Graduate Success Stories: Pat Daly

In the late fall of 2011, Pat Daly was wrapping up football season & his parents found themselves wondering what they could do to keep him involved in something during the offseason. Speaking with the parents of one of Pats teammates, the O’Neill’s, they learned about a wrestling program not too far from their home at the PAL Center in Port Richmond. While they didn’t know much about wrestling, they knew Pat enjoyed the physicality of football, so they figured it was worth a try!

Almost immediately, the family realized they had found something special. Pat recalls many welcoming faces and coaches who were eager to help. He remembers constant encouragement from coaches (Coaches Ed, Jim, & Brandon), making friends, and looking forward to Tuesday’s & Thursday’s each week! Pat’s parents were impressed as well, however they noticed something deeper. As Pat’s parents attended practices, they recall continually hearing about all the things that older wrestlers in the program were accomplishing off the mat:

“We were hearing that the older kids in the program were doing some pretty big things. Jameel Coles had been accepted to the Hill School, the Stevens boys were headed off to the Hill School & Archbishop Wood (respectively), and Dymir Carruth was headed off to college at Ithaca! We saw the opportunities that some of these kids were getting through this program and through this sport — We remember thinking that could be Pat one of those kids somewhere down the line.”

Hearing about the opportunities these kids were earning through the sport and seeing the caliber of the high school aged young men/women coming through the PAL/BTSP program were significant selling points to the Daly’s. They knew that if Pat stuck to it, he could become one of those types of kids. (spoiler warning: they were right!)

As much as his early years at PAL were fun for him in many ways, the sport of wrestling didn’t come easily to Pat. In fact, in his first five years participating in the sport, Pat didn’t win a single match – but he refused to be deterred. While he admits now that it wasn’t always easy to keep trying, he also acknowledges that with each practice he could feel himself taking steps forward. His coaches certainly recall Pat’s struggles; however, they all say that what stood out about him was his infectious smile and constant eagerness to improve. Then, finally, in 2018 Pat began putting it together on the mat & developing a package of moves that worked for him. Pat started winning…a lot! After a couple of successful seasons, this past winter Pat placed at almost every tournament he wrestled in and became a PJW State Qualifier!

Beyond his own determination, something else that kept Pat coming back was the impact the sport was having on him personally. He and his parents noticed how he was developing as a young man and attributed a lot of that development to his participation in wrestling. Pat was gaining confidence and becoming more disciplined both in the classroom and his personal life! In Pat’s words “I learned that if I told my coaches/teammates I would be somewhere, I owed it to them to be there. With schoolwork, with my parents, and with my friends, I learned that same idea applies.” Teachers would consistently comment on his leadership, responsibility, and work ethic.

Further, Pat believes wrestling has helped him to improve his focus and ability to learn. He’s always worked hard and brought home good grades, but Pat learns a little differently than many of his classmates. The success he’s had has required a lot of additional time and energy on his end; it’s been far from easy. Pat says that over the last couple of years he’s learned to break down lessons he learns in school into smaller, easy to understand steps — an idea that came to him after realizing the success he’s had learning wrestling technique that way!

Pat’s tremendous work in the classroom and his stellar character are leading to big successes. In just a few short weeks, Pat will begin his freshman year at Roman Catholic High School, where he’ll also wrestle and play football! Pat is excited for high school in general, but he also can’t wait to take full advantage of the BTSP Mentoring Center and continue being a leader in the PAL wrestling room.

We’re so proud of Pat & all that he’s accomplished to this point in his young life! Pat has big goals ahead. Following high school, he plans to enlist in the United States Marine Corps — plans he’s had since he was 8 years old according to mom/dad & this story we wrote on Pat back in 2017 when he was our ‘Wrestler of the Month’. We have no doubt that Pat will continue to push forward, cultivate success, and continue to be a fantastic role model for the younger generation of PAL wrestlers for years to come…Congratulations Pat!

When asked ‘What does Beat the Streets Philadelphia & PAL mean to you?’, Pat & his parents had some powerful words. In the interest of letting their quotes speak for themselves, I’ve included their quotes below:

“Beat the Streets & PAL are both such a big part of my life. There are so many friends & coaches there who care about me and that means a lot. My whole family lives on my block & I was really the first one to branch out. BTSP & PAL helped me be different & become the person I want to be.”- Patrick Daly Jr.

[Editors Note: A couple of weeks ago, BTSP founding Board Members Clinton & Brett Matter, joined by their father Andy, sat down with Track Wrestling to discuss the vision behind BTSP (see below). Pat’s father had recently watched the interview & had this to say about it…]

“That neighborhood Andy [Matter] was talking about, that’s our neighborhood & our block. That kid who needs a positive outlet – that’s Pat. When he got started at PAL, we were just a couple of young parents looking for something positive to give our son to do. We saw what the older kids were doing and what they were achieving & to see Pat getting to that point is special. To sum up what it all means though, Beat the Streets & PAL is a family, it really is.”- Patrick Daly Sr.

Graduate Success Stories: Naseen Pennington

For over a decade, Naseen Pennington has been a familiar face at the BTSP mentoring center and on wrestling mats throughout Philadelphia. From wrestling on youth days at the Palestra & stopping by the mentoring center on weekdays to leading his high school team & setting an example of excellence at our mentoring center, it’s been so rewarding watching Naseen grow, overcome obstacles, and become the young man he is today.

Naseen’s wrestling career began in the third grade at Belmont Charter when Coach Ed McCabe encouraged him to give it a try. Where many kids begin wrestling with at least some trepidation, Naseen enjoyed it right from the start. He enjoyed the physicality of the sport, the early success he found competing, and being a part of a close-knit team.

One part of being on the wrestling team that Naseen really liked, in fact, wasn’t a part of the sport at all. Following practices, a Penn wrestling alumnus who had coached at Belmont, Geoffrey Bostany, would regularly take a group of Belmont wrestlers to the BTSP mentoring center in University City. While Naseen and his teammates were a little younger than the typical BTSP mentoring participant, Geoffrey would regularly bring the team there and Naseen remembers it fondly. “I never really had much homework back then, but we all enjoyed being there. It was a safe place to go after school, to socialize, and of course to grab some snacks!” Despite getting little done academically at the mentoring center back then, Naseen was an excellent student who consistently earned A’s & B’s through his middle school years. Through his success, he earned the opportunity to attend high school at the special-admit school Parkway Center City.

As a wrestler, Naseen consistently got better through his younger years and in his 8th grade season he qualified for the PJW State Tournament. Although he came up short, losing in the blood round, he remembers feeling content in knowing that he gave his best effort consistently—and his coaches agreed! To this day, Coach McCabe remembers Naseen as the epitome of hard work and humility. Whether it was drilling, conditioning, or just showing up on time, McCabe always knew Naseen could be relied on. To illustrate his point, Coach McCabe shared a little story with me about Naseen’s determination:

“In his 8th grade year, training for the PJW State Tournament, we ran an ironman drill at the end of one of our final practices. For 10 minutes, we rotated 5 coaches (some were active collegiate guys) in on the kids & it obviously tested their conditioning & mental toughness. Naseen didn’t fade during the drill, it was awesome to watch. Then, in the final minute of the drill, Naseen actually took down one of the college guys we had helping in the room! After practice, once the kids had left, I told the college guy it was a smart move to give up that takedown and he said that wasn’t his plan – Naseen just caught him!”

Penn wrestling alumni, Geoffrey Bostany, coaching at Belmont Middle School in 2014-15

For many Belmont kids entering high school, the transition can be challenging. Where small class sizes & an abundance of staff provides Belmont the capacity to ‘meet kids where they’re at’, most high schools do not offer the same type of individual support – especially rigorous special-admit schools. Despite being an excellent student and hard worker, Naseen was no exception to this struggle. Early in 9th grade, Naseen saw his typical A’s & B’s he had earned at Belmont dip significantly – again, not due to laziness or poor decision-making, but rather feeling overwhelmed & somewhat lost. As he struggled, Naseen began to return to a familiar place, Belmont. Coach McCabe was of course happy to see Naseen and used to having alumni visit, but eventually it got to the point where Naseen was dropping by, almost daily. Shortly after, McCabe learned that Naseen was really struggling to adjust to the high school workload and he quickly reconnected Naseen with the mentoring center at BTSP. Having been familiar with the center from his younger years, Naseen was easily convinced to get reengaged. After getting some advice from BTSP staff & McCabe, Naseen actually decided it would be in his best interest to ‘press pause’ on wrestling for South Philadelphia High School (Parkway doesn’t offer wrestling) to get his academics under control. Naseen was then paired with a mentor in Jake Johanson and immediately the two got along. Jake remembers being impressed with Naseen right away. “His understanding of his own shortcomings and his eagerness to improve was extremely impressive. I just felt lucky (and still do) to be working with such a driven kid.”

Naseen & Jake worked together twice weekly, for hours at a time over the course of the next three years (At the time, typical, one-on-one BTSP mentoring sessions took place for about one hour each week). Jake helped Naseen develop tactics for staying organized, provided homework help, and held him accountable to stay ahead of his studies. The two were regularly among the last to leave the office each night, working on various projects or doing extra work to get ahead. Beyond that, Jake was someone Naseen could lean on. “It didn’t matter if it was about school, wrestling, or really anything – it was really nice to know I had someone who was vested in me succeeding” Naseen said. Naseen saw improvements in the classroom quickly during his freshman year but admitted that it wasn’t easy for him by any means. As his grades improved, he didn’t get complacent either. Naseen continued to work with Jake on virtually the same schedule throughout the remainder of his high school years.

As his grades went up toward the end of his freshman year, Naseen and those around him felt like he had the structure in place to add wrestling back into the mix. To close out the year, Naseen finished 5th in the Philadelphia Public League which left him hungry for more in years to come. Once he learned to manage his time effectively, he was able to commit more time to wrestling. Each of his next three seasons, Naseen earned 20+ victories and qualified for the PIAA AAA NE Regional Tournament. Although he never managed to make it to the state tournament, Naseen is content with how things played out knowing the effort he put in. As Naseen puts it “I achieved my goals in wrestling. I wasn’t a state qualifier, but I always left it all out on the mat & I know I gave it everything I had. My goal was to finish it out & to never quit. I accomplished that & I’m proud knowing that.” Looking back on what he’s learned from the sport, Naseen put it succinctly, “What I love about the sport is that you get out what you put in. There’s basically no luck and there aren’t handouts. Hard work is rewarded with success and fulfillment.”

Next year, Naseen has decided to attend a two-year program at Community College of Philadelphia to study Behavioral Health & Human Services before finishing his degree at a four-year university. Although he elected to attend CCP, it should also be noted that Naseen earned a significant scholarship to attend Eastern University in PA. After reviewing the information in front of him, Naseen and his family felt like CCP would be the best choice for him and his goals. Congratulations Naseen!

Editor’s Note: Beyond assisting Naseen, Jake has had a tremendous impact on many more kids at Beat the Streets Philadelphia. Jake was a catalyst in sparking action toward a major mat room renovation project at Belmont Charter – Naseen’s old wrestling room! The project, completed by BTSP in partnership with Resilite, Puro-Tec, & Digitas Health, provided a much-needed facilities upgrade to the Belmont mat room which serves nearly 200 wrestlers each year. Thank you Jake!!!

Perry, Tilghman & the Power of the Philadelphia Wrestling Ecosystem

As Daishawn Tilghman tried his best to enjoy the summer between his junior and senior year of high school, he had a looming decision to make – where would he continue his education and athletic career? Having had notable success in both football and wrestling, Daishawn was fortunate enough to have several viable options in front of him across all three collegiate divisions. While he was grateful to have so many choices for his future, however, he found himself overwhelmed at times and struggled to narrow his shortlist of schools based on the factors that were most important to him. While Bloomsburg University was always a school Daishawn had interest in, initially, it wasn’t among his top choices. Albeit a Division I school with a respectable marketing program (his desired field of study), and within a reasonable proximity to Philadelphia, Bloomsburg’s rural setting and lack of diversity gave him pause. 

That summer, Daishawn attended Freestyle/Greco-Roman Nationals in Fargo, ND. It was there, halfway across the country, that Daishawn had a chance encounter with a former coach in PRTC athlete & Bloomsburg alumni, Richard Perry. For a number of years Rich made time to have a consistent presence in BTSP wrestling rooms throughout Philadelphia. Daishawn fondly remembers Rich having coached him at both the PAL Center in Port Richmond & Belmont Charter.

Where normally, a high school wrestler might find it intimidating to approach someone of Richs’ caliber, Daishawn’s personal connection with Rich made the conversation easy:

“When I saw Rich out at Fargo coaching with team Connecticut, I jogged right over to him. I hadn’t seen him in a while, but I remembered him coaching us over the years at Beat the Streets & I knew he was a Bloomsburg guy. After talking to him, as a black role model who had success there, I think that was when I really started looking at Bloomsburg as a serious option.”

Whether Rich realized it in the moment or not, his conversation with Daishawn was extremely impactful. Daishawn walked away with an entirely different attitude toward Bloomsburg. In summation, he said “If a guy like Rich went there, had a positive experience and found success there, I can too.” After returning home, Daishawn took a more proactive approach to deciding his future. He initiated follow-up conversations with the coaching staff, took visits to campus, and announced his decision this past March. He’s no longer intimidated by the new environment he’s walking into – instead, he’s excited for the new experiences in front of him!

We’re so proud of Daishawn. He’s accomplished so much as a wrestler, but frankly, we’re infinitely prouder to see the type of young man he’s grown up to be. As sad as we are to see him leave us, we know his departure is only temporary and we can’t wait to see the impact he has on younger wrestlers for years to come.

Graduate Success Stories: Daishawn Tilghman

As is the case with so many others, Daishawns’ introduction to the sport of wrestling began with a slight misunderstanding. A 7th grader at Belmont Middle School, he and a friend heard about the wrestling team at school & were immediately interested! Excited to learn pile drivers & Stone Cold Stunners, Daishawn quickly realized he wasn’t in for what he’d planned when Coach McCabe began showing single legs, sprawls, and half nelsons.

As Coach McCabe recalls, Daishawn was never one of the kids who took the sport very seriously. McCabe remembers Daishawn as a fun kid to be around who brought a good energy to the room, but didn’t seem to care much about wrestling. Although he never took the sport all that seriously back then, one thing Daishawn valued tremendously was the team culture at Belmont. 

“Guys like Naseen (Pennington), Ernie (Holland), Khasim (Muhmin), Jayshawn (Copeland), and Harold (Anderson), really pushed me to be more than just another city wrestler. They used to whoop me just about every day & it forced me to either get better and take it more seriously, or get out. That might sound like a bad thing, but the difference was that I always knew the guys were doing it to make me better. It was really a brotherhood. They never knocked me down without helping me up.”

Toward the end of Daishawn’s 8th grade season, he flipped the switch. As he began to enjoy the sport, he quickly began to find success. Come the end of the season, he had earned the opportunity to compete in the Area XI Tournament (a regional qualifying event for the Pennsylvania Junior Wrestling State Tournament). Daishawn wrestled great throughout the entire tournament. He remembers running through an opponent in the first round with his russian ties & solid leg attacks. His confidence carried him throughout the tournament & eventually into the 3rd place match; a win would qualify him for the PJW State Tournament! As Daishawn was warming up, he realized his opponent would be the same opponent from his first match — he felt exceedingly confident and it showed early in the match. He earned two early takedowns & had a comfortable lead, which he maintained for the first two periods. Then, he began to gas. His lead dwindled and before he realized it, he found himself in triple overtime. On their feet, Daishawn got to his russian tie, the attack that had worked for him without fail all tournament…except this time, it didn’t. His opponent managed to clear the tie & get in on his own attack. In the blink of an eye, Daishawn’s season had come to an end. He was devastated & remembers crying as he watched his opponent receive the medal he felt could have been his. Then, coach McCabe pulled him aside & shared some simple, yet profound wisdom with Daishawn: “This could be the best thing that ever happened to you.” (Hint: This moment would prove invaluable  for Daishawn down the line.)

Following his years at Belmont, Daishawn attended high school at Mastery Shoemaker & wrestled for Overbrook High School through their schools’ partnership. By any standard, Daishawn’s freshman season was a tremendous success. He finished the season with a 24-12 record and made it all the way to NE Regionals; he even won two matches! Moving forward, Daishawn’s aspirations of becoming a PIAA State Qualifier seemed well within reach.

In his sophomore and junior campaigns, it would be much of the same. Dominating regular seasons, followed by a pair of district XII titles and two postseasons that ended at the regional tournament. Entering his senior season, Daishawn felt significant pressure to get onto the podium at regionals. After failing to qualify for states four years in a row (including 8th grade), Daishawn could feel the clock ticking on his goal of becoming a state qualifier. Entering the postseason, Daishawn boasted a 26-2 record. He earned his 100th victory in the semifinals of the Philadelphia Public League Tournament (1st in Overbrook history), earned his 3rd DXII Title, and a #2 seed at the NE Regional Tournament. Everything seemed to be falling into place.

Entering the tournament, Daishawn was visibly nervous. Although his #2 seed had earned him a 1st round bye at 285, Daishawn was pacing the gym with his headphones in from the onset of the first round. By the time his bout number was called, Daishawn had already mentally exhausted himself. Daishawn would go on to give up 4 locking hands violations (virtually unheard of for wrestlers at his level) and lose his first match of the tournament by 12-11 decision. Coming off of the mat, Daishawn was overwhelmed with defeat. He was certain this would mark his fifth straight year coming up short of his goal. As he got back to his room that night, however, he reflected back on what Coach McCabe had said to him after that devastating loss in 8th grade: “This could be the best thing that’s ever happened to you.” That lit a fire under Daishawn and refocused him. He chose to learn from his loss rather than crumble beneath it. The next day, Daishawn was fantastic. With 3 wins by fall, Daishawn wrestled all the way back to the consolation finals & earned a 1-0 victory over his opponent from the first round! Following the biggest victory in his high school career, overcome with joy, Daishawn quickly escaped from the gym to make a phone call; to Coach McCabe.

The following weekend, Daishawn ultimately came up short at the PIAA State Tournament, but achieved his goal of becoming a PIAA State Qualifier. With his high school career officially behind him, Daishawn is sad, but excited about what his future holds. Next year, he’ll attend Bloomsburg University as a member of the wrestling team!

With regard to his college decision, Daishawn kept his options open for quite a while. He had a number of schools contact him across DI, DII, & DIII for both wrestling and football. 

While Bloomsburg was always a school he had interest in, it wasn’t really among his top choices until he had an unexpected opportunity to talk with Bloomsburg alumni & PRTC athlete, Richard Perry, out at Fargo.

“When I saw Rich out at Fargo coaching with team Connecticut, I jogged right over to him. I hadn’t seen him in a while, but I remembered him coaching us over the years at Beat the Streets & I knew he was a Bloomsburg guy. After talking to him, as a black role model who had success there, I think that was when I really started looking at Bloomsburg as a serious option.”

From there, Daishawn had a few good conversations with the coaching staff, went on a visit, and the rest is history! We’re so proud of Daishawn all that he’s accomplished so far — but we’re even more excited for the opportunities that lie ahead of him at Bloomsburg and beyond!

[To close our interview, I asked Daishawn just one question: “What has wrestling taught you about life?” I’ve included our conversation below]

DAN: What has wrestling taught you about life?

DAISHAWN: Wrestling taught me how to be a man. Discipline, honor, how to be a better person. Without wrestling to teach me these things, I don’t know where I’d be. Probably not college.

DAN: That’s awesome. Can you elaborate a little bit on ‘how the sport has taught you to be a man?’ How has it taught you discipline, honor, etc?

DAISHAWN: In terms of discipline, you just have to learn to ‘Trust the Process.’ You can’t force shots; you need to get to your setups first and you probably need to shoot a few times before you actually get in on an attack and score. In life, achieving your goals takes time. You have to do a lot on the backend to get the outcome you want.

For honor, it’s winning/losing with class, learning to act with integrity, and how to take losses on the chin & move forward. In life, especially with that last part, it’s about pushing forward even when you get knocked down.

And when I say wrestling has made me a better person, I think that’s mostly about the people I’ve surrounded myself with because of wrestling. Teammates like Dennis (Belleh) and friends like Jameel (Coles) & Angel (Garcia). Especially with Jameel & Angel, I would never have even met those guys if it wasn’t for wrestling…but it’s not just the wrestlers; it’s the coaches too. Guys like Coach McCabe were really positive role models to me & almost like father figures. I can’t thank my coaches enough for the life lessons they’ve taught me about how to be a man.

Coach with Beat the Streets Philly!

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Below is a summary of the different types of programs supported by Beat the Streets:

High School Programs

Season: 11/19/19 – 03/07/20

Practice Schedule: M-F (3:30p – 5:00p); some programs may vary slightly

Competition Schedule: 

League Duals: W/F (3:30-5:00p) 

Tournaments: Variable. All programs require some weekend availability
High School Scholastic Partners are school-sponsored wrestling programs (competing in the PIAA) supported in part through Beat the Streets Philadelphia. 

Programs operate according to a standard high school practice/competition schedule; beginning in mid-November and continuing through the PIAA State Championships in March.

Teams wrestle in dual meets (competing in the Philadelphia Public League) on Wednesdays & Fridays throughout a portion of the season and compete in some weekend tournaments as well.

Positions are currently available at multiple locations throughout Philadelphia.

Middle School Programs

Season: 11/19/19 – 02/16/20

Practice Schedule: M-F (3:30p – 5:00p); some programs may vary slightly

Competition Schedule:

League Duals: Sat. (9:00a – 12:00p) 

Tournaments: Sunday, February 17th

Middle School Scholastic programs are school-sponsored middle school wrestling teams (grades 6-8), sponsored by Beat the Streets Philadelphia.

These programs practice twice per week, immediately after school, beginning in late November (date variable based on program) with practices continuing through mid-February.

From a ‘competitive’ standpoint, wrestlers participate in (2) weekend dual or tri-meets throughout the month of January & our end of season tournament takes place in mid-February.

Club Programs (Community-Based)

Season: 11/19/19 – 02/16/20

Practice Schedule: 2 weeknights per week; varies by program

Competition Schedule: 

League Duals: Sat. (9:00a – 12:00p) 

Tournaments: Sunday, February 17th

Outside Tournaments: variable based on program*

Community-Based Club Programs are open to wrestlers of all ages (grades K-12). Club practices take place on weekday evenings 2 days per week (variable by the program).

Additionally, wrestlers in grades K-8 are offered opportunities to wrestle ‘competitively’ through our intramural league which takes place throughout the month of January and our Philadelphia Wrestling Day in mid-February.

Through select programs, some more advanced/experienced wrestlers are offered a wider range of opportunities to compete.

Fargo Preview

This article featuring our student-athletes will be updated over the next week, adding a couple of profiles each day. Stay tuned to learn more about the journeys of all 9 BTSP student-athletes who are qualified for the Fargo National Championships!
Daishawn Tilghman (Junior – 220)
Now a 3-time Fargo qualifier, Daishawn is ready to make the jump. In all 3 of his trips to the National Championships, he’s fallen just short of the podium to some very challenging opponents. This year, Daishawn is a proving to be a challenging opponent his competitors should not overlook.
After finishing 2nd in FS at NE Regionals, Daishawn is primed for a deep run.
Angel Garcia (US #18) (Junior – 170)
After unexpectedly coming home empty-handed last summer, Angel believes he has what it takes to earn double All-American status. Following two nice finals victories over National Preps 6th place finisher Caden Rogers (Malvern Prep), Angel is ready to buckle down, fine tune his technique, & get his mind right for July.
His path to the top of the podium will be far from easy, but that won’t deter Angel even in the slightest. Anyone stepping into the circle with Angel can look forward to a difficult, physical, six minutes.
Jameel Coles (Junior – 195)
After stepping away from freestyle/greco for a couple of years, Jameel is back & seems to have gotten the rust off nicely. Coles cruised a championship in freestyle & won the greco championships with a ‘flying squirrel’ in the waning seconds of the match!
After a 5th place finish at the PIAA State Tournament this past March & a 7th place finish at NHSCA Nationals, Jameel is rolling & feeling good about his chances heading into next month. Although his path that has included a few twists & turns over the past few years, we’re happy to see Jameel having fun wrestling & competing at a high level!
Tatyana Ortiz (Junior – 106)
In her final Fargo campaign, Taty is locked in & focused on her goal of climbing the Fargo podium. A senior, she’s the seasoned veteran of the group & continues to set the example for Philadelphia wrestlers following in her footsteps.
Next year, Tatyana is looking forward to competing as an inaugural member of the East Stroudsburg University Wrestling Team! We’re so proud of how far Tatyana has come over the years & elated to see her getting the opportunity to continue wrestling that she deserves!
Grigol Khochishivili (Junior – 152)
Gaga, as his teammates call him, began combat sports at a young age as a competitor in Judo. He’d found a great deal of success in the sport, finishing 3rd nationally just a few years ago.
Entering high school, wrestling seemed like a somewhat natural fit. While he has enjoyed folkstyle, he found a real passion for Greco-Roman wrestling last spring. He qualified for Fargo in greco-roman 2018, but was unable to attend due to family commitments. After a successful folkstyle season, winning a DXII Championship & falling just short of the PIAA State Tournament, Gaga is prepared to make some noise nationally.
Despite placing 2nd at states in both styles, Gaga has elected to focus on greco as he prepares for Fargo. His goal is not just to get on the podium, but to climb as high as he can!
John Colburne (Cadet – 182)
In just his 2nd year competing in freestyle/greco-roman wrestling, John is just scratching the surface of his potential. With big throws & a relentless attacking style, John powered his way to a 3rd place finish in freestyle & 2nd in greco. In addition to qualifying for the National Championships, John is also incredibly excited to have earned the opportunity to train at the Pennsylvania Regional Training Center!
John’s growth over the last year has not come by accident. His hard work, embrace of the grind, and emergence as a ‘student of the sport’ has really shined this spring. We have no doubt that John is going to impress at Fargo!
Steven Foster (Junior – 106)
Steven has taken the path less traveled by many wrestlers. After spending a majority of his youth competing in boxing, Steven began wrestling freestyle & greco just last spring with no real experience in folkstyle. Steven took to both olympic styles quite naturally in 2018 & qualified for Fargo despite his newness to the sport; a fantastic accomplishment!
This year, Steven is back & he has set the bar even higher. After finishing 2nd in freestyle & 1st in greco, with a full-year of wrestling experience under his belt, it’s going to be exciting to see how his Fargo campaign plays out.
Mohammed Savriddinov (Cadet – 132)
Mohammed “Mo” Savriddinov has been training out of Rizzo PAL this spring & it’s great to see his hard work pay off! A freshman at Council Rock South, Mo has been excited to continue improving all spring!
After a nice showing in freestyle, finishing 5th, Mo wrestled through a tough field on Sunday to finish 3rd in Greco-Roman. Our lone freshman qualifier, we’re very proud of Mo & excited for him to experience the Fargo for his first time!
Reynaldo Garcia (Cadet – 145)
After having his spring season cut short last year following a neck injury, Rey has been hungry to bounce back this spring! After great performances at NHSCA’s, Northeast Regionals, & Easton Freestyle Duals, Rey had some well-deserved confidence heading into the state tournament.
With confidence & high energy, Reynaldo dominated opponents on his way to a finals berth in both styles. While he ultimately fell short to a tough opponent in 2x PIAA State Medalist Paniro Johnson (Erie Cathedral Prep), Garcia walked away with a lot to build on over the course of the next few weeks. We’re very proud of the progress Rey has made & we’re elated to see him earn an opportunity that he’s worked so hard toward!

Providing truly unique experiences to student-athletes, like Fargo, takes a community effort. With the support of our community, we have a goal of raising $10,000; which would fully cover the cost of Fargo for the 9 qualified student-athletes. Beyond exposure to wrestling on a national stage, the Fargo experience provides kids an opportunity to build lasting relationships with wrestlers from all over the US, to train with world-level clinicians, and (for some) to leave the city of Philadelphia for the first time! For these kids who have worked so hard, we ask that you please help us provide a positively life-altering experience that each of them deserves!
Donations can be made through Facebook or through our website directly. If donating through our website, please write Fargo Fundraiser in the ‘comments’ section of the Donate Now page

9 BTSP Wrestlers Qualify for Fargo National Championships

Over the past few years, Beat the Streets Philadelphia wrestlers have increasingly found success in Freestyle/Greco-Roman wrestling and this year was no different. After an exciting spring season of regional qualifiers, dual tournaments, weekend clinics, & practices, BTSP was able to take a team of 28 wrestlers to Central Mountain High School in Mill Hall, PA to compete in the Wrestling State Championships.
At the state tournament, the top three finishers at each high school weight class qualify for the USAW Freestyle/Greco-Roman National Championships in Fargo, North Dakota! All of the kids wrestled incredibly well & as a result, a record-high 9 BTSP wrestlers qualified for the Fargo National Championships this July! A summary of results is listed below:

  1. Shermuhammed Navruzov (3rd GR) @ 132
  2. Reynaldo Garcia (2nd FS / 3rd GR) @138
  3. John Colburne (3rd FS / 2nd GR) @ 182


  1. Tatyana Ortiz (1st FS / 2nd GR) @ 106
  2. Steven Foster (2nd FS / 1st GR) @ 106
  3. Grigol Khochishivili (2nd FS / 2nd GR) @ 152
  4. Angel Garcia (1st FS / 1st GR) @ 170
  5. Jameel Coles (1st FS / 1st GR) @ 195
  6. Daishawn Tilghman (2nd GR) @ 220

Additionally, BTSP wrestlers had great success at the youth & middle school level. Below are the results for our young wrestlers:

  1. Sanaa Rahming (3rd FS / 1st GR) @ 49


  1. Mark Effendian (2nd FS / 2nd GR) @ 135


  1. Leo Petroski (3rd FS / 3rd GR) @ 125
  2. Bekhruz Navruzov (1st FS / 1st GR) @ 136
  3. Patrick Daly (3rd GR) @ 149

Lastly, Beat the Streets would like to thank all of the coaches who helped make this weekend possible! David James, JP Rosney, Mike Rahming, Tony Tolbert, Saviddin Navruzov, Khasha Mahdavi, & Ed Schneider. Also, we would like to thank coach Asror Mukhitdinov of Uzbekistan. Coach Asror is an internationally recognized wrestler & won this years’ Dave Schultz Classic!
Thank you to everyone who worked so hard all season long to provide kids with high-level wrestling experiences and a fun team environment to be a part of! In coming weeks, we’ll plan to do a ‘spotlight’ on each individual heading to Fargo this July so stay tuned!
Final results can be found below:

Fargo Preview

PA team camp is officially underway and we’re now just a week away from the biggest wrestling event of the summer. In a few short days, wrestlers from across the nation will converge on Fargo, ND to compete for national titles in freestyle and greco-roman!
This year, BTSP is proud to sponsor a record-high 6 student-athletes who’ve shown tremendous commitment to the sport of wrestling this season. Below is just a short snippet with what you should know about each of our wrestlers
Steven Foster-106* (Greco-Roman Only)
This season, Steven has stayed busy. He’s placed 1st at the Germantown & Downingtown Regional Qualifiers, 4th at Northeast Regionals in East Stroudsburg, and 5th at the PAWF State Tournament in a very tough bracket. Steven has some really impressive wins against tough competition; it’s going to be fun to see how he stacks up in his first competition of this size.
The most impressive part about Steven?…It’s only his 1st season in the sport of wrestling! Steven has boxed at a high-level since his childhood and just decided to take up wrestling this season at PAL Wrestling Club. He’s caught on to the sport very quickly and improved markedly in a surprisingly short period of time.
Tatyana Ortiz-106
To anyone following BTSP, Tatyana Ortiz’s name should be practically a household name. Taty, as her friends and coaches call her, has been a staple of the Marianna Bracetti Wrestling team for 3 years now where she has had great success in folkstyle wrestling.
Taty is no stranger to national-level competition. This spring/summer alone, she’s competed in NY, MA, OK, TX, & VA at national tournaments. If she wrestles how we all know Tatyana is capable, there’s no doubt she can come home with some hardware!
For anyone looking to follow Tatyana, she’ll be competing in greco (yes, that’s against men & women) as well as women’s freestyle!
Zimir Rice-132* (Greco-Roman Only)
After placing 1st at regional qualifiers & 2nd at the PAWF State Tournament in greco, Zimir Rice a young man with a ton of potential. Not only has he competed a lot, he’s taken advantage of every single training opportunity offered to him and it’s no surprise that thing are working out for him.
It’s been so much fun to watch Zimir grow this season. After competing in the UWW Pan-Am Trials (East Stroudsburg, PA) & UWW World Team Trials (Akron, OH), this kid is just starting to realize how good he really is.
Angel Garcia-160
Angel is a returning All-American in Greco (3rd) and a tough loss in the blood round in freestyle last season was the only thing that kept him from becoming a double AA. This year’s different. He’s back for more; and he’s hungry.
In 2018, Angel has torn it up. He’s climbed the podium at the UWW Cadet Pan-Am Trials (GR-1st), UWW World Team Trials (GR-3rd), & PAWF State Tournament (FS-3rd/GR-1st). Needless to say, he’s among the nation’s elite in the weight class.
Angel is a real title contender in both styles and to anyone who has to step on the line opposite him, all I can say is….good luck.
Luis Morales-170
Luis has wrestled tough all season and it’s no surprise to see him as a part of this group. After suffering a hand injury near the end of his folkstyle season, Luis was unable to compete in the postseason or the beginning of freestyle/greco season; despite being one of the top guys at 152 in the NE Region.
So far this spring, Luis has placed in multiple regional qualifiers and wrestled very tough out at the PAWF State Tournament. Finally back and healthy, Luis is feeling confident and we certainly like his chances.
Daishawn Tilghman-220
Wrestling aside for a moment, we are incredibly proud of Daishawn. After suffering a significant knee injury during the 1st practice of the spring, Daishawn has spent the last few months getting healthy and he has yet to compete in freestyle or greco this spring. After a successful appeal to PAWF, however, Daishawn has been accepted onto the freestyle & greco teams!
Where many kids would have hung up their shoes for the summer and given up, Daishawn didn’t. His goal was to qualify for Fargo, and he wasn’t going to let difficult circumstances stop him from achieving his goal. He diligently rehabbed, worked out as best he could each day, and made it back on the mat just a few weeks ago. Since then, he’s been active at practice, the PRTC, & camps/clinics.
Daishawn qualified for Fargo last season, but was unable to attend. After seeing the jump he made in folkstyle this season, (he recently became the 1st Overbrook wrestler in school history to win a District Title) he can definitely make some noise out in Fargo.

While we love having the opportunity to create experiences like these for our student-athletes that have worked so hard, the reality is that high-level competitions like these are extremely costly. This year alone transportation, entry fees, food, & lodging will come to nearly $10,000.
Without the generosity of donors and community partners, these kids would not have the opportunity to compete in an event like this. If you’d like to learn more about supporting our cause, you can visit our Donation Page.
To follow all the action live, visit FloWrestling

In Their Shoes – Tatyana

My name is Tatyana Ortiz, and I am a Beat the Streets female wrestler competing at 106 lbs for Mariana Bracetti Academy.

“ It is foolish to fear what we have yet to see and know. “ – Itachi Uchiha

Before I get to telling you about myself, I want to brag a bit about the people that inspire me most in life; my siblings. One of five kids, I have two brothers and two sisters. Julio is 13, Julissa is 10, Julius is 9, & Taylinn is 6. Aside from Taylinn, the youngest, we are all wrestlers. After seeing them follow in my footsteps and become wrestlers, I realize that I am a role model to them. Knowing this,  I’ve always done as much as possible to be the role model they deserve. I’ve witnessed my siblings grow up and overcome all the hardships of coming from a broken family and being bounced around in the foster care system. They always stayed positive during the rough transitions of moving around with different families, and I really admire that. My siblings mean the world to me; they give me the strength to face life’s worst hardships,  and they inspire me every day to be the best person I can possibly be.

Unfortunately life has been far from easy for my siblings and I. From the time I was a little kid up until I was 16 my life was a wreck; and I didn’t know what to do. Our home was an unstable living environment to put it lightly. Neglect, drugs, and abuse were prevalent in my home, and we were pressured to keep it a secret so that we wouldn’t end up in the foster care system. I constantly feared for the safety of my siblings, and that fear outweighed anything else.

When case workers came to look at our home a few years ago, they took us away right then and there. Finding someone to stay with was very difficult. Seemingly everyone either didn’t have space for us, or didn’t even answer the phone. The ‘resolution’ DHS came up with was barely a  resolution at all. Julius & Julissa were sent to my friend John’s house, Taylinn stayed with her father (we don’t have the same father), and I went with Julio to a strangers house. I sat there and cried with my siblings that night because all we wanted was to be together and live happily. I had felt depression before, but at this point I felt it worse than ever.

You might be wondering what the silver lining is in all of this? For me, wrestling in Beat the Streets has been the only thing that has helped me through these tough times, and gave me something positive to focus on. At practice, I could finally feel happy and be worry free of all my actual problems. Along with that, wrestling made me feel normal because I was able to interact with people who had similar interests and make friends. Wrestling has truly been an incredible outlet. It has taught me so many things such as discipline, self confidence, self accountability and trusting in my teammates (just to name a few). Believing and trusting in others was very important to me because I’ve never had people I could trust before I started wrestling. Above all else, wrestling has taught me fearlessness.

With my senior year still ahead of me, I’ve already become the 1st ever female wrestler to qualify for the District XII Tournament & Northeast Regional Tournament. I am extremely focused on achievement both on the mat and in the classroom so that my siblings can see how chase their own goals and dreams. I plan on wrestling in college, studying art, and pursuing a career in art and theatre. I apply all of the lessons I’ve learned in the sport in accomplishing every one of my goals. While the individual challenges I face may differ, the motive stays the same; to be the best role model I can be for my siblings and to show them that no matter what hardships life throws your way, you can rise up.

When life is painful, it helps me  to remember how to be grateful. I am grateful for the opportunities I’ve had to compete all over the country and to meet amazing people. I am grateful for the support I have received from Beat the Streets in achieving my athletic and academic goals. I’m grateful for my school, Mariana Bracetti Academy for helping us put our home back together. I am grateful for my coach Matt McConnell for understanding what I went through and has always been there as someone to talk to. I am grateful for my very caring mentor, Marya Robinson, who has been like an older sister to me ever since she has entered my life.  I am grateful for everyone that has helped me get through my difficult journey. Lastly, I am grateful to everyone reading this, for giving me this opportunity to share my story. Without everyone I’ve met through the sport, through school, and through BTSP, I do not know where I would be in life.

Wrestling in Beat the Streets is something that will forever be in my heart. I will forever love the sport and the sport will forever love me.

May Program Update

The past few weeks have been eventful here at Beat the Streets; to say the least. This past month alone, wrestlers traveled to New York City to wrestle in the Rumble on the River (hosted by BTS NY), to Chambersburg, PA to compete in the PAWF State Tournament, and participated in 2 freestyle/greco clinics hosted by BTSP! Below are just a few key highlights from each of these events!
The Rumble on the River was an absolutely incredible experience for the kids. Each year BTSNY wrestles a lineup against all other BTS programs in an exhibition format. This year, 3 BTSP wrestlers were selected to compete: Zimire Rice, Zaire Crawford, and Angel Garcia. Zimir and Zaire both won matches by TF, while Angel lost a close match to a tough opponent in Terrance Parks. Following the exhibition matches, the kids were invited to stay for the main event as Team USA took on Team Cuba! We were all very thankful to have had out kids included in the days events and want to congratulate Beat the Streets New York on running yet another fantastic event!
The following morning, 23 wrestlers traveled from Philadelphia to Chambersburg to compete in the PAWF Freestyle/Greco State Championships. At this arduous 3-day affair, the goal was simple; survive and advance. A top 3 finish at this tournament qualifies athletes for the Fargo National Championships, while a top 4 finish qualifies athletes for the PRTC. Everyone wrestled extremely tough and should be proud of their efforts this weekend. For many of our kids, this was their 1st season of freestyle/greco and it was very rewarding to see them grow. There’s so much young talent here, it’s going to be fun to watch the kids compete. For the 1st time in BTSP history, 5 members of Team PA will be members of our organization! With that said, we would like to congratulate & recognize the individuals who performanced exceptionally well this weekend:
2018 Fargo Qualifiers

  • Angel Garcia; 3rd FR, 1st GR
  • Tatyana Ortiz; 1st FR(W), 3rd GR
  • Zimir Rice; 2nd GR
  • Grigol Kochsivielli; 3rd GR
  • Steven Foster; *UWW NE Regional place winner

PRTC Qualifiers

  • Luis Morales; 4th GR
  • Jordan Tarlton; 4th GR
  • Jihad Phillips; 4th GR

2018 Youth Wrestling Medalists

  • Julie Ortiz; 3rd FR
  • Mark Effendian; 3rd FR, 2nd GR

In large part, what made the success at the state tournament possible was the support of the local wrestling community. On May 5th & 12th, BTSP hosted freestyle/greco clinics open to all at the PAL Center in Port Richmond. Wrestlers from the surrounding area were welcomed in to train with BTSP and learn from high-level clinicians. Chase Pami (PRTC), Garrett Hammond (DREX), & Coach Savi (CRS), were all very generous in giving up their time to show some great technique and help to prepare the kids to face elite competition. Not only are these individuals amazingly talented wrestlers, they’re fantastic role models for the kids to look up to.

While all of this sounds like a lot of programming, there is still much more ahead of us. In just a few short weeks, BTSP will be preparing to send our 5 wrestlers to Fargo & a few others to wrestling camps. In order to support our kids in reaching their goals, we need your help.
This year, we’ve created a Summer Programming fund to support the programming our kids take part in over the next few months. If you have the capacity to give, your support will help kids travel to North Dakota and compete for a National Championship, travel to day camps sponsored by the University of Pennsylvania, and more.