Doucet returns for one more shot

by Todd Brooks

Editor's note: (The online version of this story contains an additional quote.)

Last year, Kooper Doucet sat out his junior year of wrestling to focus on his golf game which he was thinking about pursuing at the collegiate level.

And, while it did help his golf game, there was something missing as well.

“I missed winning matches,” Doucet said. “I kind of missed an opportunity to win last year and I’m glad I am able to come back.”

The name Doucet has been synonymous with wrestling for many years. His father Benji was a state champion and his brother Konner was a four-time state champion.

“I wanted to try to get me at least one,” Doucet said.

His mother Krystal Doucet said they weren’t happy at first when Kooper told them he didn’t want to wrestle his junior year.

“It took us a while to kind of come to terms with it,” she said. “At that point he thought he was going to go to college to play golf. Like this year, he’ll get done with wrestling and go straight to golf the next week.”

Things have changed since then and Kooper now plans to go to trade school.

“He decided not to do sports in college and it has taken the pressure off of him,” Krystal said. “Now, he is just going out there and enjoying his senior year.”

Kooper has picked up right where he left off. He finished in second place his freshman and sophomore year at state. He won a state junior high championship his freshman year. This year, he won the regional and will be the top seed from the West. He also won two tournaments during the regular season. His record is 31-4 this year.

“I think I can score some more points at the state tournament,” Doucet said. “There’s three matches left to win.”

He is peaking at the right time after getting some rust off earlier in the season.

"The hardest part was getting back into wrestling shape," Doucet said. "(Remembering wrestling moves) wasn't difficult at all. I've been wrestling since I was three years old. I'll remember those for the rest of my life."

His coach, Casy Rowell, was more than happy to welcome him back this season.

“It was great, he’s always been a talented wrestler,” Rowell said. “Last year, he was making some life decisions and looking at his future, so we let him go and let him do his thing. And he came back this year and has been awesome to work with. He’s a good leader with these guys. And he’s got a good attitude and works hard. I think he’s set himself up where if he goes out and wrestles like he’s capable of, he could be a champion this year.”

“You never know what he’s going to say or do,” Krystal Doucet said with a laugh. “He can be hard to deal with and they’ve done well with him. There’s definitely some days when its hard on me and Benji. He’s definitely Benji’s kid.”