Stick N Move boys to head to Silver Gloves championship
On Sunday morning Antwoine Dorm Jr. — "Mr. Man" — was practicing his moves inside the ring at Stick N Move Boxing, behind New Grounds Roasting Co. in York City.
After victories at the state tournament in Philadelphia, he and two other boys who practice at Stick N Move will move on to the Silver Gloves amateur regional tournament. Nyendon Banks, 13, and Jiovanni Jordan and Antwoine Jr., both 11, are set to compete in the tournament in Cleveland from Jan. 16 to Jan. 18.
On the wall next to the boxing ring in the high-ceilinged room, a certificate of achievement recognizing Antwoine Jr. for making the honor roll last year hung next to a portrait of him done in pencil by his dad and coach, Antwoine Dorm.
Hype: A few weeks before fighting his more experienced opponent at the competition in Philadelphia, Antwoine Jr. beat the national champ in his age and weight class, Dorm said.
"So for Silver Gloves, everyone's whispering, 'Who is this kid who just beat this national champion?'" Dorm said.
Antwoine Jr. said that before that fight he felt "great and a little bit nervous."
"Before a match I warm up, jump rope, sit down, and before my fight we pray," he said.
The young boxer, who said he's been in 12 fights, has been boxing since he learned how to walk, according to his dad.
"(When he was a toddler) I had a 'Rocky' tape set and he knew how to pop it in," Dorm remembered. "Still today, before he fights, he listens to 'Rocky' in his headphones, and one gospel song."
If any of the boys win in their age and weight class in the regional tournament, they'll go to nationals in Kansas, Dorm said.
Dorm is elated that his son is still in the running to win the Silver Gloves tournament. "This is huge. His mind is already set on what he wants to do," he said.
Winning the Silver Gloves championship could open up the possibility that Antwoine Jr. could compete in the Olympics as an adult, he said.
Antwoine Jr. said he wants to be a professional boxer, and then be a pastor. "When I retire from boxing, I want to get my own church," he said.
He leads the group in prayer before matches, his dad said.
Staying off the streets: Part of the philosophy behind Stick N Move, which in addition to athletic training provides kids with academic tutoring and mentoring, is to keep kids safe and off the streets.
As Antwoine Jr. warmed up for practice, his dad expressed concern over a friend and former sparring partner who was stabbed a few days ago when he tried to break up a fight.
"I don't know what condition he's in," he worried.
For Antwoine Jr., his dad said, boxing is like a job. The young boxer gets little rewards, like cash to spend at Five Below, for practicing seven days a week.
On Sunday morning at the gym, Antwoine Jr. and another young boxer stood in the ring, separately jabbing at the the air. Antwoine Jr. wore a mask that restricted his breathing.
"It's to make you work harder," Dorm explained.
Antwoine Jr. took off the mask before a practice match, visibly relieved.
Seeking support: Dorm founded the boxing gym in 2009 because there wasn't a place around where kids could learn the sport. The nonprofit is supported mainly by monthly membership fees and personal-training services it provides to adults, he said. It is also sustained by donations.
To help the three boxers get to Cleveland, Dorm set up a gofundme to raise money for travel expenses.
Donations to the organization can be sent via check to Stick N Move Boxing at New Grounds Roasting Co., 284 W. Market St., York.
— Reach Julia Scheib at firstname.lastname@example.org.