Nathanial Dolezal, White Pine High School’s only senior wrestler, executed the biggest win of his wrestling career Saturday, after he pinned Donovan Goedhals, in only 1:28, securing the 2A 220-pound state championship title.
Dolezal rolled into semifinals, where he pinned Jacob Beza, a sophomore from Lake Mead High School, in the first period of an exciting match, which advanced him into the finals.
This wasn’t Dolezal’s first rodeo though, his freshman year, he brought home fourth, and his sophomore year, he stood on the podium with a second place medal from the state tournament.
These accomplishments only made his fight for the championship that much more important this year.
“Never give up, no matter what the circumstances, until that whistle is blown,” is a mantra that he lived by this year, and it paid off.
Dolezal’s win, and his love for the sport, shows as he inspires the younger generation. In the quiet moments of the tournament, which there weren’t many of, a small voice from Dolezal’s littlest fan, Logan, could be heard yelling “Let’s go Nathan-ial!!!”
Dolezal’s advice to younger wrestlers is that “you’re not always going to win, but just because you lose doesn’t mean that you can’t improve and come back bigger next time.”
As “Nat-D” reflected on his wrestling career, he said that his biggest and most important memories are “having the opportunity to share my knowledge that I have with others, and being able to help those who need, or want it, in any subject, as well as being able to make friends with such amazing people.”
Wrestling truly is a sport where teams become more like a family. You go into each match knowing that you will give your all for up to six minutes. You come out with memories that will last a lifetime, friends who you will never forget, and a love for the sport that you will pass down to future generations.
“Thank you to my coaches for sticking with me and dealing with me on all of the days I have been lazy and didn’t want to continue wrestling,” Dolezal said. “Thank you for keeping me in this amazing program. To my family, thank you for supporting me the best you could—for going to state, and screaming as loud as you could for me.
“And gosh, to my supporters—I couldn’t thank you more in my heart, for screaming and cheering me and this team on. It makes me feel like this is my home, and where I want to be forever, but we all know that isn’t going to happen. I’m just so grateful for those who traveled to support me, who watched me wrestle on the live stream, and for those who texted me and other teammates for updates during tournaments. It means more to me than I can express!”
After high school, Nathanial plans to either join the Army, or play sports in college. He is currently weighing his options, and enjoying the rest of his senior year.