By Mike Schoeffel
Last Wednesday was a good night for Caroline High School wrestler James Dosado.
The undefeated 138-pound freshman pinned his opponent against Deep Run, then secured another pin against Spotsylvania senior Durham Chase, one of the Knights’ best wrestlers, about an hour later.
Dosado didn’t even let Chase escape the first round.
“The kid he was wrestling was substantially talented and he took it right to him,” said Caroline head coach Steven Swanton. “I’m proud of what he was able to do. It was a really solid night for him.”
Dosado’s pair of pins was part of 11 pins by Caroline in 24 total matches against Deep Run and Spotsylvania on Jan 3. The Cavaliers handled Deep Run 57-12, but fell to defending Conference 26 champion Spotysylvania by a 42-27 final.
Dosado (10-0) was one of six Caroline wrestlers to finish the night with two wins and no losses. The other five were Trevor Beale (7-5), Troy Pugh (3-2), Eric Smith (9-3), Bryan Melendez (5-2), and Elizabeth Dosado (10-3). Smith and Melendez each won both of their matches with pins.
Swanton praised his team’s aggressiveness throughout the evening.
“They really went after it,” he said. “They wanted to win, and that sort of high-intensity approach is one of the most important things to see as a coach.”
Caroline opened the night by winning 10 of 13 weight classes against Deep Run. The Cavaliers’ thorough dominance was punctuated by 106-pound Elizabeth Dosado’s pin in the final match. After securing the victory, she performed a seamless celebratory cartwheel on the mat.
Swanton called his team’s performance against Deep Run “excellent.”
Spotsylvania, meanwhile, posed a greater challenge.
It was a meeting between mild rivals, of sorts, considering the two schools are separated by approximately 20 miles and wrestlers from both sides occasionally train together. Swanton said that some of his wrestlers were a little more “amped up” to square off against the Knights, though he described the competition as “friendly” on the whole.
Rivalry or not, the match was much closer than the final tally dictated.
The score was tied at 18 after Caroline’s Smith, a 170-pounder, wiggled his way out of a pin against Johnny Henriquez then dramatically held his opponent to the mat. In a matter of seconds, Smith had flipped the script from certain defeat to utter victory.
The Cavaliers, however, weren’t able to capitalize on Smith’s dramatic triumph.
They lost the next two weight classes — at 182- and 195-pounds — by way of first-round pin, giving Spotsylvania a 30-18 advantage. Caroline fought back with a pin by 220-pounder Bryan Melendez and a hard-fought 6-4 victory by Elizabeth Dosado, in the final match of the evening. But it wasn’t enough to bring Caroline back.
Caroline competed in a tournament at Mathews High School on Jan. 6 and traveled to Courtland High School on Jan. 10 for a single match. The Cavaliers are looking for a strong finish to the regular season as they prepare for the Battlefield District tournament on Feb. 3 and the 4B Regional tournament on Feb. 10.