Vote welcomes recruiting class of 18 into Bulldog wrestling program

Vote welcomes recruiting class of 18 into Bulldog wrestling program

SEWARD, Neb. – Head coach Dana Vote and the Bulldog wrestling program has announced the 2013 recruiting class complete with 18 incoming student-athletes. Eight of the 18 prospects hail from the state of Nebraska with the headliner being Seward High School product Austin Fehlhafer.

“I am very pleased with the class that we have brought in,” Vote said. “We have landed some good transfers which I feel is important for us to be competitive right away. We have also brought in a very talented group of high school seniors. I have high expectations for what we can do next year with the class that is coming in.”

The class gets a big boost from the state of California, as well as from the junior college ranks. Five of Vote’s additions come from The Golden State and a total of five bring college wrestling experience to Concordia. Several boast impressive accolades as grapplers such as Enrique Barajas (Hayward, Calif.) and Emilio Rivera (Escondido, Calif.) were both All-Americans at their previous schools. Munith, Mich., native Foster Bunce racked up an eye-popping 210-27 mark at Dansville High School.

Keep an eye on Ceron Francisco, a heavyweight from Fayetteville, N.C., who looks to have a high ceiling considering his rapid progress despite not wrestling his entire prep career. Francisco went 23-4 as a senior at Douglas Byrd High School.

Fehlhafer enjoyed an outstanding high school career in Concordia’s backyard. The Seward native qualified for state all four years, placing three times. He twice earned second place at the state championships and compiled 137 career wins.

In addition, senior Austin Mogg, a former All-American at NCAA Division III Buena Vista University, will be eligible this season after transferring to Concordia in the fall of 2012.

Vote expects the class to grow by perhaps as many as two more recruits by the time classes begin in the fall.

Here’s a detailed look at the 2013 class to date:

Tommy Bailey – Hailey, Idaho ● Wood River HS

  • More than 100 high school victories
  • Four-time state qualifier
  • Two-time state place winner (4th, 6th)

Enrique Barajas – Hayward, Calif. ● Arroyo HS / Sacramento City CC

  • Two-time league champion (HS)
  • Two-time state qualifier (HS)
  • Two-time team MVP (CC)
  • CCCA All-American (4th place)
  • Team Most Inspirational award (CC)

Billy Behle – Altoona, Iowa Iowa Central CC

  • 116 high school victories
  • 2011 state qualifier
  • 2013 Academic All-American at Iowa Central

Foster Bunce – Munith, Mich. ● Dansville HS

  • 210-27 career prep record
  • Three-time state place winner
  • Four-time state qualifier

Ken Burkhardt – Milford, Neb. ● Milford HS

  • Three-time state qualifier
  • Three-time academic all-state
  • State runner up as a senior

Kodie Cole – Palmdale, Calif. ● Highland HS

  • First place in conference (2013)
  • First place California Interscholastic Federation (CIF) (2013)
  • Fifth place in CIF (2012)

Austin Fehlhafer – Seward, Neb. Seward HS

  • Four-time state qualifier
  • Three-time state place winner (2nd, 2nd, 6th)
  • 137 career high school wins

Ceron Francisco – Fayetteville, N.C. Douglas Byrd HS

  • 2012 Disney Duals third team all-tournament
  • 2013 state qualifier
  • 23-4 senior record

Tyler Ganskow – Madison, Neb. Madison HS

  • 2013 state qualifier
  • Won three tournaments as a senior
  • 59 career prep victories

Dylan Helberg – McCook, Neb. Southwest HS / Colby CC

  • Two-time state qualifier
  • Wrestled two years at Colby

Clayton Hintz – Hebron, Neb. Thayer Central HS

  • 104 career high school wins
  • 68 career pins
  • Two-time state qualifier
  • Brother of current Concordia wrestler Kale Hintz

Adison Kenning – Hebron, Neb. Thayer Central HS

  • Three-time state qualifier

Isaac Martin – Wahoo, Neb. Bishop Neumann HS

  • 55 career prep victories

Robert Mata – Escondido, Calif. Escondido HS / Palomar College

  • Second place California Interscholastic Federation (CIF)
  • Fourth place at Master’s / Palomar CC
  • CCCA All-American (seventh place)

Chris Pladsen – Urbana, Iowa Center Point-Urbana HS

  • Four-year starter
  • Three-year team captain

Emilio Rivera – Escondido, Calif. San Marcos HS / Palomar College

  • Three-time California Interscholastic Federation (CIF) runner up
  • Fourth place at Master’s / Palomar CC
  • CCCA All-American (third place)

Bryce Roecker – Burr, Neb. Syracuse HS

  • Two-time state qualifier
  • Three-year starter
  • 99 career high school wins

Dmitri Smith – Beaumont, Calif. Beaumont HS

  • 2012 Reno All-America
  • 132-20 career prep record
  • 47-5 record as a senior

3 July 2013

Austin Fehlhafer (middle) is one of 18 new wrestlers that head coach Dana Vote will welcome into the program this fall. Fehlhafer placed three times at the Nebraska high school state championships during his prep career at Seward High.