Bulldogs getting set to host final dual of 2019-20 season

By Jacob Knabel on Feb. 4, 2020 in Wrestling

SEWARD, Neb. – In what will be its final outing prior to the GPAC Championships, the 20th-ranked Concordia University wrestling team is readying to host Bethany College (Kan.) on Thursday. The dual will get started at 7 p.m. CT from Walz Arena, where the Bulldogs are 5-0 this season. Concordia defeated both Dakota Wesleyan and York College in a triangular last week.

Thursday’s dual will be shown live via the Concordia Sports Network. Trackwrestling will be the location for live scoring.

Head coach Levi Calhoun’s squad is currently 12-2 overall in duals (8-0 GPAC) after already celebrating the outright GPAC dual title. A win on Thursday would equal the school standard for most dual wins set by the 2015-16 team that went 13-4. The ’15-16 team actually broke a program record that had stood since 1970-71. Concordia wrestling was cut from the school’s sport offerings after the 1977-78 season before being brought back in 2009-10. The rebirth of the program has been fruitful considering it has captured GPAC regular-season titles in five of the past six seasons.

Most Dual Wins, Program History
1. 2015-16 – 13-4
2. 2019-20 – 12-2
3. 2017-18 – 11-4
4. 1970-71 – 10-3
5. 9 wins three times

New GPAC rankings were released by the NAIA on Tuesday. The Bulldogs remain the top-rated team in the conference with 183 points (Briar Cliff is second with 160 points). From an individual perspective, 11 Concordia wrestlers appear within the top six of their respective weight classes, including three that are listed No. 1: Mario Ybarra (125), Darrin Miller (184) and Tanner Farmer (285). Farmer has drawn considerable interest with his smooth transition from football to wrestling. Farmer is now 17-0 and just earned his third GPAC Wrestler of the Week award. Deandre Chery is now No. 2 at 174.

At last week’s Sioux City Dave Edmonds Open, the Bulldogs had three place finishers: Farmer (first at 285), Chery (second at 174) and Cameron Devers (third at 149). All three grapplers reached the semifinals in their respective brackets and combined for 12 victories, including five via pin. It was a nice bounce back for Chery, a two-time GPAC champion who had lost twice at the GPAC Duals on Jan. 25. Farmer went 5-0, Chery went 3-1 and Devers went 4-1 in Sioux City.

Concordia and Bethany last met in dual action on Dec. 17, 2017, at the Oklahoma City Duals. The result was a 49-6 win for the Bulldogs. On the season, the Swedes have wrestled only four duals and have dropped each of them. Bethany is also scheduled to dual Hastings on Friday. According to rankings, head coach Courtney Strauss’ top wrestler is Joshua Wilson, rated fifth in the Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference/Sooner Athletic Conference at 197 pounds.

Following Thursday’s dual, focus will shift to the conference championships that are coming up in Sioux City, Iowa, Feb. 21-22. The NAIA National Championships will take place March 6-7 in Wichita, Kan.

Probable Lineups

Concordia (12-2)
125 – Mario Ybarra (17-7)
133 – Zack Moistner (12-12)
141 – Chris Kimball (10-6)
149 – Brandon Gonzalez (3-8)
157 – Cam Devers (14-6)
165 – Gabe Crawford (13-11)
174 – Deandre Chery (14-7)
184 – Blake Castillo (16-15)
197 – Darrin Miller (13-5)
285 – Tanner Farmer (17-0)

Bethany (0-4)
125 – Taylor Holman
133 – Kaden Goff
141 – Open
149 – Jaden Evans/Sabian Dowling
157 – Isaiah Frederick
165 – Willie Webb
174 – Chase Pywell
184 – Dylan Archuleta
197 – Josh Wilson
285 – Dustin Mason/Colten Wheeler