DES MOINES - Head coach Bobby Thompson walked away encouraged by the performance of his Fort Dodge wrestling team Thursday afternoon.
All five Dodgers kept their medal hopes intact during the opening round of Class 3A state action at Wells Fargo Arena.
Top-ranked senior Duke Egli (170 pounds) and No. 9 junior Riley Prescott (195) each advanced to the quarterfinals for FDSH, while 10th-ranked sophomore Erik Birnbaum (106), freshman Cole Detmering (113) and junior Kole Evans (120) all remain on the consolation side.
"It was a good day for Dodger wrestling," Thompson said. "We fought hard and got all five guys through, which is obviously what we were wanting to do."
Egli (38-0 overall) needed just 1:05 to dispose of Mount Pleasant's Jayton Phillips. The three-time state qualifier has now compiled 108 career victories.
"It was very, very intense, but I didn't have as many jitters this time," said Egli, who recently upset Southeast Polk's then-No. 1 and nationally-ranked Dylan Blackford at the CIML Invitational. "I'm pretty confident right now, and I've also had a lot of good coaching.
"I know it'll be tough every round from here on out, though."
Looking to improve on his eighth-place state effort from a year ago, Egli will now
clash with second-ranked Dustin Fuller (49-0) of Sioux City North in an intriguing showdown of unbeatens.
"Duke was dominant again," Thompson said. "He just has to continue to take it one match at a time."
Prescott (29-14) also recorded a 5:03 fall time against LeMars Chris Hiserote. Awaiting the two-time state participant Prescott next is No. 4 Dane Jones (28-3) from Oskaloosa.
"Riley really wants to medal," said Thompson. "His previous experience down (at Des Moines) helps a lot."
After being pinned (1:18) by Johnston's fourth-ranked Henry Pohlmeyer in his opener, Birnbaum (36-7) responded with a 6-0 decision over Chase Evans of Glenwood. Birnbaum will be challenged by either West Des Moines Valley's No. 9 Jack Koethe (32-15) or second-ranked Jacob Schwarm (21-1) from Bettendorf.
In his first bout, Detmering (32-14) dropped a 15-0 technical fall to Bettendorf's No. 8 Paul Glynn. He later prevailed over Jordan Peterson of Council Bluffs Abraham Lincoln by a 13-8 count. Detmering will now face Linn-Mar's No. 4 Matt Wempen (34-1) or top-ranked Bryce Meyer (37-0) from Fort Madison.
Evans (25-19) was pinned
by Oskaloosa's Matt Caves in 3:31, before notching an 8-5 triumph against Matt Malcolm of Glenwood. Evans' next opponent will be either No. 7 Danny Kelly (27-4) from Cedar Falls or West Des Moines Valley's second-ranked Jake Koethe (38-5).
"It's always real tough to come back after
losing that first match," Thompson said. "So many times when you get to districts and state-level competition, the
underclassmen are ready to be done if things don't go their way. (Yesterday) we gave what it takes. We just need to keep climbing the ladder."
Class 3A quarterfinals will follow 1A action today at approximately 10 a.m.