A panel of media members and football coaches placed Fallbrook High School offensive lineman Sean Dowling on the all-CIF first team during their Dec. 4 selection meeting.
“Pretty exciting for me,” Dowling said.
“I’m very happy for him,” said Joe Silvey, who was Fallbrook’s head coach during the 2012 season. “He’s had a great last few months.”
Dowling and his mother attended the Dec. 11 ceremony at the San Diego Hall of Champions where the selections were made public. “I was most pleasantly surprised,” Dowling said. “I’m really excited for the honor of getting the award. I know a lot of great players have come from the area.”
Dowling, a two-year starter for Fallbrook’s varsity, had earned first-team Avocado East League recognition in 2012 and honorable mention all-league status in 2011. “He’s got a lot of natural ability,” Silvey said. “He’s got gifts that hardly anyone else has, but at the same time he’s worked very hard.”
Dowling’s father, Col. Chris Dowling, was deployed in the Middle East during the 2012 season, but that turned out not to be an obstacle for the Fallbrook player. “I thought it would be, but he prepared me to achieve success on my own,” Sean Dowling said.
Dowling himself was one of the Warriors’ team captains. “Being on a team that’s not always winning games it’s hard for me as a leader,” he said.
“My biggest concern was not having my father there to give me advice,” Dowling said. “I think I managed all right.”
Chris Dowling has spent 28 years in the United States Marine Corps, and Sean Dowling has moved throughout the United States during his life. He was born in Alexandria, Va., and has also lived in North Carolina, Seattle, Twenty-Nine Palms, and Rhode Island. Until his return to Fallbrook in 2010, Dowling attended a different school every year.
When Dowling was in Twenty-Nine Palms, he made his football debut as a seventh-grader at Joshua Springs Christian School in Yucca Valley. The Dowling family lived on base at Camp Pendleton when he was in eighth grade, but he graduated from Zion Lutheran School that year and also played American Youth Football under coach Allen Bonaguro.
Dowling spent ninth grade at North Kingstown High School in North Kingstown, Rhode Island. He played freshman football for the Skippers before being moved up to the varsity for the final month of the season. Dowling played on both the offensive line and the defensive line while in high school.
Dowling considers the highlight of his career to be Fallbrook’s win over Escondido on Senior Night in 2012. The win, which was the only one of Fallbrook’s season, included two Warrior touchdown runs, a Fallbrook touchdown pass, and a pass for a two-point conversion.
Dowling also played freshman basketball and was on Fallbrook’s junior varsity basketball team as a sophomore. He also participated in student government and was active in Young Life. Dowling received a berth on the Principal’s Meritorious Honor Roll for his scholastic achievements during his junior year and also received league academic honors in 2011. Since 2011, he has been employed seasonally as a lifeguard for Lincoln Properties, and during the off-season he works out with a trainer in Murrieta.
Dowling has a younger brother, Collin, who also played American Youth Football and was on Fallbrook High School’s freshman football team in 2012.
“Just proud of the accomplishments and excited to see what he does in the future,” Silvey said.
“I’m really happy I can represent the town of Fallbrook with an all-CIF award. It’s a great town and I’m very honored that I can use this athletic gift to help out my town,” Dowling said.
Editor’s Note: Dowling was scheduled to participate in the Semper Fidelis All-American Bowl on January 3 in Phoenix, Ariz. A story relating to that will appear in a future issue of the Village News.