BTSP Takes On High School Nationals & Inaugural Girl's Division

Over 4,000 wrestlers from across the nation found themselves qualifying for the 2019 NHSCA Nationals Tournament in Virginia Beach this past weekend. Nine of those wrestlers were Beat the Streets Alumni: Jacob Felix (senior, Pawtucket), Maurice Cooper (freshman, Hope), Alexander Reigosa (junior, Hope), Parris Cooper (junior, Hope HS), Ayomide Onajide (senior, Hope), Adolfo Betancur (freshman, Bishop Hendricken), Edison Guarcas (junior, Hope),  Jonathan Jimenez (junior, Hope), and Luis Lopez (sophomore, Hope).  

Hotel booked, bags packed, and car gassed the boys and their three coaches (Ed German, Shawn Giblin, and Silas Murray) drove 10 hours to the Virginia Beach Convention Center. After weighing in the team was motivated and ready to face off against the best high schoolers in the nation. Wrestling began Friday, March 29th. 

“No wrestler has made it to Sunday, but we are hoping with some of our guys this year that they will see competition on Sunday,” said coach Silas Murray.

His prediction was correct, Freshman Adolfo Betancur saw mat time on Sunday. Betancur was a wrestler at Del Sesto Middle School with Beat the Streets Providence and now attends Bishop Hendricken Catholic High School.  Placing 4th in the freshman division at 285 Betancur is now a High School All American.  

Alongside the six male divisions was the first female division in the 30 years of NHSCA high school wrestling nationals.  Two wrestlers, Skyla Chakoulan (East Providence) and Logan Farnsworth (East Providence), competed in the inaugural weekend. Chakoulan clinched 2nd with a textbook pin. A monumental accomplishment for the young wrestler and for women’s wrestling across the nation. Farnsworth finished 2-2 and “[hopes] next year we’ll have a full team going.”  No doubt there is a lot of male and female talent coming out of New England.

Super 32 Challenge

Super 32 Challenge

On October 28th, three BTSPVD athletes - Edith Moore, Anjelica Guarcas, and Maricruz Flores - competed in the prestigious Super 32 Challenge in Greensboro, NC under the guidance of new Women’s Program Director, Jacque Davis. This was the longest trip that any of the girls had ever made to compete and the most competitive tournament that they participated in to date.

Travel began on Friday, October 26th when Coach Davis and the girls departed Providence to meet BTS New York athletes at the facility where the New York RTC (including Olympic Champion Helen Maroulis!) holds its practices. The girls had a joint workout with the BTSNY team which was the first collaborative effort between our two programs!

On Saturday travel continued as they drove to the venue in North Carolina for weigh ins. As soon as weigh ins were done, they had to dinner with featured guest Melissa Simmons, a University National Champion, Collegiate National Champion, and current Director of Operations for NC State. They also met the entire Flo Wrestling staff as well as former US National Team Member and current Bellator fighter Deron Winn!

Sunday was the day of competition. Coach Davis had this to say of the tournament: “This event was stacked from top to bottom in each weight class with World Team members, Pan Am Team members, National Team members, and Fargo AA. Our girls got their first real taste of an elite tournament and although they did not place, they showed true growth from a month ago when they first walked in for the season. They were in each other's corners cheering for each other and taking videos, they were warming each other up, checking brackets for each other, taking notes on what they wanted to improve on. They were even taking the time to meet college coaches and get business cards!”

After the tournament, the team departed for Ferrum, VA where they visited with the Ferrum College Women’s Wrestling Team. They spent the night and ended the trip on Monday with a tour of the school and Q&A with Head Coach Jess Medina, a 2x U.S. World Team Member and 3x U.S. National Team Member.

Some quotes from the athletes:

"I really love that I got this amazing opportunity. Honestly, first seeing a tournament like Super 32 made me a bit overwhelmed; I have never been to a place that huge. Even though I had some trials along the way, I really grew as a wrestler. I can't wait to grow our women's wrestling program and turn my dreams into reality!" - Edith Moore, 10th grade, Classical High School

"This was my first far away trip with BTS. I met new people who have the same desire and passion for the sport I love and I never thought it would happen, but now we have long-lasting friendships. The four days were so eventful and filled with laughter. It was just amazing." - Anjelica Guarcas, 8th grade, Del Sesto Middle School

"I had an amazing time meeting and building relationships with wrestlers and coaches from different states. When I first entered into the Super 32 tournament I was shocked by how many people were watching and how much competition there was. I was nervous and even though I am still learning freestyle and was challenged with new circumstances, it made me want to work harder and learn more." - Maricruz Flores, 10th grade, Hope High School

Rumble in Providence

Rumble in Providence

On November 4th, BTSPVD hosted a takedown tournament, Rumble in Providence, in the Moses Brown High School Fieldhouse. This season-opening event was a huge success, as over 100 student-athletes from all over Rhode Island showed up to compete! It was a great day for athletes and families alike, as the relaxed atmosphere made it easy for family members (especially those new to our wrestling community) to ask questions, interact with coaches, and watch the free clinic before the tournament!

Special thanks to all the BTS athletes and families who attended the event, as well as other club teams from around Rhode Island like Top Flight, Mayo-Quanchi, and ATC! You made this event so successful that we hope to host more like it. Mark your calendars; our next date is November 18th.

Some words on the event from Program Director of Wrestling and Mentoring, Silas Murray:

“This event was awesome! The coaches did a great job getting their wrestlers and families to this event. I enjoyed parents taking pictures, videos, coaching and asking questions to coach their kids. I also enjoyed watching different wrestling teams coaching strategies. There were a variety of different wrestling moves I saw executed by our different program teams. Different teams show different moves, some of our programs focused on leg attacks while some only focused on upper body techniques. Another example the whole West Broadway team jumping up for their team as they competed. Another example is coaches helping coach kids who did not have coaches available. The most beautiful thing was seeing kids mixing, mingling and teaching kids from different teams within our program.”