The title of lineal champion in boxing is reserved for Tyson Fury. In the boys 132-pound weight class in the OIA West, Campbell’s Brock Gooman doesn’t want any part of it.
Gooman, who beat Radford’s Logan Leialoha in overtime of the semifinals of a 132-pound semifinal of the OIA West championships at Pearl City on Saturday, failed to defend his title when he was injured.
Aiea’s Dante Bareng took the title after Gooman, who left the arena on crutches, was unable to take the mat for the final, despite his objections.
Gooman’s troubles arose when he failed to put Leialoha away in regulation during a contentious match that had both coaches pleading for points that were not awarded. With the match tied, 1-1, Leialoha got leverage on the shorter Gooman and launched him out of the circle and onto the hard concrete floor. Gooman rose, but the damage to his left ankle was evident.
“I didnt feel it until the middle of (overtime),” Gooman said. “Then I started to feel it when I was walking so I just had to push through and win the match.”
Leialoha took Gooman’s right leg in overtime, so the Campbell sophomore circled on his injured pin and earned a takedown. He then spent 45 minutes being iced on the training table before crutches were presented. He stayed there for another 30 minutes after that before being informed that his day was done. Coach Rodger Berlin later made a final plea to get his boy on the mat, but had no luck.
“This is the first time I have seen him cry out of pain,” Berlin said. “He always wants to compete. He is a competitor through and through. Brock being Brock, he is going to do everything he can to forge forward and get that takedown.”
OIA divisional championships serve as a tune-up for next week’s OIA championships, but Gooman wasn’t having it. He admits that he hasn’t had the year he envisioned but Berlin sees greatness in the kid who went 1-2 at last year’s state tournament. The coach describes the sophomore as a leader in the wrestling room and the kind of athlete he wants to build the program around. Saturday’s result might be a setback, but he has two years and a month to shake the bad luck.
“He’s one of the hardest workers in the room,” Berlin said. “As long as he gets cleared I expect him to go very deep this year and win it next year.”
But first Gooman has to get healthy.
“I’d honestly rather wrestle than go to the doctor’s right now,” Gooman said.