EMMETSBURG - After being forced to cancel last year due to inclement weather, the Emmetsburg Invitational looks to be all-systems-go this year.
The host E-Hawks will be joined by Fort Dodge, Le Mars, Storm Lake, Humboldt, Okoboji, Estherville-LC, OA/BC-IG and Central Lyon.
Action begins at noon, with finals scheduled to start around 4 p.m.
Emmetsburg claimed top honors two years ago, followed by the Falcons and Dodgers.
For Bobby Thompson, head coach at Fort Dodge, this provides yet another opportunity for his green squad to receive ample mat time during on afternoon. The Dodgers placed sixth a week ago at the Eagle Grove Invitational, crowning champions in Nate Lentsch and Duke Egli.
"We need our younger kids to get as much experience as they can before the holiday break," Thompson said. "If we can continue to make gains, I think we can generate a lot of momentum for the final few months of the season."
The E-Hawks were also at Eagle Grove, securing fourth overall. Emmetsburg had a champ in Nick Schany and runner-up performances from Brett Steinkamp, Brady Bailey and Andrew Garrelts.
Competing at the Emmetsburg Invitational allows all the teams a chance to see different levels of competition, as the brackets are filled with wrestlers from Class 3A down to 1A.
Humboldt's Brance Simms is the lone top rated wrestler in the field, as the defending state champion enters No. 1 at 126 pounds. Lentsch, Bailey, Schany and eight other grapplers are ranked.
"Overall, I think it will be a pretty balanced team race," Thompson said. "Emmetsburg and OA/BC-IG are probably the favorites, but really, every team there has a chance to do some good things."
After this weekend, the Dodgers travel to No. 3 (Class 3A) Southeast Polk on Thursday before finishing their pre-Christmas schedule by hosting the Don Miller Fort Dodge Invitational a week from today.
Contact Dana Becker at (515) 573-2141, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org