Perez dominates, Bulldogs defeat Midland, 32-18

By Jacob Knabel on Dec. 9, 2021 in Wrestling

SEWARD, Neb. – In a quick-moving dual inside Friedrich Arena on Thursday (Dec. 9), Concordia University Wrestling emerged with its second GPAC victory of the 2021-22 season. While highlighting the evening, 157-pound Anthony Perez dominated his way to a technical fall as part of a 32-18 win over Midland. The Bulldogs won six of the 10 matches.

Head Coach Myron Bradbury’s squad moved to 2-2 in conference duals. The other win came over Dakota Wesleyan. Most importantly, Bradbury is seeing progress being made.

“Slowly but surely they’re coming,” Bradbury said. “They’re moving better and looking more offensive and they’re not looking so defeated when things aren’t initially going their way. We got off bottom fairly well. We did have some kids struggle with the pressure of a dual meet. Sometimes it can wear on you mentally when it’s kind of an intimate environment. We’ll talk about that. That’s probably the main thing that we should assess.”

The outcome from a team perspective was never in doubt after the Warriors surrendered the first three weights (125, 133 and 141) and 165. The first contested victory for Concordia was delivered by Perez (6-7), who never let Jabez Anderson get anything going. A native of Redondo Beach, Calif., Perez scored 10 near-fall points and three takedowns in a 17-1 triumph that concluded in the second period.

Said Perez, “My key to success was just thinking it was another practice. That’s where I’m most comfortable. Even though I’m a little jittery before matches, I try to keep calm and trust myself. Coach is always reminding me of that. It’s just something I’m working on.”

Two matches later, TJ Huber (4-5) put together a solid seven minutes that finished with him earning a 10-3 victory over Kody Hahn. Huber recorded three takedowns and tacked on a point via riding time. Elsewhere, the Bulldogs dropped close matches at 149 and 184. Midland’s Steven Aranda edged Brandon Gonzalez, 9-7, at 149 and the Warriors’ Connor Rim topped Jovon Howe, 7-4, at 184.

Wins were credited via forfeit to four Concordia grapplers: Thomas Ivey (125), Mario Ybarra (133), Conner Burrus (141) and Tavoris Smith (165). The lineup also included Mason Garcia at 197 and Jack Hedke at heavyweight. Garcia had the unenviable task of going up against Tyson Beauperthuy, who is ranked third in the NAIA at 197. Beauperthuy has been a bright spot for a Midland team that is now 0-4 in GPAC duals.

The Bulldogs will have the weekend off from competition while preparing to host the Concordia Bulldog Duals on Saturday, Dec. 18. The event will feature Concordia and six visiting teams: Doane, Central Baptist University (Ark.), Marian University (Ind.), Oklahoma City University, Oklahoma Wesleyan University and Texas Wesleyan University.

Said Bradbury, “I’m really looking forward to some time to let our guys freshen up. We’ve been grinding and now we have nine days until our next event. They’ll catch a day off in their and they’ll get a mild day on top of that. We’re excited to get the team together and get some team cohesion. We’re very, very close to having our strongest lineup put together.”

Added Perez, “For me personally, the next step is working on my confidence, keeping calm and trusting my shots. For the team, I think it’s just keep doing what we’re doing and putting ourselves in those match scenarios and gut-check positions and keep grinding out the season.”