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AN ALL-STATE LEGACY

FD’s Thorson extends unprecedented family tradition with honor

Messenger photo by Britt Kudla Asle Thorson of Fort Dodge runs the ball against Indianola this past season.

Thirty-one years ago, Asle Thorson’s father, Tjeran, was named a first team all-state football player at Fort Dodge Senior High.

And thirty-one years before that, Tjeran’s father, Sherwyn, made the all-state squad as a Dodger.

The family’s symmetric lineage reached a historic level on Monday, when Asle earned second team all-state honors in Class 4A after his senior year as a quarterback, defensive back and punter for FDSH.

Under normal circumstances, Thorson may have felt immense pressure to live up to the lofty expectations established by his forefathers on the gridiron. Not only were his dad and grandpa both stars, but Asle’s other grandfather, Sam Moser, had a Hall of Fame career as a player and coach, and Sam’s son, Nik, earned all-state honors himself as a Dodger before becoming a starting defensive back at Iowa State University.

Yet Asle Thorson insists the only stress to perform at a higher level came from within.

“I remember as a little kid seeing my dad’s name next to my grandpa’s on the all-state lists, and it became a goal of mine (to join them),” Thorson said. “But not because they were saying, ‘hey, this is going to be you next.’ If it was a topic of conversation with my family, it’s because I brought it up. I was always taught to be my own person athletically and do my own thing. They didn’t want this for me…I wanted it for myself.

“The only expectation I had was to write my own story. It just happened to be that my story was (similar to theirs) in that I wanted it to be in football.”

The 6-foot-2 Thorson was a two-time first team all-Class 4A, District 2 selection as a safety. This year, in addition to continuing his defensive responsibilities and carrying on the family name in the sport, Thorson took on the added challenge of replacing the school’s statistical king — 2018 IFCA Class 4A player of the year Drake Miller — as the Dodgers’ starting quarterback.

He did so admirably. Thorson completed 61 percent of his passes for over 1,600 yards and 17 touchdowns, while rushing for 329 yards and 10 more scores. The 27 combined TDs tied for the top spot among 4A quarterbacks during the regular season.

Fort Dodge went 6-3 and was a repeat playoff qualifier, and the Thorson family became the first in program history to have three generations of all-state football players. Thorson’s motivation came from a much purer perspective, though.

“We had a great season, and obviously, the (all-state honor) meant a lot to me,” Thorson said. “It’s always been more about just being a Dodger in general, though. Growing up, I couldn’t wait to put on that uniform.

“We couldn’t ask for a better city and program to be a part of. The coaching staff has created a family environment, and a lot of my teammates have been my best friends since childhood. Our support system here is amazing.”

Thorson is undecided on his future plans, though he does have a preferred walk-on offer from Iowa State University that he called, “obviously very intriguing.” Not only did Nik play there, but his older sister, Lehr, is currently swimming for the Cyclones.

“I talk to Nik almost every day about what to do and where to go,” said Thorson, who plans on being either a safety or a linebacker at the next level. “He and I had similar experiences as seniors (for the Dodgers, as both quarterbacks and defensive backs), and we kind of have the same frame and (position projection). He went through all of this not that long ago.

“Lehr loves it at Iowa State. She wasn’t sure if being on the Division I stage was exactly what she wanted at first (after being an all-state swimmer at FDSH), but she’s having a lot of fun and she’s really built a strong relationship with her teammates and coaches. I always listen to what she has to say about (finding a school).”

For now, Thorson is a big proponent of staying as busy and active as possible. He’s a current member of the Dodger basketball squad, and he qualified for the state track meet last spring.

“I think you have to keep competing all year long,” Thorson said. “You can’t replace that, going up against other elite athletes and challenging yourself, regardless of your (talent level in a given sport). I’ve really never had an ‘offseason,’ and never wanted one. I think pushing yourself through other sports, whether it’s your ‘best’ one or not, is the right way to go as a high school athlete.”

TIMEOUT WITH ASLE THORSON

Vacation destination: Norway.

People I would like to have dinner with: my Grandpa Thump, Tim Tebow and Marshawn Lynch.

It would surprise people that I: am quiet.

My sports role model: Russell Wilson.

My everyday role model: my mom.

Nickname: Thor.

Superstition: wearing the same underwear for every game.

Most heated rivalry: Southeast Polk.

Favorite road trip: Ames.

What are you listening to right now? Drake.

Favorites…

Team: Seattle Seahawks.

Class: Little Dodger.

Movie: Forrest Gump.

Book: “You Win in the Locker Room First” by Jon Gordon and Mike Smith.

Phone app: Snapchat.