Bryan Dobzanski placed third in the state in wrestling last year and many people said the Delsea Regional High School sophomore hadn’t even scratched the surface of his potential.
This past winter, as a junior, Dobzanski completed an undefeated season as the state’s 220-pound champion and people said it isn’t even his best sport.
The towering yet approachable big man on the Franklinville campus gave those people plenty of fuel for their argument this spring when the right-hander with a fastball clocked in the low 90s posted a miniscule 0.29 ERA and struck out 36 batters in just 24 1⁄3 innings after missing a huge chunk of the season.
Considering the fact that he played a major role for the Crusaders in their Group III South title in football in the fall, no one can argue one thing — Dobzanski is a special athlete.
In an era where three-sport athletes are the exception, Dobzanski was exceptional. He is mild-mannered and plays the line of confident yet not cocky as well as he ran routes as a split end on the gridiron. Dobzanski can do nothing but smile if someone says in order to excel in a sport you need to focus all your attention on it.
For his excellence in all three sports, Dobzanski is the Daily Journal’s 2013 Male Athlete of the Year. Delsea’s Josh Awotunde, the team’s star quarterback, winter track standout and spring track Meet of Champions winner in the shot put, was second in the voting conducted by the Daily Journal’s four-person staff. Bridgeton’s Brahame Days Jr., Millville’s Ed Shockley and Vineland’s Johnny Malatesta rounded out the top five.
In his first year of high school football, Dobzanski scored five total touchdowns as a split end and defensive back for the 11-1 Crusaders. He earned an honorable mention nod for his efforts on the football field.
In the winter, Dobzanski put together one of the most dominant seasons of any wrestler in the state. He was 42-0 and allowed just eight points all season. Four of those points came in the state final against Don Bosco’s Zack Chakonis. The other points came when he allowed an opponent four escapes to record a technical fall.
Dobzanski wasn’t taken down or reversed all season. Really, no one came close either. He pinned his way through districts, regions and states, until the final.
“In terms of having eight points scored against him, I didn’t plan on that,” wrestling coach Greg Sawyer said during the winter. “But I did plan on him dominating everyone who stepped on the mat with him.”
Dobzanski then moved to the spring season and missed most of April with a shoulder injury. He played in 19 games as a designated hitter and posted a .333 average. Despite playing an abbreviated season, he led the team with 11 steals.
When his shoulder was healthy enough to pitch again, Dobzanski was dominant.
During the winter, Dobzanski talked about the expectations others had of him. Those expectations are only going to grow this summer.
“I gotta get another state title because no one expects any less,” Dobzanski said.
People are expecting a lot from him in football and baseball as well.