ORANGE CITY, Iowa – In its first duals since Dec. 19, the Concordia University Wrestling team took on a GPAC opponent and two nonconference foes as part of an extended stay in Orange City, Iowa, on Saturday (Jan. 16). The Bulldogs were defeated by Northwestern, 28-12, and by Dickinson State University (N.D.), 22-15, before finishing the day with a 42-18 win over Waldorf University (Iowa). All duals were contested inside the Bultman Center on Northwestern’s campus.
Head Coach Levi Calhoun’s squad owns dual records of 4-7 overall and 2-2 in the GPAC. Concordia managed through the day on Saturday without a fully stocked lineup.
“Being down a few guys do to forces out of our control, I was still proud of the way our guys wrestled,” Calhoun said. “It’s tough to win a dual when you’re giving up some weights. I was happy with the way we wrestled and how hard we wrestled, but we want to go 3-0, not 1-2. We know we have to get better, stay healthy and continue to improve.”
The first dual of the day carried the most significance in that it counted towards the GPAC standings. Red hot Issiah Burks came through with a second period pin at 157 to get the Bulldogs on the board. Senior Gabe Crawford (165) and Jacob Telles (285) also earned wins by decision while continuing strong seasons. By day’s end, Telles pushed his team leading win total to 23 on the season. However, Concordia dropped contested bouts to the Red Raiders at 141, 174, 184 and 197.
On another day, the Bulldogs may have knocked off Dickinson State, but the lineup absences were a limiting factor. Concordia actually won four of the seven contested matches via Jeaven Scdoris (major decision at 141), Jose Sanchez (decision at 157), Crawford (decision at 165) and Mason Garcia (technical fall at 197). The Bulldogs still had a shot at the team win going into the heavyweight match, where the Blue Hawks squeaked out a 4-2 decision.
Anyone who blinked may have missed the dual with Waldorf, which was full of pins and forfeits. Concordia won handily as pins were secured by Sanchez (157), TJ Huber (184) and Telles (285). The only Warrior victories occurred via forfeit. By the time the dual versus Waldorf concluded, the Bulldogs had claimed wins in 14 individual matches.
Concordia wrestlers with two wins apiece on Saturday included Burks (2-0), Crawford (2-0), Garcia (2-1), Sanchez (2-0), Scdoris (2-1) and Telles (2-1). Burks has won seven matches in a row and is 19-6 overall. Absent from the lineup was the team’s most highly rated competitor, Mario Ybarra (ranked seventh in the NAIA at 133). Ybarra will be expected back the next time out.
The Bulldogs will have another break in the schedule due to the Missouri Valley Invite (originally scheduled for Jan. 22-23) being canceled. That means the GPAC Duals on Jan. 30 are up next. The major conference event will take place in Jamestown, N.D.
Said Calhoun, “We’re going to take some time to recover and work on some little things. The matches we lost, for the most part, were lost with little mistakes. It wasn’t that we were outclassed in those matches, we made some mistakes. We’ll watch film and continue to work with each guy individually so that we can win those matches the next time around.”