Bulldog Weekly Report (Nov. 15, 2022)

By Jacob Knabel on Nov. 15, 2022 in Athletic Announcements

Bulldog Athletic Association Member (BAAM) Athletes of the Week

Female: Rebecca Gebhardt, Volleyball

A sophomore from Norfolk, Neb., Gebhardt helped the fourth-ranked Bulldogs reach the GPAC tournament championship match. She notched 21 digs in the five-set win at No. 3 Midland in the semifinals and another 21 digs in the four-set loss at No. 2 Jamestown in the championship. Gebhardt was named Honorable Mention All-GPAC.

Male: Federico Simonetti, Soccer

Simonetti, who hails from Crema, Italy, came through in the clutch in the GPAC tournament title game win over No. 23 Hastings on Nov. 11. Simonetti made a save of a penalty kick that clinched the championship for the Bulldogs (program’s second GPAC title). Simonetti has started eight games in 2022 and owns a goalkeeper record of 6-1-1.

Previous BAAM Athletes of the Week
Nov. 8 – Kylahn Freiberg (cross country) / Kaden Peters (football)
Nov. 1 – Breyer Meeks (shooting sports) / Carlos Orquiz (soccer) / Morgan Nibbe (volleyball)
Oct. 25 – Bree Burtwistle (volleyball) / Isaiah Shaddick (soccer)
Oct. 18 – Korrell Koehlmoos (football) / Carly Rodaway (volleyball)
Oct. 11 – Rylee Haecker (cross country) / DJ McGarvie (football)
Oct. 4 – Rebecca Gebhardt (volleyball) / Korrell Koehlmoos (football)
Sept. 27 – Bree Burtwistle (volleyball) / Ryan Wokutch (soccer)
Sept. 20 – Tanner Muff (shooting sports) / Gabi Nordaker (volleyball) / Katie Welker (shooting sports)
Sept. 13 – Kierstynn Garner (soccer) / Jack Nelson (shooting sports)
Sept. 6 – Camryn Opfer (volleyball) / Camden Sesna (cross country)
Aug. 30 – Federico Simonetti (soccer) / Carly Rodaway (volleyball)
Aug. 23 – Bree Burtwistle (volleyball)

2022-23 BAAM Athletes of the Month
October – Bree Burtwistle (volleyball); Korrell Koehlmoos (football); Carly Rodaway (volleyball)
September – Gabi Nordaker (volleyball); Camryn Opfer (volleyball); Camden Sesna (cross country)

News and notes:

BAAM luncheons are held every Tuesday at 12 p.m. CT inside the Dog House Grill, located in the Janzow Campus Center. The luncheons feature reports from head coaches who are in season at the time. For information on how to join BAAM, click HERE. It is not a requirement to be a BAAM member in order to attend the weekly luncheons.

Coach Schmidt’s journey: From 1989 through 2012, the unmistakable Coach Grant Schmidt guided the Concordia Bulldogs Men's Basketball program in ways only he could. Schmidt demanded maximum effort, refused to tolerate excuses, coached with tough love, toed the line with officials, fought for his players with intense loyalty and made Concordia an outfit the opposition feared. He brought the old gym to a fever pitch and inspired a reverence for him that was and still is felt emotionally by his former players. With the help of former players, assistant coaches and Coach Schmidt himself, we recounted his journey in nearly 15,000 words. Coach Schmidt is Concordia’s Godfather of Basketball. To read a detailed look at Coach Schmidt’s journey, click HERE.

Fall All-GPAC teams announced: All-conference teams for fall sports have been announced by the GPAC. Click the links below to find out which individuals from Concordia athletic teams were honored.
--Cross Country
--Men’s Soccer
--Women’s Soccer

Shooting Sports wraps up fall while qualifying four more individuals for nationals: As a wrap up to the fall portion of the 2022-23 schedule, the Concordia University Shooting Sports program traveled its entire roster of 25 to the 2022 North Central Region Qualifier held in the Wichita, Kan., area, Nov. 4-6. Most significantly, the Bulldogs added four national qualifiers (qualified across all events) to their season tally that now numbers 18 strong. They also placed fifth high overall out of a large field of 18 teams, each tasked with testing their skills in trap, skeet and sporting clays. The three days of competition were held at Ark Valley Gun Club and Shady Creek Sporting Clays. Head Coach Dylan Owens entered his athletes into seven events throughout the fall 2022 season. Concordia will go into winter training mode before gearing up for the spring semester when the national championships are contested. The brand-new national qualifiers were Kaylee Hinton, Monica Reed, Steven Schmidt and Katie Welker, courtesy of their efforts in Wichita. Concordia’s top five overall shooters cracked a combined 1,375 targets towards the team scoring. That total put the Bulldogs behind Fort Hays State University (1,425), Lindenwood University (1,408), Midland University (1,400) and Schreiner University (1,384). Of those opponents, only Midland will compete within the same division for the 2023 national championships. By discipline, Concordia placed tied for fourth in skeet (488), fourth in sporting clays (435) and sixth in trap (487). For more on the Concordia Shooting Sports program, click HERE.

Weightlifting makes big gains, qualifies four individuals for nationals: The second competition in the history of Concordia University Weightlifting occurred on Saturday, Nov. 5 as six Bulldogs represented the program at the Midwest Regionals at the Fieldhouse in Iowa City, Iowa. Among the highlights, four Concordia lifters qualified for the national championships and the team was successful on 86 percent of its attempts. The Bulldogs went up against athletes from host University of Iowa, Lindenwood University (Mo.), MidAmerica Nazarene University (Kan.) and Central College (Iowa). The Midwest Regionals featured a total of 71 competitors on what was a large-scale weekend of regional events around the country in the sport of collegiate weightlifting. Each athlete was tasked with attempting three snatches and three clean and jerks with the two best marks making up the individual’s total score. Mary Berris (Windsor, Colo.), Rylee Kara (Osseo, Minn.), Kaleigh Maloney (Nampa, Idaho) and Mitch Myers (Lakeville, Minn.) each emerged as national qualifiers while starring in their respective weight classes. Bulldog powerlifting athletes will compete at their own Midwest Regionals this Saturday and Sunday at William Jewell University (Mo.). For more details on the program, click HERE.

Baseball team rife with offensive talent, increased pitching depth heading into 2023: Despite some injuries, the fall practice season only confirmed the high expectations the Concordia Baseball program has for the 2023 season. The offense is loaded with proven performers and the depth of the pitching staff has increased from a year ago. The Bulldogs are ranked No. 21 in the NAIA preseason poll. Said Head Coach Ryan Dupic, “We’re getting some acknowledgement on the national level, but I still don’t think we’re someone people look at as a legitimate national championship contender or anything like that. We still have a little bit of an underdog role in some scopes of the national landscape and we’re maybe a little bit more of a favorite locally and regionally. It’s kind of fun. We get to play both components a little bit.” For a fall update on the baseball program, click HERE.

Softball program begins to take shape under Culler’s leadership: Bright and early this fall, the Concordia University Softball program began to take a new shape under the direction of Head Coach Brock Culler, who spent 10 seasons leading the Grand Island Central Catholic High School softball team. In other words, the adjustment phase is well underway as the Bulldogs work towards forming what their identity will be in the spring of 2023. Said Culler, “When I stepped on campus for the first time, I was sold on it. I love the people here. I tell my wife, I get to go to work every day surrounded by people who are working their dream jobs. The energy level here is great. I feed off that and I love it. I love that high energy, wanting to win and that goal-oriented environment. I love the atmosphere here at Concordia.” For a fall update on the softball program, click HERE.

Bulldog Coaches Show airs every Thursday at 5:30 p.m. CT: The Bulldog Coaches Show is underway in its eighth 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 2022-23 season, Bulldog football, men’s and women’s basketball and volleyball contests will be aired live on Max Country. Parker Cyza serves as the host of the coaches’ show as well as the play-by-play voice for football and basketball. Frank Greene is in his eighth season calling Concordia volleyball.

Concordia Sports Network: Live webcasts for most home varsity contests can be accessed by visiting https://www.cune.edu/athletics/watch-bulldogs at game time. Beginning in 2019-20, Concordia Athletics partnered with PrestoSports for live video and statistical streaming. Live webcast links for away contests are publicized in sport specific releases that preview action for that particular week. Scrimmages, exhibitions and junior varsity events are not broadcasted.


Men’s Soccer

·        Perhaps the greatest season in program history was made even sweeter last week as the Bulldogs celebrated a GPAC tournament title on the home turf of rival Hastings. In last week’s GPAC tournament action, Concordia defeated Dordt, 1-0, in the semifinals on Nov. 8 before coming back to tie No. 23 Hastings, 2-2, at the conclusion of 110 minutes in the championship game on Nov. 11. The tie necessitated a penalty kick shootout that the Bulldogs won, 4-2. Head Coach Jason Weides’ squad will enter the national tournament at 15-2-3 overall. For more information on Concordia Men’s Soccer, click HERE.

·        Weides has led the Bulldogs to the GPAC tournament final four times (2015, 2016, 2017 and 2022). In each case, Concordia has played at Hastings. The results in previous championships were a 1-0 win in 2015, a 3-1 loss in 2016 and a 2-1 defeat in 2017. The Bulldogs are back on the mountaintop thanks to last week’s gritty effort. Concordia trailed 2-0 at halftime before erasing that deficit with a goal apiece from Adrian Wambua (52’) and Carlos Orquiz (84’). The Bulldogs managed to hoist the trophy and banner despite being outshot by the Broncos, 35-8. In the PK shootout, successful Concordia tries came from Victor Meneses, Joao Pedro Verissimo, Carlos Orquiz and Matt Schultz. In round four of PK’s, Federico Simonetti made a save to clinch the championship for the Bulldogs.

·        Many of the veteran players on the roster were part of the turnaround from a mediocre 2021 season (8-7-3 overall record) into a championship campaign in 2022. The transformation saw the Bulldogs go from losing many of the close ones last fall to triumphing in those same situations in 2022. Among the accomplishments this season, the ’22 team has posted the second most wins in a season in school history (15), went 9-0-1 at home, placed second in the GPAC regular season and won the conference tournament title. In addition, Concordia will carry a 12-game unbeaten streak (9-0-3) into the national tournament.

·        The 1-0 victory over Dordt marked the 150th in the coaching career of Weides, who was hired as the program’s head coach prior to the 2008 season. Weides has now led the program to two GPAC tournament titles and to two national tournament berths. Over the years, the Bulldogs have been remarkably consistent in claiming at least 10 wins in 11 of the past 12 seasons. In 15 years as head coach, Weides currently owns an overall record of 150-103-33, making him the winningest soccer coach in school history.

·        On Monday, all-conference honors were handed out. Eight Concordia players earned some form of All-GPAC recognition. First team accolades went to Dominic Abdel-Ahad, Max Bisinger and Carlos Orquiz while second team honors were grabbed by Martin Herrera, Matt Schultz, Isaiah Shaddick and Ryan Wokutch. In addition, keeper Gabriel Mendoza garnered honorable mention. Abdel-Ahad has led the team with 12 goals while Orquiz has broken program records for assists in a season (12) and in a career (21). Their combined efforts have helped the Bulldogs outscore their opponents, 51-18, over 20 games.

·        As announced on Monday, Concordia will be headed to Winona Lake, Ind., and will play ninth-ranked Keiser University (Fla.) at 6 p.m. CT/7 p.m. ET on Thursday in the first round of the 2022 NAIA Men’s Soccer National Championship. In the program’s only previous trip to the national tournament, the Bulldogs were defeated by No. 2 Oklahoma Wesleyan University, 3-0, in 2015. Should Concordia win on Thursday, it would play either site host Grace College (Ind.) or Lindsey Wilson (Ky.) at 12 p.m. CT/1 p.m. ET in the second round on Saturday. The 10 teams that emerge from the first/second round sites will advance to the final site, Decatur, Ala., for action that will begin on Nov. 29.



·        With another shot at a title in the postseason, the fourth-ranked Bulldogs made their way to the GPAC tournament championship match during last week’s action. Concordia got over the hump against No. 3 Midland in the semifinals and defeated the Warriors, 26-24, 17-25, 21-25, 25-18, 15-10, in Fremont on Nov. 9. Three days later, after the long trip north, the Bulldogs fell at No. 2 Jamestown, 25-21, 19-25, 20-25, 17-25, in the championship match. As a runner up to the Jimmies, Concordia earned one of the GPAC’s two automatic bids to the national tournament. Head Coach Ben Boldt’s squad will enter nationals at 23-5 overall. For more information on Concordia Volleyball, click HERE.

·        The GPAC postseason run also included a straight-sets home win over No. 12 College of Saint Mary. In the semifinals, Gabi Nordaker ruled the match at Midland as she posted 16 kills and 13 digs and hit .593 from the middle. Three other Bulldogs notched at least 10 kills in the victory: Camryn Opfer (15), Carly Rodaway (12) and Ashley Keck (11). Opfer added 14 digs while Rebecca Gebhardt supplied 21 digs. The team’s 20 blocks (compared to 13 for the Warriors) jumped off the page. Rodaway contributed to 10 blocks while routinely teaming up with Nordaker to stuff Midland. Concordia outhit the Warriors, .219 to .188, as Bree Burtwistle recorded 54 assists.

·        Jamestown has had the Bulldogs’ number. Concordia lost despite taking the first set, 25-21, after having trailed by scores of 14-7 and 20-15. The Bulldogs rattled off 10 of the final 11 points in the opening set with the help of three kills from Opfer during that stretch. Concordia then struggled to contain the Jimmie trio of Kalli Hegerle, Anna Holen and Lexi Olson. Jamestown outhit the Bulldogs, .263 to .171, while blocking was even, 6-6. Opfer paced the Bulldogs with 13 kills while Keck added 10. Rebecca Gebhardt put 21 more digs (and two aces) and Burtwistle chipped in with 42 assists and 13 digs. Jamestown has now won four straight GPAC tournament titles.

·        Opfer has made her way into the top five of the Concordia program’s all-time kills list. With a combined 28 kills last week, Opfer has pushed her career total to 1,227. That figure ranks behind only four other past Bulldogs: Becky Ernstmeyer (1,740), Katie Werner (1,600), Paige Getz (1,331) and Rachel Kirchner (1,315). Opfer also ranks sixth on the program’s all-time digs list with 1,277. Meanwhile, Nordaker (career numbers of 861 kills and 329 blocks) is creeping up on the top five for blocks – No. 5 on the school’s list is Renee Vopat with 373 blocks. Another member of the rock-solid senior class like Opfer, Kalee Wiltfong owns 742 career kills.

·        Following the semifinal victory at Midland, Concordia players acknowledged the 100th victory for Ben and Angie Boldt as leaders of the program. The Boldts took over prior to the start of the 2018 season and have proceeded to lead the Bulldogs to season-by-season win totals of 15, 25, 18, 19 and 23, respectively. From a national perspective, Concordia has never been in a more prominent position. The current NAIA national ranking of No. 4 is a program all-time high. It’s a continuation of successful seasons that have seen the Bulldogs finish with national rankings of 14th in 2019, eighth in 2020 and sixth in 2021.

·        Following the trip to Jamestown, Concordia can take a bit of a breather knowing it will get to stay at home for the opening round of the 2022 NAIA National Championships. As announced on Monday, the Bulldogs will host Florida College at 1 p.m. CT on Saturday in the opening round. At stake will be a spot at the final site of the national tournament, held at the Tyson Events Center in Sioux City, Iowa. The 24 winners of the opening rounds all earn the right to compete in pool play that will begin in Sioux City on Nov. 30.


·        The 2022 season has come to a conclusion after the Bulldogs hosted top-ranked Morningside on Nov. 12 in their finale. Like all other teams in the GPAC, Concordia was unable to keep up with the potent Mustangs, who ran their record to a perfect 10-0 while celebrating their 12th GPAC championship in a row. Behind star running back Ryan Cole, Morningside rolled to a 55-18 victory inside Bulldog Stadium. That result left Head Coach Patrick Daberkow’s squad with a final record of 4-6 (tied for sixth in the GPAC). For more information on Concordia Football, click HERE.

·        The two close defeats to begin the year had a lot to do with the Bulldogs falling short of earning back-to-back winning seasons (7-3 record in 2021). Concordia suffered defeats by scores of 12-10 at Doane on Sept. 3 and then let a two-score lead slip away in a 21-17 home loss to Hastings on Sept. 17. The Bulldogs also lost by a single point, 29-28, at the hands of Dordt on Oct. 22. The top five in the league standings are Morningside (10-0), Northwestern (9-1), Midland (7-3), Dordt (7-3) and Hastings (6-4). Concordia’s four wins in 2022 came against Briar Cliff, Dakota Wesleyan, Jamestown and Mount Marty.

·        While the below .500 record fell short of expectations, the Bulldogs believe they have formed an identity that can suit them well moving into 2023. With DJ McGarvie at the controls, the ’22 Concordia team became the most prolific pass offense in school history. The Bulldogs broke team records season records for total offense per game (407.5), overall passing yards (2,817), passing yards per game (281.7), completions (252) and passing attempts (444). Individually, McGarvie broke school season passing records for yards (2,553), completions (229) and attempts (388). McGarvie also threw for 18 touchdowns (rushed for two) while throwing only six interceptions. His 458 passing yards versus Dordt were a program single game record.

·        Korrell Koelmoos played his 48th and final collegiate game this past Saturday. He was on the other end of many of the throws made by McGarvie. Koehlmoos will leave Concordia with school records for career receptions (221) and career receiving yards (2,894). This fall, Koehlmoos also set new program single season standards across the board as he caught 95 passes for 1,024 yards and 12 touchdowns. At the close of the regular season, Koehlmoos owns 2022 NAIA national rankings of second in receptions, seventh in receiving yards and seventh in receiving yards. Koehlmoos has also served as the team’s punter the past two seasons and has amassed 4,655 all-purpose yards in his career.

·        McGarvie has had weapons beyond Koehlmoos in the passing game. In the season finale, Carsen Arline caught a career high 12 receptions, one of which was a 14-yard touchdown connection from McGarvie. Arline finished this season with 40 grabs for 409 yards and touchdown. At tight end, Luke Lang reeled in 39 catches for 593 yards and five touchdowns. A do-it-all athlete, Austin Jablonski caught 36 passes for 483 yards and three touchdowns while also running for 222 yards and three scores. Devin Zeigler led the team in rushing with 586 yards and four touchdowns on 145 carries.

·        Defensively, the Bulldogs allowed averages of 25.3 points and 369.4 yards per game in 2022. It wasn’t easy replacing the likes of Lane Napier and Caydren Cox from the 2021 defense, but Concordia put things together and had a respectable unit. This year’s leaders by category included Michael Grindey in tackles (92), Devon Polley in tackles for loss (15) and sacks (six), Isiaha Conner in interceptions (four) and Jayzen Armstrong in pass breakups (10). Armstrong came away with two picks in last week’s game. Five Bulldogs other than Grindey notched at least 50 tackles on the year: Gabe Knisley (76), Kam Baker (68), Kyle Sterup (53), Conner (53) and Nick Leader (50).

·        Morningside and Northwestern will represent the GPAC in the NAIA playoffs, as announced on Sunday by the NAIA. Meanwhile, Concordia will go into offseason mode while preparing for what should be a promising 2023 season. The program celebrated only 12 seniors this past Saturday and figures to bring back a team capable of producing a winning record once again. McGarvie is just beginning to rewrite the program’s record book. Meanwhile, the defense will have a more experienced bunch.


Cross Country

·        Some good news broke in the evening of Nov. 8 when it was announced that the Concordia women’s team had been rewarded with the very last at-large selection into the 2022 NAIA Cross Country National Championships. In addition, Camden Sesna was officially named an individual national qualifier on the men’s side. Those announcements came just a few days after the Bulldogs emerged with place finishes of second on the men’s side and third on the women’s side at the conference championships. The men’s team earned its highest conference place finish since 2012 while the women just missed out on the auto bid to nationals. Dordt captured team titles on both sides. Five individuals earned all-conference honors from Head Coach Matt Beisel’s squads. For more information on Concordia Cross Country, click HERE.

·        Since Beisel took over the program beginning with the 2016 season, the Bulldog men had placed as high as fourth in the GPAC (in both 2018 and 2021). The breakthrough this fall marked Concordia’s best conference placement on the men’s side since the 2012 team won the GPAC title behind individual champion Colin Morrissey. The 2022 Concordia men (86 points) were able to edge out Dakota Wesleyan (87) and Doane (92) for second place. Meanwhile, the women (75 points) had hoped to place second. They wound up behind Dordt (33) and Hastings (64) in the team race. The third-place claim was a two-spot jump from 2021 and the program’s best finish since winning the conference in 2019.

·        Had the women missed out on a team nationals berth, the program still would have sent Kylahn Freiberg and Julie McIntyre as individual qualifiers. Sesna finished fifth on the men’s side of the GPAC championships while Freiberg placed eighth and McIntyre 14th on the women’s side. Sesna has qualified for nationals for the second year in a row. Freiberg also ran at nationals in 2019 when Concordia placed 12th nationally as a team. The one other runner on the women’s team with previous experience at the national meet is Amie Martin, who was also a member of the ’19 squad.

·        With his 8k time of 25:46.15 at the conference meet, Sesna was roughly 17 seconds off the individual GPAC champion from Dordt. As the team’s No. 2 Calvin Rohde gutted out a time of 26:21.70 and earned all-conference accolades for the second year in a row. Jack Ellis cracked the top 20 (18th) in the field of 84 runners with his time of 26:45.49. The team’s four through seven spots were a tight pack that included Aaron Jendro (27:41.43), Jimmy Nguyen (27:46.29), Charlie Hayden (27:53.22) and Nathan Pennekamp (27:57.99). In addition to defeating Dakota Wesleyan and Doane, the Bulldogs outran Northwestern (fifth), Mount Marty (sixth), Midland (seventh), Hastings (eighth), Morningside (ninth), Jamestown (10th) and Briar Cliff (11th).

·        The Concordia women were led by three individuals who placed in all-conference territory in Kylahn Freiberg (eighth), Julie McIntyre (14th) and Rylee Haecker (15th). Both Freiberg and Haecker have earned All-GPAC awards for the second time in their careers. A 2021 national qualifier and five-time All-American in track, Haecker fought her way to the finish and was seven seconds behind McIntyre. A transfer from Trinity Christian College, McIntyre has enjoyed a phenomenal season as a Bulldog and finished the 5k in 19:33.86. The rest of Concordia’s top five at the conference meet included Hannah Beintema (19:50.75) and Rhaya Kaschinske (20:05.03). As a team, the Bulldogs beat out Northwestern (fourth), Morningside (fifth), College of Saint Mary (sixth), Doane (seventh), Mount Marty (eighth), Midland (ninth), Jamestown (10th), Briar Cliff (11th) and Dakota Wesleyan (12th).

·        The 2022 NAIA Cross Country National Championships will take place on Friday with Apalachee Regional Park in Tallahassee, Fla., serving as the host location. The national meet moves to Florida after it had alternated between Fort Vancouver, Wash., and Cedar Rapids, Iowa, in recent years. More details on the national meet can be found HERE. The most recent All-American for Concordia Cross Country was Sarah Kortze, who placed 14th at the 2012 national meet.


·        The Bulldogs are now two weeks into the 2022-23 season, which has included two tournaments and two duals to date. Concordia moved its GPAC dual record to 2-0 after it defeated Hastings, 36-10, in action that took place in Hastings, Neb., on Nov. 10. Two days later, the Bulldogs traveled 10 wrestlers to Grimes, Iowa, for the Grand View Open and combined for 13 wins while up against top notch competition. Head Coach Chase Clasen’s squad also owns a dual win over Midland. For more on Concordia Wrestling, click HERE.

·        The Bulldogs won seven of the 10 matches, including four that were contested, in last week’s dual at Hastings. Both Issiah Burks (165) and Stephen Duffy (184) earned pins while Christian Baughman (141) and Tommy Wentz (157) came away with victories via decision. The win for Burks was particularly noteworthy in that he defeated Jake Patterson, who was ranked No. 23 in the NAIA at 157 pounds. Concordia also had the benefit of Hastings forfeiting the 125, 133 and 197 weight classes. It added up the Bulldogs avenging last season’s 29-17 home dual loss to Hastings, which has a first-year head coach in 2022-23.

·        Jack Hedke (285), Garret Moser (197) and Thomas Ivey (133) produced three victories apiece while taking part in the freshman/sophomore brackets of the Grand View Open. Bulldogs in the open brackets at Grand View included NAIA 12th-ranked Creighton Baughman at 141, Issiah Burks at 165, Jose Sanchez at 174 and Stephen Duffy at 285. Each of them went 0-2 on the day, but there were a number of close calls. Baughman dropped a 6-5 decision to Jordan Mitchell of Life University (Ga.) and then was beaten in sudden victory, 6-4, by 18th-ranked Austin Kolvek of Ottawa University (Kan.). As for Burks, he also was clipped twice by decision – 4-3 to Joel Romero (unattached) and 8-3 to No. 15 Joey Hancock of Baker University (Kan.). Both Baughman and Burks are 2-0 this season in conference dual action.

·        At 133 pounds, the York, Neb., native Ivey got on a roll after a 3-1 loss in the first round of the tournament. He proceeded to notch a win by major decision, 11-1, over Lindsey Wilson (Ky.)’s Garrett Koestel before pulling out two triumphs by decision. His day ended with a loss via fall. As for Moser at 197, he took home two victories over NAIA foes and Hedke (285) defeated an NAIA opponent and two junior college combatants. A promising freshman out of Lincoln Lutheran High School, Wells collected two wins by decision before his day concluded in round four of the 125-pound consolation bracket. At 157, Tommy Wentz pinned Missouri Valley’s Hugo Perez and Iowa Central’s Joseph Cruz as part of a 2-2 tournament. Lastly, Henry Gaertner competed at 141 and was defeated in his two matches.

·        Through two weeks of the season, the following Bulldogs have won at least two matches: Garret Moser (4-2), Grant Wells (4-2), Jack Hedke (4-3), Thomas Ivey (4-3), Tommy Wentz (3-3), Creighton Baughman (2-2), Issiah Burks (2-2) and Stephen Duffy (2-2). A native of Kenesaw, Neb., Duffy was on the Concordia roster in 2018-19 before leaving and returning this season. He notched pins in the duals against both Midland and Hastings. Burks has also dominated in dual action having won by major decision and pin. In addition, Baughman is 2-0 in GPAC duals.

·        There will be no duals this week as Concordia looks forward to competing at the University of Nebraska-Kearney Open on Saturday. Wrestling is set to begin at 9 a.m. CT from Kearney. The Bulldogs will engage in two GPAC duals in Sioux City, Iowa, next Tuesday, Nov. 22.

Men’s Basketball

·        After going 2-0 at the 23rd annual Cattle Classic, the Bulldogs waited a week before returning to action with the GPAC opener this past Saturday (Nov. 12). The final score may have raised some eyebrows as Concordia walloped 24th-ranked Briar Cliff, 78-58, in Sioux City, Iowa. The result was a complete reversal from what occurred a year earlier in Sioux City when the Chargers won, 65-48. Head Coach Ben Limback’s squad now stands at 3-0 overall (1-0 GPAC) as it begins its defense of last season’s GPAC championship. For more information on Concordia Men’s Basketball, click HERE.

·        By the 14:47 mark of the first half, the Bulldogs had already built a double-digit lead at Briar Cliff. The lead remained in double figures the rest of the way and ballooned to as large as 30 points (70-40) midway through the second half. In the paint, Gage Smith set the tone for the game. He tallied 21 points and 16 rebounds. As a team, Concordia owned the glass, 48-27, while up against a Charger squad that returned four starters. Three other Bulldogs scored in double figures: Noah Schutte (17), Tristan Smith (13) and AJ Watson (13). Both Schutte (eight rebounds) and Tristan Smith (nine rebounds) just missed double-doubles. Joel Baker led the bench with seven points.

·        Gage Smith’s 21 points pushed him over 1,000 for his career. He’s now the 34th player in the history of Concordia Men’s Basketball to reach that mark. A native of Elizabeth, Colo., Gage has improved significantly over the course of his career. His point totals by season have been 46, 121, 361, 438 and 38 (for a cumulative of 1,004). Gage earned First Team All-GPAC honors last season when he averaged 13.7 points and 7.9 rebounds per game. So far this season, Gage is averaging 12.7 points and 13.7 rebounds while running his career rebound total to 675 (ninth most in school history).

·        No one will be shocked if Schutte winds up leading this team in scoring. The Laurel, Neb., native broke out in 2021-22 when he averaged 13.9 points per game and was named to the NAIA Men’s Basketball National Championship All-Tournament Team. Through three games this season, Schutte has posted respective point totals of 18, 26 and 17 while going 20-for-26 (.769) from the floor and 16-for-18 (.889) from the foul line. Schutte has totaled 595 points in his collegiate career, which followed a high school career that saw him surpass both 2,000 points and 1,000 rebounds at Laurel-Concord-Coleridge.

·        Through three games this season, the Bulldogs are averaging 84.0 points per game while allowing 64.0. They are also shooting percentages of 48.9 from the field, 34.5 from 3-point range and 67.1 from the free throw line. Conversely, opponents are shooting 38.6 percent from the field, 20.3 percent from beyond the arc and 63.2 percent from the foul line. Four Concordia players are averaging double figures in scoring: Schutte (20.3), Tristan Smith (14.3), Gage Smith (12.7) and Brad Bennett (11.7). Watson is close at 8.0 points per game (in addition to a team high 5.7 assists per game).

·        This week will bring two challenges within league play. Concordia will host Midland (4-2, 0-0 GPAC) at 7:45 p.m. CT on Wednesday and then travel to Sioux Center, Iowa, to take on Dordt (5-0, 0-0 GPAC) at 3:45 p.m. CT on Saturday. The Bulldogs own a 22-game home win streak dating back to the end of the 2020-21 season.

Women’s Basketball

·        The Bulldogs went 2-0 at the Cattle Classic (Nov. 4-5) and then waited a week before returning to action for the tipoff to conference play. Concordia found itself playing catchup the entire afternoon in what amounted to an 87-76 loss at Briar Cliff on Nov. 12. The Chargers present a significant challenge with a starting five full of players who earned all-conference recognition last season. Head Coach Drew Olson’s squad stands at 2-1 overall (0-1 GPAC) heading into the first full week of league action. For more information on Concordia Women’s Basketball, click HERE.

·        The Bulldogs never truly recovered after they trailed, 19-8, at the close of the first quarter at Briar Cliff. Behind 23 points from Kennedy Benne and 21 from Konnor Sudmann, the Chargers built a lead as large as 18 midway through the third quarter. Concordia fought back admirably and got within six (65-59) after Taysha Rushton made two free throws with 7:19 left in the contest. The Bulldogs couldn’t get enough stops down the stretch as Briar Cliff shot 52.8 percent from the floor. Concordia hung in the game with the help of 11 treys. Rushton finished with a team high 23 points while Sadie Powell added 16, Kendal Brigham contributed 11 and Mackenzie Toomey notched 10.

·        Rushton entered last week’s game needing eight points to reach 1,000 for her collegiate career. Rushton now stands at 1,015, making her the 31st player in program history to join the 1,000-point club. The native of Midland, Texas, averaged 14.4 points (445 total points) in 2020-21, 17.7 points (514 total points) in 2021-22 and 18.7 points (56 total points) so far in 2022-23. Rushton was named First Team All-GPAC in each of her first two seasons and was also recognized as an NAIA Honorable Mention All-American in 2021-22. Rushton’s high for a single game was 32 versus Bellevue last season.

·        Rushton and her fellow third-year classmates will be key to what becomes of this season. The team’s top four scorers are each from that group: Rushton (18.7), Brigham (10.3), Powell (9.3) and Toomey (9.0). There are high hopes for the Cedar Rapids, Iowa, native Powell, who averaged 9.4 points and 4.7 rebounds last season (30 games, 12 starts). Brigham may be as good of a shooter as any on the team. She nailed 34-of-91 (.374) 3-point tries last season and is 4-for-12 from long range to begin this season. As for Toomey, she’s one of the team’s top defensive players in the backcourt.

·        Through three games, Concordia is averaging 73.7 points and allowing 66.7 points per game. The Bulldogs have posted shooting percentages of 37.5 from the field, 30.8 from 3-point range and 76.6 from the free throw line. Conversely, opponents have shot 39.9 percent from the field, 31.6 percent from beyond the arc and 70.6 percent from the foul line. Concordia has had a major advantage in turnovers with a +12.0 margin/game. The Bulldogs are turning it over only 8.3 times per game.

Two league games are coming this week. Up first, Concordia will host Midland (2-2, 0-0 GPAC) at 6 p.m. CT on Wednesday. The Bulldogs will then be back on the road on Saturday for a 2 p.m. tipoff at No. 15 Dordt (5-0, 0-0 GPAC), the 2022 NAIA national runner up.