EAGLE GROVE - The 10th-ranked (Class 3A) Fort Dodge wrestling team will compete in their first tournament here Saturday, heading to the Eagle Grove Invitational.
Action begins at 11 a.m., with the finals scheduled for approximately 3:30 p.m.
Joining the Dodgers will be defending meet champion Ankeny, Algona, Clarion-Goldfield, Ballard, Emmetsburg and the host Eagles.
Fort Dodge opened the year this past Thursday, falling to Urbandale in a dual. While experienced in spots, the lineup features several new faces, leaving FDSH head coach Bobby Thompson more excited about competing in tournaments than duals at the moment.
"I feel with the kids coming back that we have, we can really score some points and compete for tournament titles, including this one," he said. "We are going to need some of the new kids to score points when they are on the backside of the brackets, though, if we want to pull out the win."
The Dodgers boast five ranked individuals, led by No. 4 Riley Prescott, a defending state placewinner. Triston Lara (No. 6, 106), Erik Birnbaum (fifth, 113), Jonah Egli (No. 7, 152) and Sam Cook (fifth, 182).
Algona, which placed second to Ankeny a year ago, features Kory Kuecker (No. 5, 145), Tyler Frideres (sixth, 170) and Joe Teague (No. 2, 182).
Clarion-Goldfield has rated wrestlers Joel Haberman (No. 7, 132), Taylor Lehman (fourth, 138), Caleb Hanson (No. 10, 220) and Mitch Gambrill (third, 285).
Birnbaum and Kuecker are returning tourney champions, while Cole Determing, Haberman, Lehman, Frideres, Teague, Cook and Hanson were all runners-up.
"Hopefully, we can see some of those returning guys score some wins and catch the momentum throughout our lineup," Thompson said. "The best thing that could happen would be for everybody to get at least four matches in (today)."