Fort Dodge Wrestling Coach Bobby Thompson said going into Saturday’s tournament in Sioux City he knew this would be a measuring stick for his squad. It was said to be, by far the most stacked field and highest caliber depth of competition Fort Dodge has faced. The Dodgers had an impressive showing in their biggest test yet in this young season. Teams from all over Iowa and Nebraska competed in Sioux City, including nationally ranked team Millard South (Neb.). The Dodgers would win gold in four weight classes, bronze in 4 others and have one more top 5 finish.
What else can be said that hasn’t been about Drake Ayala? He is an absolute winning machine and continues to win despite having the target and pressure of being #1 nationally. Ayala won the 126 pound crown in Sioux City. Max Bishop won the gold at 113 as he continues a stellar early season run. Lane Cowell won at 120 and keeps the momentum he has had. Ben Egli took the title at 182, which most people who know wrestling better than I feel that the upper weights will be a major determining factor of how well these guys finish as a team.
In addition to the four gold medalists, Fort Dodge had 4 others with bronze finishes. Freshman Dru Ayala defeated St. Edmond’s Ronnie Orres at 106 to claim the bronze. The fact that two wrestlers from schools in Fort Dodge were battling for a medal, speaks volumes for the level of wrestling in this area. Dreyzon Phillips finished 3rd at 152. Kody Cook who was out last weekend is back and had a strong showing at 160 finishing with the bronze. Alex Read has really emerged at 220 which again could be key to the team’s performance later this season. Read had a pin fall win Thursday night vs Ballard and followed that by claiming the bronze in Sioux City. Damarion Ross had a top 5 finish, as he claimed 5th place at 132.
St. Edmond’s Ronnie Orres was 4th at 106 and Ryan Duckett took 5th at 120.