Father and son wear different hats on the mat, at homeWhen Dickinson High steps into the wrestling room, Pete Dobitz puts the coach hat on and Michael Dobitz wears his wrestler hat.
By: Royal McGregor, The Dickinson Press
When Dickinson High steps into the wrestling room, Pete Dobitz puts the coach hat on and Michael Dobitz wears his wrestler hat.
When they leave, the father and son hats are put back on.
Michael, a Dickinson High senior, heads into the final West Region Tournament of his high school career alongside his father and first-year head coach, Pete, at 9 a.m. Saturday at the Minot State Dome.
“It’s always nice to have your dad as a coach,” Michael said. “It would more special too to place at state, because he was there to coach.”
However, Michael and Pete admitted that coach and dad can get intertwined at times. That’s when Joy Dobitz, Pete’s wife and Michael’s mother, becomes a meditator in the house.
“It’s nice when they are separated,” Michael said with a smile. “When they get together, there’s always going to be, ‘Why is it so hard for you to make weight.’ You are going to have your fights, but we try to keep it separate.”
“Sometimes it’s tough to take the dad hat off and be a coach and sometimes take the coach hat off,” Pete added. “Joy, at home, has a policy we can’t take wrestling at home, because sometimes it gets a little heated.”
Pete is also the head coach of the Dickinson High baseball team, of which Michael has long served as a student manager.
Last year Michael qualified for the Class A state wrestling tournament as an unattached Dickinson wrestler at 152 pounds. He knows what it takes to get to the state tournament.
“Being there already is big, because you don’t have the ‘awe factor,’” Michael said. “The state tournament is a different experience.”
Nonetheless, Michael said what makes his senior year a little more special is the fact that the Midgets have the No. 3 seed from the West going into the Class A state dual tournament.
The last time the Midgets were higher than the No. 3 seed was the 2011 season when they lost 56-15 to the East Region’s No. 2 seed Fargo South. Dickinson will face Fargo Davies in the state quarterfinals at 10 a.m. CST Thursday, Feb. 14 at the Fargodome.
On a bus trip back from Belle Fourche, S.D., Dickinson learned it qualified for the state duals tournament and Michael said it was a sigh of relief.
“It was so stressful (before we found out),” Michael said. “We were all thinking ‘What if, what if, what if?’”
The Midgets have two other seniors on the roster, Collin Thielen and Jacob Shypkowski. Along with Michael, the three are leaned heavily upon for their leadership abilities in and out of the practice room.
“We’ve been working as hard as we can to get everyone else to follow us, so we have a good team for the next couple,” Shypkowski said. “It’s extremely important for us to lead by example.”
Michael’s main goal is finish as one of the top eight placers at state, but he knows you have to get there first.
“You’re looking to do as well as you can, it means, because you have to get there, you have to make it to state,” Michael Dobitz said. “You don’t exactly have to win the tournament, but you have to place.”
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