Dobzanski back strong after unbeaten year

Delsea's Bryan Dobzanski (center) was an undefeated state champion at 220 pounds last season. This will be the final wrestling season for the senior, who will pitch in college for the University of Louisville.           CHARLES FOX / Staff Photographer
Delsea's Bryan Dobzanski (center) was an undefeated state champion at 220 pounds last season. This will be the final wrestling season for the senior, who will pitch in college for the University of Louisville.           CHARLES FOX / Staff Photographer
Posted: December 20, 2013

Bryan Dobzanski describes himself as the kind of kid who doesn't raise his hand in class.

Dobzanski, a star in baseball and wrestling at Delsea, might know the answer, but he'd rather keep to himself. He's not a talker. He'd rather let someone else volunteer and, instead, simply observe.

With that laid-back nature, Dobzanski's wrestling coach, Greg Sawyer, characterizes him as more of a baseball player than a wrestler.

That's somewhat fitting, because Dobzanski will be only a baseball player soon. Despite finishing a 46-0 season with a state championship at 220 pounds last wrestling season, he accepted a baseball scholarship to pitch at the University of Louisville, making this his last season as a wrestler.

Dobzanski, a 6-foot-4 righthander who throws more than 90 m.p.h., could risk his health and therefore his Major League Baseball draft stock on the mat, but he never considered bypassing his last wrestling season.

"I looked at the consequences of what could happen," said Dobzanski, whose decision was questioned by some friends and family. "This is my last year. I've been doing it since I was six years old. Why not go out and get another state title?"

Dobzanski is motivated by his place in Delsea wrestling history in addition to chasing another state title. He is 111-8 in his career and trails Luke Fedecko by 33 wins for the most in school history (144).

"That's something that's keeping me motivated and got me motivated to come back out after my state title even with baseball as my future and everything," Dobzanski said. "There was no doubt in my mind I was going to come back out and get those wins.

"I want to repeat what I did last year and just dominate everybody and get another state title. It's my last time on the mat - I have to make it worth it. No regrets."

Dobzanski enters his senior season even stronger than he was as a junior. After wrestling at only 212 pounds in his state matches, he had to come down from 233 to the 220-pound limit for this season.

"He's going to be one of the most dominating forces in the entire state," Sawyer said. "He's bigger. He's stronger. He's faster. He's more developed as a man."

Dobzanski usually is fairly reserved on the diamond, as he is the classroom, but at times, the wrestler in him comes out.

"Every time I have base runners on, I just have to think about dominating the hitters," Dobzanski said. "Especially with my experiences with wrestling, most of the time being better than the other kid, it's really helped me be mentally stronger than batters. I just feel like I can overpower them mentally."

When he was a sophomore, he pitched six shutout innings of one-hit ball to help seventh-seeded Delsea upset the second seed in South Jersey Group 3, Burlington Township, in the quarterfinals.

As he took the mound, he just remembered what Sawyer had told him during wrestling season - "you're better than anybody on that mat."

No matter how laid-back Dobzanski is outside of sports, the wrestler in him had to prove it.


ncarroll@phillynews.com

@NickJCarroll

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