*Due to Thanksgiving break on campus, the Bulldog Athletic Association did not meet this week. Therefore, Bulldog Athletic Association Athletes of the Week will return next Tuesday (Nov. 28).
Previous athletes of the week
Nov. 14 – Cameron Devers (wrestling) / Jeannelle Condame (soccer)
Nov. 7 – Tarence Roby (football) / Emily Deschaine (cross country)
Oct. 31 – Ryan Durdon (football) / Kaitlyn Radebaugh (soccer)
Oct. 24 – Marcelo Hernandez (soccer) / Lindsey Carley (soccer)
Oct. 17 – Carlos Ferrer (soccer) and Grady Koch (football) / Sami Birmingham (soccer)
Oct. 10 – Micah Lehenbauer (soccer) / Kaitlyn Radebaugh (soccer)
Oct. 3 – Micah Lehenbauer (soccer) / Maria Deeter (soccer)
September Athletes of the Month: Tarence Roby (football) / Lindsey Carley (soccer)
Sept. 26 – Kordell Glause (football) / Emily Deschaine (cross country)
Sept. 19 – Lewis Rathbone (soccer) / Victoria Cera (soccer)
Sept. 12 – Tarence Roby (football) / Murphy Sears (golf)
Sept. 5 – Jack Bennett (soccer) / Lindsey Carley (soccer)
News and notes:
Seward County Appreciation tonight (Nov. 21): It is Thanksgiving break on the Concordia campus. With that in mind, the athletic department has declared a Seward County Appreciation Night for tonight’s (Nov. 21) home basketball games versus Mount Marty (tipoff times at 6 and 8 p.m. CT). No admission will be charged.
Fall All-GPAC awards released: Last week the GPAC announced all-conference football, men’s soccer, women’s soccer and volleyball teams. From those four sports, 34 Bulldogs collected some form of All-GPAC recognition. The GPAC regular-season women’s soccer team pulled in a couple of major awards with Lindsey Carley earning GPAC Defensive Player of the Year accolades and Greg Henson taking GPAC Coach of the Year honors. In addition, senior Emily Deschaine locked up her third career all-conference cross country award on Nov. 4 by placing sixth at the conference meet.
Concordia athletics appears fourth in GPAC All-Sports Trophy Standings: The fall sports seasons are in the books. At the conclusion of the fall, Concordia athletics ranks No. 4 in the GPAC All-Sports Trophy Standings released on Nov. 16 by the conference. Bulldog fall teams earned a total of 43.0 points towards the GPAC standings. Concordia last won the all-sports trophy in 2014-15. For the complete standings, click HERE.
Sophomore surge leads men’s basketball: A solid start to the 2017-18 campaign for Concordia men’s basketball has been spurred by its sophomore class. That group has been headlined by the likes of Jake Hornick, Clay Reimers and Tanner Shuck. For more on the development of that group, click HERE.
Lehmann collects third academic all-district honor: For the third time in his career, senior football student-athlete Hallick Lehmann has picked up Academic All-District® accolades, as announced by the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA). A starter at right tackle on the offensive line, Lehmann has garnered Academic All-America recognition twice and is a NAIA Scholar-Athlete.
Bulldog Coaches Show airs every Thursday at 5:30 p.m. CT: The Bulldog Coaches Show is underway in its third year of existence. The show airs live for a half hour every Thursday beginning at 5:30 p.m. CT on KTMX-FM 104.9 Max Country. The weekly feature can also be heard live via 104.9 Max Country’s website or by downloading the Max Country app. Throughout the 2017-18 season, Bulldog football, men’s and women’s basketball and volleyball contests will be aired live on Max Country. Tyler Cavalli serves as the host of the coaches’ show as well as the play-by-play voice for football and basketball. Frank Greene is again calling volleyball action.
Concordia Sports Network: Live webcasts for most home varsity contests can be accessed by visiting http://www.cune.edu/csn at game time. Check team schedules/results pages for webcast dates. Scrimmages, exhibitions and junior varsity events are not broadcasted.
- An early season roll continued last week with the third-ranked Bulldogs opening up conference play with a home win over Midland, 85-63, on Nov. 15 and then an impressive road victory over eighth-ranked Dakota Wesleyan, 70-66, on Nov. 18. By getting past the Tigers in the Corn Palace, Concordia avenged its only GPAC regular-season loss during its 2016-17 conference championship run. On the other hand, the Bulldogs have beaten the Warriors in each of their last 35 meetings. Twelfth-year head coach Drew Olson’s squad has moved to 6-0 overall and 2-0 in conference play this season. For more information on Concordia women’s basketball, click HERE.
- A loaded schedule hasn’t stopped the Bulldogs from jumping out to a 6-0 start. Their résumé already includes wins over three teams ranked in the top 10 of the NAIA Division II preseason coaches’ poll: No. 5 University of St. Francis (Ill.), No. 8 Dakota Wesleyan and No. 9 University of Jamestown (N.D.). Concordia also dismantled Mayville State University (N.D.), 93-58. Mayville State is listed as the first team outside the top 25. Despite such a challenging schedule, the Bulldogs rank 10th nationally in scoring margin per game (+26.0).
- “Just keep chucking” is the motto that Concordia has lived by through six games. The phrase was first coined by senior Brenleigh Daum, who isn’t afraid to fire away from deep. She’s attempted 49 treys so far this season. As a team, the Bulldogs rank fourth in the nation in 3-point field goals per game (11.7). They have poured in at least 12 treys in four of their six games. Their five triples at Dakota Wesleyan marked a season low. Concordia hoisted 50 3-point tries in its 101-43 season opening win over Viterbo University (Wis.).
- Junior Quinn Wragge emerged as the team’s offensive star of the opening week of conference play. In the wins over Midland and Dakota Wesleyan, she put up a combined 42 points while going 15-for-22 (.682) from the field and a perfect 11-for-11 from the foul line. Her 27 points at Dakota Wesleyan put her two tallies off a career high. The Crofton, Neb., native arrived at Concordia in 2015 ready to make an immediate impact. The two-time first team All-GPAC selection enters the week with 993 career points, putting her on the cusp of becoming the program’s 25th member of the 1,000-point club.
- Olson continues to showcase the depth of his roster just like he did during last season’s 34-win campaign. Eleven Bulldogs are averaging more than 10 minutes per game. Five players average more than 20 minutes per game: Wragge (25.8), Philly Lammers (24.7), Dani Hoppes (22.8), Taylor Cockerill (21.5) and Sydney Feller (20.8). The rotation tightens as game situations dictate. In the tight road wins over Jamestown and Dakota Wesleyan, Wragge played 39 and 37 minutes, respectively. In those same contests, Lammers was counted upon for 40 and 33 minutes.
- Cockerill is this year’s ballyhooed freshman. The native of Waverly, Neb., is the team’s second leading scorer with an average of 12.5 points per game. She has also averaged 5.2 rebounds and 3.0 assists while shooting 41.3 percent from the floor. Every year Olson’s teams seem to have a strong candidate for GPAC freshman of the year honors. Lammers won the award in 2016-17, Wragge was right in the running in 2015-16 and Mary Janovich earned the honor in 2014-15.
- Counting last season’s GPAC tournament title run, Concordia has now won 24 of its last 25 games against conference opponents. The Bulldogs are also 6-0 to begin a season for the first time since the 2012-13 squad opened up at 15-0. The school record for both longest win streak and longest win streak to begin a season was put together by the 2002-03 team that then head coach Todd Voss guided to a 33-0 start. The longest win streak of the Olson era is 26 by last season’s team.
- With the help of Lammers’ strength inside, Concordia is out-rebounding its opponents on average, 46.7 to 36.8, for a rebound margin that ranks 13th best nationally. Lammers, a second team All-American last year, sports national ranks of sixth in offensive rebounds per game (4.8) and 22nd in total rebounds per game (9.2). Based on her current trajectory, Lammers is on her way to becoming only the third player in school history to reach 1,000 career rebounds, which would join Lynda Beck (1,250) and Stephanie Schilke (1,204).
- Unlike last season, the Bulldogs will be off this Thanksgiving weekend. That means tonight’s home tilt with Mount Marty (5-2, 0-2 GPAC) will be the lone contest of the week. Tipoff is set for 6 p.m. CT inside Walz Arena, where Concordia has won 24 in a row.
- The GPAC portion of the schedule got underway last week against a pair of opponents that both reached the national tournament back in March. The Bulldogs drilled 15 3-point field goals in an 86-72 home win over Midland on Nov. 15. Three days later, Concordia visited Mitchell, S.D., and came away with a 77-69 loss at No. 10 Dakota Wesleyan after going cold in the final minutes on Nov. 18. Fifth-year head coach Ben Limback’s squad enters a holiday week at 5-2 overall and 1-1 in conference play. For more information on Bulldog men’s basketball, click HERE.
- Concordia has risen to No. 18 on the national leaderboard for number of 3-point field goals made per game (10.1). The Bulldogs polished off a sterling week of outside shooting. After going 15-for-26 (.577) from 3-point range in the win over Midland, they went 12-for-26 (.462) at Dakota Wesleyan. That marksmanship pushed the team’s season 3-point percentage to 38.6 (34th nationally). Concordia’s top two outside shooters have been Jake Hornick (11-for-24) and Tanner Shuck (22-for-49).
- Hornick made a run at a triple-double against Midland. The sophomore point guard totaled 20 points, nine assists and eight rebounds in perhaps the best performance of his young college career. The native of Loveland, Colo., has been filling up the stat sheet through seven games. Among GPAC players, he ranks second in assists (5.1), ninth in scoring (16.7) and 10th in rebounding (5.9). Hornick is in his first season as a starter after averaging 5.1 points as a freshman role player in 2016-17.
- Shuck, who hails from Grand Island, Neb., went off for a career high 29 points at Dakota Wesleyan. He went 11-for-18 from the field, including 5-for-10 from 3-point range at the Corn Palace. In the process, he went past his previous career best of 24 points versus Northwestern on Dec. 10 of last season. Since going 0-for-3 from beyond the arc in the season opener, Shuck has made at least two 3-point field goals in every games since then. He ranks 24th nationally in 3-point field goals per game (3.1).
- Hornick and Shuck are two of the headliners for a sophomore class that has grown up quickly. The star trio of Hornick, Shuck and Clay Reimers combined to average 22.4 points per game last season as freshmen. That figure has skyrocketed to 47.2 this season. As a class, the sophomores have accounted for 81.3 percent (453/557) of the team’s scoring so far this season. Concordia needed reliable scorers to emerge after the graduation of Chandler Folkerts (18.3 ppg) and Eli Ziegler (16.5 ppg).
- Limback has used nine players for an average of more than 10 minutes per game. Six Bulldogs are playing more than 20 minutes per contest: Hornick (31.7), Shuck (31.0), Reimers (27.5), Cordell Gillingham (24.6), Riley Tegtmeier (23.0) and Kyle Pierce (21.8). Hornick has played in greater than 30 minutes five times with a high of 37 on two occasions. Meanwhile, Shuck has played in at least 35 minutes in three of the past five outings.
- Reimers posted his third double figure rebound total of the season in the loss at Dakota Wesleyan. The Lincoln East High School product is averaging 16.5 points and 8.5 rebounds in a ramped up role as a sophomore. Only Tyler Borchers (8.6) ranks above Reimers on the GPAC rebounding leaderboard. Reimers had reached double digits in scoring each game he appeared in until came up just shy (eight points) in Mitchell.
- Concordia games have featured low turnover numbers through seven games. The Bulldogs are turning it over an average of 12.9 times per game compared to 11.9 giveaways per outing by their opponents. Led by Hornick, Concordia committed a season low six turnovers in the win over Midland. The team’s turnover ratio of 1.22 ranks 30th best among all NAIA Division II programs.
- The action won’t slow down during Thanksgiving week. The Bulldogs will host Mount Marty (1-6, 0-2 GPAC) at 8 p.m. CT tonight (Nov. 21). Concordia will then road trip west to Golden, Colo., for a weekend event hosted by Colorado School of Mines (4-0). The Bulldogs and the host school Colorado Mines will tip off at 4 p.m. CT on Friday in an exhibition for Limback’s squad. Concordia will then take on Colorado Christian University (0-4) at 2 p.m. CT on Saturday.
- The Bulldogs challenged themselves significantly over the weekend by attending the University of Nebraska-Kearney Holiday Inn Open, a tournament loaded with wrestlers from NCAA Division I and II institutions. A group of 21 Concordia grapplers combined for 20 victories in what was the third time out this season for second-year head coach Andrew Nicola’s squad. The Bulldogs also competed at the Dan Harris Open (Nov. 5) and the Grand View University Open (Nov. 11). For more information on Concordia wrestling, click HERE.
- The NAIA released fresh team and individual conference and national ratings last week. The Bulldogs moved back from 16th to 20th in the national poll. Five individuals appeared in the national rankings: No. 12 Giovanni Castillo (133), No. 20 Keanu Tom (157), No. 16 Jon Lado (165), No. 9 Josh Nelsen (184) and No. 12 Alexander Reimers (197). Currently ranked third in the GPAC, Concordia possesses nine wrestlers ranked at the conference level, including Lado, the GPAC’s top-rated 165-pounder.
- In terms of sheer number of victories, sophomore Deandre Chery reigned supreme among Bulldogs at the UNK Open. A native of Miami Gardens, Fla., Chery went 4-2 at 174 pounds in the “amateur” division of the tournament. After a loss in the opening round, Chery won four matches in a row, including three by pin. Chery’s season record stands at 9-5 with a team high six pins. He picked up a third-place finish at the Dan Harris Open.
- In terms of rankings, senior Victor Haro turned in the team’s most impressive single win of the day. The 157-pounder from Tucson, Ariz., defeated No. 12 Brandon Lawson-Archuleta, 10-5, on the backside of the “elite” division. It was a positive sign for Haro, who carried a 2-4 record into last weekend’s tournament.
- Other Bulldogs with multiple wins on the day included Cody Lambert (2-2 at 149), Blake Castillo (2-2 at 174) and Micahel Duffy (2-2 at 285). Kirk Kaliszewski (165) and Josh Nelsen (184) both earned pins over NCAA competition. Kaliszewski wiped out Air Force’s Luke Boyle in 1:27 while Nelsen took care of New Mexico Highlands’ Jacob Hawthorne in 2:42. In matches against GPAC opponents, Concordia went a combined 6-8, including 3-0 against Midland grapplers.
- One of the team’s most pleasant surprises of the early season, sophomore Cam Devers did not compete at UNK. Last week the native of Holly Springs, N.C., appeared at No. 6 in the GPAC ratings at 141 pounds. He owns the team’s highest winning percentage thanks to an 8-1 start that includes place finishes of first (Dan Harris Open) and third (Grand View Open). Devers’ eight wins have already equaled his total from his freshman season.
- Devers and several other Bulldogs are within striking distance of cracking double figure win totals on the season. The team wins leaders are Chery (9-5), Lambert (9-6), Devers (8-1), Darrin Miller (7-5), Nelsen (7-5) and Castillo (7-6). The bar for the school single-season wins record was set exceptionally high by Andrew Schulte in 2015-16. He went 40-6 on his way to a 141-pound NAIA national title that season.
- Concordia has the week off from competition. The next date on the schedule is Thursday, Nov. 30 when Dakota Wesleyan will visit Seward for a GPAC dual at 7 p.m. CT. The Tigers were ranked ninth in the most recent conference ratings. Winner of GPAC dual and postseason titles three years in a row, the Bulldogs will be aiming to extend an active streak of 21-straight GPAC dual wins. Concordia has gone 7-0 in its GPAC duals in three-consecutive seasons.
- The season and the career of senior Emily Deschaine extended into mid-November thanks to the at-large berth she earned as part of the 2017 NAIA cross country national championships field. Deschaine made her way to the national stage in Vancouver, Wash., via her sixth-place GPAC finish at the conference meet in Sioux Center, Iowa, on Nov. 4. The rest of second-year head coach Matt Beisel’s runners finished their seasons that day. The Bulldogs claimed team finishes of fifth (women) and sixth (men) at the GPAC championships. For more information on Concordia cross country, click HERE.
- One of 338 runners in the NAIA women’s national championship race, Deschaine placed 131st, finishing in a time of 19:18 after navigating the 5k course. Saturday marked Deschaine’s third appearance on the cross country national stage. She also placed 159th in Charlotte, N.C., in 2015 and then 195th last year in Elsah, Ill. Deschaine’s time in Vancouver was the best of her career in a national championships meet. The native of Frankenmuth, Mich., improved her GPAC positioning each year, turning in finishes of 23rd, 11th, ninth and sixth. Each of Deschaine’s national berths were earned individually.
- Beisel will return the bulk of his key runners. Of the 20 Bulldog competitors at this season’s GPAC championships, only three were seniors: Deschaine, Kohlton Gabehart and Pat Wortmann. Both rosters relied heavily upon freshmen. Six rookies represented the men’s team at the conference meet: Christian Van Cleave, Jordan Lorenz, Christian Watters, Cody Williams, Patrick Schneeberger and JP Reynolds. Meanwhile, five freshmen women raced at the GPAC championships: Alyssa Fye, Alyssa Bierwagen, Everett Elder, Sydney Clark and Lydia Cook.