SEWARD, Neb. – The first home appearance of the 2018-19 Concordia University wrestling season lasted exactly 24 minutes. A dual that featured six forfeits and three pins culminated with the Bulldogs taking a 51-6 victory over visiting Benedictine College (Kan.) on Friday (Dec. 7). Concordia won three of the four contested bouts.
First-year head coach Levi Calhoun’s squad has moved to 3-0 in dual action. Friday marked the team’s first outing since appearing at the University of Nebraska-Kearney Open on Nov. 17.
“Our guys who wrestled came out and competed. That’s all we ask for,” Calhoun said. “Obviously the one we lost didn’t go the way we wanted. (Alberto Garcia) bumped up a weight class. He has some things to fix. He’s a talented wrestler. I’m happy with the other guys who went out and competed hard and got the wins.”
At 165 pounds, senior Chucky Hedrick made a successful return to the lineup after offseason surgery kept him out until Friday. He caught his opponent Jensen McDermott in a cradle and wiped him out after 4:05 had elapsed in the match. The native of Winston-Salem, N.C., had led 4-1 at the time of the pin.
“I just wanted to put out for the crowd and my friends,” Hedrick said. “I’ve worked hard. My family couldn’t be here tonight, but I wanted to work hard and show them that I love them by always competing hard. I try to always wrestle to my strengths and show the coaches that I trust the training.”
The quickest of the contested matches came at 197 where sophomore Tyler Jorgensen nailed James Schafer to the mat in just 51 seconds. Jorgensen gave his foe no room to breathe. He took him down and recorded two near fall points before closing the deal. The other Bulldog win was delivered by Darrin Miller in sudden victory, 8-6, at 184. In the only real drama of the night, Miller let a third-period lead slip away before ending the match with a takedown.
The night did not turn out the way Garcia would have scripted it in his first match since winning the 133-pound title of the elite division at the UNK Open. Garcia was upset by the Ravens’ Alex Gomez, who stunned the Walz Arena crowd with a pin that came just before the first period buzzer.
Forfeit victories were claimed by Bulldogs Dakota Brace (125), Mario Ybarra (133), Cameron Devers (149), Jason Watkins (157), Deandre Chery (174) and Michael Stann (285). Chery and Stann top Concordia this season with 16 wins apiece.
Select members of the program will be in action Saturday at the Doane University Open. Action from Crete is set to get underway at 9 a.m. CT. Concordia will then conclude its pre-Christmas schedule by traveling to the GPAC/Cascade Duals in Chandler, Ariz., on Dec. 16.
“Tomorrow is going to be a tough tournament,” Calhoun said. “The top-ranked team in the country is going to be there and a lot of top JUCOs. We’ll be able to measure where we’re at. We will expect relentless effort and for guys to compete all seven minutes.”