It’s rare to see someone with as much drive as Thomas Jennings, especially at such a young age. Thomas, only 11, started wrestling last season and was soon hooked. Many wrestlers, especially ones new to the sport, take the summers off, but that idea never crossed Thomas’s mind. 2 or 3 times every week he travelled to Penn Charter or George Washington to practice. While others were relaxing, he was developing new skills and honing previously learned ones. His coaches rave about his attention to detail and his determination to master moves. If Thomas doesn’t understand a move, he’ll try it again, and again, and again, until he can confidently execute it with no problems. Thomas’s drive on the wrestling mat is fueled by a much bigger goal, getting a college education. His older sister plays soccer on scholarship at Kutztown University. Growing up in a competitive family, he uses that to motivate himself to get better at wrestling, realizing that someday he could use the sport to offset the cost of his own college education. While college is still a long way off for the 6th grader, he is already setting himself on track to achieve his goals. At any given practice this offseason, the coaches knew that Thomas would be there, putting in the extra hours to improve his skills. Thomas has already improved leaps and bounds from where he was last year, and his progression will only continue with the hard work and dedication he invests in the sport. He cannot wait to get on the mats and wrestle some matches this season to show the progress he has made. When asked what he enjoyed about the sport, Thomas replied that he had great coaches that made him feel comfortable and confident on the mats. Thomas loves going to practice and being able to receive instruction from knowledgeable coaches that genuinely care about him. Thomas’s drive and dedication have made him November’s Wrestler of the Month.
James Mangan is the Executive Director of Beat the Streets Philadelphia. James comes with a depth of experience from all...Read More »