This is not Goodbye, but See You Later

Beat the Streets Philadelphia (BTSP) has been working with South Philadelphia High School for six years. Throughout those years we have worked closely with Athletic Director Roscoe Natale, who has been nothing but determined to help impact the lives of the students around him. Throughout his time at South Philly High, he has worked tirelessly to improve their athletic programs and facilities. He even played a role in the creation of South Philly High’s wrestling program, who went undefeated during their 2016-2017 season.
BTSP’s core values of grit, compassion, service, and team are qualities that staff and program participants aim to live by, having strong community partners that also embody those values is of great importance. Roscoe has been one of those partners for quite some time. He exceeded his duties as an athletic director, not only serving and helping the kids at his school, but the youth as a whole in Philadelphia by opening the gymnasium, providing space for BTSP events. Every year BTSP hosts an annual “Philly Youth Wrestle Day” tournament at South Philly High. The tournament features 16 teams, with boys and girls ranging from K-8th grade. For years this event has brought young athletes and the surrounding community together. Roscoe sacrificed his weekends to help with the planning and logistics that go into running the tournament. Dan Altomare, director of wrestling has worked closely with Roscoe the past two years and expressed how vital Roscoe’s involvement had been, “He went above and beyond to help out with our youth events, getting his hands dirty rolling up mats and whatever else needed to be done.”
Roscoe intends to carry on what he started by making sure that someone who knows wrestling is present at South Philly High. That someone is the current wrestling and football coach, Rob Schloss. Roscoe will forever be remembered for what he has done for BTSP as we continue to work with South Philly High to make a positive impact on the Philadelphia wrestling ecosystem.
 

“Definitely going to be missed as someone who cannot easily be replaced”- James Mangan

 
After many years at South Philadelphia High, Roscoe is finally retiring. Roscoe will definitely be missed, but we know wherever you go you will continue to make a positive impact on those around you. You’re truly one of a kind, thank you for all you have done for us at BTSP, the kids, and the surrounding community. We wish you nothing but success in the future!

Ernest Holland – In their shoes

Hey my name is Ernest Holland, Aka Ernesto. I’m from West Philadelphia, I’ve been a Beat the Streets wrestler since 2010, and I’m currently a freshman at Temple University. I just want to start by saying thank you all for taking the time to read this and for helping to create and support a great organization like Beat the Streets which has really become a family to me.
In elementary school, I grew up with a single parent who was in charge of 8 kids total. As you can imagine I didn’t have access to all the new toys or gadgets other kids had at my age. Yeah I had the obama phone and it was dang good too but the point is that we had a hard time as a family. Even though I had very little, I cherished my mom and grandma, and when grandma passed away it was one of the worst times of my life. My grandmother was my best friend and her passing made it nearly impossible to stay engaged in school and to stay out of trouble. My grades began to slip because I didn’t want to do anything. I was sad…and i just wanted to give up. On top of that tragedy, I was witnessing shootings, robberies and other types of violence in the neighborhood on a regular basis. All of this made me feel angry which led me to get in trouble for fighting frequently. I felt horrible about slipping grades and getting in trouble, because I could see that I was letting my Mom down.
It was like a spot of light came through a tunnel of darkness when Coach Mccabe told us that there was going to be a wrestling team added to the school. I remember it like it was yesterday because we were the first program to ever be a part of Beat the Streets in Philadelphia. It was so exciting because it was the first time this sport was brought to life in our area…it was amazing! When we had our first practice Coach Mccabe said first thing “you guys are gonna keep your grades up and you cannot get in trouble if you want to wrestle”. Instantly I knew that if I wanted to do this sport, I had to be the best that I could in the classroom and in life.
My 9 years with Beat The Streets have been full of incredible memories. I got to travel with the All-Star wrestling team, competing in Connecticut, Maryland, Virginia, New Jersey…etc. I got to lead the way for Belmont wrestlers by being the first state placer for my middle school. I had the opportunity to wrestle in the big Time Square New York, and even meeting Olympic Gold medalist Jordan Burroughs. I wrestled in the Cadet Duals for freestyle. I had the opportunity to meet and learn from some of the best wrestlers and coaches in the country, like Olympic coach Brandon Slay. We went on college tours and did summer camps which definitely gave me the college experience and helped me figure out my path. I feel grateful to have had these experiences and to have built friendships that I never thought I would make. This eventually influenced my decision of my college career choice. Which was studying with the major of entrepreneurship and eventually traveling all over the world trying to expand a business that has relations with film production,thanks to Pooya, my mentor for helping me with my essay for college. He helped craft it together to making it a masterpiece. That’s what I called it…he helped me get into to one of my top schools, receiving an academic scholarship and having to pay less money and this semester no money due to grants and scholarships.
My years as a wrestler for Beat The Streets has made me wise, like the owl I am today…get it guys…cause I go to Temple (crowd laughs). During those times in middle school I’ve learned a lot of things. The program has made me the way I am today  because it not only helped me learn the sport of wrestling but it also taught me how to keep my composure, show sportsmanship, integrity, responsibility, believe in myself and so much more. Thanks to Mccabe I’ve really realized that you have to work hard, and you have to grind in order to really reach your goal. That lesson was very impactful and I’m truly grateful for having somebody like him guide me throughout my journey. I would probably not be here talking to you guys if it wasn’t for him.
Maybe the most important lesson that I learned is to be selfless, to think about others that need help and that it’s not just about me; because even with what I have been through, there’s always someone going through worse. This lesson is what motivates me to help out the younger BTS wrestlers in the mentoring center and on the mat. I went from being bad little knucklehead from West Philadelphia in a not so good neighborhood that gets into trouble all the time, to a guy who is striving to make a positive impact on society.
Reflecting on all of those great memories makes me proud to have been a part of the first BTS program in Philadelphia; I got the chance to see how we started with supporting a couple of local schools, to building our mentoring center from the ground up, and to helping out nearly every school in the Philadelphia area to prevent local kids from getting hurt on these streets.   There are millions of kids just like me who need your help, so thank you to everyone for supporting this organization, for supporting this family.
 

BTSP Student-Athletes Making History

BTSP Student-Athletes Making History
During Penn Wrestling’s long and storied history it has recorded many firsts; including crowning the first national champion, joining the first intercollegiate wrestling association as an inaugural member, and playing host to the first collegiate wrestling tournament. So, on Sunday December 2nd, as Penn hosted Maryland for a dual meet inside the historic Palestra it seemed only fitting that another historic moment took place.
On Sunday, two young men in Jon Guevara (Penn) & Idris White (UMD) suited up on either side of the mat; both of whom learned to wrestle through the Beat the Streets Philadelphia (BTSP) program. Idris & Jon are both outstanding role models and fantastic examples of BTSP student-athletes continuing on a path of altered life trajectory.
Like many BTSP student-athletes Idris White grew up in an under resourced, economically depressed section of Philadelphia. At the time, opportunities to participate in sports-based youth development programs were limited to more popular sports like football, basketball & baseball. Idris wasn’t particularly interested in those sports, however. In 2007, his father found a small wrestling program operating in the basement of a Police Athletic League recreation center in Port Richmond. At the time this was the only free wrestling club available in a city of nearly 1.5 million. Coincidentally, 2007 was also the year that the formation of BTSP began (we would later become officially established in 2009 and partnered with PAL shortly thereafter). As he tells it, Idris fell in love with the sport of wrestling almost immediately. Idris’ talent & passion for wrestling opened up scholarship opportunities for him to attend private high school at Father Judge. As a junior he finished 7th at the PIAA state championships, an accomplishment that garnered interest from a number of Division I wrestling coaches.
For Jon Guevara, wrestling didn’t enter his life until his freshman year at Central High School. By that time, BTSP had grown to develop a partnership with the School District of Philadelphia; supporting all of the teams competing in the Philadelphia Public League. Despite Jon’s incredible work ethic and dedication to the sport, his season always ended at the NE Regional Tournament, one round shy of the State Championships. Jon’s goals were always bigger than wrestling. As a first-generation American, Jon was determined to be the first in his family to attend college; and not just any college. Jon was fully intent on attending the University of Pennsylvania. He took the initiative to enlist the help of mentors at Beat the Streets Philadelphia. Those mentors helped him with SAT/ACT test prep and helped him to navigate the college application process. In 2015, Jon received his acceptance letter from the University of Pennsylvania; that’s when he raised the bar even further and set his sights on becoming a Penn Wrestler. Last month, during the 2018 Keystone Classic, Jon recorded his first collegiate win in a Penn singlet!
With Idris and Jon having different journeys, their paths rarely crossed in high school despite graduated from Philadelphia high schools in the same year. However, their common experience of being Beat the Streets wrestlers linked the two together as they made history being the first two BTSP wrestlers to suit up for opposing Division I wrestling teams. Idris and Jon represent the mission and goals of Beat the Streets Philly as their participation has positively altered life’s trajectory. Both young men have exemplified the BTSP core values of grit, compassion, service and team. Idris and Jon are pioneers and role models that current and future Beat the Streets program participants, proving that bold goals can be accomplished. When passion meets purpose the outcome is life altering!
The Beat the Streets Wrestling Program of Philadelphia is committed to establishing youth wrestling programs in the Philadelphia metropolitan region. The organization fosters the holistic development of student-athletes by providing the resources to support wrestling and an academic mentoring programs throughout the greater Philadelphia region.
Beat the Streets Philadelphia was founded on the principle that all children have the potential to become productive citizens when provided the proper support. This belief has endured since the establishment of our first program in 2008 located in the city of Camden, NJ. To this day, the organization remains laser focused on running wrestling and mentoring based youth development programs for underprivileged student-athletes that alter the trajectory of their lives.

May Bethea, Program Development Associate

Beat the Streets Philadelphia (BTSP) is excited to announce the recent addition of May Bethea as part-time Program Development Associate. A 2018 graduate from the University of Pennsylvania with a B.S. in Sociology, May is familiar with the mission and values of BTSP as well as the unique nature of the Philadelphia wrestling ecosystem. May will work directly with the BTSP executive staff to improve and grow BTSP mentoring and wrestling youth development programs, manage social media content, and support fund development initiatives. In addition to his employment with BTSP, May has also been recently named the Director of Wrestling Operations with Penn Wrestling; providing increased synergy between the two organizations.

“I have always been passionate about wrestling and academics. BTSP provides me the opportunity to serve in a way that is meaningful to me” – May Bethea

Born and raised in Trenton, May is the youngest of eight siblings; six brothers and two sisters. Parents Gloria and Alex Bethea instilled the student-athlete mentality by balancing sport and education in harmony. All nine of the Bethea children participated in youth sports. May leveraged that upbringing by becoming a 3x NJ state place winner while wrestling at Trenton High School. That success provided a pathway to continue his pursuit of higher education and athletics at the University of Pennsylvania. Not to be overshadowed by his four older Penn Alumni brothers (three former Penn Grapplers); May became a 3x NCAA National Championships qualifier, 2x team Co-Captain, and unanimous 1st Team All-Ivy wrestler.
 
You can find a complete list of Staff and Board members here.
Help support the BTSP mission of “positively altering life’s trajectory” consider making a gift at: Donate Now

Beat the Streets Philadelphia to be honored with Eagles

May 3, 2018

Beat the Streets to be honored with Robert P. Levy Community Service Award; Kensington Soccer Club to be recognized as City of Philadelphia Parks & Recreation Sports Volunteer of the Year
Super Bowl LII Champion Philadelphia Eagles To Be Recognized with 2018 John Wanamaker Athletic Award
 

Philadelphia (May 3, 2018) – For the first time in John Wanamaker Athletic Award history, the Philadelphia Eagles will be honored as a team for the organization’s accomplishments during this year’s unprecedented Super Bowl championship run. During a ceremony and luncheon at the Crystal Tea Room on June 11, the crowning achievement — bringing home the Vince Lombardi Trophy for the first time in Philadelphia history — will be celebrated as a moment of pride and positive attention for the city and region.
Since 1961, the John Wanamaker Athletic Award has highlighted athletes and teams that embody the spirit of Philadelphia during a given year. The award is presented by PHL Sports, a business development division of the Philadelphia Convention & Visitors Bureau (PHLCVB), in conjunction with Amerimar/Rubenstein Partners, CBS3 and the Philadelphia Daily News.
“On behalf of the Philadelphia Eagles, it is an honor to be recognized as this year’s recipient of the John Wanamaker Athletic Award,” said Eagles President Don Smolenski. “This is an award that will hold special significance for us because it symbolizes the bond that we share with the City of Philadelphia and our fans, and will serve as a reminder of what we were able to accomplish together this past season. We are also proud to be acknowledged alongside Beat the Streets and the Kensington Soccer Club, who are doing great work in our community and are very deserving of their awards.”
Promoting youth wrestling and keeping students on the path to athletic and academic success is the crux of Beat the Streets Philadelphia, this year’s Robert P. Levy Community Service Award winner. Founded in 2009, the program fosters the holistic development of student-athletes by providing access to resources and mentorship opportunities throughout the region. The nonprofit is apt for the award, which is bestowed upon an individual or organization that has done the most to “improve the quality of life in Philadelphia through sports.”

“We are continually amazed and inspired every time we reflect on the progress our student-athletes achieve in athletics and academics,” said Executive Director James Mangan. “The Robert P. Levy Community Service Award is validation of our program and the 10 years we have been working on ‘positively altering life’s trajectory’ for Philadelphia’s most deserving individuals.”
Also to be recognized during the luncheon will be Kensington Soccer Club, which will be receiving the sixth annual Sports Volunteer of the Year Award, presented by the City of Philadelphia’s Parks & Recreation department.
PHL Sports Chairman and Phillies Chairman David Montgomery commended the award recipients for their contributions.
“This past year was a spectacular one for the Philadelphia sports scene. Without a doubt, it was most impacted by the Eagles winning their first Super Bowl. Our entire region was captivated by their success, and they are incredibly worthy recipients of the 2018 Wanamaker Award.”
Montgomery added, “The Wanamaker ceremony provides us with the opportunity to salute the work of organizations making a huge difference for our city’s young people through sports, and we’re thrilled to recognize Beat the Streets and the Kensington Soccer Club this year.”
PHL Sports, Amerimar/Rubenstein Partners, CBS3 and the Philadelphia Daily News present the Wanamaker Athletic Award ceremony and luncheon. The public participated in the nomination process via ballots in the Philadelphia Daily News and online during April. The Wanamaker Selection Committee, consisting of a cross-section of sports and media representatives, made the final decision.
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PHL Sports, a business development division of the Philadelphia Convention & Visitors Bureau, seeks to attract major sporting events and conventions to the Philadelphia area. PHL Sports, working in conjunction with the City of Philadelphia, the city’s professional teams and universities, has attracted many events to the city and is currently working on bids for future sporting events. To learn more, visit discoverPHL.com/phlsports.

Press Release: Beat the Streets National Supporting Youth Development Programs to Grow Wrestling Opportunities


Beat the Streets National Supporting Youth Development Programs to Grow Wrestling Opportunities
 
A national organization to support Beat the Streets city programs around the United States officially launched during the DI NCAA Wrestling Championships in Cleveland, Ohio March 15-17.  Co-hosted by the four founding members, Chicago, Los Angeles, New York, and Philadelphia and Cleveland, the kickoff successfully highlighted the collaborative effort among Beat the Streets programs to improve the lives of youth through wrestling.
Over the next year, all Beat the Streets (BTS) programs will be invited to join to further the collective mission of youth development through wrestling.  The National organization will support member programs through shared information, best practices and standard operating procedures. Beat The Streets National will facilitate partnerships with USA Wrestling, the National Wrestling Coaches Association, Wrestle Like A Girl and other important stakeholders in wrestling and youth development.
BTS National is building on over 10 years of successful BTS programs around the United States and World.  In 2017, BTS Member Programs reached 5,200+ kids and they delivered BTS programming at 108 sites and support school-based programs at 217 sites. Major milestones were reached with 100% of BTS Philadelphia students graduating on time and 77% of at risk BTS New York Jr League participants improving their academic confidence. “Our Member Programs have developed and adopted standards that offer a consistent level of quality to their participants. Members are working towards positioning Beat the Streets National to have an even greater impact. In 2018 we are looking to further expand and increase support to additional programs,” stated Jeffrey Marsh, Executive Director of BTS National.
The reception in Cleveland included many executive directors, board members, partners and supporters of the current programs. In attendance were BTS founder Mike Novogratz as well as USA Wrestling President Bruce Baumgartner and Executive Director Rich Bender. Bender and his staff at USAW have showed support for BTS National Member Programs with donations in-kind.
Brendan Buckley, Executive Director BTS New York, stated “The Beat the Streets National event was a hit. It provided me an opportunity to tell the story of Beat the Streets and the great work of BTS National. I was able to answer questions relative to how BTS National works with the various independent sites.”
The Executive Director of BTS Philadelphia, James Mangan said, “Having so many committed individuals in a room, sharing the mission of ‘positively altering life’s trajectory’ for thousands of boys and girls through the sport of wrestling was extremely beneficial. Intentionally working together in the months and years to come will lead to tremendous progress both locally and nationally.”
Michael Powell, Executive Director of BTS Chicago affirms. He enjoyed the atmosphere of progress that was present at the event and says, “It was great to see so many major wrestling players excited about the prospects of what promises to be a game changing organization.”
The kickoff was a springboard for the funding of BTS National and the mission of expanding support to members who will ensure youth development within existing and new programs. “It is critical BTS programs are sustainable so that all of our executive directors, programming directors and coach-mentors have the tools they need to continue to have a life changing impact on the kids they serve,” explained Marsh. “The energy in the room that Friday was inspiring. The passion in these organizations runs deep.”
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More information about Beat the Streets can be found at
https://beatthestreets.org or contact Executive Director Jeffrey Marsh, [email protected]

Featured Match, Frankford at Southern

The PIAA District 12 is the home for all Philadelphia High School teams including both Catholic and Public schools. Within District 12, the Public League divides it’s 15 team into two Divisions; Independence and Liberty. Last month we featured the top performing teams from the Independence Division: a rematch of the 2016-2017 Public League Championship, Central bested Northeast by a score of 52-15. (See the match recap here)
This month we directed our attention towards the Liberty Division’s two undefeated teams, South Philadelphia and Frankford. With playoff implications on the line, this was sure to be a dual neither teams could afford to lose. Coaches Rob Schloss (Southern) and Joe Farina (Frankford) clearly understood the stakes. Both coaches could be seen carefully reviewing roster strategy as their teams warmed up. When we asked Coach Farina for a prediction he exclaimed “It’s going to be close!”. He couldn’t have been more right!
The match started out with a forfeit at the 113 weight class. With South’s Thaj Williams getting his hand raised in exchange for 6 team points momentum was already on Southern’s side. At 120 Damien Riles recorded a first period fall over Frankford’s Iverson Ratchford. Keyauri Pooler from Southern picked up another forfeit win for South at 126 moving his team to a 18-0 lead after three matches.

Dawud Faruqi (Southern) with a chin-whip against Tariq Mines (Frankford)

Frankford’s 132 pounder Luck Hives put a stop to the losing streak with a 26 second pin over Aristodue Intwali erasing the team score goose egg. But with the experience of South Philadelphia’s next two wrestlers the momentum would swing back in their direction. Dawud Faruqi (Southern) pinning Tariq Mines (Frankford), followed by a fall from Naseen Pennington (Southern) over Camont Mull (Frankford), Southern now had a commanding 30-6 lead nearing the mid point of the dual.
Frankford’s Christ Adechokan finishing in headlock position for the fall

Forfeits at 152 and 160 from Southern started to play a role with Frankford’s Marcus Logan and Fateen McFadden getting 6 points each after effortless hand-raises. South Philadelphia’s Anthony Williamson would offset some of the forfeit sting by pinning Eric Watson (Frankford) in 1 minute and 12 seconds of the first period. Frankford would respond with back-to-back pins at 182 and 195 with Christ Adechokan beating Edgar Caraballo, and Gabriel Perez coming from behind to beat Steve Cacciatore.
Kenny Purvis gets some last minute instruction from Coach Farina before his HWT match

After a forfeit for Southern’s Ishmael Kesserly at 220 the team score was 42-30. In anticipation of a forfeit win in favor of Frankford’s 106, Jorge Rivera, it was apparent that the match would come down to heavyweight. At 4 minutes and 10 Seconds in the third period it happened; Frankford’s Kenneth Purvis collects the fall against Marquise Millen! The final score 42-42!  The winner would be determined by criteria. To the official rule book…

a. The team whose opposing wrestlers or team personnel has been penalized the greater number of team points for flagrant misconduct or unsportsmanlike conduct shall be declared the winner.
b. The team whose opposing head coach has been penalized the greater number of team points for coach misconduct shall be declared the winner.
c. The team whose opposing wrestlers were penalized the greater number of match points for unsportsmanlike conduct during a match shall be declared the winner.
d. The team having won the greater number of matches (including forfeits) shall be declared the winner.
e. The team having accumulated the greater number of points for falls, defaults, forfeits, or disqualifications shall be declared the winner.
f. The team having the greater number of points for technical falls shall be declared the winner.
g. The team having the greater number of points for major decisions shall be declared the winner.
h. The team having the greater number (total match points) of first point(s) shall be declared the winner.
i. The team having the greater number of points for near-falls shall be declared the winner.

After all the criteria was reviewed, Southern was declared the winner based on tie breaker criteria (i) in one of the craziest outcomes from the Public league this year. With playoffs just weeks away Beat the Streets looks forward to providing additional recaps in February.

A full gallery of images can be found at: https://goo.gl/TVuojz

January Wrestler of the Month – Kenneth Purvis

Each month, Beat the Streets Philadelphia recognizes one student-athlete as ‘Wrestler of the Month.’ Selections are made based on recommendations from coaches, mentors, and/or BTS staff. For January, we have selected Kenneth Purvis of Frankford High School!
Executive Director, James Mangan spent some time with Kenny just before the start of the featured match of the month; Frankford at South Philadelphia. Audio from this interview can be found at the bottom of this article.
Kenny, a senior at Frankford High School and Juniata resident has a positive energy that is a pleasure to be around. His 6 foot tall, 270 lb frame is naturally balanced with a smile that never fades. When speaking with him it is obvious he has a positive outlook on life. Considering the things Kenny has to overcome on a daily basis, his personality is an inspiration.

“It’s a hard neighborhood, so we all go through a lot”

Kenny comes off as a natural leader amongst his peers. It would make sense that his favorite class offered at Frankford is Peer Group Connection taught by Mrs. Damond. Having that support system in the school encouraged Kenny to be active in other ways, including improving his own physical health. Kenny met former Mariana Bracetti Academy wrestler and current Beat the Streets mentor Edwin Morales three years ago at the same neighborhood gym. It is there that Kenny was motivated by Edwin to begin wrestling. As a 10th grader Kenny was 40 lbs heavier than the maximum weight class, but that didn’t discourage him. The nature of wrestling challenges individuals both physically and mentally helping many achieve goals otherwise thought to be impossible.

“I lost a total of 5o pounds, I feel a lot better.”

Coach Joe Farina discusses match strategy with Kenneth Purvis

On the year, Kenny is undefeated in the Public League, more impressive is his commitment to success in the classroom. Kenny plans to finish this marking period with second honors. Frankford’s Head Coach Joe Farina understands the importance of putting academics first. That message is reinforced at every wrestling practice as part of a holistic development philosophy. Upon graduation Kenny has his eye’s set on attending Brightwood Career institute to pursue a career as an electrician. It is clear Kenny knows where he is going, but he admits there is still some unfinished business on the mat as a senior…

“I want to make it to States, I want to go all the way in my last year!”

If you would like to contribute to Beat the Streets and help to create more opportunities for kids like Kenneth Purvis, you can visit our Donate Now page here. If you would like to consider giving in other ways, either as a mentor or wrestling coach, please fill out one of our interest forms and we’ll be in touch!
Audio from the interview:

 

Youth Wrestling Returns

Youth Wrestling Season

Over the past month and a half Beat the Streets Philadelphia youth and middle school programs have begun training for the 2017-2018 season. There are two new programs this year with Penn Treaty Middle School and Trenton Rivera attributing to the growth. Sponsoring 17 individual wrestling based youth development teams this year will allow BTS Philly to reach an estimated 800 boys and girls, ages 5-14. Couple that with the 13 high school programs, there will be an estimated 1,200 student athletes engaged in programing this academic year.
Every Student Athlete is provided the opportunity to receive support off the mat at the BTS Mentoring Center, located in University City. Volunteer mentors from Upenn, Drexel, Temple, ROTC, and Philadelphia Rotary, provide wrestlers with group, as well as one on one support. Last month students worked on classroom assignments, prepared for the SAT and ACT, attended a College Knowledge workshop designed to help navigated the college application process, all in addition to receiving quality near peer mentoring. This year additional mentoring programing will be offered at our  Allentown, Alliance, Mastery, and PAL Wrestling Club locations.
Starting in January, the BTSP Youth and Middle School Competition season begins with events scheduled every weekend. Our weekend events include opportunities for BTS Philly wrestlers to compete and watch college duals at the Palestra and Daskalakis Center. The annual year end tournament is once again scheduled on the second weekend in February.
Full details about this years season can be found here: BTSP League (Parents Guide)

Get involved:

Become a Coach
Become a Mentor
Make a Donation

Featured Match, Central vs Northeast

The District 12, Philadelphia Public League featured match in December had all the makings of a barn burner. A rematch of last year’s Public League Championship, Central Lancers traveled to Northeast High School with the goal of defending their status as the best team in the league. Coaches Jeremy Julien and Mike Siravo are no strangers to facing each other in matches like this. With the PPL being split between Central and NE for the past few years. Many would say that this match is a prelude to the seasons Championship match on January 24th, 2018.

(Coach Julien providing guidance to Central’s Caleb Perline during an injury stoppage)

Despite the big home crowd at Northeast, Central started the dual with a 2nd period win as Gregory Pugh pinned Jared Hynson. That would lead to a six match win streak for the Lancers with (106) Mosin Ghafary pinning Ryan Ponce, Caleb Perline’s tech-fall over Ian Santiago, Sami Kakar with a minor decision over Mike Acevedo, Aboubakare Diaby with a minor decision over Joe Lombardo, and Gai Lomidze’s tech-fall over Chris DelValle. Close matches at 120 and 126 could be swing matches later in the year. With the team score 28-0 after 6 matches Central looked to be in a good place to walk away victorious.
Adrian Lugo gets NE its first win with a 11-7 minor decision over Jackson Fung. Central would once again go on a win streak from 145-160 recording a minor decision from Nick Henry over Rigoberto Vasquez-Ortiz, an overtime win from Lucien Anderson over Mike Rubino, and a supprise pin from Greg Khochiashvili (wrestling in place of Nick Rubino) over Zamire Thomas. Central secures the team victory after that win with just four weight classes remaining. Matches up at 145, 152 and 160 can all go the other way in the future.
(Coach Siravo staying focused during blood time)

Northeast’s Emrakh Faikov pined Alan Giang at 170, followed by Central picking up wins from Vlad Falendysh pining  Chris Lopez and Charles Livingston pinning Victor Tiu. The highest ranked wrestler on either team, Jameel Coles from Northeast finished the dual with the only forfeit leaving the final score 52-12, Central over Northeast.
Central Coach Bucky Johnson said “We thought it was going to be a lot closer. We won at some weight classes we didn’t expect to.”
Northeast’s Siravo stated “It stared off bad and continued throughout the entire match. We have some work to do before we see Central again.”
Regardless of the outcome from this match, one thing is clear…These are two very good teams that will be a force to be reckoned with after the break.
Next up for both teams is the Wetzel Classic in Hatboro Horsham on 12/29 and 12/30.
Full gallery of images available at: https://goo.gl/xDYg1t