Fort Dodge’s wrestling matchup with West Des Moines Dowling didn’t exactly go according to plan here on Tuesday, but the Dodgers showed more than enough ability to improvize in taking down the Maroons and staying unbeaten in duals this season.
Competing in front of a packed Senior Night crowd, third-ranked Fort Dodge posted a 46-27 victory over a depleted Maroon squad in a highly-anticipated CIML clash that wound up producing four forfeits and a number of late lineup shifts.
Senior Levi Trenary’s dominant effort at 145 pounds and junior Cayd Lara’s 100th career triumph highlighted the Dodgers’ performance, which saw FDSH rack up bonus points in five of its six non-forfeit wins. Junior Dorian Franklin, sophomore Kade Smith and freshman Jeremy Ayala were also impressive as Fort Dodge improved to 6-0 on the year despite no action from top-ranked standouts Triston Lara, Brody Teske and Drew Bennett.
”It was disappointing not to have things materialize at certain weights, but the guys we had out there really battled,” FDSH head coach Bobby Thompson said. ”You always worry about being flat or rusty after the long layoff, but our kids took care of business for the most part. That’s encouraging to see.”
Triston Lara (20-0), one of the Dodgers’ five seniors, was forced to accept a forfeit win at 138 when Dowling’s Julian Zachary was a last-minute scratch due to an illness. It was the 143rd victory of Lara’s decorated career.
”Triston was frustrated, and I felt bad for him because I know how much he wanted to be out there for his last home dual,” Thompson said. ”He’s done so much for this program both on and off the mat, and has really stepped forward as a vocal leader for us this year. It was an unfortunate situation, but we didn’t know Zachary wasn’t going to make the trip until late in the afternoon.”
Another highly-anticipated match between Bennett — ranked No. 1 at 113 — and fifth-rated senior Sergio Orozco never materialized, either. Orozco and Bennett both sat out the meet due to illness.
After Trenary’s 11th triumph of the season — a 15-4 rout of Jack Finstad — third-ranked Cayd Lara worked over Trevor Schwager at 152 to become the third current Dodger grappler to reach the century win plateau. Ahead 18-3, Lara (19-1) earned a technical fall in 5:15. He is now 100-19 in his career.
Franklin (7-5) then pinned Tanner Deaton in 5:26, and Smith (13-9) dominated Josh Paskach, 16-7, to push Fort Dodge into a commanding 25-0 position it would never relinquish.
”It was great to see Levi wrestle well on Senior Night, and both Dorian and Kaden picked up important bonus points,” Thompson said. ”Cayd got his 100th in front of the home crowd, which I know meant a lot to him. He keeps getting better and stronger.
”That was a really solid stretch of wrestling for our team (from 145 through 170).”
Ayala (19-2), who bumped up to 113 in Bennett’s absence, pinned Henry Simmons in 2:25. Ayala is rated fourth at 106.
”Jeremy looked really good, too,” Thompson said. ”He was active and aggressive.”
Teske (19-0) picked up a forfeit victory at 120, as did sophomore Logan Finowski (285). Eighth-rated junior Damond Lockner (20-4) used a late reversal for breathing room before holding off Nate Sheehy, 5-4, at 126.
The Maroons were also competing without fourth-ranked 220-pounder Jacob Zachary, who reportedly left Dowling over the winter break. While no official word was available, Zachary’s Twitter account now includes an Indianola Indians logo for his background picture.
Zachary, an all-state tailback on the gridiron, has committed to the University of South Dakota’s football program. His absence would be a blow to the Maroons, who are the sixth-ranked tournament squad in Class 3A according to The Predicament.
The Fort Dodge crowd gave beloved 2016 graduate Sam Cook a standing ovation during a pre-meet ceremony last night. Cook, a current University of Iowa football player who is home on winter break, was recognized for his myriad accomplishments as a Dodger — most notably, being named the All-Iowa High School Male Athlete of the Year this past summer.
”It was really nice to have Sam back,” Thompson said. ”His presence has been missed — in our (wrestling) room, in our hallways and in our community. It’s really meant a lot to our kids, having him around again this week. He’s still obviously close to a lot of the wrestlers the our current team, and I know he’ll be down at state supporting them, too.
”That’s what Dodger wrestling is all about: family.”
FORT DODGE 46, WDM DOWLING 27
138 — Triston Lara, FD, won by forfeit; 145 — Levi Trenary, FD, maj. dec. Jack Finstad, 15-4; 152 — Cayd Lara, FD, tech. fall Trevor Schwager, 5:15 (18-3); 160 — Dorian Franklin, FD, pinned Tanner Deaton, 5:26; 170 — Kaden Smith, FD, maj. dec. Josh Paskach, 16-7; 182 — Greg Hagan, D, dec. Keaton Dornath, 3-1; 195 — Jack Scholz, D, won by forfeit; 220 — Kaden Sauer, D, pinned Lazaro Lerma, 1:48; 285 — Logan Finowski, FD, won by forfeit; 106 — Carson Murray, D, pinned Brooks Cowell, 1:55; 113 — Jeremy Ayala, FD, pinned Henry Simmons, 2:25; 120 — Brody Teske, FD, won by forfeit; 126 — Damond Lockner, FD, dec. Nate Sheehy, 5-4; 132 — Jake Waters, D, pinned Drevon Ross, 1:32.