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By Kate Carrico
Central Oklahoma wrestling might be a family experience, but there is no sibling rivalry.
“We’ve been labeled a ‘BOB’ – a Band of Brothers,” says Broncho Cory Dauphin, a 157-pound junior, referring to the school’s wrestling team. For Dauphin, the statement rings more true than for the typical team member. His older brother and fellow junior, Cody, is the 285-pound wrestler for Central Oklahoma.
p>“It’s great to see somebody they can relate to in their age that can talk to them about how they got into college and be a positive mentor for these kids,” he said. “We’re all looking for that kind of experience for our youth who are here because they see the negatives every day. They need to see the positive also, and this is very positive.”
Wrestling always has been a family endeavor for the Dauphin brothers. Their mother, Kristi, got them involved early, and their uncle Joe Dauphin coached them throughout their youth careers.
“My mom grew up being the crazy wrestling sister for him to being the crazy wrestling mom now,” Cory says. “She was raised around wrestling with him and our other uncle. She just wasn’t going to let it go. Before college, she may have missed two matches each of ours, maybe – if even that.”
Joe continues to play a critical role in the Dauphins’ wrestling careers. He coached them as youngsters, and Cody says Joe still calls to talk about how they are wrestling and what they are working on. Cody shares that their Joe is “someone I look up to a lot in the wrestling world because if it weren’t for him, I probably wouldn’t have stuck with the sport.”
After three (Cody) and four (Cory) state championships at El Reno High School, Cody and Cory knew they wanted to continue their careers together in college. Central Oklahoma emerged as the perfect option. The Dauphins knew several Broncho wrestlers before joining the team, and the fit with coach David James was good. Central Oklahoma not only offered a place for both brothers to study and compete, but the school also is a five-minute drive from home, which meant Kristi could continue her unwavering support at home matches.
Off the mat, Cody is a general studies major with a minor in criminal justice. He wants to pursue a career in public service as a firefighter. Cory is an industrial safety major, looking to enter the oil or gas industry after graduation.
The Dauphin brothers live together and acknowledge that being around each other so frequently can be difficult. But they would not want it any other way.
“At times, we’re a little bit too close,” Cory says. “Just like any siblings, we butt heads, but in the end, you’ll see me right there at his match cheering him on and I’m sure vice versa. It feels good having someone not a teammate – I mean, they’re all my brothers – but having an actual brother on the team is something really special.”
Says Cody: “You always know when you get off the mat, you know you’re going to get criticized about something no matter if you win or lose. It’s not a coach talking to you and it’s not a teammate; it’s coming from someone who’s seen you wrestle your whole life. No matter what, we’re always pushing each other to get better. I think that’s the greatest thing.”
Success on the mat is a familiar experience for the Dauphins. Their appearance at the 2013 NCAA Division II Wrestling Championships in Birmingham was their third consecutive showing at an NCAA championship. While they were both excited to be back, they recognized they came to the event with unfinished business from previous years.
After being sidelined by a knee injury in the weeks leading into regionals in 2012, Cory went 1-2 in competition, losing two close matches. Cody lost his first-round matchup in 2012. After winning his second in resounding fashion, he dropped his third to exit the tournament.
This time, there was more success. Cody dropped his first match but eventually finished sixth and won all-America recognition. As for Cory, he blitzed through the bracket and prevailed 4-2 over Lake Erie’s Zach Vargo to claim his first national championship title for himself, his family, and his team.
The Dauphin brothers were not the only family members who made the trip to Birmingham. In addition to their mother and stepfather Donnie Jackson, their uncle Joe, aunt Aimee, and cousins Blake and Bryce also attended the Festival as Bryce’s birthday present. Cory appreciated the added motivation.
“They’ve been there (for us) and then you have two little cousins you want to go out there and win for them,” he says. “I’m trying to do big things for them and my family and my team.”Last Updated: Mar 11, 2013