April 5-7th wrestling fans gathered to watch the most talented high-school wrestlers travel from states across the country as they competed at the NHSCA High School Nationals tournament for a chance to be crowned a National Champion! This year marked the 35th anniversary of the esteemed national tournament organized by the National High School Coaches Association and presented by ASICS, both official partners of the Beat the Streets National movement. 

 

Beat the Streets National Executive Director, Ben Reiter expressed his gratitude to NHSCA, “We are so grateful to NHSCA for their support and the opportunity to compete at such a high level, this has been an unforgettable and character-forging experience for our young wrestlers across multiple Beat the Streets Cities!”

BTS student-athletes representing five cities fought hard this weekend for their chance at a National Championship.

This year, 44 middle school and high school student-athletes and 17 coaches from BTS, represented Baltimore, Cleveland, D.C. New York City, and New England, traveled to Virginia Beach to compete for the National title. Oumar Tounkara, a BTS athlete was crowned a National Champion in their respective division (106lbs, Junior Division). Tounkara, from BTS NYC, won 5 matches, including 3 pins on his way to earning the ultimate crown. National Champion Oumar Tounkara had the following to say about his experience at NHSCAs and with BTS, “Becoming a champion at the NHSCA was a milestone enriched by the strong family bond at Beat the Streets. Winning NHSCA wasn’t just a personal achievement; it was a journey made possible by the BTS staff. From the grueling practices to the expensive travel across states, the BTS community was there every step of the way, providing guidance and support. The unwavering belief and encouragement from the BTS family played a pivotal role in fostering a champion’s mindset, highlighting the power of community in the world of wrestling. This journey to the top is not just a personal one, but a testament to what BTS instills in its athletes.”

 

Oumar Tounkara, National Champion, encourages all student-athletes to “be an active participant in your own success.”
Photo Credit: Levi Ventura

Four other athletes earned All-American status this year including Baltimore’s Ugochi Anunobi (3rd Place, 152lbs, Girls Division, Record 5-1, 5 pins) and Rasheed “RJ” Duncan (8th Place, Heavyweight, Senior Division, Record 4-3, 4 pins), New York City’s Isabella Lorenzana (7th Place, 235lbs, Girls Division, Record 3-2, 3 pins) and Evin Gursoy (3rd Place, 113lbs, Junior Division, Record 6-1, 1 pin). Both Baltimore’s Ugochi Anunobi and NYC’s Evin Gursoy have earned All-American status at this tournament for the second time in their careers! We also want to congratulate Kevin Olavarria, a former BTS Lancaster student-wrestler who moved from Lancaster to Florida this past year. This weekend, Kevin placed 3rd in his respective division at NHSCAs (170lb Senior Division). Two BTS athletes from BTS Cleveland, freshman Derion Williams, and middle schooler, Josiah Sims, fought hard to earn All-American honors but fell short, losing in the blood round. 

 

The National High School Coaches Association provides 40 scholarships for Beat the Streets National student-athletes, allowing these young men and women to experience competition at the highest level while also demonstrating their own skills on the mat, “We are proud to sponsor the Beat the Streets athletes and coaches to attend the NHSCA High School Nationals and assist in promoting new opportunities to their athletes,” shared NHSCA CEO Bobby Ferraro, “We love the mission of Beat the Streets and are hopeful to continue to be a solutions partner for their organization.” 

BTS Student-Athletes who earned All-American status at NHSCAs 2024

 

BTS athletes also had the opportunity to meet ASICS athletes and decorated wrestlers Mike Macchiavello and Trent Hidlay over the weekend. BTS student-athlete and NHSCA All-American Isabella Lorenzana during the Meet and Greet with ASICS athlete Mike Macchiavello. ASICS serves as Beat the Streets National’s official and exclusive Apparel Partner heavily supporting the BTS Annual GearUp! initiative and being the Presenting Sponsor for the BTS National Camp and Duals where 300+ youth from cities across the country come together for 4 days of impactful wrestling development, cultural and academic enrichment, bonding, and friendly competition.

 

BTS Baltimore                                                       

 

Student-Athletes

Andrew Isom

Ugochi Anunobi

Daerin Curry

Bradley Alexander

Jayden Jackson

Amadou Kante

Derrel Davis

Miles Molina

Rasheed “RJ” Duncan

 

Coaches

Bruce Pendles

Lydell Henry

Chris Jones

Justin Henry

 

BTS Cleveland

 

Student-Athletes

Caleb Greenwood

Josiah Sims

Jonathan Sims

Leon Harrison

Aiden Carlisle

Quintezz Pratt

Elijah Guzman

Mezziah Guzman

Derion Williams

 

Coaches

Anthony Spooner

Sumayyah Kemp

Tim Ford

James Greenwood

Terrence Cheeks

 

BTS D.C.

 

Student-Athletes

Preston Olander

Victoria Presentado

Helen DeSimone

Duncan Stadler

Zoe Lewis

 

Coaches

Rickey Torrence

Maya Braxton

Archie Hogan

 

BTS New York City

 

Student-Athletes

Amir Avazov

Aiden Brito

Cristian Cruz

Kimoni Giles

Gabrielle Heffez

Amin Ibrahim

Isabella Lorenzana

Marielys Lugo Fernandez

Oumar Tounkara

Lanxi Xu

Ismael Youla

Luka Zakaidze

Evin Gursoy

 

Coaches

Joe DeAngelo

Dean Gray

 

BTS New England

 

Student-Athletes

Emilio Santana

Daniel Escobar

Uriah Tippos

Joshua Tejada

Josiah Lopez

Samuel Aruwajoye

Diego Benjamin

Brian Montanez

 

Coaches

David Gonzalez

Brian Hawes

Nicholas Torres

 

BTS youth representing five cities fought hard during NHSCAs weekend for their chance at a National Championship.

 

Since 2017, the NHSCA has partnered with Beat the Streets National to support the wrestling journeys of BTS student-athletes by providing excelling BTS student-wrestlers and coaches opportunities to test themselves and compete against high-level competition from across the country. In last year’s NHSCAs High School Nationals tournament, more than 40 high school and middle school BTS boys and girls, along with 12 coaches, represented 6 BTS Chapters. Nine athletes earned All-American status last year.

 

Beat the Streets is thankful to the National High School Coaches Association for supporting the development of Beat the Streets student-wrestlers by making these opportunities to compete against the best in the country available to BTS youth. Through wrestling and off-the-mat programming and support, BTS looks to help BTS scholars become champions in life. With this in mind, we look forward to having BTS youth compete against the best every year.

 

Results of the tournament are available on Floarena here.