St. Clair Shores
Lakeview’s Doran out to make a name for himself at state finals
February 26, 2014
ST. CLAIR SHORES — When he takes the floor for his first match at the 2014 Michigan High School Athletic Association Division 1 state wrestling finals, St. Clair Shores Lakeview senior 171-pound grappler Sam Doran won’t be concerned with winning and losing.
The experience is what Doran, making his first trip to the state finals, is looking forward to most.
“Just being able to wrestle at (The Palace of Auburn Hills) and have all the people in the stands watching is going to feel amazing,” said Doran, who will take a 37-6 record into the state finals. “I can’t wait for that.”
He won’t have to wait long. The state finals take place Feb. 27-March 1 at The Palace.
Doran qualified for the state finals by finishing fourth in his weight class at a D-1 regional Feb. 15. The Lakeview wrestler said thoughts of all the practices and matches is what first crossed his mind when he realized he earned a spot in the state finals.
The top eight wrestlers in each weight class in Division 1-4 earn All-State honors at the state finals.
“I was just thinking that all the hard work I’ve put in has finally paid off,” Doran said. “I qualified for regionals in the past, but I’d get beat by some really good wrestlers. I had it in my mind this year that it’s my time to shine.”
Even when his last shot to make a trip to the state finals was in the balance, Doran wasn’t concerned with the outcome. He knew he would give maximum effort, and that’s what counted the most, he said.
“Even if I didn’t make it (to the state finals), I knew I just had to leave everything on the mat and give 100 percent,” Doran said.
Leading up to the state finals, Doran said he will work on getting on the offensive end and not being afraid to take chances during matches. He said he wants to go into the matches at The Palace with the mindset of scoring and scoring first.
Doran also understands the individualism exhibited in wrestling and knows what makes a good grappler.
“Hard work and dedication is what makes a good wrestler,” Doran said. “You don’t have somebody to come in and save you if you get put in a bad position. You have your coaches on the sidelines screaming instructions, but you have to fight out if it by yourself.”
Doran also said he will have a clear head at the state finals and has a singular goal — winning as many matches as possible. Going 4-0 in his weight class would make Doran a state champion. He said he knows having a strong showing at the state finals could have far-reaching effects.
“I know there will be a lot of colleges there looking at all the wrestlers,” Doran said. “It would show scouts and the schools that I’m here and that I take wrestling very seriously.”