Dodger wrestling keepsake available

The 2017-18 wrestling season will be remembered in the Fort Dodge community for generations to come.

We at The Messenger wanted to bring the names, faces, images, stories and records from the Dodgers’ historic state championship to life for the families and fans who cheered their team into the record books.

Beginning Friday morning, a special 40-page keepsake is available for purchase at Hy-Vee, Fareway and The Messenger’s downtown office in Fort Dodge. This limited edition, full-gloss magazine is just $5 in person, or $7 through the mail.

The magazine will also be sold at The Messenger’s Home and Lifestyle Show on Saturday, where the FDSH wrestling team will be camped out for a meet-and-greet session from 11 a.m. until 1 p.m. The Dodgers will sign autographs and take pictures alongside this commemorative item, which tracks the program’s unprecedented run to both a dual and traditional state tournament title from start to finish.

“This will be such a great experience for us,” said Fort Dodge head coach Bobby Thompson, who also confirmed that the team’s two titles trophies will be at the event for the public to see. “We’ve maintained all along that these are community championships. We all share a piece of this. (Making an appearance at The Messenger’s Home and Lifestyle Show) is a way to thank the fans for all of their support through the years. They played such a huge role in making all of this happen.

“We’re very honored to have The Messenger put this (keepsake) together for us. It’s something our young men will be able to show their kids and grandkids down the road. Like our fans and family, (The Messenger’s sports staff) has been there with us every step of the way. Our program is very fortunate to have this (kind of following). As we always say, there’s nothing like the Fort Dodge wrestling community.”

The magazine includes a comprehensive overview of the season, which saw the Dodgers capture their first traditional state championship since 1985 and their first state duals tournament crown ever. Britt Kudla’s award-winning photos from both on and off the mat flank our staff’s coverage, which recorded every takedown, pin and victory from the nationally-ranked Dodgers’ march to perfection.

The Messenger is donating a portion of the proceeds from the magazine sales to the Fort Dodge Senior High Booster Club.

The Home and Lifestyle Show will be at Iowa Central’s East Campus, 2031 Quail Ave., in Fort Dodge.