Tyler Doty has thrown his weight around on the gridiron, winning the Trench Trophy last fall as Western New York’s most outstanding lineman.
Approaching the end of his four-year career at St. Joe’s, Doty continues to make his mark in another athletic realm as one of the state’s top weight throwers.
A 6-foot-5, 310-pound senior who has committed to join the University at Buffalo football team in 2020, Doty is favored to repeat as champion in the shot put and discus events in this weekend’s All-Catholic meet at St. Francis.
As a junior, Doty claimed shot put and discus titles and was named Most Outstanding Field Performer at the Catholic High School Athletic Association state championship meet. He placed third in the discus at the New York State Federation meet.
Earlier this month, Doty broke a 41-year-old Monsignor Martin record by shot putting 61 feet, 6¼ inches in a dual meet at St. Francis. It’s the second-best performance in WNY this season behind Lancaster’s Jon Surdej (64-7 3/4), the defending Federation champion.
Doty is currently ranked No. 1 in WNY in the discus after his 165-foot heave at the Williamsville South Invitational on Saturday.
“It makes me feel really proud that I can be good at both sports and have success here,” said Doty, who lives in rural Gasport, a 45-minute drive from St. Joe’s. “That’s a big reason why I came here, to have these kind of opportunities in sports. And I couldn’t have asked for anything more.”
Doty had no prior throwing experience when he arrived at St. Joe’s. He planned to play lacrosse in the spring before the Marauders’ former throwing coach Izeal Bullock recruited him onto the track and field team.
“I was 6-2, 250 pounds and I was only throwing about 32 feet,” Doty said. “If you told me as a freshman that I would have broken a 41-year-old record, I wouldn’t have believed you.”
Doty’s dedication to strength training has driven his success in both football and throwing, his coaches say. Under the guidance of St. Joe’s head strength and conditioning coach Nick Donnelly this past year, Doty has added 50 pounds to his one-rep maximum on the bench press (375) and 60 pounds to his squat (435), while improving his hip mobility.
“He’s one of the hardest workers in the weight room that I’ve ever been around,” said Donnelly, who has worked on college strength and conditioning staffs at Wyoming, USC, Tulane and Penn State.
Doty has also benefited from training alongside teammate Will Gross, who was named Most Outstanding Field Performer at the CHSAA indoor championships after winning the shot put and weight throw events.
“People say throwing is more of an individual sport, that you rely on yourself only, but we’re pushing each other to be better every day,” Doty said. “Me and Will have been battling it out. He beat me in the indoor meets.
“Teammates make you better. The runners come by and we shake hands and hug like brothers. That’s what this school is all about, the brotherhood.”
While Gross will throw for the University of Akron, Doty does not plan to continue with the sport in college.
“I’ve thought about it, but football is my passion so I think sticking with that is the best way to go,” Doty said.
Doty gave a verbal commitment to UB last summer but has not yet signed a National Letter of Intent. He intends to enroll in January as a gray-shirt, joining the Bulls for spring practices prior to his true freshman season.
“I’m hoping to be starting pretty early in my career there,” Doty said. “Right now, I’m going to keep working in the weight room to get myself ready.”
Doty said the UB coaches recruiting him have taken interest in his throwing exploits.
Track and field athletes often make a smoother transition to college strength programs, according to Donnelly.
“It’s one of the most beneficial things you can do in the offseason,” Donnelly said. “Both sports use fast-twitch mechanisms to throw and to explode off the line. When you see throwers come in, guys that have lifted the right way, you love it as a collegiate strength coach.”
Refining his throwing technique has also helped Doty develop his footwork for football.
“It’s about that precision placement,” Doty said. “If you put your foot out too wide in football, you are going to get beat on the outside. You don’t want to get too far apart and get pushed over. So track really helps out with that.”
Doty’s football skills also transfer to the throwing circle, St. Joe’s head track and field coach Matt Dow said.
“He can move his feet, he can change his position, and he’s got really good body control for a big guy,” Dow said. “He gets his body frame spinning and turning and has the agility and ability to move his feet.
“It’s been a lot of fun watching him grow and mature into a really powerful thrower.”