MILFORD, Va. (WWBT) - Caroline High School has had a varsity wrestling program since 2010. The Cavaliers’ wrestling room is in a trailer behind the school, but the program is successful beyond its years.
Elizabeth Dosado is Caroline’s starter at 106 lbs. and don’t be fooled by any preconceived notions one may have about a girl in a sport traditionally dominated by boys. After the take downs, stand-ups and escapes, it’s often the boys Elizabeth is wrestling who are on their backs looking at the gym lights. The senior says that she was overlooked as a freshman by many, but as she started to improve, a reputation was developed.
“They kind of already know what they’re in for at this point,” said Dosado. “If they haven’t, they find out.”
“There’s nothing like having a girl go out the first match of the meet and then just stomping that boy who she’s wrestling against,” Cavaliers’ head coach Steve Swanton said, adding that as the 106 pounder and first to wrestle, Elizabeth sets the tone for the team during a meet.
The senior lightweight says that she knew she wanted to wrestle since her first practice and enters the weekend with 99 career victories, needing just one more to become just the second wrestler in Caroline history to reach 100 wins. The first to reach that mark- her younger brother, James, who wrestles for the Cavaliers at 145 lbs. and was state runner-up in 2019.
“It’s just another win under my belt and I’m just going to keep going and getting more,” James, a junior, said of the milestone. "You have to look back at those matches and say that in those 100 matches, I could’ve improved in some way.
The brother-sister duo has a judo background and took up wrestling in middle school. Both made the choice to take on the sport individually, but neither is surprised they found the same path as their sibling. Sharing this experience together is something each appreciates.
“It’s the best thing ever,” Elizabeth said of being teammates with her brother. “He’s been my best friend ever since we were tiny and we’ve kind of just done everything together.”
“She’s pushing herself all the way through,” added James. “That inspires me to work harder and it helps me get a lot better.”
“They should be twins,” Swanton said. “They’re so much like each other, so attached to each other, I really kind of hope they go to the same college with each other. They’re their biggest supporters. They’re their biggest cheerleaders."
Elizabeth will graduate in the spring and plans to wrestle in college. James has one more season left to pick up some more victories for the Cavaliers, and both still have goals they hope to accomplish.
“Bottom line is that I want to get as much competition experience as I possibly can at the highest level I possibly can so that one day I can come back and be a coach,” Elizabeth remarked.
James says he wants to win a state championship, which he should get the chance to do this winter, and after that, he’ll keep going as long as that fire is there.
“I think I’m going to wrestle as long as I’m happy with it, as long as I enjoy it. I’m not going to set myself to a certain bar, but as long as I’m having fun and learning.”
There’s another part of this story pertaining to the elder Dosado. Many see Elizabeth as a role model, the first female wrestler for Caroline High School, and she hopes that she can inspire others to follow in her footsteps on the trail that she’s blazed.
“I hope so. I hope that they see me that way," she said. “It’s what makes all of it worth it.”
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