URBANDALE — Dreshaun Ross knows his 195-pound championship on Saturday at the Ed Winger Classic didn’t close the books on anything significant.
Fort Dodge’s freshman phenom is hoping this is simply the first chapter in a long story still to come.
In a rematch with top-ranked Iowa State University recruit McCrae Hagarty of Waverly-Shell Rock, Ross scored a quick takedown in overtime for a 4-2 victory over the state’s No. 1 overall senior wrestler.
The seasoned veteran Hagarty (29-2) and highly-touted Ross (29-2) were squaring off for the second time this season. In early December, Hagarty escaped with a 3-1 decision at the Dan Gable Donnybrook in Coralville.
This time around, the second-rated Dodger pulled through in a match filled with stop-and-go action. Ross was whistled for a locked-hands call and two stalls, while Hagarty got clipped for three cautions. Ross also earned an escape in regulation.
After the takedown to seal the sudden-death triumph, Ross — typically mild-mannered in victory or defeat — bounced to his feet with an excited expression in the direction of the Dodger coaches. Sam Cook, a two-time FDSH state champion at 195 pounds himself and now a volunteer assistant, had the most demonstrative reaction.
“A win like this is a confidence booster, but I can’t let it get to my head too much,” Ross said. “The (gold on Saturday) isn’t the main goal for this season.
“I like to wrestle in matches that are big like this. I didn’t really make any adjustments (against Hagarty) this time around…I just went out there and competed hard for six minutes and stayed disciplined. That helped me (come out on top).”
Hagarty’s only other loss this season came via decision to Brayden Thompson, one of the nation’s top overall recruits who has committed to Oklahoma State.
“It was an interesting match,” Dodger head coach Bobby Thompson said. “Some strange calls. Not much of a flow. Kind of nitpicky at times.
“What I hope Dreshaun gets from (the win) is realizing just how high his ceiling actually is. That’s not always easy for a 15-year-old to understand. He doesn’t have to wait for the moment, though. He can just go. Make the moment his. Have fun. Pick and choose your spots, but stay aggressive.
“He’s right there. Dreshaun is such a good kid and an incredible role model for our program, but he’s also still learning the ropes. I’m hoping a win like this gives him even more confidence and helps him turn the corner moving forward, because I honestly think Dreshaun’s potential is limitless.”
The short-handed Dodgers, who were without the services of No. 1 (113) Dru Ayala, third-ranked (138) Koy Davidson, No. 6 (120) Max Bishop and senior heavyweight Keaton Nichols, were sixth overall with 104.5 points. No. 1 Waverly-Shell Rock (200) was the team champion, followed by third-rated Southeast Polk (187), second-ranked Bettendorf (168.5), Ankeny Centennial (120), No. 7 Waukee Northwest (108) and fourth-rated FDSH.
Juniors Cal Hartman and Damarion Ross placed third at 170 and 160 pounds, respectively. The 12th-rated Hartman (25-10) knocked off second-ranked Seth Madden of North Scott in the quarterfinals, 10-3, then edged No. 2 (1A) Jace Nelson-Brown of Emmetsburg by a 6-5 count for bronze.
“It was a big day for Cal,” Thompson said. “He’s always had the potential and been right there, but needed a boost like this mentally. I think he understands now that he can do some significant damage at 170 the rest of the way.
“It’s all a matter of going all-out for six full minutes and believing in himself. Hopefully, this will catapult him these next few weeks.”
The second-rated Ross (30-3) was edged in the semifinals by unbeaten Danny Diaz of Waverly-Shell Rock, 3-2. He bounced back with an impressive major decision over Justin Wirtz of Emmemtsburg, then topped 28-6 Yoan Camejo of Blair (Neb.) in the consolation final, 4-3.
Seventh-ranked junior Kane Butrick (22-10) was fourth at 126 for Fort Dodge. Butrick was 3-1 on the day, but had a medical forfeit in the consolation championship match.
Freshman Sam Davidson took sixth at 106 pounds. Senior Collin Munter was seventh at 220, and freshman Luke Fierke placed eighth at heavyweight.
“Damarion and Kane wrestled really well in stretches,” Thompson said. “I thought Sam, Collin and Luke all showed flashes as well. They all got better against some really tough competition. That’s the main goal. We knew being down Dru, Koy, Max and Keaton was going to make it an uphill battle with six freshmen and three open weights. But the guys we took fought hard and made strides. They’re all getting there.”
The Dodgers host Senior Night on Tuesday in a dual against Mason City.