FM girls wrestling wins Urbandale

The Fort Madison High School girls wrestling team won the Urbandale Invitational on Saturday, crowning three individual champions in the process.

The Fort Madison High School girls wrestling program has come a long way in a very short time.

The Bloodhounds, starting their second season, had an historic day Saturday at the Urbandale Girls Wrestling Invitational.

Fort Madison won its first team championship in program history, piling up 179 points to outdistance Dallas Center-Grimes in the six-team tournament which also included Urbandale, Pella, Benton Community and Des Moines Public Schools.

That was just the icing on the cake for the Bloodhounds, who brought home a van-load of individual hardware to boot.

Mara Smith (120 pounds), Kat DiPrima (135) and Sadie Brandon (170) each won their weight bracket. Hailey Kemper (105), Chloe Sokolik (130) and Mady Emett (155) each finished second. Lucille Zimmerman (100) placed fourth, Emma Berry (100), Briena Fenton (125), Anna Schwerin (130) and Tatum Peters (145) each took fifth, Natalie Wright (140) was sixth and Iris Arevalo (125) and Taylor Palar (235) each finished eighth.

It was a banner day for the Bloodhounds, one coach Kyle Doherty hopes will springboard the team to greater heights as the season progresses.

鈥淲e are very, very excited for the girls and our staff,鈥 Doherty said. 鈥淚t was a really good opportunity for our first-year wrestlers to see how things work, to see how important it is to be on the right side of the bracket and where they need to be.鈥

All 14 Fort Madison wrestlers got at least three matches on the day, valuable experience for a young team.

Smith went 5-0 with five pins to win the title at 120. A state qualifier last year, Smith is one of the team leaders this season.

鈥淢ara works extremely hard. She really focuses her effort at tournaments,鈥 Doherty said. 鈥淢ara does a really good job of going out and competing.鈥

Brandon went 4-0 with four pins at 170 en route to a title, while DiPrima, a freshman at Holy Trinity, was 5-0 with four pins at 135.

鈥淪adie bumped up to 170 and did a great job,鈥 Doherty said. 鈥淜at is just a blast to watch. She is a lot more aggressive that most of our other wrestlers. For her to go up there and win was big for her and for us as a program.鈥

Kemper, who also moved up a weight class, lost to Siera Becker of Indianola in the final at 105. Sokolik lost to Asia Jahangir of Dallas Center-Grimes in the final at 130 and Emett lost to Emmalee Spurgeon of Pella in the final at 155.

鈥淐hloe and Mady just ran into hammers in the finals,鈥 Doherty said. 鈥淐hloe did a really good job of expanding some situations. Mady wrestled good all last week for us. She is really easy to coach. She listens to what we tell her and is willing to try new things. Hailey moved up a weight, but she handled herself very well.鈥

After competing in the West Liberty Invitational on Monday, the Bloodhounds will gear up for the Fort Madison Invitational on Nov. 27 at the Hound Dome.

Fort Madison is anxious to compete in front of their home fans and show off their rapidly-developing skills on the mat.

鈥淕oing up (to Urbandale), our main goal was to get our first-year wrestlers a tournament-style feel. It was a good experience for them,鈥 Doherty said. 鈥淭hey competed extremely well. They continued fighting in situations, whether good or bad.

鈥淲e鈥檒l go up to West Liberty and compete, then eat some turkey later this week and then start getting ready for our home tournament.鈥