The expectations were much higher for Dominik Thomas this season. He didn't have a problem living up to them.
The St. Francis wrestler won his third All-Catholic title two weeks ago and followed that up this past weekend with his second state title at the Catholic High School Athletic Association Championships on Staten Island.
Our Prep Talk Male Athlete of the Week tied the school record for most pins in a season with 32 and has a chance to set a new top mark next weekend at the New York State Public High Schools Athletic Association Championships in Albany.
Coach Mike Messore on Thomas: "Dominik Thomas is a significant part of our team success. His 43 wins lead the team, but of those wins he’s earned bonus points 37 times (32 pins, four majors, and one tech fall). He’s only earned two forfeits all year. He’s a very hard worker in the wrestling room, and for the third year in a row, he’s upped his game as the postseason approaches. This past week, he entered the CHSAA Tournament as the clear favorite after going 9-0 at the CHSAA Dual Meet Tournament with nine first-period pins two weeks ago. The expectation was much different than last year, when he was a heavy underdog who had to avenge a loss in the finals to earn his first CHSAA State Title.
"This year, Dominik pinned three of his four opponents in the first period and added an 11-2 major decision in the semifinals. His pin in the finals over Andrew Cascio of Kellenberg Memorial was his 32nd of the season, which ties the school record. Now he gets to prepare for the Federation tournament in Albany knowing more of what to expect after making his first trip last year. We’re really excited about having another opportunity to compete with the best in the state next weekend."
How has your season gone so far?: This season has been really good. I am 43-5 this year. As a team, we won the Monsignor Martin regular season championships, the CHSAA Dual Meet championship and the CHSAA Division II championship.
Highlight of athletic career so far: Winning Catholic states my sophomore year and being voted the Most Outstanding Wrestler because it was unexpected. I entered the tournament with people in my bracket that I lost to, and I was able to win the tournament in our own gym at St. Francis.
Favorite thing about my sport: My favorite thing about the sport is that you can show your hard work through your matches.
Favorite teammate: Connor Miller because he always knows what he's doing, and he's a good leader.
Toughest opponent: My toughest opponent would be Jake Sarow from Akron because I faced him three times this year and lost all of the matches by a point or two and still couldn't find a way to beat him.
WNY Athlete I looked up to: None.
Pro/college athlete I admire now: Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Julio Jones because I like his style of play.
Favorite school subject: Science.
What’s ahead (athletics and/or academics): I plan to play football in college and go into the medical field.