Delsea's Dobzanski earns 2d straight state title

Delsea's Bryan Dobzanski celebrates his 3-1 OT victory over Don Bosco Prep's Zack Chakonis. "I knew this was my last time out," the senior said. "I wanted to finish strong. I wanted to finish this way. I wanted to leave the sport having accomplished what I wanted to accomplish." Planning on playing baseball, Dobzanski finished his high school career with a 158-8 record and 93 consecutive victories.
Delsea's Bryan Dobzanski celebrates his 3-1 OT victory over Don Bosco Prep's Zack Chakonis. "I knew this was my last time out," the senior said. "I wanted to finish strong. I wanted to finish this way. I wanted to leave the sport having accomplished what I wanted to accomplish." Planning on playing baseball, Dobzanski finished his high school career with a 158-8 record and 93 consecutive victories. (MICHAEL BRYANT / Staff Photographer)
Posted: March 11, 2014

Bryan Dobzanski wanted to make history before closing the book on his wrestling career.

Mission accomplished.

Dobzanski, a senior at Delsea, won his second consecutive state title and finished his career with a flourish Sunday at Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City.

"I wanted to go out with a bang," Dobzanski said after beating Don Bosco Prep junior Zack Chakonis by a 3-1 score in overtime in the 220-pound state final.

Camden senior Andrew Stevens (285 pounds), St. Augustine Prep senior Jack Clark (152), and Paulsboro junior Ronnie Gentile (138) also won state titles at the culmination of the three-day tournament.

Holy Spirit junior Patrick D'Arcy (113) took second place, while Paulsboro senior Juan Rivera (132) and Holy Cross sophomore Matt Correnti (195) each took third.

"I got it again," Dobzanski said after what he said will be the last wrestling bout of his life. "It was a dream come true."

Clark finished his lone season as a New Jersey high school wrestler with a 29-0 record and a state championship after a dramatic 3-1 overtime victory over Hunterdon Central senior Gary Dinmore.

The tense, high-caliber bout featured two outstanding wrestlers.

"He is amazing," Clark said of Dinmore, a Penn State recruit. "I usually can get my shots in, but I couldn't get them with him. He was so quick."

Clark finally scored a single-leg takedown about 30 seconds into the first overtime period. He jumped to his feet in celebration, then jumped into the arms of St. Augustine coach Billy Ward.

Clark, a Washington Township resident, spent his first three high school years at the McDonogh School, a prep school in Owings Mills, Md., with a high-powered wrestling program.

Clark decided to return home and attend St. Augustine this season to spend a year with his family before leaving for the University of North Carolina, and also to chase a New Jersey state title.

"I've been dreaming about this since I was 6 years old," Clark said. "This is the best feeling ever."

Gentile, who was battling illness all week, won a wild bout with Cranford junior Gavin Murray by a 7-6 score.

Gentile (44-1) scored two first-period takedowns and appeared to be in control. But Murray (43-1) registered an escape and takedown in the second period to tie the score, 4-4. Gentile escaped early in the third, then managed another takedown with about 30 seconds remaining.

"I remember watching [Joe] Duca and [Zach] Greenwald and thinking I wanted to be like them," Gentile said of Paulsboro wrestlers who won state titles in 2010. "I finally am."

Gentile was motivated by a second-place finish in 2013.

"I went right back to work the next day," he said. "I worked a year for this."

Gentile said he would follow the same routine this season in his pursuit of a second state title.

"Next season starts [Monday]," he said.

Dobzanski finished his career with a record of 158-8 and 93 consecutive victories. His last loss was in the state tournament as a sophomore, when he wrestled back to place third at 195 pounds.

After his victory, Dobzanski walked to the stage behind one section of stands and lay on his back, pointing both index fingers at the building's famous vaulted ceiling.

He said he was overcome with emotion because he knew his wrestling career was over. He plans to pursue baseball as a hard-throwing pitcher, either at the University of Louisville or with a professional team.

"I knew this was my last time out," Dobzanski said. "I wanted to finish strong. I wanted to finish this way. I wanted to leave the sport having accomplished what I wanted to accomplish."

Dobzanski was in a taut, tough bout with Chakonis, who entered the match with a 42-1 record. Neither wrestler could score a takedown in regulation, but Dobzanski managed to work free and take control about 30 seconds into overtime.

"He's a great wrestler - it's great to go out in this kind of match," Dobzanski said. "I couldn't ask for anything better."


ONLINE EXTRA

See and hear from St. Augustine's Jack Clark.


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