Damon dispatched of Prairie’s Braydon Sofianos 10-2 to claim a Class 3A state championship at 145 pounds and finish his season 49-1.
TACOMA – Dominic Damon did it for a school, a league and a city.
The Nathan Hale High School senior capped his career in style at Mat Classic XXXI on Saturday night in the Tacoma Dome, but he said it wasn’t for him.
Damon dispatched of Prairie’s Braydon Sofianos 10-2 to claim a Class 3A state championship at 145 pounds, becoming the first Seattle Public Schools wrestler to bring home a state title.
Damon, 49-1 this season and 130-11 for his Raiders’ career, captured that elusive crown after missing the postseason in 2018 with a broken bone in his hand.
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“I didn’t do it for myself,” Damon said. “I had a lot of people who really, really want this, not just for me, but for the whole city. So, it’s something that hasn’t ever happened before and who knows when it’s going to happen again.
“It felt really good to be the one to do that for the whole league and school district.”
With enough credits to graduate from Hale after fall quarter, Damon said he considered starting college early at Northern Michigan University, which has the Olympic Training program.
Instead he scored three pins in his five wins over the state-title weekend.
“The beginning of the season I didn’t want to be here,” said Damon, who finished sixth at 138 as a sophomore and fifth at 132 as a freshman. “I was wanting to start college early, but I realized I’d be disappointing a lot of people if I did.”
Damon was just the fourth wrestler from the Metro League to win a state title in the 31-year history of Mat Classic. He was the first Metro titlist since Matt Iwicki of Eastside Catholic won his second crown in 2015 at 145 pounds.
“It was people talking that really wanted me to (go for the state title) that made me come back,” said Damon, who started wrestling at age 7. “I realized this was a lot bigger than me.”
Hale coach Rickey Richards gave Damon a bear hug.
“He didn’t say anything,” Damon said of his coach. “There wasn’t anything he had to say. I knew everything he was thinking there.”
It was a banner year for the Metro League, which isn’t known for wrestling success.
O’Dea junior Dustyn Camacho finished off a 29-1 campaign by bringing home the Irish’s first state title in school history at 220 pounds in 3A. Camacho scored a pin in 3:47 over Kamiakin’s Ben Hollenberg to make school history.
“That’s one for everybody and when I step on that mat I’m doing it for the people (at O’Dea) before me,” Camacho said. “O’Dea has a long tradition of success, but being the first one is something great. I’m going to get another one next year.”