MITCHELL, S.D. – In action for the first time since Oct. 31, the Concordia University Wrestling team opened up the GPAC dual schedule in dominant fashion. The Bulldogs triumphed in eight of 10 matches while rolling host Dakota Wesleyan, 34-6, in Mitchell, S.D., on Friday (Nov. 13) night. Concordia freshman Mason Garcia (197) recorded the lone pin of the evening.
Third-year Head Coach Levi Calhoun’s squad effectively rebounded from its nonconference loss at York College back on Oct. 30. The defending GPAC champion Bulldogs have won nine-straight GPAC duals.
“TJ Huber really got us started with a dominant win,” Calhoun said. “He controlled the match the whole time. That’s really what we wanted. We wanted our guys to go out with confidence. Obviously our first dual didn’t go well. It’s nice to get that dual win and first GPAC win. We’re excited to build off it.”
Out of its eight wins, Concordia earned one by pin, one by major decision, four by decision and two via forfeit (125 and 149). A native of Arroyo Grande, Calif., Garcia has started his collegiate career quite impressively having run his record to 5-1 with four pins. On Friday, Garcia nailed Carter Max to the mat after 5:36 had elapsed.
The dual got going at 174 pounds where Huber picked up a 7-3 decision for the Bulldogs. After dropping the 184-pound bout, Concordia then took care of the next seven matches while sewing up the team victory. Just tagged with the No. 3 national ranking at 133 pounds earlier in the day, junior Mario Ybarra found himself in a battle with Darien Malone. Ybarra managed to hold Malone off, 3-2, with the help of a second-period takedown.
At 157, Bulldog junior Issiah Burks manhandled Mitchell Messersmith by a 9-0 major decision that featured four near-fall points. Additional Concordia victories by decision were delivered by freshmen Jeaven Scdoris (141) and Jacob Telles (285). A state champion at Milford High School, Scdoris picked up back points after almost pinning Jared Harris. In the premier matchup of the night, in terms of national rankings, Dakota Wesleyan’s 11th-ranked Marcus Urban defeated 14th-ranked Gabe Crawford, 5-3, at 165, wrapping up the dual.
Said Calhoun, “Mason wrestled well in every position. Getting the pin was big for us and kept the momentum going. Issiah Burks also wrestled really well. It was good to see one of our leaders go out and perform like that.”
Not only have the Bulldogs won nine GPAC duals in a row, they are a combined 42-4 in conference duals since the start of the 2014-15 season. In the conference ratings released this week, Concordia appeared at No. 3 behind Doane and Briar Cliff.
The Bulldogs will wait until Dec. 3 for their next conference dual. However, a group of about 14 Concordia grapplers will hit the mats again on Saturday for the Dakota Wesleyan Open. Action is slated to begin at 9 am. CT from Mitchell.