A few weeks ago, Team NYWAY took the mat in Long Branch, New Jersey at the NUWAY National Duals with new leaders, President Adam Burgos (G2 World Wrestling Academy) and Vice President Gary Redding (Barn Brothers Wrestling), among the coaches.
The New Yorkers representing NYWAY put on an impressive showing, capturing both the High School and Middle School Dual Meet titles with complete dominance, while also notching a runner up performance in the Girls tournament and a fifth place finish in the Elementary event.
It was the start of what looks like an exciting sixth season for the organization.
“We went out and really did well in New Jersey and it’s just the beginning,” Burgos said. “We’re bringing a lot of new things to NYWAY this year.”
Among those is the 2017 NYWAY Spring National Duals, which will be held at Pinnacle Athletic Campus in Victor, NY beginning on April 14. The event will feature dual team championships in High School, Middle School, Elementary and Girls divisions on 25-35 mats. It will be live on Trackwrestling.
According to Burgos, 14 states have already expressed interest in sending teams, including California, Nevada, North Carolina, South Carolina, Ohio, New Jersey, Michigan, Florida, New Mexico and Colorado. In addition, right before, on Saturday, G2 World Wrestling Academy will host an individual national tournament.
“NYWAY is bringing national level athletes to the state of New York and it’s really exciting,” Burgos said. “We’ll have some really cool custom awards. Our high school team will have a lot of nationally ranked kids on it; we plan to let everybody know how tough New York is. We can’t wait to bring that type of competition into our backyard for our wrestlers and coaches. We see it eventually evolving into a three day weekend full of great wrestling.”
There is plenty more great wrestling already planned for this year. The slate begins with the NYWAY Fall Retreat on October 2 and 3 in Albany, which includes a statewide town hall meeting open to any New York club or coach.
Then, the action commences with the NYWAY Kickoff Weekend on December 2-3 in Victor with both an individual tournament and the always competitive NYWAY Regional Duals, in which all corners of the Empire State are represented.
Of course, a big weekend on the calendar is always the NYWAY State Championships at the SRC Arena (to be held in Syracuse on March 17-19, following the Regional Qualifying competitions).
“We pushed the State Championships back a week this year,” Burgos said. “The NCAAs will be at the same time and it will be really cool to screen the NCAA tournament at the event while the kids are wrestling. They’ll be able to compete for titles and watch the best college wrestlers in the country, together.”
Last year, the State Championships included over 1,400 grapplers and Burgos expects the numbers to continue to trend upwards for that event and others.
“We have 4,248 active NYWAY members, with 145 clubs, and now we’re starting and will continue to support youth dual team leagues this year around the state,” Burgos said. “We’re providing opportunities for wrestlers from kindergarten through middle school to really hone their skills and get ready for the next level.”
As the organization has continued to grow into its sixth year and new events have emerged, some things have stayed the same. NYWAY has continued to reinvest in the sport within the Empire State, providing funds to youth and college programs as well as free clinics and travel team participation, among other contributions.
“We’ve been very active as a grassroots volunteer organization within the state,” Burgos said. “Many people have worked hard, including Kristen Tessier, who has done a great job and deserves a lot of credit. Good things are coming and it’s important for us to keep investing, building and connecting. I’m excited and confident in our team of volunteers and know it will be a really good year for wrestling in New York.”
For all things NYWAY please visit www.nyway.org.