Bulldog Athletic Association Athletes of the Week
Female: Emily Deschaine, Cross Country
Deschaine, a native of Frankenmuth, Mich., placed sixth at last week’s GPAC cross country championships by clocking in with a 5k time of 18:32.60, a season best. That performance earned Deschaine a third-straight trip to the national championships and a third cross country all-conference honor.
Male: Tarence Roby, Football
Roby, who hails from Rockford, Ill., made a pair of interceptions and three tackles in last week’s 35-7 victory at Briar Cliff. He returned his first pick 51 yards, setting up a Concordia touchdown four plays later. Roby has recorded four interceptions and six pass breakups this season for the 25th-ranked Bulldogs.
Previous athletes of the week
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:
Deschaine named NAIA national qualifier: Senior Emily Deschaine was officially named an individual qualifier for the 2017 NAIA Cross Country National Championships on Monday (Nov. 6). Deschaine earned the bid thanks to a sixth-place finish at last week’s conference championships in Sioux Center, Iowa. The native of Frankenmuth, Mich., will make her third-consecutive nationals appearance. She is a three-time All-GPAC performer. To view the entire field of qualifiers, click HERE.
GPAC postseason continues: Both Concordia soccer teams entered the week still standing in GPAC postseason play. The men have advanced to the championship game for the third year in a row thanks to a 1-0 quarterfinal win over Briar Cliff and a 1-0 semifinal victory at Northwestern. Meanwhile, the top-seeded women edged eighth-seeded Morningside, 2-1, in the quarterfinals. The women are set to host fifth-seeded Northwestern on 7 p.m. on Tuesday (Nov. 7) in the semifinals. The winner will advance to Friday’s championship game. Meanwhile, the men will travel to play sixth-ranked Hastings at 7 p.m. on Thursday. The Bulldog volleyball team was eliminated from the postseason last week with a GPAC quarterfinal loss at No. 3 Hastings.
Baseball picked first in GPAC, receives national votes: Coming off a GPAC regular-season title in 2017, the Concordia baseball team appeared atop the conference poll released on Monday (Nov. 6) by the NAIA. Then on Tuesday (Nov. 7), the Bulldogs garnered votes in the national poll. Head coach Ryan Dupic (88-67 record at Concordia) is getting ready for his fourth season leading the program. To view the preseason national coaches’ poll, click HERE.
CoSIDA profile: Concordia Director of Athletic Communications Jake Knabel was profiled by College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA) on Tuesday (Nov. 7). The feature is one of the many profiles the organization is releasing to showcase its diverse membership during 2017 CoSIDA Membership Recognition Week (Nov. 6-12). To read the feature, click HERE.
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.
- The 2017 campaign has come to an end for sixth-year head coach Scott Mattera’s squad. The Bulldogs concluded the regular season with a four-set home loss to 11th-ranked Midland on Nov. 1. Three days later, No. 3 Hastings eliminated Concordia from postseason play in a GPAC quarterfinal match that was decided in straight sets. The Bulldogs placed eighth in the GPAC standings and finished the season with a 9-19 overall record. For more information on the Concordia volleyball program, click HERE.
- Mattera will have to wait another season before picking up his 100th career victory. He now stands at 97-94 overall since being hired as head coach prior to the 2012 season. He quickly built the program back up, guiding the Bulldogs to 20 wins in 2014 and then 26 wins during a 2015 season that culminated with a national tournament berth. Mattera’s teams have reached the GPAC tournament each season and hosted in the GPAC quarterfinal and semifinal rounds in 2015 on the way to the championship match.
- Concordia will regroup next season behind a nucleus with a lot of youth. Freshman setter Tara Callahan has the look of a potential star. She enjoyed several big moments as a rookie as evidenced by her triple-double against Northwestern on Sept. 16. In that match, the Brady High School product recorded 33 assists, 12 kills and 11 digs. The 12 kills were a season high for the versatile Callahan. She averaged 9.0 assists per set for the season.
- Callahan was also one of seven Bulldogs with more than 100 kills this fall. The team leader was sophomore Alex La Plant with 247 kills. She was followed by junior Jenna Habegger (219), sophomore Emmie Noyd (176), junior Kelsey Baarck (138), senior Annie Friesen (120) and freshmen Anna Lund (113) and Callahan (107). The bulk of Concordia’s attacking production will return in 2018.
- In statistical terms, Friesen and Jocelyn Garcia will be the most significant losses. Friesen enjoyed her best season as a sophomore in 2015 when she hit .374 and mashed 313 kills while earning first team all-conference accolades. Garcia was also a first teamer that same season. She amassed 1,593 digs and 1,032 service receptions over 410 career sets played. Her 600 digs as a junior in 2016 were a career high.
- Part of the storyline of this season is the schedule strength. According to Massey Ratings, the Bulldogs played the 15th most challenging schedule of all NAIA teams. The slate included 12 matches against teams that were nationally-ranked at the time the contests were played. It also featured three matches with NCAA Division II teams. Two of those matches resulted in Concordia victories.
- With a returning setter and plenty of hitting options coming back in 2018, the Bulldogs figure to improve upon an attack that ranked ninth in the GPAC in hitting percentage (.176). That clip is a far cry from the .226 hitting percentage (fourth in the GPAC) posted by the 2015 national tournament team. Not surprisingly, the top three hitting squads in the conference are the three teams (Northwestern, Dordt and Hastings) that shared the GPAC regular-season title.
- The season concluded at last week’s GPAC championships for all but one of Matt Beisel’s runners. Concordia placed fifth in the conference on the women’s side and sixth on the men’s side. Those finishes were a slight improvement over the two sixth-place claims in 2016. Last week’s meet was held on the Dordt College campus in Sioux Center, Iowa. For more information on Bulldog cross country, click HERE.
- As announced on Sunday, senior Emily Deschaine is headed to the national championships for the third year in a row. Deschaine has steadily risen up the conference ladder over her four seasons as a Bulldog. She placed 23rd (19:05.97) in 2014, 11th (19:00.72) in 2015, ninth (18:20.96) in 2016 and sixth (18:32.60) in 2017. The native of Frankenmuth, Mich., has earned all-conference accolades for the third year in a row. Her time last week represented a season best.
- Deschaine wasn’t the only Bulldog female to leg out a season best. Freshman Alyssa Fye set a new personal standard with a time of 19:14.74, placing her 18th overall. The rest of the women’s top five included sophomore Rebekah Hinrichs (19:39.13; 29th) and freshmen Alyssa Bierwagen (20:16.57; 40th) and Everett Elder (20:24.39; 47th). The next five were sophomore Miranda Rathjen (20:29.86; 50th), freshman Sydney Clark (20:41.99; 55th), junior Jacy Johnston (20:56.42; 60th), freshman Lydia Cook (21:01.08; 62nd) and junior Abby Protman (21:41.08; 74th).
- The men’s team was led by junior Thomas Taylor, who also hoped to give himself a shot at reaching the national championships. He ended up in 18th place after crossing the finish line in 26:19.04 on the 8k course. He moved up from a 29th-place conference finish last year as a sophomore. Next in line was senior Kohlton Gabehart, who finished his collegiate cross country career with his second best ever time of 27:00.65 (32nd place). The team’s top five was rounded out by junior Evan Asche (27:06.78; 34th), freshman Christian Van Cleave (27:14.27; 38th) and senior Pat Wortmann (27:39.58; 49th). Van Cleave's time represented a personal best by more than a minute.
- Next after Wortmann came freshmen Jordan Lorenz (28:00.32; 54th), Christian Watters (28:32.51; 64th), Cody Williams (28:48.33; 70th), Patrick Schneeberger (29:02.07; 71st) and JP Reynolds (29:46.37; 76th). Six of the team’s top 10 runners were freshmen. Gabehart and Wortmann were the lone seniors to run at the GPAC championships.
- One of Beisel’s goals is to ultimately return the program to conference championship glory. The most recent championship came in 2012 when the men claimed a GPAC title. During Kregg Einspahr’s coaching tenure, Concordia also claimed men’s titles in 1997, 2004 and 2009 and women’s championships in 1995, 1999, 2002, 2004 and 2005. The women also enjoyed a run of 16-consecutive top 20 national finishes from 1994 through 2009. The Concordia women were the national runner up three seasons in a row (2000-02).
- Deschaine now prepares for the 2017 NAIA Cross Country National Championships, set to take place at Fort Vancouver National Historic Site in Vancouver, Wash., on Saturday, Nov. 18. In her two prior appearances at nationals, Deschaine placed 129th (19:27) in 2015 and 195th (19:29) in 2016. Last year’s championship meet was held in Elsah, Ill., at North Farm Course.
- Another thrilling postseason ride carries on for the Bulldogs, who have lived on the edge in conference tournament action. Concordia waited until the 87th minute to grab the lead in a 1-0 home victory over Briar Cliff in the quarterfinals on Oct. 31. Then over the weekend, the Bulldogs avenged one of their two regular-season losses by edging Northwestern, 2-1, in the semifinals played in Orange City, Iowa. The school record continues to grow with tenth-year head coach Jason Weides’ squad moving to 16-2-1 overall. For more information on Bulldog men’s soccer, click HERE.
- The group of four-year seniors have now been part of teams that have reached at least the GPAC semifinals in each season. Since the start of 2015, Concordia has claimed six conference tournament wins and a tie that resulted in a shootout victory at Midland. The 2015 GPAC tournament titlist squad knocked off each of the league’s top three seeds while playing every postseason contest on the road. The 2014 team finally broke a postseason drought by winning at Doane, helping pave the way for three GPAC championship game appearances in a row.
- The team’s three goals scored last week all came from different individuals. Senior Micah Lehenbauer produced the game winner versus Briar Cliff. Then on Nov. 4, Lewis Rathbone and Toby Down chipped in a goal apiece to lift the Bulldogs to another championship game date with Hastings. Down has really made his goals count. Four of his six on the year have been game winners. That total is tied with Marcelo Hernandez for a team high.
- The title of team top goal scorer will come down to the wire. Currently, Lehenbauer and Rathbone are even with 12 apiece and Hernandez is right behind them with 11. Hernandez possesses Concordia bests of 32 points and 10 assists. The Bulldogs remain the only GPAC team to have three players with double figure goal counts.
- Recent deep postseason runs have been keyed by stellar overall defensive efforts. The ringleader behind such defensive stinginess has been senior outside back Florian Caraballo, named GPAC defensive player of the week on Oct. 24. The native of Cordoba, Spain, also garnered first team all-conference accolades as a junior. With Caraballo leading the way, Concordia ranks 12th nationally in terms of fewest goals allowed per game (0.74).
- This year’s team is destroying the former school single-season record of 12 victories produced by the 2000 group. Prior to 2017, the high-water mark for a Weides-coached team was 11 wins in four separate years (2011, 2012, 2015, 2016). Thanks to seven-straight seasons with 10 or more victories, Weides is now knocking on the door of 100 career wins. His overall record is 97-77-18.
- With the wins piling up, the Bulldogs are gaining more traction in the national poll. Last week marked the second poll in a row and the third this season that Concordia was listed among “others receiving votes.” The Bulldogs were 30th last week with a season high 31 points in the poll. The previous week Concordia picked up 20 points and checked in at 31st. The most recent Modified Ratings Percentage Index (Oct. 18) had the Bulldogs at No. 42.
- Concordia and No.6 Hastings are now set to meet again. The Bulldogs hope to avenge another regular season loss. The two sides met in Seward on Oct. 25 with the Broncos emerging with a 2-1 victory. Thursday’s GPAC tournament final is set for a 7 p.m. in Hastings. The winner will receive an automatic berth to the opening round of the national championships (Nov. 18).
- Postseason magic is alive and well for Concordia women’s soccer. The top-seeded Bulldogs got a strong push from eighth-seeded Morningside in the GPAC quarterfinals on Nov. 2, but the home team survived and advanced in a 2-1 final. For the fifth year in a row, head coach Greg Henson’s program has made its way to at least the conference semifinal round. Regular-season champion Concordia has moved to 14-2-3 overall. For more information on Bulldog women’s soccer, click HERE.
- Postseason success has become an annual rite of passage since Henson took over the program. With the win over Morningside, Concordia improved its GPAC tournament record to 9-2-1 during Henson’s tenure. The one tie resulted in a shootout victory at No. 16 Hastings in the 2015 GPAC semifinals. Henson guided the Bulldogs to conference tournament titles in 2014 and 2016 and a runner-up finish in 2015.
- Junior Lauren Martin came through with the game-winning goal in the 64th minute of last week’s conference tournament win. That goal pulled Martin even for the team lead with three game-winning scores this season. Seven different Bulldogs have been credited with at least one game-winning goal. Sophomore Sami Birmingham and freshman Kaitlyn Radebaugh have also recorded three match winners.
- The Mustangs’ Paytn Harmon tied the game with a goal in the 21st minute, ending a string of six-straight games without an opponent scoring on Concordia. The only GPAC team to find the back of the net against the Bulldogs was Briar Cliff in a 5-1 Concordia win in Sioux City, Iowa, on Oct. 4. Despite finally surrendering a goal, the Bulldogs rate 20th nationally in terms of fewest goals allowed per game (0.68). Concordia has not given up more than one goal in a contest since Sept. 16.
- Wins over No. 18 Midland and No. 20 Hastings and an outright GPAC regular-season title helped the program garner a top 25 national ranking for the sixth time in school history. Last week the Bulldogs checked in at No. 22. Concordia’s first-ever national ranking came in 2014 when it slotted in at No. 24 following the GPAC tournament title. The 2015 edition then appeared in that season’s first four polls, rising as high as 16th (school record).
- The Bulldogs now own a streak of 19-straight games against GPAC opponents without a loss (18-0-1). During that string, Concordia has outscored conference foes by a combined total of 58-6. Each of the last four games in that run have been nailbiters. To end the regular season, the Bulldogs recorded 1-0 wins over Midland, Dordt and Hastings prior to last week’s 2-1 victory over Morningside.
- Concordia has several quality candidates for GPAC player of the year awards. Top offensive threat Maria Deeter (nine goals, 10 assists) could push for offensive player of the year and All-America honors as the captain of a conference championship team. Sophomore Lindsey Carley has solidified the goalkeeper position and ranks 11th nationally in goals against average (0.500). She’s been boosted by a back line that includes freshman center back Chelsea Bright, another player worthy of GPAC defensive player of the year consideration.
- It’s time for the Bulldogs to make another championship push. Top-seeded Concordia will host fifth-seeded Northwestern (11-5-3) at 7 p.m. CT on Tuesday (Nov. 7) in the GPAC semifinals. The Red Raiders were the only GPAC team to avoid a loss to the Bulldogs during the regular season. The two sides played to a 0-0 double overtime draw on Oct. 7. Northwestern defeated Dordt, 1-0, in last week’s quarterfinal action. The winner will move on to the GPAC championship game at 7 p.m. on Friday.
- A dominant run of football continues for the Bulldogs, who picked up a second-straight road victory by pummeling Briar Cliff, 35-7, last week in Sioux City, Iowa. The Concordia ground game churned out 386 yards while featuring Texans Ryan Durdon and TJ Austin. First-year head coach Patrick Daberkow’s squad has now won four-consecutive games and stands at 6-3 overall and at 5-2 in conference play (third place). The Bulldogs have clinched at least a third-place claim and can climb as high as a tie for second depending upon this Saturday’s results. For more information on Concordia football, click HERE.
- The running game is really picking up steam behind an offensive line that continues to draw rave reviews from Daberkow and his staff. During the four-game win streak, the Bulldogs have averaged 294.5 rushing yards per contest. Over that same time period, Durdon has exploded, putting up 795 rushing yards and six touchdowns. Overall this season, Concordia ranks 17th nationally in rushing yards per game (216.4).
- Austin piled up 160 rushing yards and a touchdown on 22 carries at Briar Cliff. The performance marked Austin’s first 100-yard rushing effort since totaling 105 yards on 14 attempts against Dordt in 2015. The former quarterback has eclipsed 1,000 career rushing yards and currently stands at 1,148 with 10 rushing touchdowns in 27 career games. He has also thrown for 1,809 yards and 17 touchdowns.
- Meanwhile, Durdon is charging hard at the program’s single-season rushing record of 1,265 by JaMaine Lewis in 2007. Durdon is up to 1,248 yards after piling up 192 rushing yards at Briar Cliff. Durdon just missed his fourth 200-yard day of the season. The native of Decatur, Texas, ranks sixth among all NAIA players with an average of 138.7 rushing yards per game. The only GPAC players with more rushing yards are Morningside’s Bubba Jenkins (1,618) and Hastings’ Tahj Willingham (1,404).
- Defensively, Concordia got major contributions from senior Tarence Roby, who came up with a pair of key interceptions in the first quarter last week. He returned his first pick for 51 yards to the Briar Cliff 46, setting up a Bulldog touchdown four plays later. Roby then snuffed out a Charger red zone drive with an interception in the end zone. On the year, the native of Rockford, Ill., has totaled four interceptions and six pass breakups.
- Senior Jared Garcia continues to rewrite the program’s receiving records. He caught touchdown passes of 26 and 33 yards from Riley Wiltfong in last week’s victory. The second scoring grab moved Garcia past former All-American tight end Ross Wurdeman for the most career receiving yards in school history. Garcia now owns program records for career touchdown catches (35), career receiving yards (2,495) and touchdown receptions in a season (11). Garcia is seven receptions shy of Wurdeman’s school career record of 168 grabs.
- Wiltfong has become a master at engineering the Concordia offense. He now ranks 19th nationally in passer efficiency (150.2) after going 8-for-11 for 160 yards and three touchdowns at Briar Cliff. Wiltfong did all of that damage in the first half and then gave way to backup Andrew Perea. Wiltfong sports an impressive touchdown-to-interception ratio of 13-to-4 this season. He is completing 56.8 percent of his passes and has thrown for 975 yards in seven games for a run-first offense.
- Freshman linebacker Lane Napier continues to rack up tackles. He added a dozen more last week, running his season total to 80. The David City, Neb., native ranks 20th nationally with an average of 8.9 tackles per game. He was named the GPAC player of the week after registering 17 tackles and a sack in the win over Dakota Wesleyan. Napier has made seven stops in the backfield and has two pass breakups this season.
- A week after playing the team at the bottom of the GPAC standings, Concordia now draws first-place Morningside (10-0, 7-0 GPAC), still undefeated and ranked fourth in the NAIA coaches’ poll. The Bulldogs are looking to knock off the Mustangs for the first time since 2003. Morningside has dominated in conference play, winning each of its first seven league games by at least 21 points.
- The first week of the 2017-18 season went about as well as fifth-year head coach Ben Limback could have hoped. The Bulldogs went 3-0 while earning a win at Kansas Wesleyan University, 75-72, and then home victories over Mount Mercy University (Iowa), 96-81, and Evangel University (Mo.), 75-69, as part of the 18th annual Cattle Classic. Picked eighth in the GPAC, Concordia has a revamped starting lineup after saying goodbye to three senior starters from the 2016-17 campaign. For more information on Bulldog men’s basketball, click HERE.
- This year’s varsity roster is dominated by sophomores. Of the 12 players to see action in at least one game so far, seven are sophomores. Included in that group of second-year players are starters in guard Cordell Gillingham, point guard Jake Hornick, forward Clay Reimers and wing Tanner Shuck. Additionally, sophomores Zach Friel, Brevin Sloup and Riley Tegtmeier have all come off the bench in the season’s first three games.
- Reimers, a product of Lincoln East High School, has taken over the role of star post player from departed All-American Chandler Folkerts. At least through three games, Reimers appears equipped to handle the burden. He is averaging 19.0 points, 7.7 rebounds and 3.3 assists while shooting 58.1 percent from the floor this season. Last season as a freshman, Reimers contributed 7.1 points and 4.0 rebounds per game while playing in a reserve role. Reimers put up a career high 25 points and had a double-double in the victory over Mount Mercy.
- Hornick has been just as impressive in his new role at point guard. Limback has trusted Hornick enough to play 34.3 minutes per outing through three games. Hornick has responded by turning in point totals of 23, 18 and 19, respectively, this season. He is also averaging 6.3 rebounds and 5.0 assists and owns shooting percentages of 57.6 from the field and 94.4 from the free throw line. Hornick averaged 5.1 points and 2.8 rebounds as a freshman.
- Shuck rebounded nicely from a rough first game that saw him commit four fouls and get held scoreless at Kansas Wesleyan. At the Cattle Classic, Shuck averaged 13.5 points and went 7-for-14 from 3-point range. The Grand Island, Neb., native was one of the nation’s top shooters last season, ranking 13th in NAIA Division II with a 3-point shooting percentage of 46.3. Through 34 career collegiate games, Shuck has totaled 342 points.
- The program’s home win streak has now moved to eight. Concordia ended the 2016-17 campaign by claiming victories in each of its last six home games. That run included three wins over GPAC squads and two as part of the Concordia Invitational Tournament. Last year’s squad went 14-3 at home. Dating back to the close of the 2015-16 campaign, the Bulldogs are 19-3 over their last 22 contests played inside Walz Arena.
- The team’s third leading scorer is currently forward Kyle Pierce, the lone senior on the roster. Pierce is a high energy guy who has moved into the starting lineup after coming off the bench the previous two seasons. He totaled 16 points in the season opener at Kansas Wesleyan. In the victory over Mount Mercy, he added nine points, seven rebounds and two assists. A native of Haxtun, Colo., Pierce averaged 3.7 points and 2.9 rebounds as a junior last season.
- Concordia now looks forward to this weekend’s Warrior Classic on the campus of Sterling College in Sterling, Kan. The Bulldogs will take on host Sterling (2-0) at 8 p.m. CT on Friday. The next they draw another Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference member in Tabor College (0-2) in what will be a 3 p.m. Saturday tipoff. Concordia has not started a season 5-0 since 2004-05.
- It was an impressive opening weekend of the 2017-18 season for the third-ranked Bulldogs. They essentially named the score in Cattle Classic victories over Viterbo University (Wis.), 101-43, and fifth-ranked University of St. Francis (Ill.), 96-67. In those two wins, Concordia forced a combined 63 turnovers while backing up its status as the favorite to repeat as GPAC champions. Twelfth-year head coach Drew Olson’s squad is coming off a 34-3 campaign and national semifinal appearance in 2016-17. For more information on Bulldog women’s basketball, click HERE.
- Olson has built a program that has become a mainstay in the national polls. The Bulldogs have been ranked in every national poll since the start of the 2011-12 season (75-consecutive poll releases). Three-straight senior classes have played each game in their careers for ranked Concordia squads. During that time, the Bulldogs have risen as high as No. 1, appearing at the top spot for the first four polls of the 2012-13 campaign. Head coach Drew Olson has led the program to national semifinal appearances in three of the past six seasons. Concordia is the only program in the nation with three semifinal trips since 2012.
- Olson’s roster contains several players with a shot at eclipsing 1,000 career points this season, including junior Quinn Wragge (926), seniors Mary Janovich (890), Dani Hoppes (790) and Brenleigh Daum (663) and sophomore Philly Lammers (504). Wragge looks to be the next in line to join the club that currently includes 24 members. The program’s all-time leading scorer is Bailey Morris, who tallied 2,054 points from 2011-15.
- It would not be a bold prediction to say that freshman Taylor Cockerill will one day put her name into the 1,000-point club. The Waverly High School product looked comfortable in her first collegiate action, putting up a combined 36 points while being named to the All-Cattle Classic team. Cockerill went 11-for-17 from the field over the weekend and averaged 6.5 rebounds in the blowout victories.
- The matchup with St. Francis featured two teams that both reached the national semifinals back in March. Concordia is no stranger to knocking of highly rated teams. During last season’s thrilling ride, the Bulldogs defeated seven squads ranked in the top 10. Concordia ended then No. 1 Dakota Wesleyan’s unbeaten run last season with an 85-82 victory inside Walz Arena on Dec. 3, 2016. The three defeats last season came against squads ranked Nos. 1, 3 and 12, respectively.
- The home win streak now stands at 23. That string dates back to the final four home games of the 2015-16 season and spans through the entire 2016-17 campaign that included a 17-0 home mark. Since the start of the 2011-12 season, the Bulldogs have gone 89-9 at home and have not dropped more than three home contests in any single season. Both the 2011-12 (15-1) and 2014-15 (15-1) squads fell just one time inside Walz Arena.
- In terms of overall wins, Olson begins this season as the 19th winningest coach among active head coaches in NAIA Division II women’s basketball. Of the 18 coaches ranking higher on the list, only two own better winning percentages. Now 284-91 since taking over the program in 2006-07, Olson is on his way to becoming the first Concordia women’s basketball coach to reach 300 wins.
- A challenging weekend is coming up for the Bulldogs, who will trek north to North Dakota. On Friday, Concordia will play at No. 9 University of Jamestown (N.D.) at 5:30 p.m. CT. The next day, the Bulldogs will play at Mayville State University (N.D.) at 2 p.m. Mayville State was the first team outside the top 25 in the preseason poll. In last season’s national quarterfinals, Concordia defeated Jamestown, 74-59.
- The second season of head coach Andrew Nicola’s tenure got underway at the Dan Harris Open hosted by Baker University (Kan.) on Sunday. Twenty-three wrestlers represented the Bulldogs and combined for 51 wins, seven place finishes and three titles during competition in Baldwin City, Kan. The tournament is one of eight on the regular-season schedule for three-time defending champion Concordia. For more information on Bulldog wrestling, click HERE.
- Concordia’s three titlists at the Dan Harris Open were senior Giovanni Castillo (133), sophomore Cameron Devers and senior Jon Lado (165). Both juniors Chucky Hedrick (165) and Walker Fisher (174) claimed runner-up finishes while sophomore Deandre Cherry (174) and junior Josh Nelsen (184) placed third in their respective weight classes. Several others would have recorded place finishes had the top six individuals been recognized.
- A native of Ontario, Calif., Castillo brings star potential at 133 pounds. He opened this season ranked 18th nationally in his weight class but has the ability to rise quickly. His path to a title on Sunday included a 6-3 victory over No. 20 Tyler Dickman of Baker. In the championship match, Castillo edged Haidon Allen of University of Saint Mary, 8-6. He also turned in wins over Zach McCullough (Drury University) and Micahel Ritchey (University of Saint Mary).
- Devers and Lado combined for seven victories. Devers defeated Drury University’s Lawyer Morgan-Beckum, 9-3, in the 141-pound title bout. At 165, Lado majored teammate Hedrick, 20-12, for the championship. In the 174-pound championship, Fisher fell by a tight 6-4 score to Drury’s Jacob Brune.
- A total of seven grapplers made their Bulldog debuts on Sunday. That group included transfer Keanu Tom, ranked 17th in the NAIA at 157 pounds. He picked up three victories, rebounding after getting pinned in his first match. Nineteen of the 23 Bulldogs that competed earned at least one win. There will be better days ahead for returning 165-pound GPAC champion Kirk Kaliszewski, who went 0-2. Kaliszewski began the year ranked seventh nationally at 165.
- Nicola’s squad is one of five GPAC teams to garner top 20 national rankings in the preseason. The Bulldogs slotted in third among conference teams, coming in after No. 12 Morningside and No. 14 Midland but in front of No. T-18 Briar Cliff and No. T-18 Hastings. Concordia placed 15th at last season’s national championships behind heavyweight national runner-up Ceron Francisco and three-time All-American Ken Burkhardt Jr.
- The Bulldogs boast eight ranked individuals on the conference level and another five rated grapplers on the national level. Kaliszewski is ranked first in the GPAC and seventh nationally. A returning national qualifier, Nelsen is the highest-rated Bulldog from a national perspective. He checked in at No. 6 in the NAIA at 184 pounds. The three other Concordia representatives with national rankings are Giovanni Castillo (No. 18 at 133), Alexander Reimers (No. 11 at 197) and Keanu Tom (No. 17 at 157). Kaliszewski, Nelsen and Reimers each advanced to the 2017 national championships.
- Up next is Saturday’s Grand View University Open in Pleasant Hill, Iowa. At the 2016 Grand View Open, 17 Bulldogs competed and combined for five place finishes and 27 victories amid a field that included many NCAA Division I wrestlers. Burkhardt Jr. and Francisco both won titles at the event.