GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (KKCO) Dawson Collins finished his high school wrestling career like all wrestlers dream, a state champion.
"There is no better feeling,” said Collins. “It's my second one and still there is no better feeling. This is the same as the first one. It's just awesome knowing that all that hard work that I do pays off. Those second practices, all the gym work, it's not for nothing."
Collins was a state champion at 113 his sophomore year. Last year, he came up short and that laid the foundation for his senior campaign.
"Last year when I finished third, there was nothing on my mind but I have to push harder. After I won my first state title, it was laid back and then I got third and I pushed harder and it pays off. Once you're at the top, you have got to keep pushing hard."
The work he put in the gym helped him come out on top.
"That match, it was low scoring. I didn't get as many takedowns as I would like. I was working my stuff, I was getting to his legs. He's a long kid and kept posting on my head. He has good defense but I just outlasted him."
The two-time state title winner also finishes high school as a four-time champ at the Warrior Classic. After the win at state, the Grand Junction crowd got loud.
"This is for sure the biggest family group that I’ve had all four years and it's awesome. Just looking up there and seeing them standing there in orange, it's one of the best feelings."
Next up for Collins, he's off to Utah Valley to wrestle NCAA Division I and he definitely left his mark on the centennial state.
"My last high school match, I’m glad I got to put my name out there and let everybody know that I was best in Colorado at 120. I'm just ready for college."
Collins hopes the work he put in motivates the next great wrestlers from the Grand Valley.
"I’m going to have little kids that look up to me that I practice with right now that are going to be going to Grand Junction high school and they are going to be seeing my name on the wall. Hopefully, it just puts them in a position to push themselves to get their name up there."