Dodgers travel for Ames Invite

AMES – The Fort Dodge wrestling team will start 2013 by jumping into the deep end, as the Dodgers compete at the Jack Mendenhall Invitational.

Wrestling begins inside the Ames gym at 11 a.m.

Joining the Dodgers will be Clarion-Goldfield, Humboldt, Webster City, Aplington-Parkersburg, Ballard, Cedar Rapids Jefferson, Cedar Rapids Kennedy, fourth-ranked (3A) Cedar Rapids Prairie, No. 9 (Class 3A) Dowling, Indianola, OA/BC-IG, Perry, Sergeant Bluff-Luton, Spencer, West Des Moines Valley, Nevada and the host Little Cyclones.

Prairie, which boasts 10 rated individuals, will likely be the favorite. Dowling has five ranked wrestlers, while Fort Dodge will be bringing three, including No. 3 Duke Egli at 170.

“Cedar Rapids Prairie is the team to beat, with Spencer and Dowling right up there,” FDSH head coach Bobby Thompson said. “Humboldt also has good balance and will be a contender.”

Egli could be in for a state tournament-style match, as second-rated Cameron Rathje of CR Prairie is also in the field.

Tanner Schaefer of Spencer is the lone top-ranked wrestler, while there are a handful of grapplers who are No. 2, including Webster City’s Dylan Fielder (182), Humboldt’s Reed Dreyer (195) and Clarion-Goldfield’s Mitch Gambrill (220).

Forty-seven rated wrestlers are expected to compete with several weights boasting five individuals alone.

“We need to come out and wrestle with good intensity,” Thompson said. “This will be a measuring stick for us right out of the gate, especially for some of our younger guys.”