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Photo Messenger by Britt Kudla: The winners of the Fort Dodge boys football are, front row (left to right): Andrew Alstott and Franco Juarez. Behind: Colby Russell, JT Laufersweiler, Bo Tracy, Brayden Schmieder and Ryan Madden.

A daunting schedule is a yearly given for the Fort Dodge boys soccer program.

Head coach Joe Jackson and his Dodger players can’t spend too much time worrying about the opponent lined up in front of them on the field, though.

“We know what’s coming” said Jackson, who is entering his sixth season at the helm. “All we can do is give them everything we have. Control what we can. It’s tough, but you can’t worry too much about the record or ranking of any CIML commuter school you’re up against (Fort Dodge faced five Top 10 programs in 2021).

“If you give your all and work hard every day, preparing with a sense of perspective and a grateful (disposition)…that’s the best way to compete and get the most out of a sport.”

Returning starters Ryan Madden, Franco Juarez and Andrew Alstott provide the base for FDSH. Senior veteran Colby Russell, a student at Southeast Valley, takes over as goalie for graduate Adam Pearson.

“It’s a good mix of juniors and seniors – some have experience and some are relatively new (to the program),” said Jackson. “Franco is great with the ball. He brings so much energy and puts a ton of effort into everything he does. Andrew has another year under his belt and is more of an attacking position in the middle or up front .

“Colby is really stepping up his goal for us. And another senior (winner), Bo Tracy, came on as the season progressed last year and earned a striker spot. He’s fearless up there.

Sophomore JT Laufersweiler also saw regular action last spring, as did junior Brayden Schmieder.

“Ryan (Madden) and (twin brother) Joshua are there, as are Brayden and JT,” said Jackson. “Ryan is a winger and Joshua is part of the back line defense. Brayden is a solid center, and JT just keeps growing and getting stronger.

“They all work well together. They are focused, having fun and staying present in the moment. After what we went through (without a season) two years ago due to the pandemic and then trying to catch up (in 2021), it’s good to have some normality in our routine at the start – even so we graduated and replaced a terrific senior class.

Sophomores Michael Wagner, Parker Schillerstrom and Cade Johll are also expected to push for playing time in the rotation.

The Dodgers lost their final five games last season — against Mason City, Humboldt, Marshalltown, Des Moines East and Southeast Polk — but all results were decided by one or two goals.

Jackson will be assisted by former player Austin Read, who is now a teacher at FDSH.

“Austin brings a lot of excitement to the table,” said Jackson. “The children see his passion and his knowledge for the sport. It’s contagious. We appreciate having him on board.

“We worked on building endurance. We have kids for the trail; Coach Q (Quennel McCaleb) and Kevin Astor did an amazing job making it work. It’s a gradual process… we have to focus on getting better every day.

The Dodgers open their season Monday in Sioux City North. Their home opener is Friday against Storm Lake.

FORT DODGE BOYS FOOTBALL 2022

LISTING

Seniors – Andrew Alstott, Jaziel Arellano, David Cruz-Olguin, Filipe Guides, Franco Juarez, Colby Russell, Bo Tracy, Kolby Wilson.

Juniors – Mikeal Campbell, Donovan Chilel-Chavez, Ignatius Kirby, Joshua Madden, Ryan Madden, Kyle Napier, Jonathan Ortega, Brayden Schmieder.

Sophomores – Brock DeLanoit, Cade Johll, JT Laufersweiler, Raily Merida-Samaoya, Omarion Myers-Zimmermann, Parker Schillerstrom, Michael Wagner.

Freshmen – Abraham Fisher, Arthur Lund, Brady Major, Carol Merida-Samaoya, Shawn Roberts, Diego Ron.

PROGRAM

April 4 – at Sioux City North; 8 – Storm Lake; 12 – in Des Moines Roosevelt; 15 – Des Moines Hoover; 19 – in Waukee Northwest; 22 – in Ames; 25 – Humboldt; 26 – the centenary of Ankeny; 29 – in Ankeny.

May 5 – in East Sac County; 6 – Waukee; 10 – in Mason City; 13 – Marshalltown; 17 – East Des Moines.



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