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Cook climbs the ladder

Dodger senior looks to make the most of senior year on the mat

Messenger photo by Britt Kudla Kody Cook of Fort Dodge celebrates after defeating Southeast Polk's Camden Baarda at state last season.

Fort Dodge’s Kody Cook went through the gauntlet at the state wrestling tournament a year ago.

It was a path that helped drive him toward his final prep season on the mat.

Cook, a two-time state qualifier, finished sixth at 152 pounds last February. In six of his nine career state matches Cook has been pitted against a ranked competitor.

Those tight matches against tough opponents and a breakthrough major decision over Southeast Polk’s Camden Baarda has built a confidence in Cook that he hopes to use to climb the podium.

“Last year I had a lot of tough competition that made me a better wrestler,” Cook said. “Dominating the No. 4 wrestler was great, but I want to be able to do that to No. 1.

“It’s helped me mentally by giving me more confidence. I know I still have a lot of work to do to reach my goals, though.”

Last season, Cook compiled a 27-16 individual record as the Dodgers finished third at both state duals and in the traditional state tournament.

Cook is ready to be a senior leader on a squad that is again expected to contend. He enters the year ranked fourth at 160 pounds, and the Dodgers are fourth as a team.

“Our goal is always to get all 14 guys down to state so we can bring home a championship,” Cook said. “To me, being a Dodger means representing your community by not giving up and fighting until the end.

“All of my coaches have helped me become the wrestler and person that I am today.”

Heading into his final high school season, the thought of not being able to compete during the COVID-19 pandemic has gone through Cook’s mind. He knows he has to keep pushing forward and be ready for anything.

“It’s been hard dealing with COVID, and it sucks that some our meets have been canceled,” Cook said. “But our team is still focused on getting better every day and doing whatever we can.”

Cook was also a part of the Dodger football program during his career. This season, as a defensive back, he had nine tackles and recovered a fumble.

After graduating from Fort Dodge Senior High, Cook plans on wrestling at either Iowa Central or Grand View University.

TIMEOUT WITH KODY COOK

Vacation destination: Hawaii.

People I would like to have dinner with: Jordan Burroughs and Elon Musk.

It would surprise people that I: jump rope backwards.

My sports role model: Jordan Burroughs.

My everyday role model: my dad.

I can’t go a day without: playing dodgeball at practice.

Nickname: Cookie.

Superstition: taking a hot bath night before competition.

Most heated rivalry: Southeast Polk.

Favorite road trip: Chicago last year.

What are you listening to right now? Me Vs Me by Moneybagg Yo.

Favorites…

Team: Chicago Bears.

Class: Sports Entertainment and Marketing.

Movie: Step Brothers.

Book or Magazine: Gym Candy.

Phone app: YouTube.

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