No stranger to a struggle, Dylan Doskocil again proved Wednesday afternoon he's also not afraid of one, as he officially revealed his intent to continue playing soccer for a collegiate crew in much the same state of flux as Bayfield High School.
Having helped the Wolverines post a program-best 12-4 overall record and reach the Class 3A state tournament in 2017, Doskocil managed to net four goals in 2018 during a rebuilding 2-13 campaign. Next, he will continue on to NCAA Division II Adams State University, which finished 1-15-2 overall and 1-11-2 in the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference in 2018 after a program-best 7-10-1 overall and 4-9-1 RMAC performance in 2017.
"Just a coincidence, I guess," said the senior midfielder/defender, son of Jiri Doskocil and Gretchen Fitzgerald. "But I've been following them and they do have a lot of players coming in, so it's going to be fun to get with all the talent that's coming and play with them, have a good year."
BHS head coach Chris Zoltowski said Doskocil knows how to overcome adversity.
"I think Adams State will be good for him; he's been there, he knows about overcoming adversity," the coach said. "He's seen growth, seen what hard work puts in, and I think he's going to be excited and fired up. I think it's going to help him develop, but I also think it's going to help that team grow."
Doskocil said he attended an ID camp at Adams State in Alamosa and clicked with the team.
For a third year running, Zoltowski's program has seen a player realize the college dream. Doskocil followed goalkeeper Austin Bushnell and midfielder Tilden Berriman in receiving a next-level shot. And the latter will await his RMAC arrival this fall; Berriman will be a redshirt-freshman at Colorado State University-Pueblo.
"Oh, it's going to be fun knowing someone on the other team I'm playing against," said Doskocil, who noted an initial interest in environmental- and/or outdoor-related coursework, and "maybe down the road, engineering or science."
Under new head coach Stanley Rodrigues in 2018, the Grizzlies' first tie came 1-1 in their RMAC opener, Sept. 14, versus none other than Berriman and the ThunderWolves.
About 48 hours later, ASU fell 4-0 to Fort Lewis College, then appeared to bounce back five days after in their next outing with another 1-1 draw against South Dakota Mines & Technology, but their lone win at, ironically, CSU-Pueblo would be another month in coming.
Adams State's season ended two days later, Oct. 27, with a 3-nil senior day home loss to NCAA Tournament-bound Colorado Mesa University, which ultimately finished 13-4-5 overall after losing to West Texas A&M in the South Central Regional Championship.
"They said they'd start me off at center back and maybe move me up to holding mid," said Doskocil, asked whether the Grizzlies' staff had informed him where he may be first utilized. "I've got the defensive aggressiveness and height, and then once I get comfortable with the team be able to make playmaking passes and stuff, I'll be able to move up."
"Dylan's probably got some of the best ball control I've ever seen in, like, 10 years of coaching," Zoltowski said. "He's extremely intelligent on and off the field. I think his intelligence is probably his best asset, and I think it's going to be massive going forward into college.
"Personally, I put him as a holding mid because, again, of his intelligence. He was real good at commanding the field defensively to get organized but also offensively to start the buildup, make smart passes, smart plays. But then again, when attacking, he's even better because he has the vision and can put headers in. So, he's good anywhere on the field."
Doskocil was happy to feel some success at Bayfield and is glad to continue the lineage of players going to the next level.
"Three years in a row we've had ambitious players that want to go play college," said Doskocil, "and (Zoltowski's) really done as much as he could to help us get to that level, support us all the way."