SEWARD, Neb. – Second-year head coach Dana Vote’s wrestling program will play host for the final two times this season as GPAC duals continue this week. The 25th-ranked Bulldogs host Doane (0-6, 0-1 GPAC) at 7 p.m. on Tuesday and No. 13 Morningside (4-6, 0-0 GPAC) at 7 p.m. on Thursday.
Both duals will be webcast live via the Concordia Sports Network.
View Concordia season match-by-match results HERE.
Concordia’s four seniors will be recognized on Thursday night when Morningside visits town. An intermission will be held after the first five matches to make way for the Senior Night presentation. The team’s four seniors are Martin Dobler (Rockford, Ill.), Austin Mogg (El Reno, Okla.), Nick Sheppard (Englewood, Colo.) and Alex Stepanek (St. Paul, Neb.).
Bulldogs in duals
As a team, Concordia sports an overall dual record of 5-5 with a conference mark of 1-0. The Bulldogs hold wins over top 25 teams in No. 14 Wayland Baptist University (Texas) and No. 23 Embry-Riddle (Ariz.). All five defeats have come at the hands of squads ranked inside the nation’s top 20.
Individually, Concordia wrestlers own a record of 43-57 in the 10 dual meets. Only freshmen Ken Burkhardt Jr. (197) and Ceron Francisco (285) have been in the lineup for all 10. Burkhardt Jr. tops the Bulldogs with six dual victories. Junior Emilio Rivera has the best winning percentage with a dual record of 4-1 (.800).
Freshman Austin Fehlhafer added two more pins to his total with impressive day at the National Duals on Jan. 11. Fehlhafer, the Seward High School career record holder for wins (104) and pins (36), leads the Bulldogs with an 18-8 overall record and 14 wins via fall. The former Bluejay star holds a dual record of 5-4 and is ranked sixth in the NAIA North Region at 174 pounds.
Ten wins or more
Last week three Bulldog wrestlers reached double figures in victories on the season to become the fifth, sixth and seventh individuals to do so. The 10-win club includes Austin Fehlhafer (18-8), Emilio Rivera (14-6), Foster Bunce (11-7), Enrique Barajas (11-9), Austin Mogg (10-5), Kodie Cole (10-9) and Ken Burkhardt Jr. (10-10). Both Ceron Francisco (9-12) and Alex Stepanek (9-10) need just one more victory to reach double figures. Last season four Bulldogs topped 10 wins, led by the 19 from Frank Ayala.
How they stack up
Concordia wrestlers have faced off against Doane seven times and Morningside eight times with plenty of success against both. The Bulldogs have combined to go 6-1 versus Tiger opponents and 7-1 versus Mustang grapplers in meetings at open tournaments this season. View the match-by-match results below.
Concordia vs. Doane:
(125) Austin Mogg (CNC) dec. Jesse Marek (D), 8-3 (Swede Open)
(133) Kodie Cole (CNC) pinned Jonathan Larsen, 6:28 (Swede Open)
(133) Dmitri Smith (CNC) dec. KC DeFilipps (D), 10-4 (Swede Open)
(149) Enrique Barajas (CNC) major dec. Greg Eagle (D), 13-2 (Swede Open)
(157) Tommy Bailey (CNC) major dec. Marcus Aleman (D), 15-5 (Swede Open)
(184) Chandler Knight (D) pinned Kale Hintz (CNC), 0:51 (Swede Open)
(197) Ken Burkhardt Jr. (CNC) dec. Kyle Hoffman (D), 7-3 (Swede Open)
Concordia vs. Morningside:
(125) Austin Mogg (CNC) dec. Brent Curtis, 7-4 (Buena Vista Open)
(133) Kodie Cole (CNC) pinned Nicholas Drenth (M), 4:24 (UNK Open)
(133) Kodie Cole (CNC) pinned Carter Tegeler, 3:05 (Buena Vista Open)
(133) Emilio Rivera (CNC) major dec. Nicholas Drenth (M), 12-4 (Buena Vista Open)
(133) Emilio Rivera (CNC) dec. Carter Tegeler, 8-5 (Buena Vista Open)
(149) Tyler Lashbrook (M) major dec. Clayton Hintz, 8-0 (Buena Vista Open)
(157) Austin Starkey (CNC) dec. Nate Taylor (M), 9-6 (Buena Vista Open)
(174) Austin Fehlhafer (CNC) pinned Isaac Olson (M), 3:33 (UNK Open)
The Tigers brought wrestling back into their athletic department this season after last sponsoring the sport in the 1970s. Doane is 0-6 overall and duals and 0-1 in the GPAC having been defeated 32-9 by Briar Cliff on Nov. 6. The fledgling program is led by head coach Tyson Springer, a former assistant coach at the NAIA’s Dickinson State University. Spring has one grappler ranked in the North region: 184-pounder Chandler Knight, who checks in at No. 6. In the team’s most recent outing, Kyle Hoffman (197) placed fifth at the Hastings College Open for the team’s first place finish of the season.
Morningside, led by second-year head coach Jake Stevenson, won the conference dual championship last season with a perfect 6-0 GPAC record. The Mustangs are 4-6 overall in duals this season but have yet to wrestle a conference opponent. Morningside has a deep roster with 11 individuals appearing in the North Group regional rankings. In addition, six of those wrestlers are ranked nationally, led by No. 5 Tyler Kacmarynski at 285 and No. 6 Joseph Sievert at 174. Like Concordia, Morningside went 1-2 at the National Duals with the win coming over No. 14 Wayland Baptist (Texas). In the Jan. 1 edition of the NAIA coaches’ poll, the Mustangs moved up seven spots to No. 13.