RUNNELLS - The Fort Dodge wrestling team will have one last outing before they step into the postseason, and this won't be any easy weekend to say the least.
There will be Forty-six ranked individual wrestlers, while Southeast Polk and Ankeny are the ranked teams, in the annual CIML conference wrestling tournament.
Seventeen teams from the four different CIML districts will be in action. Joining the Dodgers from the North will be Ames, Mason City and Marshalltown.
Eastern participants are Ankeny, Southeast Polk and Waukee. From the West is Dowling, Johnston, Urbandale and Valley.
Competitors from the Metro are Des Moines East, Des Moines Lincoln, Des Moines North/DM?Hoover, Des Moines Rooseveelt, Indianola and Ottumwa.
Action will begin at 3:30 p.m. with the finals to start at approximately 8 p.m.
The Dodgers have been away from the mat for a little over a week and are hoping to step back on and build some momentum heading into districts next Saturday.
"Hopefully we come out and wrestle tough,'' said Fort Dodge head coach Bobby Thompson. "We have to stay healthy and mentally fresh heading into the postseason.''
Southeast Polk will be the overwhelming team favorite, entering the field with 11 ranked wrestlers, including No. 1's, Nolan Hellickson (106), Tim Miklus (160), Dylan Blackford (170), Bryce Fisher (220) and Jake Scanlan (285).
Thompson also sees Dowling and Ankeny as top teams in the field.
"Southeast Polk is fourth in the nation and is wrestling at a different level,'' Thompson said. "Dowling and Ankeny are real tough and they have some good athletes.''
There will be a lot of highlight weights at the tournament, but 170 pounds and 285 pounds may be the spotlight matches.
Southeast Polk's No. 1 Blackford (37-2) could meet Fort Dodge's second-ranked Duke Egli (30-0) in the finals.
Southeast Polk's No. 1 Jake Scanlan (24-2) may meet Ankeny's No. 1 Xavier Quigley (31-1) in the championship.