Williamsport’s Dawson has season cut short by injury
The day after the Tom Best Memorial Top Hat, Williamsport’s Carter Dawson was stretching as he prepared to get in a workout to manage his weight. His right shoulder felt weird. The sophomore has had enough shoulder issues to know the difference between discomfort and a serious issue.
He was coming off a strong third-place finish at the Millionaires’ season-opening tournament and was thinking about going to Bucknell for a practice at the Buffalo Valley Regional Training Center. But feeling the issues he could in his shoulder, he decided to skip practice.
He could feel his labrum wasn’t stable and his shoulder was popping in and out of the socket. The next morning, he woke up with the shoulder feeling the same way and decided to talk to his parents about it.
“I knew I messed something up,” Dawson said. “It was very concerning.”
His concern was warranted. Doctors told him he was going to need surgery not just on his right shoulder, but his left one, too. It would be the second surgery on each shoulder. And his doctors recommended he not wrestle anymore.
It was a dose of unbelievable news for Dawson. As someone who has wrestled since he was 4 years old, the sport was all he had ever known. It took a lot of conversations with his family and coach Mark Williams to realize ending his wrestling career was the right thing to do.
Dawson has learned to wrestle with pain. It’s something he’s become accustomed to in 12 years. In his mind, he thought he could keep dealing with that as he competed. But the complications from having shallow shoulder sockets were only going to continue to provide problems if he continued to wrestle. He learned through various conversations he had to keep an eye on his future and the quality of life he would have if he continued to wrestle knowing he would tear his labrum again and again.
The shallow socket in his shoulder allows for extra movement from the ball joint. That extra movement just shreds the labrum.
“I never thought this would take me out of wrestling,” Dawson said. “But I talked to a lot of people about it. I have a lot of supporters. There’s no reason to waste the rest of my life for this.”
Dawson’s brief career at Williamsport barely covered two seasons. He finished with a 27-9 record and was a regional qualifier as a freshman when he missed a month of the season with an injury. The hardest part of the season was not being able to join the Millionaires in the successes they’ve had.
His season got off to a great start, finishing third at the Top Hat, losing only to Muncy’s Jacob Blair, 6-3. His final match was a 5-1 win over Daniel Boone’s Canton Dolla to take third place. Since then, he’s watched as Williamsport won its first District 4/9 Duals championship and wrestled in Hershey in the state team tournament.
“The only tough part is that I’m not out there with them. But I love watching them kick (butt),” Dawson said. “We’ve all grown up together doing this. We’ve been wrestling since we were 4. It’s what we do. Injuries suck. I don’t wish them on anybody. But it’s a tough sport and it happens. It makes you tougher and you learn a lot from it, too.”
Before he had his surgery, Dawson was helping coach some of the school’s junior high wrestlers, showing them technique and rolling around in the room. He’s considered getting into coaching somewhere down the road, but for now, he wants to dip his toes into a number of activities to try and fill the void left by wrestling.
He’s recently taken up playing the guitar. He’s always been a music fan, and he cited Motley Crue as his favorite band after watching a movie about them on Netflix and looking into their musical catalog. But never before now has he played any kind of musical instrument.
“Learning the guitar is about the opposite of what I thought I’d be doing with my time right now,” Dawson said. “But there’s not a genre of music I don’t like.”
After Dawson finishes the physical therapy on his right shoulder, he’ll go back under the knife and have his left shoulder repaired. While it’s a process he’s not looking forward to, he knows it’s necessary.
What’s bothered him most about the injuries is that he’s done everything asked of him to make sure they didn’t happen. He participated in physical therapy before and after practice. There was weight-lifting to strengthen the muscles around his shoulder. He was running two miles before school every morning. He went through stretching routines, massages, heat and stimulation pads to make sure he was taking care of himself as best he could.
But in the end, all his preparation was no match for the construction of his shoulders. But the injuries and the shortened career don’t diminish what he’s learned from wrestling. He’ll carry the memories he’s made with him forever, but he’s also learned about work ethic and other traits which will help him through the rest of his life.
“A lot of it is I wrestled really rough,” Dawson said. “I just didn’t know when to quit. It’s a good and bad thing. I don’t know if the doctors love me or hate me because of it, because I’ve probably paid for a couple trips to the Bahamas for them with everything we’ve done.
“But I know I’m going to learn how to take wrestling with me into the rest of my life.”
MITCH RUPERT’S WRESTLING PREDICTIONS
DISTRICT 4 CLASS AA
(Top 5 qualify for NE Regional)
106: 1, Cade Wirnsberger, Meadowbrook Christian; 2, Bobby Gardner, South Williamsport; Branden Wentzel, Montoursville; 4, Ethan Kolb, Benton; 5, Aidan Kritzer, Line Mountain; 6, Kyle Ferster, Midd-West.
113: 1, Gavin Bradley, Athens; 2, Scott Johnson, Muncy; 3, Kaiden Wagner, Lewisburg; 4, Kaden Majcher, Warrior Run; 5, Conner Heckman, Midd-West; 6, Bailey Ferguson, Canton.
120: 1, Sheldon Seymour, Troy; 2, Kole Biscoe, Southern Columbia; 3, Gable Strickland, Benton; 4, Blake Wirt, Line Mountain; 5, Caiden Puderbach, Hughesville; 6, Liam Goodrich, Jersey Shore.
126: 1, Jacob Blair, Muncy; 2, Gabe Gramly, Mifflinburg; 3, Mason Leshock, Line Mountain; 4, Aidan Steininger, Midd-West; 5, Nicholas Woodruff, Wyalusing; 6, Caden Temple, Benton.
132: 1, Bryce Vollman, Muncy; 2, Noah Hunt, Warrior Run; 3, Kyler Crawford, Milton; 4, Hayden Ward, Canton; 5, Troy Bingaman, Mifflinburg; 6, Austin Aucker, Midd-West.
138: 1, Luke Gorg, Hughesville; 2, Clayton Reed, Mifflinburg; 3, Patrick Edmondson, Southern Columbia; 4, Ian Coller, Line Mountain; 5, Riley Parker, Canton; 6, Logan Bartlett, Lewisburg.
145: 1, Nate Higley, Sullivan County; 2, Avery Bassett, Midd-West; 3, Mario Barberio, Muncy; 4, Landon Lorson, South Williamsport; 5, Wolfgang Pearson, Shamokin; 6, Brandon Gedman, Southern Columbia.
152: 1, Wes Barnes, Southern Columbia; 2, Max Madden, Shamokin; 3, Devon Deem, Montgomery; 4, Christian Good, Muncy; 5, Logan Newton, Wyalusing; 6, Matty Coller, Line Mountain.
160: 1, Gavin Garcia, Southern Columbia; 2, Nolan Lear, Benton; 3, Isaac Cory, Montoursville; 4, Stephen Roeder, Bloomsburg; 5, Hayden Packer, Jersey Shore; 6, Jacob Turner, Troy.
170: 1, Cael Crebs, Montoursville; 2, Cade Linn, Southern Columbia; 3, Ethan Gush, Muncy; 4, Timmy Ward, Canton; 5, Shane Weidner, Mount Carmel; 6, Lane Lusk, South Williamsport.
182: 1, Dylan Bennett, Montoursville; 2, Jacob Feese, Line Mountain; 3, Derek Atherton-Ely, Canton; 4, Alex West, Athens; 5, Michael Cook-Stahl, Danville; 6, Tristen Ditzler, Muncy.
195: 1, Gaige Garcia, Southern Columbia; 2, Dominick Bridi, Line Mountain; 3, Dylan Devlin, Central Columbia; 4, Garrett Storch, Canton; 5, Nathan Rauch, Milton; 6, Ben Pernaselli, Athens.
220: 1, Cameron Wood, Montoursville; 2, Max Tillet, Southern Columbia; 3, Zach Poust, Benton; 4, Jackson Chilson, Wyalusing; 5, Trevor Williams, Canton; 6, Carter Sauer, Midd-West.
285: 1, Lear Quinton, Southern Columbia; 2, Nevin Rauch, Milton; 3, Emmanuel Ulrich, Mifflinburg; 4, Dawson Brown, Northeast Bradford; 5, Keagan Braund, Athens; 6, Gunner Treibley, Meadowbrook Christian.
DISTRICT 4/9 CLASS AAA
(Top 4 qualify for NW Regional)
106: 1, Cael Nasdeo, Williamsport; 2, Evan Davis, Clearfield; 3, Gage Sonnie, DuBois; 4, Leo Martinez, Selinsgrove.
113: 1, Brendan Orr, DuBois; 2, Austin Shoup, Cranberry; 3, Luke Seagraves, Williamsport; 4, Donovan Goundie, Selinsgrove.
120: 1, Carter Weaver, Williamsport; 2, Aiden Gaugler, Selinsgrove; 3, Carter Stanler, Cranberry; 4, Isaac Dellaquilla, St. Mary’s.
126: 1, Nolan Barr, Clearfield; 2, Lucas Laktash, Bradford; 3, Ben Skarbek, Punxsutawney; 4, Riley Harris, Williamsport.
132: 1, Trenton Donahue, DuBois; 2, Brady Smith, Punxsutawney; 3, Isaiah Harer, Williamsport; 4, Brett Thompson, Bradford.
138: 1, Riley Bower, Williamsport; 2, Chandler Ho, DuBois; 3, Luke Freeland, Clearfield; 4, Garrett Paradis, Selinsgrove.
145: 1, Cade Balestrini, Shikellamy; 2, Roman Morrone, Williamsport; 3, Karson Kline, Clearfield; 4, Teague Hoover, Selinsgrove.
152: 1, Ed Scott, DuBois; 2, Mark McGonigal, Clearfield; 3,Owen Mahon, Williamsport; 4, Johnny Wittman, St. Mary’s.
160: 1, Coy Bastian, Selinsgrove; 2, Gauge Gulvas, DuBois; 3, Gage Wolfe, Shikellamy; 4, Sebastian Robinson, Williamsport.
170: 1, Hayden Kovalick, Clearfield; 2, Dean Hollenbach, Selinsgrove; 3, Ravis Bobby, St. Mary’s; 4, Ryan White, DuBois.
182: 1, Derek Sunafrank, Bradford; 2, Garrett Starr, DuBois; 3, Steven Miller, Selinsgrove; 4, Brayden McFetridge, Cranberry.
195: 1, Jeremy Garthwaite, St. Mary’s; 2, Ryan Aument, Selinsgrove; 3, Garrett Eddy, Punxsutawney; 4, Seth Yeager, Cranberry.
220: 1, Nate Schon, Selinsgrove; 2, Adam Young, Shikellamy; 3, Alex Lukashunis, St. Mary’s; 4, Xavier Barton, Cranberry.
285: 1, Oliver Billotte, Clearfield; 2, Charles Crews, Williamsport; 3, Alex O’Hara, DuBois; 4, Trey Baney, Selinsgrove.
DISTRICT 6 AAA
(Top 4 qualify for NW Regional)
106: 1, Nicholas Allison; Mifflin County; 2, Hayden Cunningham, State College; 3, Gino Serafini, Central Mountain; 4, Casey Smith, Juniata.
113: 1, Derek Keen, Central Mountain; 2, Aidan O’Shea, Bellefonte; 3, Hunter Johnson, Mifflin County; 4, Bailey Weaverling, State College.
120: 1, Lane Aikey, Bellefonte; 2, Derek Burk, Mifflin County; 3, Braylen Corter, Central Mountain; 4, Eric Weaver, State College.
126: 1, Jude Swisher, Bellefonte; 2, Taylor Weaver, Central Mountain; 3, Damion Finnegan, Altoona; 4, Carter Weaverling, State College.
132: 1, Matt Sarbo, Altoona; 2, Owen Woolcott, State College; 3, Alex Coppolo, Bellefonte; 4, Zack Moore, Greater Johnstown.
138: 1, Clayton Leidy, State College; 2, Kyler Everly, Mifflin County; 3, Zach Miller, Central Mountain; 4, Kasir Malcolm, Greater Johnstown.
145: 1, Lane Porter, Central Mountain; 2, Ethan Kauffman, Mifflin County; 3, Nicholas Burkey, Hollidaysburg; 4, Josh Bomberger, Juniata.
152: 1, Aaron Sleeth, Hollidaysburg; 2, Anson Wagner, Mifflin County; 3, Daien Galentine, Central Mountain; 4, Adam Zerbee, Altoona.
160: 1, Ethan Richner, Bellefonte; 2, Trey Shoemaker, Mifflin County; 3, Kaden Falls, Central Mountain; 4, Campbell Walls, Hollidaysburg.
170: 1, Trey Kibe, Mifflin County; 2, Lance Urbas, State College; 3, Stephen Ivicic, Bellefonte; 4, Chase Willis, Juniata.
182: 1, Ethan Rossman, Bellefonte; 2, Brycen Hassinger, Mifflin County; 3, Colin Allmond, Altoona; 4, Phaustyn Houtz, Juniata.
195: 1, Nik Miller, Central Mountain; 2, Ty Price, State College; 3, Jacob Krepps, Mifflin County; 4, Tyler Benner, Bellefonte.
220: 1, Hadyn Crum, Mifflin County; 2, Gage Sutliff, Central Mountain; 3, Max Barrier, Bellefonte; 4, Dominik Rowles, Juniata.
285: 1, Blaine Davis, Mifflin County; 2, Cyrus McCarl, Central Mountain; 3, Hunter Lucas, Juniata; 4, Harrison Schoen, State College.