Sports Columns

Messenger photo by Britt Kudla

St. Edmond players celebrate head coach Adolph Kochendorfer's 500th career victory in the Gael gym on Saturday.

What matters most

It took a milestone victory to remind us that, when all is said and done, winning is neither everything nor the only thing in sports. St. Edmond’s Adolph Kochendorfer secured the 500th triumph of his career on Saturday night, becoming just the ...

Messenger photo by Britt Kudla

Fort Dodge wrestlers (left to right) Drew Bennett, Brody Teske and Cayd Lara greet Dorian Franklin after a match earlier this season.

HOMEGROWN: Teams still about family first at FDSH

It didn’t take long for athletes and fans to create a special environment inside the Fort Dodge Senior High gym last Thursday and Friday. The recent success obviously helps. After all, the powerhouse Dodger wrestling program is ranked third in the state and unbeaten through 11 duals. Fort ...

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Stuck in the middle

In case you missed it, Messenger-area schools Bishop Garrigan and Webster City played in two of the six thrilling state football championship games last week at the UNI-Dome. Iowa City Regina finally lost its grip on a six-year gold stranglehold. West Des Moines Dowling and Pella kept their ...

Tighe gave his heart and bared his soul to the game he loves

What will you be doing when you're 86 years old? Let me preface this by saying most of us would consider ourselves lucky just to see 86. There are less than six million Americans 85 or older as we speak. Only one-third of males in ...

A pennant for the people

Baseball fans wait. Patience just comes with the territory. The sport is played at a methodical - some would say almost hypnotic - pace. No clocks. No time limit. No instant gratification for a society seeking just that in ...

The end of the innocence

Many sports fans are sequential critics these days. It's a very unattractive result of our instant-gratification, social media-driven society. We build our heroes up at a rapid-fire rate, then tear them down the second they fall short of our inane expectations. We want entertainers to be ...

Hard work has turned FDSH into a contender

An impressive new 8-by-21 foot panel listing all of the Fort Dodge swim program's school records now conspicuously sits high above the Dodger pool.Maybe the athletic department should have invested in a dry erase board instead.The current roster is turning 40-plus years of accumulated FDSH ...

A sizeable problem

There are typically a number of variables on the football field that ultimately determine whether this will be a Hawkeye or Cyclone state in any given year.Home-field advantage. Quarterback play. Special teams. Turnovers. Red-zone efficiency.The list goes on.Line play is another top priority ...

Seasoned by the seasons

Let me preface this by saying I am in no way, shape or form marginalizing the efforts and accomplishments of high school students who participate in just one sport. I don't want to turn this into an ''us vs. them'' column. Different strokes for different folks.I would like to take a moment, ...

Home-field advantage

For the 47th consecutive season, state softball champions will be crowned in Fort Dodge at the end of this week.The five days of tournament action at Harlan and Hazel Rogers Sports Complex always seem to go by in a flash. Before the first pitch christens the event Monday morning and the ...

Collective souls

The Fort Dodge softball program often recites the mantra, ''team beats talent when talent isn't a team.''At first blush, that may sound like a swipe at many of the bigger, stronger opponents the Dodgers have to face through their ultra-competitive schedule. When 30 of 41 games are against ...

Glass half full

It wasn't supposed to end like this for Kole Kampen at Fort Dodge Senior High.The Dodgers' senior left-handed ace had big plans for the final month of his prep baseball career. Kampen was striking out nearly two batters per inning, and had a sparkling 1.17 earned run average. He was batting ...

Emotional tribute

Dutch Huseman tried his best to make a late wish come true.His grandson kept a promise for him instead.Andrew Huseman captured the Travis Habhab Lakeside Amateur championship on Sunday, almost two months to the day after his grandfather's death at the age of 92.The Hall of Fame coach and ...

Homegrown talent

If the names fueling Fort Dodge's recent state championship surge sound familiar, they should. The red and black roots definitely run deep in this new era of Dodger athletic success.Jaci Cochrane and Beth Murman recently put the finishing touches on FDSH's 10th title the last 16 months. To put ...

Missed opportunity

The Webster County I-Club banquet is conspicuously absent from this year's spring sports schedule, abruptly bringing an end to a tradition four full decades strong.Fort Dodge isn't the revamped tour schedule's lone casualty. Nine of the 21 I-Club stops from a year ago were cut from the 2016 ...

Missed opportunity

The Webster County I-Club banquet is conspicuously absent from this year's spring sports schedule, abruptly bringing an end to a tradition four full decades strong.Fort Dodge isn't the revamped tour schedule's lone casualty. Nine of the 21 I-Club stops from a year ago were cut from the 2016 ...

No place like home

Last June, my wife and I had the distinct privilege of escorting Frontier Days parade marshals Dutch and Joyce Huseman down Central Avenue to begin the weekend's ceremonial festivities.I'd always known Dutch loved Fort Dodge. His eyes lit up every time we talked about the Dodgers, or the ...

UNI fight

The Northern Iowa men's basketball team did this to themselves.By "this," I mean reaching the NCAA Tournament the year after losing their All-American forward and three of the team's top four scorers to graduation.By "this," I mean emerging from the shadows of what was once a 2-6 Missouri ...

Hoop dreams become a reality in Iowa

You'll never forget it. Years down the road, even when the specific details and exact dates fade, the feeling will always be there - like an old, familiar friend.The memories. The moments. The experience.March 17 and 18, 2016. A 36-hour stretch of hoop hysteria unlike any our state has ...

Head held high

Levi Peters was always a free-spirited athlete who played football with a reckless abandon. His intensity became legendary. His motor had no quit.Yet through it all, the 2011 Fort Dodge Senior High graduate's vibrant public persona became increasingly detached from the reality of the situation ...