A family tradition: Kooper latest Doucet state champion

by Todd Brooks

OKLAHOMA CITY - Thanksgiving is still several months away, but Kooper Doucet already has a reason to look forward to it.

“I’ll be able to sit at the table for more than 10 minutes,” Doucet joked after winning the Class 3A 215-pound state championship last Saturday.

Kooper Doucet became the latest Doucet to win a state championship following in the footsteps of his father, Benji, and older brother Konner, who won four of them. Jon Townsend, who lived with the Doucets when he was a teenager, is a former state champion. Kooper had come close his freshman and sophomore years, making it to the finals both years. He sat out wrestling his junior year leaving him one final shot in his senior year.

“I’m excited to finally get over my curse,” Kooper said.

In the final, Doucet defeated Kolby Looper of Blackwell, 7-1. Doucet took a 2-0 lead late in the first period with a takedown. After scoreless second period, Doucet got two more takedowns and each wrestler recorded an escape.

Having defeated Looper in the regional tournament, Doucet knew he could do it again and didn’t feel any pressure going into the final match.

What he did not do was think ahead too far.

“A lot of guys do things like backflips and think about what they are going to do when they win it," Doucet said. “I used to think when I was a kid what I would do if I won and what my celebration would be. This year I never thought of it and just wanted to win. I got tired of losing. So, no preparation, I just knew I was going to win. I had to win. It was my last opportunity. I beat the kid last week. I knew how he felt. I knew if I came in here and wrestled to my ability that no one in here could touch me.”

His celebration consisted of simply walking over to the coaches’ corner and giving head coach Casy Rowell and assistant coach Keith Hare a hug at the same time.

In his opening match, Doucet picked up an 8-1 win and followed it up with a pin in the semifinals. He finished his senior season with a 34-4 record.

Rowell knew Doucet was primed for a special season.

“Kooper did phenomenal. He did exactly what he needed to do,” Rowell said. “I was never really worried in any of his matches. He controlled every single match, wrestled methodical and did what he had to do to be a champion. He kind of had like a 'Vision Quest' type of year where he was on a mission and worked really hard. He had a great attitude all season long and I’m extremely proud of him.”