my stamina up, and go to Beat the Streets practices, especially Academy days when we had great clinicians," he said. "I tried to put in as much work as I could just to make sure I get close to my goal."
The hard work paid off as he won the 126-pound Mayor's Cup title by fall. Bauzile fell short of winning a city championship, placing second, but decided to continue to strive to improve by leaning more into Greco-Roman and freestyle wrestling in the spring and summer.
Bauzile placed third and fifth in Greco-Roman and freestyle, respectively, at the New York state tournament. His third-place finish punched his ticket to the national tournament in Fargo, North Dakota.
Bauzile's first national tournament experience didn't go as he wanted, but he remains positive about the learning experience.
"I felt great because I was learning a lot of different styles," he said. "I was just so anxious to get to folkstyle because I wanted to apply what I learned from Greco and freestyle to folkstyle because I think I'm going to catch a lot of people off guard."
Bauzile now wants to give the best wrestlers in the city and state a run for their money. His chips are all in for his senior season.
"I want to go undefeated," he said. "I want to win Mayor's Cup. I want to win cities. I want to go to state."
Since being founded in 2005, Beat the Streets New York has pioneered a movement that now includes 150 individual wrestling programs, a youth league and the first girls high school league.
BTSNY works to develop the full human and athletic potential of the urban youth and strengthen the NYC wrestling culture. We aim to make a lifelong impact on student-athletes through the lessons learned on the wrestling mat -- discipline, perseverance, self-reliance, humility and a strong work ethic. Discover how you can make a meaningful contribution to our work at btsny.org/donate.