Seventy former Dodger basketball players will return to their old stomping grounds here this weekend, when they participate in the second annual Fort Dodge Senior High Alumni Tournament.
The co-ed event, which is once again being coordinated by 1998 FDSH graduate Ryan Maehl, will kick off with a pair of games Friday evening starting at 7 p.m. Ex-Dodgers from across the country are scheduled to lace up their shoes, including ex-Mr. Basketball and Iowa Hawkeye Wade Lookingbill and girls 5-on-5 career scoring leader Molly Nelson.
"With last year being our inaugural event, we basically just formed as many teams as we could," said Maehl, a current Fort Dodge girls assistant who was an all-state player during his senior season. "The hardest thing was just getting it done, and having someone leading the way and pushing through with it.
"We always want as many teams as possible, but I just don't think a 20-team tourney in years one, two, three or four is realistic yet."
The public is encouraged to attend the event, which will consist of 11 games through Saturday. At least six men's teams and two women's squads will make up the field. Last winter's tournament featured three games and more than 50 FDSH graduates.
Fort Dodge has recently added an alumni baseball game and a wrestling reunion to its annual fundraising schedule. St. Edmond already hosts an alumni basketball tournament each spring.
FDSH ALUMNI BASKETBALL
Friday's First-Round Games
2006-12 vs. 2001-03, 7 p.m; 1998 vs. 2007-09, 8 p.m.
1980s - Mike Altman, Chuck Bickford, Charles Clayton, Erin Halligan, Kirk Hardcastle, Kyle Johnson, Wade Lookingbill, Chet Love, Henry Miller, Bill Myers, Corey Sillman, Bo Tjeben, Don Woodruff, Dan Mosely, Reid Branderhorst.
1994-97 - Joe Jorgensen, Brad Jorgensen, Mike Litwiller, Ryan Smith, Chris Gallo, Kyle Schuman, Mark Daniel, Matt Dutcher, Jeremy Bruns.
1998 - Nick Page, Ryan Maehl, Matt Salvatore, Chris Meyer, Mike Younie, Tyler Hildreth, Kole Petersen, Mike Lindeberg.
2001-2003 - Dan Scott, Blake Utley, Nik Moser, Colin Panzi, Matt O'Connor, Justin Rogers, Ryan Kinseth, Brandon Kinseth.
2006-12 - Zach Edwards, Jamie O'brien, Jordan O'brion, Drew Arends, Sam Peters, Reid Reisen, Will Kenny, Sam Edwards, Jericho Habben.
2007-09 - Tyler Winter, Joe O'Leary, Tyler Leadley, Tim Kayser, Adam Miller, Anthony Latta, Nate Moeller, Eric Niesen, Logan Scharf, Travis Meadows.
Kristen (Hale) Geisler (1998), Courtney Vaughn (2008), Amber (Vaughn) Kelley (2004), Marissa Kinseth (2005), Andrea (Underberg) Ruddy (1995), Lisa Jorgensen (2003), Molly (Nelson) Peterson (1998), Whitney Lloyd (2006), Ashley Vratny (2008), Carrie Davis (1993).
"As a girls coach and former Dodger player, I always wondered why this (alumni tournament) hadn't been happening," said Maehl, who is the recreation administrator for the local Parks and Recreation office. "I know we can't have every graduate stay here, so this gives people a good reason to come back at Christmas time.
"We put in a lot of effort when we competed (as Dodgers), but we never really had an opportunity to give back after the final buzzer sounded."
Saturday's championship game is set for 5 p.m.
Adult admission is $3 per person (19 & older). Youth admission is $2 per person (3-18 years old). T-shirts can also be purchased for $15. All proceeds go to the support of Dodger basketball.
"Our girls basketball team is looking forward to this fundraiser. The school district also deserves a lot of credit for allowing us to use the gym."
For more information, visit the event website at fdalumnibasketball.yolasite.com/