WAVERLY - The Fort Dodge wrestling squad had a split decision at the Waverly-Shell Rock dual tournament here Saturday, going 2-2 with easy victories over Waterloo West and Des Moines East.
The Dodgers (6-7 overall) posted a 51-18 win over the Wahawks and a 63-17 triumph against the Scarlets. Waukee narrowly edged FDSH in the third round, 42-34, before the host Go-Hawks rolled to a 66-15 victory in the final match of the afternoon.
''We're right there from a physical standpoint,'' Dodger head coach Bobby Thompson said. ''We were much more competitive than we were Thursday (in dual losses to Ankeny and Mason City). We're still making a lot of really elementary mental mistakes that need to get corrected in a hurry.''
Sophomore Erik Birnbaum was a perfect 4-0 for Fort Dodge, with three pins and a major decision. Senior Kyle Johnson (220) and freshman Sam Cook (182) were also a perfect 4-0, while Kole Evans (120) and Cole Detmering (113) went 3-1.
Second-ranked Duke Egli was 2-0 with a pair of forfeit wins at 170 pounds. Egli, who is nursing a sore neck, now has 99 career wins.
''Erik took it to the next level (yesterday),'' Thompson said. ''He's wrestling with a lot of confidence and really turning a corner. I think he'll be right there with the postseason coming up.
''Johnson and Cook looked good. They both wrestled with confidence.''
Fort Dodge welcomes Ames to the Dodger gym on Thursday.
''To be honest, I thought we'd be a little ahead of where we are right now,'' Thompson said. ''That's the message we're trying to establish: competing with a sense of urgency from here on out. Everyone needs to expect more from themselves.''