McIntyre, 13th-ranked Bulldogs dominate Northwest Tech

By Jacob Knabel on Dec. 9, 2016 in Wrestling

SEWARD, Neb. – This was more like the dominant GPAC powerhouse Concordia University wrestling team we have come to expect. While playing host for the first time in the 2016-17 season, the 13th-ranked Bulldogs won eight of 10 matches, including six that came with bonus points as part of a 38-8 win over Northwest Kansas Technical College on Friday night.

First-year head Andrew Nicola’s squad remains undefeated in duals at 3-0. The latest win proved much more decisive than last week’s 23-22 squeaker over rival Doane.

“I don’t like to dwell on the past, but I think we still had a little bit of Doane taste in our mouth this whole week of practice,” Nicola said. “This was one of those weeks where it wasn’t just great practice. The camaraderie in the room was great, too. We prepared hard. We expected this outcome. We’re going to keep working.”

Heavyweight DJ McIntyre put an exclamation mark on the victory by wiping away the National Junior College Athletic Association’s (NJCAA) third-ranked 285-pounder, Odgi Batkhishig. Leading 6-3 in the third period, McIntyre brought the house down when he took his counterpart to the mat and finished him off with 38 seconds showing on the clock.

With Ceron Francisco still out of the lineup, McIntyre’s return to the mat is essential for Concordia to be able to close out duals the way it did on Friday.

“DJ and I discussed strategy before our workout this afternoon,” Nicola said. “We knew his opponent was a freestyler. We knew he wanted to be on his feet. If there’s anyone I feel comfortable with in that situation, it’s DJ. He’s big. He’s strong. He doesn’t have any second guesses when he decides to go with it. He stuck to the game plan. That’s a big win for him.”

At 197, second-ranked Ken Burkhardt Jr. simply keeps doing his thing. He jumped out to a 10-0 lead with a takedown and eight near fall points before ending Chance Shull’s night in 2:40. It was Burkhardt Jr.’s fourth pin of the season and 98th victory of his career. He’s on the cusp of becoming the first wrestler in program history to reach 100 wins.

“I just look at it as another notch in the belt,” Burkhardt Jr. said. I’ve got bigger and better things to worry about as far as regionals and nationals. That’s my main concern. One-hundred wins is good, but there are bigger things than that.”

Other impressive victories were earned by 125-pounder Dmitri Smith (technical fall), 141-pounder Cooper Bailey (technical fall), 165-pounder Kirk Kaliszewski (technical fall) and 174-pounder Walker Fisher (pin, 2:01). In addition, ninth-ranked Kodie Cole (133) turned in an 8-5 win by decision and No. 14 Josh Nelsen defeated Turah Reed, 7-3.

The only other nationally-ranked Maverick was No. 8 Dominique Evans at 149. He toppled Kyle Carey by technical fall. Northwest Tech, ranked 17th at the NJCAA level, also got a 7-5 victory from Ryan Snow at 157 pounds.

Unofficially, the Bulldogs combined for 19 takedowns and 30 total near fall points. Smith set the tone with six takedowns and four near fall points in the night’s opening bout. Kaliszewski racked up 12 near fall points in the first period alone while up against Adrian Kois.

The Bulldogs will turn around quickly and wrestle at the Doane University Open in Crete, Neb., at 9 a.m. CT. It will mark the fifth tournament of the season for Concordia. Owner of one tournament title, Burkhardt Jr. will attempt to make history at Doane.