After securing the top-seed in the Class 1A-4A Section Tournament at Piedmont, there’s one goal left in the senior’s storied era at Dora: a third-consecutive state title — an accomplishment that has never been attained in county history.
Even without the elite-level competition that stands in the way of Boshell’s quest for his third-straight state title, the journey to this weekend’s AHSAA State Wrestling Championship at the Von Braun Center in Hunstville was fraught with obstacles, making his return to championship mats a tough task.
Before the 2012-13 season began, Boshell suffered a meniscus tear in one of his knees, which required surgery and a long recovery time — challenges that threatened to jeopardize his championship dreams. Boshell’s drive and tenacious spirit, however, would not allow him to miss a fourth-straight trip to Hunstville.
“Blake pushed himself to where he was three weeks ahead of his rehabilitation. The doctor had orignally told us that he could have possibly returned at the end of January — but Blake would not be deterred by that prediction. He worked hard in the weight room and with his teammates and pushed himself to the point to where he made a very early return,” Dora coach Hezzie Morgan said. “Now, he can do everything that he used to be capable of and more. He’s gained a tremendous amount of upper body strength, to where he can now bench-press 270 lbs. — that twice his body weight. What that has done is added a power edge to his vast amount of experience and mastery of technique. He turned the whole experience into an advantage for himself. He’s the prime example of a young man who is self-driven and motivated. Like our previous state champions, he never has to be told what to do. He starts weight training and practices even if I’m not here. He’s the definition of the self-made leader.”
Boshell himself stated that the recovery and road to his return was challenging, both mentally and physically.
“It was rough — I certainly can’t say that it was a cake walk. It was a lot of hard work, time and pain, but I knew if I wanted to come back and be ready, it was up to me to make it happen,” Boshell said.
Since his return last month, Boshell has compiled a 17-2 record — including a perfect 3-0 record in the section tournament. A key moment came in the section finals when he defeated Weaver’s Will Mizic, who entered the tournament with a 67-6 record, for the section championship title at the 132 lbs. weight class. The victory left Boshell with the feeling he was truly back to full form and ready for the challenges ahead of him this weekend.
“Will is a great guy and a superb opponent — it was a great feeling to walk off the mat and beat competition like him,” Boshell said.
“It detinetly put it back into my mind that I was ready to go like I once was.”
Morgan said that the legacy that Boshell could leave behind with a third state championship would most likely lead to offers to compete at the collegiate level, as well as a deserved moniker of one of the best wrestlers to ever compete in the county.
“We’ve never had a three-time champion in Walker County. If Blake wins the state title on Saturday, he could take his shoes off and leave them on the mat. It would make me very proud,” Morgan said.
“He has a number of college programs who are extremely interested in him and will be watching him this weekend. He’s earned the right to get that type of attention from those programs — they know what kind of future he has in this sport beyond high school.”