BY: PAMELA STERN
On Sunday, March 24th, eleven of the students who are registered in the Starrett Judo Club parti-cipated in The New Rochelle Open which is an Annual Championship Tournament. These Judokas went to the San Yama Bushi School of Judo and Ju Jutsu for this tournament. The New Rochelle Open was held from 9 am to 2 pm. Judo tournaments are based on the Judokas’ age, weight, and gender. There was an entrance fee of $40 for each participant. Parents and families were not charged to see their children compete.
There was no stopping these Judokas, six of them placed first and five of them placed second in the tournaments. These Judokas proudly put on their medals when they received them. They practiced and worked really hard. This shows how hard work pays off.
First time participant, Reynoldo Medina said, “I was thinking that I was going to lose because this was my first far away tournament. I felt much better, when they called my name and I won and was in first place. As soon as they handed me the medal, I put it on. I now feel more confident for the next fight.”
Kelsey Billups who has been in Judo for three years was very confident about the tournament. “I wasn’t nervous because I knew that I would win. I practiced really hard and I won first place,” said Billups.
Jerrail Billups was nervous and scared even though he has been in Judo for three years. Jerrail has never lost a tournament which attributed to why he was nervous and scared. Coach Parnel Legros said, “It is normal to be scared and nervous when you have never lost a match because all eyes are on you.” Jerrail was excited that he won first place!
Dominick Bonserio has been in Judo for two years said that he used his Judo skills to shake off his nervousness. His Sensei reassured him not to worry. After the competition was over, Dominick said, “I was so relived once it was over.”
Coach Legros was very proud of his students. “We have been work-ing on different types of techniques for five weeks and the Judokas exe-cuted the techniques very well. First time Judoka, Reynaldo Me-dina, along with Yosuel Reyes, and Emmanuel Paulino-Peralta placed first in their divisions. The rest of the Judokas who participated did an outstanding job, Jerrail Billups, Dominick Bonserio, Kelsey Billups, and Kevin Bailey in their cate-gories,” said Legros.
Twins, Kelsey and Jerrail Billups said, “Our mom is the loudest! She motivates us.”
The Judokas all agreed that they have support from their families. Their next tournament will be held on April 28th in the Oyster Bay Recreation Center in Hicksville, New York.
Photo courtesy of: Starrett Judo Club