Dodger duo named academic all-state

Fort Dodge the only program with multiple first-team selections

Messenger photo by Britt Kudla Drake Miller of Fort Dodge connects for a home run at McNeil Field.

Anthony Wagner and Drake Miller have been good friends and regular teammates for years.

Fittingly, the recently-graduated Fort Dodge seniors shared one final honor this week — not for their work on the field, but in a much more important arena that both take very seriously: the classroom.

Wagner and Miller were named to the Iowa Baseball Coaches Association’s first team academic all-state list, matching the duo’s football honors from last fall. Head coach Blake Utley’s program was the only school in Iowa with multiple first-team selections.

“It means a lot to

be recognized for my

accomplishments, but it’s even better to be recognized alongside Drake,” said Wagner, the 2019 FDSH valedictorian who carried a perfect 4.0 grade point average through graduation. “He and I have worked with each other in the classroom and on the field for years, so it’s really cool to end our high school careers in this way.”

Miller echoed Wagner’s sentiments.

“I am very happy for Anthony to earn this award, because he’s put in a lot of extra time in both the classroom and on the field to be the best he can be,” said Miller, who finished with a high-school GPA of 3.994. “I’ve been fortunate to have a close friend like Anthony, along with many others who have shared the same goals … I truly believe we have all made each other better student-athletes.

“I’ve always put academics over athletics throughout my high school career, and I’m glad I was able to be recognized for both.”

Wagner was a second baseman and pitcher for the Dodgers this past summer. Miller played right field and first base, and also pitched.

In football, Wagner was a defensive back and the team’s punter. Miller was a two-time first team all-state quarterback, and the school’s Schultz Award winner — awarded annually to FDSH’s top male senior athlete.

Wagner will attend the University of Iowa. Miller is a Grand View University football recruit.

Both Dodgers were honored at the IHSBCA’s recent all-star banquet. Emmetsburg’s Nick Schany was also selected to the first team.

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