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.