THB, Banditos, Wayward and more confirmed for Cosmic Cocktail!

Baltimore City Public Schools

One team, one coach, one season in Baltimore: Trying to change kids' lives through wrestling

One team, one coach, one season in Baltimore: Trying to change kids' lives through wrestling

On that chilly Saturday morning, before the meet was about to begin, Coach Patrick Coleman pulled his young wrestling team in close. He spoke of hard work, of dedication, of never giving up. The winner’s mindset he always preached.

But injuries and suspensions had decimated the ranks of his once-promising squad of sixth-, seventh- and eighth-graders from East Baltimore's Banneker Blake Academy. And the junior league team they were about to face in Montgomery County had been pumping out champions for years.

Coleman, just a dozen years older than his young charges, knew they were facing a beat down. First, little Elijah Johnson took the mat for Banneker Blake. At 75 pounds,...

30°