Dodgers staying as busy as possible on their own

Messenger photo by Britt Kudla Fort Dodge's Tysen Kershaw runs last spring during the Dodger Relays inside Dodger Staidum.

In their final seasons as Dodgers, seniors Asle Thorson, Tysen Kershaw and Brycen Bell are hoping and waiting to find out if they will get to run one final time for their school.

With the threat of coronavirus COVID-19 halting everything sports-related, the Dodgers are doing everything they can to stay in shape and assure themselves that if there is a season, they’ll be ready.

“The health of my family and friends is my number one concern, but it’s also really important for me to stay active every day, keep my mind busy, and stay in shape,” Thorson said. “I am thankful I can still do my own at-home workouts or go for a run if I want during this time off from sports and everything else.”

The Dodger trifecta just finished a season together on the basketball court, and are trying to stay active for track before continuing their athletic careers on the college football field.

“Because so many places are closing, it’s hard to stay in shape,” said Kershaw, who will play football at the University of Northern Iowa. “It really tests how committed you are to your craft, because everything has to be on my own.

“I’m going to start running trails and lifting at my house to stay ready. I want to end my high school career on top and track gives me the opportunity to do that.”

Bell, who is the starting centerfielder for the Dodger baseball team, is hoping he gets one more chance to compete at Dodger Stadium — on the track or on the diamond.

“At this point, I’m just hoping that we will have the opportunity to compete,” Bell said. “It’s hard to really train like we should since we can’t get in the weight room and the Stadium is closed, so we are just trying to run on our own and stay in shape as best we can.”

At this time, practice is scheduled to start on April 13. Like all of the others, head boys track coach John McBride is waiting to see what will happen.

“The IHSAA has put us on hold. I’ve been taking my guidance from Kevin Astor (FDSH activities director),” McBride said. “We’ve had three meets canceled so far — two in Des Moines, and the Dodger Relays have been officially postponed.

“The Drake Relays also postponed (on Wednesday).”

McBride added he can give his athletes a workout program.

“Matt (Miller, boys track assistant coach) and I talked and put together workouts for the guys,” McBride said. “We have to make it clear that it is an individual workout only.”

The IHSAA did release state-qualifying sites earlier this week. Class 4A teams will run at Cedar Rapids Kennedy, Council Bluffs Abraham Lincoln, Davenport Central, Iowa City West, Urbandale and Waukee.

The trio of Kershaw, Thorson and Bell was part of Fort Dodge’s 4×200-meter relay team that finished fifth at state last spring. Bell and Kershaw were competitors on the eighth place 4×100 quartet as well.

“Coach (John) McBride told us we are the only relay teams back that placed in the Top-10 at state with all four runners back (Tyler Schreier in the 4×200 and Schreier and Sam Daniel in the 4×100),” said Bell, an Augustana University football recruit. “Our goal every year is to compete at the Drake Relays and then the state meet.”

Thorson is hopeful that he will get one more chance to done the red and black and run at Dodger Stadium as well.

“If we have the opportunity to finish this track season it would mean the world to me,” said Thorson, who will head to Iowa State University in the fall as a preferred walk-on. “I am in the weird spot now because my Dodger career could potentially be over sooner than I wanted with a lot of unfinished business, but it’s important to keep it all in perspective and realize there are bigger things in life.”

Bell has become one of FDSH’s most versatile athletes through the years.

“Being a four-sport athlete and being told our season is suspended has been hard,” Bell said. “Our senior year should be our best. It’s what we’ve always looked forward to.

“It would be very disappointing if the season got called off.”


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