May 21, 2013 | The 2012-2013 Scholastic Season for BTS-LA came to a celebratory close this week. The organization, now fourteen months in operation hosted a fourth Wrestling Jamboree for the program’s youth wrestlers. The event represented some signficant ‘firsts’ for the non-profit. A recent partnership with the Los Angeles School Police Department brought two new youth sites into the fold, one from San Fernando and the second from San Pedro. The event also marked BTS-LA’s move to a new venue, the Sotomayor Learning Academy located at the Los Angeles River School. The move to this larger venue represents a welcomed growth in participation and active BTS-LA school sites which now totals twelve.
There were a number of special guests in attendance at the organization’s largest Jamboree, including President and Executive Director Ana Campos of After-School All-Stars. Ms. Campos and After-School All-Stars have been instrumental in Beat the Streets LA’s success during this first inaugural year. Representing the Board for BTS-LA, President Andy Barth was on hand Tuesday to cheer on the youth participants. Just two days before, Mr. Barth was part of the leadership group who hosted the United 4 Wrestling event at the Los Angeles Memorial Sports Arena, an international wrestling showcase promoted to forward the campaign for Keep Olympic Wrestling. In addition to Campos and Barth, there was a trio of World and Olympic caliber wrestlers who came to support, greet and sign autographs for the organization’s youth: 2012 World Champion Adeline Grey, 2012 Olympic Bronze Medalist Coleman Scott and 2004 Olympian Eric Guerrero.
Those in attendance were treated to an opening that featured BTS-LA’s own Mercedes Rodriguez of Mt. Gleason Middle School who sang the National Anthem, and then later went on to win the Jamboree in the 65 lb. weight class.
The action on the mat was quick paced, jubilant, and characteristically represented the quality growth of the organization. Wrestlers exhibited a great competitive spirit and equally sportsmanship. As the fourth Jamboree came to a close with the Awards Ceremony, perhaps the greatest display of sportsmanship came in the form of words as 110 lb. Champion Salma Morales addressed her dear friend and fellow competitor Alva Ramirez, whom she had just defeated for the first time stating “these medals are not what’s important, but instead our friendship and you’ll always be my number one.”
Complete Results and Photos below.