With our first two programs completed for the spring it is a good time to reflect. Beat the Streets Bay Area has begun. With a dedicated group of 8 at Westlake Middle School and 12 at Montera Middle School we were able to bring wrestling to 20 Oakland middle school students that wouldn’t have had the opportunity without our programming. Ultimately, that is at the core of our organization. The future will bring the work of developing greater impact but today I am writing this to reflect on the impact of the spring.
Our coaches did a solid job for year one. Coaches Ahmed and James at Montera and Coaches Allen and Denzel at Westlake brought the sport to their sites with the passion we look for in a coach and it was evident by the passion of wrestlers like Israel Dillon at Westlake and Ziyon Davis at Montera. Getting to know some of the guys as I drove to the competitions with my trusty shotgun passenger Coach Mom from Westlake really sunk home the mission of our organization. The relationships and opportunities to provide potentially a different perspective to a unique group of students is why I do the work I do. I am super happy that I ended up being a great deal more hands on with our first Spring than I initially planned.
With this experience behind us we can be happy with our results but never satisfied with our accomplishments, there is always more to do, always things to improve on, and always new ways to create a greater impact. For now we can take a moment and enjoy the fact that this work has begun for us and it isn’t going to end anytime soon.
I want to thank our staff for this season starting with our site liaison’s Ideal Franklin “Coach Mom” and Kenya Latimore. Both Ideal and Kenya were huge contributors to our ability to operate this season. Also, our coaching staffs Allen Loretz, Charles Fox, Denzel Mabry, Ahmed El Sokkary, and James Odom were the boots on the ground working with these student athletes every week. I also want to thank Skyline High School Coach Dennis Spencer who connected us to Montera and loaned us a mat for the season. Moses Omolade at Westlake Middle School continues to be a huge supporter of our programming and has been influential to our programming and our staff. Lastly, Sonjha Phillips the OAL director has been a great resource and huge supporter. We are sad to hear she is leaving her position and wish her the best at where ever she may head next.
Our hope is through our MOU with Oakland Unified we will continue to improve and expand our middle school programming next season. Look for updates on our website and please follow us on social media. Thank you for your support.