Rial to be inducted into Hall of Fame

DES MOINES — Former Fort Dodge Senior High state wrestling champion Mark Rial will receive another honor at the 2019 state tournament.

Rial, a four-time state qualifier and three-time finalist, will be part of a seven-member group inducted into the Iowa High School Athletic Association Wrestling Hall of Fame.

Joining Rial will be wrestlers Trent Goodale, Jimmy Rodgers, Merle Roths and Josh Watts, along with coaches Mark Bertsch and Bill Plein. The ceremony will take place Feb. 16 inside Wells Fargo Arena.

“It’s a big honor,” Rial said. “Iowa is a wrestling state, so obviously there are a lot of great wrestlers that have come before me.

“To join legends that I have looked up to since I started this sport when I was five years old is pretty special.”

Rial, who is the current head wrestling coach at Buena Vista University, claimed state titles for the Dodgers in 1994 and two years later. He was also a runner-up, amassing a record of 115-2 over his final three seasons.

That run included 90 wins via fall and eight technical falls for FDSH.

Rial went on to qualify for five national teams in Greco, claiming a title in 2008 and placing second a year later at the World Team Trials. He also was a three-year starter for the University of Northern Iowa wrestling team and a co-captain.

“Thanks to my family, the people of Fort Dodge and the state of Iowa, I was able to have the support to be successful at something I love doing,” Rial said.

Prior to taking over at BVU, Rial served on the coaching staff of both the Panthers and Iowa Central. He also was the co-head coach of the U.S. Greco-Roman Cadet Team that competed in Croatia this past summer.