DES MOINES - Qualifying for state competition has quickly become an annual tradition for the Fort Dodge boys bowling program.
This time around, the Dodgers appear to have all the makings of a potential title contender.
In their third straight appearance on the big stage, FDSH will try its luck in a Class 2A tournament here Friday afternoon.
Messenger photo by Josh Meyer
Members of the state-bound Dodger boys bowling team are: front row (left to right): head coach Don Ervin, Chase Messerly, Drew Hansen and assistant coach Mike Mericle. Back: Nick Anderson, Cord McMahon, Tarran Sheker, Brandon Kearney and Jerry Wagner.
Action begins at 1:20 p.m. inside Plaza Lanes.
"If our guys don't stumble, I have high hopes of winning (a state crown)," said Dodger head coach Don Ervin, whose squad placed sixth at state last season after finishing fourth the previous winter. "I've been looking at the schedule down (at Des Moines) and see we're ranked third pin-wise and less than 200 out of first. The only team I think we could have a real problem with is Marshalltown."
Last Thursday, Fort Dodge easily secured another district championship with a 3,254 pin total. Chase Messerly, a freshman, placed second individually for the Dodgers, firing games of 228 and 230 for a 458 series. Senior Tarran Sheker (234-223-457) also checked in third for FDSH.
Seniors Cord McMahon (193-245-438) and Brandon Kearney (245-169-414), freshman Drew Hansen (194-215-409) and senior Nick Anderson (192-296-388) rounded out Fort Dodge's district lineup. Anderson finished as a 2A state runner-up for the Dodgers in 2011, while McMahon will be participating in his third consecutive state meet.
"Our guys who have been to state before will already have the butterflies out of their stomach, so that experience will help them going into that first game," Ervin said. "I've never coached a group quite like this that just doesn't buckle under pressure.
"We've been in so many close meets this year that could've went either way, but once our guys find the line, they strike all the way across. There doesn't seem to be anything holding them back right now."
Anderson has rolled the top game (296) for the Dodgers this season. McMahon owns the best total pin count (5,102), while Kearney has notched a high series of 547.
"Our boys have gone way above my expectations this season with a 14-1 record," said Ervin. "I'm excited and haven't got any sleep since we won last week (at districts)."
Contact Josh Meyer at (515) 573-2141, or by e-mail at email@example.com