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Sports Columns

Astor retiring as Fort Dodge AAD

Kevin Astor is ready to take a step back and determine where he best fits moving forward as an educator. Astor refuses to be weighed down by regret, though, as he leaves his post as athletic and activities director at Fort Dodge Senior High. The 55-year-old Astor is retiring at the end of ...

Ayala wins at venerable event

CANONSBURG, Pa. — Drake Ayala further solidified his stance as the nation’s top-ranked high school 126-pounder with a victory at the prominent Pittsburgh Wrestling Classic all-star exhibition here on Friday night. Ayala, a Fort Dodge senior and three-time prep state champion, defeated ...

Ayala will hit the mat in Pittsburgh

PITTSBURGH — Drake Ayala’s next adventure takes him to the Steel City for the “Rose Bowl of Wrestling” this week. Fort Dodge’s three-time state champion will be representing Team USA in the 47th annual Dapper Dan/Pittsburgh Wrestling Classic on Friday night. He will compete at 126 ...

Regional champs

The Iowa Central volleyball team crossed each one of the final 29 feet left standing between them and a trip to nationals here Tuesday night. With a four-set win over Hawkeye, the third-ranked Tritons secured the Region XI-A Tournament title and a spot in the upcoming NJCAA Div. II National ...

New league coming to fruition

Ten schools with an organized plan stepped forward together on Monday, as the Des Moines Public Schools and Ames Community School District both confirmed they are leaving the Central Iowa Metro League to join a new large-class conference with Fort Dodge, Mason City, Marshalltown and ...

END OF THE ROAD

SAN ANTONIO — Elle Ruffridge tried her best to reflect on a basketball journey that started quietly in the Pocahontas Area gym and ended on the big stage at the Alamodome on Sunday. Countless hours of work and travel. Championships and trophies. Lonely moments of confusion and ...

STEPPING DOWN

After 13 seasons of pouring his heart and soul into Fort Dodge basketball, Tom Daniel came to the toughest conclusion a head coach ever faces: he wasn’t going to be the right person for the job moving forward. An introspective and emotional Daniel formally announced his resignation on ...

Bill Greehey: Fort Dodge personified

Small-world story time with a Fort Dodge connection. The Iowa women’s basketball team advanced to the Sweet 16 with a rousing victory over Kentucky on the campus of St. Mary’s University Tuesday in San Antonio. All women’s NCAA Tournament games are being played at gyms and arenas in ...

Stuff of legends

I listened to the interview, did a double take, stopped, played it back a few more times and tried to process what I’d heard. In fact, I still am. What did Spencer Lee just say? Moments after clinching a third consecutive national championship and further cementing his status as a ...

MEMORY LANE

It’s been both enjoyable and educational to help Fort Dodge Senior High football coach Nik Moser and his staff honor former Dodger athletes on social media throughout February for Black History Month. Moser contacted me last month to see if I would be willing to lend a hand. Being a local ...

The Dodger wrestling connection

Members of the Fort Dodge wrestling program may not fully realize it yet, but their impact continues to extend far beyond a gym room or a trophy case. It resonates with a former FDSH teacher who now lives in a Sun Belt state. An ex-Dodger wrestler who resides in Colorado. A current ...

DIFFERENT PERSPECTIVE

In 1994, the best Fort Dodge football team I’ve ever seen visited West Des Moines and lost to Valley during the regular season, 41-6. History repeated itself in 2000, when the Tigers beat an otherwise-playoff caliber Dodger squad by the exact same score. The 2005 Fort Dodge Dodgers were 6-2 ...

History may be repeating itself on opposite ends of rivalry

Cyclone fans aren’t necessarily going to like this comparison, and Hawkeyes won’t exactly go out of their way to repeat it, either. The Matt Campbell era at Iowa State is starting to look a lot like the craftsmanship of a certain head coach 130 miles southeast of Ames. That’s a credit ...

CENTURY MARK

The Fort Dodge wrestling program’s dual meet at Mason City next Thursday night will carry an important level of historical significance into the New Year. Iowa’s first-ever high school wrestling meet — featuring the Dodgers and the Mohawks — happened 100 years ago next month. The ...

LEAD BY EXAMPLE

AMES — Lehr Thorson is working through a senior year like none other as a member of the Iowa State University swimming and diving program. The 2017 Fort Dodge Senior High graduate continues to navigate a fluid schedule altered by the COVID-19 global pandemic, which arrived shortly after ...

The last laugh

Fitting, wasn’t it? The Iowa State football team staked claim to a piece of school history Friday, securing at least a share of its first regular-season conference championship in over 100 years on the field of a program expected to do just that annually. The Texas Longhorns are known as ...

Grateful disposition

I was experiencing a bout of pandemic fatigue during Fort Dodge’s Homecoming week in early October — wishing things would just get back to normal and frustrated by all of the relatively minor inconveniences we’d been experiencing for months on end — when a brief moment of clarity ...

BE LIKE DRAKE

Young wrestlers are working in rooms across Iowa right now, with dreams of becoming the next Drake Ayala. And parents everywhere are pondering a similar notion: “if a kid from Fort Dodge can do this, why can’t mine be next?” The Dodger senior reached an almost-mythological level of ...

PHYSICALLY FIT

I remember walking off the Newton high school football field in 2017 and thinking to myself, “I will never see a game like that again.” Twenty touchdowns. A total of 1,326 yards from scrimmage. A combined 141 points, with Fort Dodge losing to the Cardinals, 71-70 in regulation. The ...

SALUTE TO NAN BROWN: a Hall of Famer in her own right

Sports journalists keep odd, often dysfunctional hours. Nights. Weekends. Holidays. Never really “off” the clock. Always on the road. As we research, conduct interviews, cover games, keep records or put the paper to bed and walk out of the office in the early-morning hours on a ...