By Lukas Vigil, Sports Information Intern
The overlap between winter and spring sports begins this weekend as head coach Amy Harms’ tennis squads take to the court on Friday and Saturday. It’s also a big week for several Concordia seniors who will make their final regular-season appearances at Walz Arena. Between wrestling Thursday night and both basketball teams on Saturday, a total of 11 seniors will be acknowledged for their contributions to Concordia athletics.
Here’s a rundown of the action that will take place Thursday through Saturday.
Wrestling: Concordia (2-9, 1-4 GPAC) vs. Hastings (5-11, 2-3 GPAC), Seward, Neb., Thursday, 6 p.m.
Outlook: The past two weeks have been a brutal stretch for the Concordia Wrestling team. Within the past two weeks the Bulldogs had three duals on the road, all be it against ranked opponents: No. 17 Dakota Wesleyan, No. 13 Midland University, and No. 7 Morningside. All three have resulted in losses. The Bulldogs return to Walz Arena to finish the regular season before regionals and nationals start. The Bulldogs will honor three seniors: Jordan Fowlkes, Brandon Starkey, and Frank Ayala in their home finale dual against Hastings College. The only senior that will be in action Thursday night is heavyweight Frank Ayala who holds a 18-19 record. Another bright spot for the Bulldogs is junior Alex Stepanek who also holds an 18-19 record and will be in action Thursday night in the 141 division. Hastings College will look to its 141-pound wrestler Blake Fruchtl to lead their team victory on Thursday night. Fruchtl, a freshman holds an impressive 23-11 record on the season.
Track and Field: Concordia hosts the Concordia Indoor Invite, Friday, 1:30 p.m.
Outlook: After a busy weekend of track and field meets in Lincoln and Kearney last weekend, the Bulldogs return to Seward to host the Concordia Indoor Invite. A bright spot for the Bulldogs last weekend was freshman Kim Wood who continues to turn heads in her first season of collegiate track. Her time of 1:38.34 in the 600 meter at the Concordia Classic two weeks ago earned her an invite to the Husker Invitational the following week in Lincoln. With heavy competition from other Division I schools at the meet, Wood shaved almost three seconds off her time from the Concordia Classic with an impressive 1:35.73 at the Husker Invitational while finishing eighth overall and now sits in fifth place on the NAIA national leader board. Another athlete that looks to have a big day this Friday is junior Jamie Crouse in the weight throw. Crouse won the event at the Charlie Foster Classic last weekend in Kearney with a toss of 56’3”, more than four feet farther than second place Abby Griffith of Hastings. Crouse currently ranks second on the NAIA leader board with her amazing toss of 59’3 ½ “ back on Dec. 15th at the Polar Dog Dual. Some other notable athletes that look to continue their success this Friday is Colin Morrissey in the 3,000 meter run and Jonathan Becker in the 60 meter hurdles.
WOMEN – Concordia vs. Bethany College (Kan.), Lincoln, Neb., Friday, 6 p.m.
MEN – Concordia vs. Bethany College (Kan.), Seward, Neb., Saturday, 9 a.m.
Outlook: The Bulldogs will open their 2013 campaign this weekend with the women’s team set to take on Bethany College in Lincoln tomorrow while the men’s team will be in action on Saturday at home also against Bethany. The women’s team finished last year with a 7-10 overall record with a 3-4 conference record, finishing fifth in the conference. The Bulldogs last year were led by junior Katelyn Koll who was nearly unbeatable in conference last year finishing with a 6-1 record in conference and a 10-6 overall record. As for the men they will look to build upon their 2012 record of 8-11 overall and 3-3 in conference, while finishing third overall in the GPAC. The men’s side will again look to the doubles combo of senior Cole Egger and junior Nathan Wingfield. The duo went 9-8 while playing at both the Nos. 1 and 2 doubles spots last year. As for Bethany they have had the luxury of already playing in two exhibition matches this season. The Bethany Swedes men’s team took on Barton Community College and won that match with a final score of 8-1 and then later fell to Division I Wichita State 7-0. While the women’s team lost to Barton Community College 5-4.
Women’s Basketball: No. 4 Concordia (21-5, 13-4 GPAC) vs. Dordt (15-13, 9-9 GPAC), Seward, Neb., Saturday, 2 p.m.
Outlook: The No. 4-ranked Concordia women’s basketball team will try to get rid of the bad taste of a loss to No. 9 Briar Cliff this past Wednesday when it remains at home and play their final home game of the season this Saturday against Dordt College. The Bulldogs will honor three seniors: Katie Rich, Dawn Martin and Beth Kohmetscher on Senior Day. The loss on Wednesday was a difficult one to swallow for the Bulldogs, which results in the Bulldogs tied for second place with Briar Cliff while Morningside sits atop of the conference and in the driver’s seat for the No. 1 seed in the upcoming conference tournament. The Bulldogs are continued to be led by Kristen Conahan in the scoring department, averaging 15.8 points per game, while also leading the team in assists with 3.04 per game and in steals with a 3.35 average per game. Lori Laboda leads the Bulldogs in the rebounding department with 6.63 rebounds per game. Laboda looks to build upon her double-double performance this past Wednesday against Briar Cliff, finishing with 15 points and 10 rebounds. Concordia looks to avenge its first loss of the season, a 96-86 double overtime defeat at Dordt on Jan. 5.
Men’s Basketball: Concordia (6-19, 2-15 GPAC) vs. No. 15 Dordt (21-6, 13-5 GPAC), Seward, Neb., Saturday, 4 p.m.
Outlook: The Bulldogs will try to salvage the rest of the season when they remain at home and play their final home game of the season this Saturday against No. 15 Dordt College. Five seniors will be honored on Saturday which will be there last time playing in the Walz Arena. The five seniors are: Porter Birtell, Beau Smith, Charles Dunbar, Phil Friedrich, and Brent Houchin. The Bulldogs suffered another heartbreaking loss this past Wednesday to Briar Ciff losing by a slim margin of 72-68. Although the season hasn’t gone according to plan for the Bulldogs this season, they will look to knock off a very competitive team in Dordt College. With the absence of Porter Birtell, due to injury, fellow senior Beau Smith has picked up the slack by leading the team in scoring and rebounding since Birtell’s injury. Smith is currently averaging 13.0 points per game while also averaging a team high 5.8 rebounds per game. Senior Charles Dunbar leads the Bulldogs in steals with an average of 1.58 steals per game while also leading the team with 3.83 assists per game. Dunbar missed Wednesday’s game along with junior Adam Vogt.
7 February 2013
Beau Smith is one of 11 Bulldog senior athletes who will be recognized at athletic events between Thursday and Saturday.