When you talk about top wrestling athletes in South Georgia, senior Dominic DiTomasso must be mentioned as one of the best. He has proven to be a great athlete with his skills, work ethic and determination. He has worked so hard throughout the years of his wrestling journey, that he has recently achieved a great accomplishment: being the first high school wrestler from Valdosta to receive a Division 1 wrestling scholarship to attend the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga (UTC).
Growing up, DiTomasso played football and baseball. Describing himself as a small kid, he didn’t reach his growth spurt until eighth grade. Deciding that those sports were no longer a huge interest, he decided to pursue wrestling after talking to a friend. Still wanting to be active in sports, he went after wrestling and has been going strong ever since. DiTomasso began the sport at 82 pounds and is now wrestling up to 132 pounds.
Describing it as a “pretty big deal,” DiTomasso is thrilled to be a part of wrestling history in his hometown. Not only has he made history, but the Lowndes Vikings wrestling team has made history as well in the past two years. His faith in God helps keep him humbled and grateful. He doesn’t take for granted that there are young athletes that look up to him and other team members as role models.
Committing to UTC was a dream come true for DiTomasso. Loving the city and the campus environment, he knew the wrestling program would be the best fit for him to continue both his athletic and educational pursuits.
“I’m really close to the coaches,” said DiTomasso. “The coaches really make you feel you’re on the team from the minute you get up there. Going on my second visit, it felt like I was going back home. It didn’t feel weird going in…it felt like hanging out with friends.”
Being a college student and athlete is much different than being a high school student athlete, but DiTomasso is ready for the challenge. He knows it requires a new level of focus and time management but he says he’s already gotten himself prepared for it. Ever since middle school, he’s used to having a strict routine that requires dedication.
Right now, DiTomasso is taking honors and advanced placement classes. Education is just as important to him. He plans to double major in biochemistry and mechanical engineering. When he graduates from UTC, he would like to pursue graduate school and as far as his athletic journey, his goal is to go all the way to the Olympics.
“I know it’s going to be tough,” he said. “Definitely tougher than what I’m doing right now, but I feel like it won’t be as much adjusting as some people may have trouble doing.”
DiTomasso doesn’t just stop wrestling when the school season is over. He continues to wrestle year round, only having about two weeks off. Working out is common for him to do every day. With working out everyday, he says it’s not too hard to keep the weight up for wrestling meets. From a wrestling perspective, he says it’s easier to lose weight than it is to gain.
“I do morning workouts, I do two practices a day...there’s not really a lot of down time,” says DiTomasso. “With my diet of course there’s cheat days, but I do try to stay fairly healthy. It’s just easy to maintain, especially the sport I’m in, it’s very active.”
A typical day of an athlete is normally busy and DiTomasso’s days are no different. Once or twice a week he wakes up at 4 a.m. to workout before school. Then after school, he immediately goes to practice from 3:30 – 5:30 p.m. If he doesn’t have to attend club wrestling, then he works out again until it’s time to do homework. He aims to be in bed before 11:00 p.m. As far as meal regimen, he loves turkey wraps or anything with high protein and low carbs, such as chicken and rice.
Family has played an important role in his life. His family are all active and support one another. Same with his coaches, both high school and club. Once a week, he drives to Perry, GA and Moultrie and has coaches there as well. “Each coach is invested in me,” says DiTomasso.
He says a lot of people don’t know how intense wrestling is. Physical conditioning and mastering the technique are two major things to remember with the sport.
As far as the future, DiTomasso could also see himself coaching. “Wrestling is always going to be a part of my life no matter what. It’s consumed my whole life at this point.” He will miss all the friends he made at Lowndes but is ready to be a freshman.
Written by Tyrah Walker