By Scott Richards
Elizabeth Dosato stands a mere five feet tall and, if the truth be stretched, weighs in at 106 pounds soaking wet. Complete with a cell phone and a boy friend, she is a typical high school co-ed, sporting a 4.063 GPA. However, there is another side to this story.
They say big things come in small packages, and that is true with the case of Dosato. In the eighth grade, she began wrestling and placed first in the Virginia Wrestling Association (VAWA) Girls’ Folkstyle State tournament. Dosato commented that she started to think about seriously competing as a wrestler this past season as a freshman at Caroline High School. She placed second in the Virginia War of the Roses this past year (2016-17), as well as taking another first place finish in the VAWA Girls’ Folkstyle State tournament.
What grabbed her attention towards wrestling was going to Oklahoma with the Virginia State team wrestling in the 100 pound weight class, where she won two matches in the junior division. In the Cadet division, she said she lost two matches, commenting she found out about the tournament two weeks in advance and really did not have time to prepare.
Wrestling has become a year round lifestyle, with every other Monday dedicated to individual coaching, and every Tuesday, Thursday, and Sunday practicing with the Hanover Hawks wrestling team. Participating in both freestyle and folkstyle (similar to high school wrestling) tournaments has given her a wealth of experience that is not only teaching her more about the sport, but is also giving her the opportunity to assess her own skills as she continues tournament competition. In addition to wrestling, Dosato also has begun playing on the high school field hockey team, which she stated helps her endurance on the mat and teaches her about teamwork.
One asset she takes with her as she wrestles is her intelligence. Dosato stated that during her first year in wrestling she got “clobbered” most of the time, but that it was a learning experience. It made her challenge herself, accepting the outcome and working to fix the problems that made it that way. Now when she goes on the mat, Dosato stated she is more patient, watching her opponent and looking for an opportunity to present itself.
“Thinking on your feet is one of the most important parts of wrestling,” she said. “Hesitation and stupidity show up. The best match is when two technicians go at each other.”
In addition to a strong academic and intelligent style of wrestling, a well balanced philosophy of life is evident when speaking with her. Realizing she will not always be able to depend on athletics (though she plans to wrestle as long as she can), Dosato takes the discipline she has learned in sports and applies it to her scholastics. Sometimes the only time she has to study is in the morning before school. She stated she lives a disciplined life, understanding the drive that is within her to not do things halfway.
Dosato recently wrote, “What you are shouldn’t stand in the way of pursuing your true passions and dreams in life. Empowerment comes from listening to your wishes and making them real, making the most of your life, not putting down other groups of people. Most of the time it will come down to who has more heart/desire/willpower to win, and I definitely have a lot of that.”
Behind this well balanced young lady is a family that gives her the support she needs. Her brother is also a wrestler, and Dosato “practices” on him. She stated with all the competition she is involved in, family support is very important to her. Being a part of the community, through participation in church, although limited by weekend tournaments, is another family strength she relies on.
The bottom line is simple. Elizabeth Dosato has found a sport she loves and is very passionate about. She is able to give it her all, and sees it as a sport more females need to be involved in. Her vision is for women’s wrestling to grow more and more.
Her next big tournament is this summer in Fargo, South Dakota. The Fargo Nationals is a freestyle tournament which Dosato states will be a strong experience for her where she will be able to learn as well as to continue to assess her own position in the wrestling field.
The expense for the trip will be around $1550.00, which will include travel, food, hotel, wrestling gear, and entry fees for the tournament. To help cover the cost, a gofundme website has been set up. Contributions may be made at gf.me/tqwdy.