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Two city wrestlers qualify for Youth New England Wrestling Championships

Posted by Zolan Kanno-Youngs  February 20, 2013 03:16 PM

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Boston Youth Wrestling has two wrestlers headed to the Youth New England Championships after a busy, and successful, weekend.

Both Kelvin Santiago (160 lbs) and Danny Paulino (175 lbs) from the Frederick school will be heading to Lowell to compete in the tournament after placing sixth and fourth place respectively, in the youth state championships.

“It’s the most premier wrestling at the youth level for New England,” said Jose Valenzuela, director of Boston Youth Wrestling. “It will be a big challenge for Kelvin and Danny, but a big reward for them as well.”

Valenzuela described how this tournament had a foreign environment after his wrestlers won the South Sectional tournament in the previous weekend. Even though neither Santiago nor Paulino have wrestled for more than a year, they were getting attention from various players and coaches upon entering the state championships.

Valenzuela gave all the credit to their coaches.

“It really shows the great coaching at Frederick, the fact that they take these two kids who never wrestled and turn them into decent wrestlers,” Valenzuela said.

Santiago in particular showed a lot of potential in his match with the first place winner of the state championship, Benton Whitley. Valenzuela described how Santiago nearly pinned the springfield youth wrestler in the semifinal round.

Just a day before Sunday’s state championship, 12 other city wrestlers competed in the Big East tournament, a competition for less experienced wrestlers.

Dorchester’s Enockson Jacques (160 lbs) took home the first place honors after beating Frederick’s Josue Deleon.

“You always just tell your kids to have fun,” Valenzuela said. “Whatever happens, they’re still teammates.”

The Youth New England Championships will be held at Lowell high school on March 9.

Zolan Kanno-Youngs covers Boston Public school athletics. He can be reached at kannoyoungs.globe@gmail.com. Follow him on Twitter @KannoYoungs.

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