Posted: April 1, 2015 at 10:55 pm
By Ryan Petrovich, Charles Clarke and Jackie Sagar
In the summer of 2014 Brooklyn Doggette, an 18-year-old incoming freshman at West Virginia University and two-time qualifier for the Junior Olympics national team, was looking forward to fulfilling a dream: competing on the university’s gymnastics team just has her mother had done.
While competing her senior year in high school, however Doggette suffered a shoulder injury and the tearing of her anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) while rehabbing the shoulder. These injuries sidelined her from the WVU team freshman year.
Doggette, however, didn’t give up. Now a sophomore, she is competing again and posted two career-highs in the bars and balance beam competition this season.
“I think perseverance describes her the best,” says Jason Butts, head coach of the gymnastics’ team. “She’s definitely not a quitter. She’s remarkably talented. It defines her character and her fight.”
Butts says that Doggette always gives 150 percent and never quits whether it is in a meet or a routine practice during the week.
Ever since Doggette can remember, she has dreamed of becoming a Mountaineer and following in her parents’ footsteps. She is the daughter of Cecil and Becky Doggette, who were both athletes at West Virginia University. Cecil Doggette played football from 1990-91 and his wife was a gymnast from 1992-93. The family currently resides in Pickerington, Ohio.
““It’s nice to have someone walk in the door and knows what being a Mountaineer is all about,” Butts says. “She committed on the spot when we offered her the scholarship.”
Not only did Doggette follow in the sports path of her mother, she also chose the same major.
Doggette is currently enrolled in child development and family studies — the same degree that her mother graduated with while she was at WVU.
Doggette had achieved recognition even before signing with the university. While competing in club gymnastics she earned honors such as being a two-time Junior Olympics National Team qualifier and placed third in the all-around 2010 Ohio State Championships.
“I just knew I always wanted to go [to WVU],” says Doggette. “[My parents] going here were just like a booster for me.”
For their part, her parents were ecstatic when their daughter finally inked the letter of intent to do gymnastics at their alma mater.
“She couldn’t wait [to compete]. She cried the first time, I’m going to cry right now talking about it,” Becky Doggette says. “It was big deal for us.”
During high school, however, Brooklyn dealt with multiple shoulder surgeries and an ankle injury. While rehabbing her most recent shoulder injury, she tore her ACL– for the second time.
It took Doggette roughly six months to get back on track. With an ACL tear, it’s not impossible to return to 100 percent, but it takes a special athlete to maintain the right mindset and determination to tackle the rehab process and remain patient, Butt says.
For now, Doggette seems to have overcome her injuries. On March 8, in a meet versus Penn State she set two career-highs, a 9.825 on the bars and a 9.825 on the balance beam.
Doggette doesn’t dwell on the past or her injuries.
“It’s always in the back of my mind, but you try not to think about it and just train like you know what to do and trust your body,” she says.
She is very excited about being able to finally compete for the university. On March 21, WVU finished in second place in the Big 12 Gymnastics Championship in Oklahoma. This week, the team turn its attention to the Morgantown Regional Championship on April 4.
“WVU pride is like nothing else,” Doggette says. “Football games, basketball games and even gymnastics meets, the fans are always loud and supportive it’s a great atmosphere to compete in.”