For Duke Egli, Senior Night will be a moment he remembers – for at least a few weeks.
That’s because the Fort Dodge senior is hoping to achieve an even bigger celebration next month when the state wrestling tournament takes place in Des Moines.
Egli scored his 100th career victory, pinning Ames’ Joe Becerra in 1:46. The Little Cyclones, however, scored the CIC Northern division dual, 34-32, inside the FDSH gym.
The second-ranked (Class 3A, 170 pounds) Egli is a two-time state qualifier, placing fifth as a junior. He will look to improve upon that finish as the season heads towards Wells Fargo Arena.
“Duke is exactly the type of wrestler I want on my team,” FDSH head coach Bobby Thompson said. “Yes, he had an incredibly emotional night, earning is 100th career victory. But the kid is sitting back there (in the wrestling room) upset because we didn’t win the dual.
“He’s the type of kid that represents Dodger wrestling and the legacy that is Dodger wrestling.”
Fort Dodge (6-8 overall, 1-2 in league) won the first three matches, including falls from Erik Birnbaum and Cole Detmering. Following a technical fall from Kole Evans, however, Ames (6-5, 2-1) reeled off four consecutive victories, tying things at 16-all after an overtime win at 145 pounds by Ben Joerger.
The Dodgers closed by winning four of the final seven matches, but the Little Cyclones earned nine bonus points in their three wins to seal the dual.
“Credit Ames, because their kids fought harder to either score bonus points or to keep us from gaining them,” Thompson said. “We still have kids that can’t seem to understand that wrestling is a team sport. You have to fight out there for yourself and your teammates. That is what Dodger wrestling is all about.
“I honestly felt like we could be sitting here with just a couple of losses and possibly competing at state duals. Instead, we are 6-8 and that should bother everybody.”
Birnbaum, a sophomore who improved to 29-5 on the year, has now recorded 18 victories by fall. Detmering earned his 25th victory on the season, while freshman Kole Kampen picked up his 15th.
Ninth-ranked Riley Prescott earned a decision at 195 pounds, as did ninth-grader Sam Cook at 182. Kyle Johnson, ranked 10th at 220, was forced to miss the dual.
“Erik has just been on fire as of late,” Thompson said. “And I was really impressed with both Kole and Riley. They each fought hard to continue to push the action. We’ve seen them do that in the practice room, but they finally did it out on the mat (Thursday).”
Ames, which is coached by former Dodger assistant Drew Kelly, picked up 13 bonus points to Fort Dodge’s 11. The two teams split the 14 matches evenly, including a forfeit victory for the Little Cyclones at heavyweight.
The Dodgers are now off until next Friday night when they take part in the CIC Invitational in Runnels.
Fort Dodge’s JT Wigley and Austin Porter each earned falls in junior varsity action.