Dooley caps off Wave career with 2nd title
WINNEMUCCA — He may be a heavyweight wrestler but he doesn’t move like one.
Coming in a 285 pounds after eclipsing the 300 mark during football season, senior Ben Dooley’s quickness and agility powered the Greenwave grappler to his second-straight title at the NIAA State Championships on Saturday at the Winnemucca Events Center.
“He’s got the athleticism and he’s moving like he’s 180 pounds in a 285-pound body,” Fallon coach Trevor de Braga said. “There was no doubt from the start. He just had to be confident in himself.”
Dooley dominated the season from start to finish, capping off his third year with the program after moving from Idaho. He became an All-American for the first time after taking second in the Reno Tournament of Champions and then followed with another second-place finish at the Sierra Nevada Classic. Dooley, who placed and won at several out-of-state tournaments, ended his career in dominating style, a 22-5 technical fall over Sunrise Mountain’s Jose Lara with 1:04 left in his state title bout.
“I was like on Cloud 9. When I got up and saw the score and that I won the match, it was everything that I wanted,” Dooley said. “It was just hours of build-up before this match that I was worried about and it all came to fruition. I was just so happy to be in my senior year and win. There was pressure and I didn’t crack under pressure. I’m just excited.”
Dooley opened the tournament with a quick fall (1:03) over Boulder City’s Mike Kaposta in the quarterfinal and then followed with a third-period fall (4:23) over Mojave’s Ivan Parra on Friday night. His tech fall over Lara capped off a weekend sweep of the South after sweeping the North over the past month.
While Dooley admitted he couldn’t escape the nerves from winning another title, he thrived on it, especially after watching his teammates, Tommy and Sean McCormick win titles.
“Having confidence is important,” Dooley said. “Obviously, every wrestler gets nerves before their match and nerves keep you on your toes. I kind of wanted the nerves.”
Dooley leaves behind a legacy of accomplishments. From the state football title three months ago to his second heavyweight championship, Dooley said he appreciated his coaches and teammates, especially the camaraderie. And being able to share the experience with a fellow senior, who nabbed his fourth wrestling title.
“I’m super proud of Sean and happy for Sean. I couldn’t be more proud and excited,” Dooley said. “That’s all I wanted for him. When we wrestled together, I told him he had to get that four-time state championship because no one’s ever done it. We both had that in our heads.”
Now that it’s over, Dooley will report to Boise State’s football camp as both a football and wrestling champ.
“Wrestling has helped in every aspect of football that I can imagine,” Dooley said. “Just my movement, my speed and my explosiveness, my wrestling career has gotten me to where I need to be for Boise State football.”