School Spotlight: Dowling Catholic High School (West Des Moines, IA)

Matthew Morris – BVM Sports Journalist

Dowling Catholic High School is a private, Catholic high school located in West Des Moines, Iowa. It is affiliated with the Roman Catholic Diocese of Des Moines and provides education for students in grades 9 through 12. Dowling Catholic High School has a strong reputation for its academic programs, athletics, and extracurricular activities. They have been playing Iowa High School football since 1972. The Dowling Maroons have qualified for state almost every year since they started playing football in 1972. The Dowling Catholic football program has a very long history of winning state championships. The Dowling Catholic Maroons were the first Iowa High School to win seven straight state championships by winning state championships from 2013-19. After the 2019-20 season, the Maroons have been looking to win another championship. Last season the Dowling Maroons started off slow by losing their first game but after losing their season opener they went on a dominating run with winning 10 games in a row. The Maroons were close to grabbing another state championship but ended up losing in the semifinals. This season they come in with high hopes and determination to win another championship.  

The Dowling Maroons are coached by Tom Wilson, who is entering his 19th season as the head coach of the Dowling Maroons football team. We were able to interview Coach Wilson and talk about this upcoming season.

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 Every season and every team has something they focus on once the previous season is over and they go into the off-season. We asked Coach Wilson about what him and his team are focusing on going into this season.

“We just focus on getting better. That may sound like coachspeak but it is truly how we run the program.  We try to get the kids to understand that we gain nothing by looking ahead or looking behind.  It is right now that is most important.”

HC Tom Wilson
Kelsey Kremer/The Register

Each team has a goal of winning a state championship but only one team is able to actually win the state championship. Last season the Maroons were close to advancing to the state championship but ended up losing to their rival Valley High School in the final minute with 2-point conversion. We asked Coach Wilson about what him and the team learned about themselves based on how last season ended.

“We did not feel we maximized our team a year ago.  We lost the first game then won 10 in a row then lost in the semifinals. It wasn’t so much the loss but how we went about our business when we lost.  We didn’t maximize us. That is our job.”

HC Tom Wilson
Des Moines Register

Each team has a motto or slogan they go by. The team’s motto is implemented by the coach but is executed by the team. We asked Coach Wilson about their team’s motto or slogan.

“We have had the same slogan for many years….”Team First”. Never changes. It is the mindset of how we run our program.”

HC Tom Wilson
Margaret Kispert/The Register

We asked Coach Wilson about his top players to look out for this season. Here’s his players: