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EGLI EARNS BRONZE

—Messenger photo by Britt Kudla Fort Dodge’s Levi Egli wrestles against Betterdor’s Kane Schmidt during the 195 third place match in Des Moines. Egli won by fall to finish third. For more photos, visit CU at messengernews.net

DES MOINES — Levi Egli fought through seemingly-endless stretches of adversity the past two seasons, and although he didn’t get the medal he dreamed about on Saturday, he finished strong by securing a bronze medal for the Dodgers.

Egli, who was fifth as a sophomore, missed the entire 2019 campaign after tearing his ACL, LCL, PCL and biceps femoris tendon in his knee during the last regular-season football game. Egli then suffered another setback less than two months ago, breaking a bone in his hand.

“(The physical struggles) have always been in the back of my mind,” Egli said. “I thought about it all of the time because it kept me motivated. The adversity I faced and the hard work to come back … it was just all a part of God’s plan.”

After a crushing loss to third-ranked Ashton Stoner-DeGroot in the semifinals Friday night, Egli made the decision to turn the page and try to rack up team points for the Dodgers. In his consolation semifinal match on Saturday morning, he picked up an 8-0 major decision over sixth-ranked Jake Walker of Waverly-Shell Rock.

“Levi is a competitor,” said FDSH head coach Bobby Thompson. “He finished on a high note, which is tough to do when you have title hopes.

“He went through a lot just to get to this point.”

Egli (27-4), ranked second, ended his Dodger career with a fall in 3:28 over eighth-ranked Kane Scmidt of Bettendorf. He had three pins and a major decision in his final tournament run.

“I was just super relaxed (Saturday). I knew it was my last go-round and whatever happened, happened,” Egli said. “I just wanted to put more focus on the team.

“Being a Dodger has been great. Our team was close and I have a lot of good memories. It’s been a fun journey.”

Egli became the 29th Dodger in program history to earn bronze, joining his brother, Duke, who took third in 2013.

Junior Kody Cook and senior Brandon Mills both earned sixth. Junior Lane Cowell and his senior brother, Brooks Cowell, were seventh and eighth, respectively.

Cook (27-16) lost to second-ranked Cody Anderson of Waukee (5-0) and No. 6 Ethan Vetterick of Norwalk (3-1) in the consolation semifinals and fifth-place match at 152 pounds. Including state duals, Cook took on the second-ranked wrestler twice, No. 5 Evan Yant of Waverly-Shell Rock, Vetterick twice, and the ninth-rated wrestler at his weight. He dominated fourth-ranked Camden Baarda of Southeast Polk in the consolation round.

“Kody wrestled his tail off in a very tough bracket,” Thompson said. “He had a difficult draw and had to wrestle the same kid from the first round.

“Kody had a good tournaments for a guy who wasn’t seeded.”

Mills (34-14), ranked eighth and seeded sixth, suffered decision losses to Ankeny Centennial’s fourth-ranked Ben Monroe and No. 6 Carson Martinson of Southeast Polk (4-2) on the consolation side. Mills made it to the 145-pound quarterfinals after knocking off second-ranked University of Iowa recruit Colby Schriever of Mason City.

“Brandon had a great tournament,” Thompson said. “At the beginning of the season, I don’t know know if you could’ve predicted this or planned it out. Just an outstanding senior year.”

Lane Cowell (35-12), ranked eighth at 113 pounds, avenged an early-season loss to eighth-ranked Aime Mukiza of Des Moines North/Hoover. Cowell dominated the match, picking up a 17-2 technical fall in 5:20. He was fourth at state a year ago.

Brooks Cowell (32-10), rated sixth, suffered a tough 4-3 loss to No. 8 Keaton Moret of Norwalk in the 132-pound seventh-place match. Brooks had a fifth-place showing a year ago, and was a qualifier as a freshman.

“I know they are both disappointed,” Thompson said. “Lane will be back, and one day, Brooks will realize just how much he contributed to this team and this program.”

DODGER STATE CHAMPIONS

2020 Drake Ayala 120

2019 Carson Taylor 120

2019 Drake Ayala 113

2018 Drew Bennett 132

2018 Brody Teske 126

2017 Triston Lara 138

2017 Brody Teske 120

2016 Sam Cook 195

2016 Triston Lara 126

2016 Brody Teske 113

2015 Sam Cook 195

2015 Brody Teske 106

2004 Chase Holmgaard 171

2003 Chase Holmgaard 171

1999 Josh Porter 171

1996 Mark Rial 125

1994 Mark Rial 103

1991 Erik Josephson 171

1988 Brad Bruhl 119

1986 Brent Helmkamp 119

1985 Randy Ewing 185

1985 Tim Ascherl 98

1982 Ted Camamo 155

1977 Randy Clark 105

1976 Mitch Sterns 126

1974 Joe Zuspann 138

1964 Kent Osboe HWT

1963 Anthony Jensen 112

1961 Anthony Jensen 95

1961 Dick Patterson 120

1958 Dave Church 165

1956 Dee Brainerd 120

1955 Dee Brainerd 112

1949 Melvin Peed 165

1942 Eldon Faine 129

1941 Ray Carlson HWT

1941 Bob Johnson 155

1941 Bill Koll 135

1940 Dick Black 135

1939 Milian Macek 85

1938 Bob Muhl 125

1938 Paul Macek 125

1937 Roger Isaacson 145

1937 Willis Kuhn 135

1936 Phil Strom HWT

1936 Willis Kuhn 125

1934 Floyd Messerly 165

1934 Abe Castagnoli 145

1932 Ken Bales 105

1932 Max Parmely 85

1931 Clarence Johnson 85

1931 Dale Brand 155

1931 Frank Gargano 145

1931 Tony Gargano 105

1930 Frank Gargano 135

1929 Randall Whinnery 125

1929 Wallace Johnson 85

1928 George Hover 105

1927 Andrew Pontius 153

1927 Joe Gargano 145

1926 John Brindley 85

BEST STATE FINISHES

1927 1st

1929 1st

1930 1st

1931 1st

1932 1st

1934 1st

1936 1st

1937 1st

1940 2nd

1941 1st

1958 3rd

1966 2nd

1976 2nd

1980 1st

1983 2nd

1985 1st

1988 2nd

1994 3rd

1996 2nd

2015 3rd

2016 2nd

2017 2nd

2018 1st

2019 3rd

2020 3rd

STATE FINALISTS

(Since 2015)

2020: Drake Ayala, Carson Taylor, Dreyzon Phillips

2019: Drake Ayala, Carson Taylor

2018: Brody Teske, Drew Bennett, Cayd Lara, Drake Ayala

2017: Brody Teske, Triston Lara, Cayd Lara

2016: Brody Teske, Sam Cook, Triston Lara

2015: Brody Teske, Sam Cook, Triston Lara

STATE MEDALISTS

(Since 2015)

2020 8

2019 5

2018 9

2017 6

2016 7

2015 7

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