The Fort Dodge Senior High wrestling reunion is back on the mat this summer.
Former Dodgers from all generations are encouraged to attend the event, which is an encore to the inaugural FDSH reunion of 2011. Organizer Steve Haviland is hoping the sequel will meet - or even exceed - the first installment.
''We had a great turnout - close to 300,'' said Haviland, a 1973 graduate who currently lives in Hampton. ''We'd love to have as many or more this time around.
—Messenger file photo
The inaugural Fort Dodge Senior High wrestling reunion in 2011 had a number of coaches attend, including (left to right):?Bobby Thompson (head coach from 2005-present), Don Miller (head coach 1970-85), John Atkins (assistant to Miller), Denny Friederichs (head coach at Iowa Central from 1973-95 and head coach at South Junior High from 1963-69), Jerry Einwalter (assistant to Miller), Dick Formanek (head coach 1957-68), and Ed Birnbaum (head coach 1989-2005).
''There were so many cool moments (in 2011). (Former coach) Dick Formanek saw a lot of his former wrestlers for the first time in over 40 years. (1974 Dodger state champion) Joe Zuspann met (ex-FDSH and Iowa Hawkeye star) Sherwyn Thorson for the first time. Just bringing different eras together under one roof - it was both fun and historic, watching guys from a team in the 1940s sharing stories with guys who just graduated a few years ago.''
The reunion is from noon until 4 p.m. on Saturday, July 12, at the Fort Dodge Lions Club - formerly the Isaak Walton cabin.
Head coaches Bobby Thompson (2005-present), Ed Birnbaum (1989-2005), Don Miller (1970-85) and Formanek (1957-68) were at the first event in '11. Haviland is hoping Wayne Cormaney (1968-70) and Hans Goettsch (1985-89) will be able to make the trip this time around as well.
''I've talked to a lot of people since the first reunion, and I think that now that they know about it and we have one under our belt, the attendance will increase,'' Haviland said. ''It's not about honoring the older Dodger wrestlers only, and it's not about having a bunch of younger guys show up. This is a great representation of all generations who share a special bond.''
For more information or to make a donation to help fund the event, please contact Haviland by phone at (641) 580-0004 or e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.