Preview: 2022 GPAC Wrestling Championships

By Jacob Knabel on Feb. 15, 2022 in Wrestling

SEWARD, Neb. – Postseason action has arrived across the NAIA wrestling landscape. The Concordia University Wrestling team hopes to build upon a strong dual showing back on Feb. 3 as 12 Bulldogs test their mettle at this weekend’s 2022 GPAC Wrestling Championships. Dakota Wesleyan will serve as the host of the event, which will include a first session on Friday and a second session on Saturday. Concordia placed sixth at the 2021 conference tournament.

2022 GPAC Wrestling Championships

Session I – Friday, Feb. 18, 2 p.m.
Session II – Saturday, Feb. 19, 10 a.m.
DWU/Avera Sports and Wellness Complex | Mitchell, S.D. (DWU campus)
--Live Streaming: (pay-per-view)
--Live Results: Track Wrestling
--Tickets: Buy on site

The 2022 GPAC championship roster for the Bulldogs includes returning national qualifiers in Mario Ybarra at 133 and Jacob Telles at 285. Ybarra won the 2020 GPAC title at 125 pounds while Telles captured the 2021 GPAC heavyweight championship. Of Concordia’s 12 conference competitors, six also wrestled at the 2021 GPAC tournament hosted by Midland. Ybarra sat out due to injury. Meanwhile, place finishes were turned in by Telles (first at 285), Gabe Crawford (second at 165), Mason Garcia (fifth at 197), Brandon Gonzalez (fifth at 149) and Issiah Burks (sixth at 157).

Bulldogs who will get their first taste of the conference tournament are Isaac Agabin (125), Conner Burrus (141), Anthony Perez (157), Hunter Weimer (174) and Jovon Howe (184). On the season, the following Concordia wrestlers have claimed at least 10 wins: Jacob Telles (17-6), Thomas Ivey (14-4), Tavoris Smith (14-16), Mason Garcia (13-5), TJ Huber (13-9), Mario Ybarra (11-2), Isaac Agabin (11-12), Conner Burrus (10-7) and Issiah Burks (10-9).

Entering the weekend, six Bulldogs are ranked in the conference within their respective weight classes: Ybarra (No. 2 at 133), Jeaven Scdoris (No. 6 at 149), Burks (No. 6 at 165), Huber (No. 4 at 174), Jovon Howe (No. 6 at 184) and Telles (No. 4 at 285). Ybarra, a returning All-American, is ranked 15th nationally at 133. Based on the national rankings, the GPAC was rewarded an allocation of 20 automatic berths to the national tournament. The complete breakdown by conference can be found HERE.

Since the beginning of the 2014-15 season, the Concordia Wrestling program has captured a total of nine conference/regional championships, including five in the regular season and four in the postseason. Concordia won GPAC/regional postseason titles in 2015, 2016, 2017 and 2020. Four different head coaches presided over those championships, including Levi Calhoun and current Doane head coach Dana Vote.

During the 2021-22 regular season, the Bulldogs went 6-6 overall in duals. At 3-5 in GPAC duals, Concordia placed in a tie for sixth. Conference wins were earned over Dakota Wesleyan, 32-13, Midland, 32-18, and Jamestown, 27-17.

The 65th annual NAIA Wrestling National Championship is slated to play out March 4-5 at Hartman Arena in Park City, Kan., where the event was first held in 2020. Automatic qualifiers for the national championships will be known at the conclusion of the conference tournaments. Concordia traveled three wrestlers to Park City last year.

2022 GPAC Championship Roster

125 – Isaac Agabin (11-12)
Has notched six pins this season … placed fifth at the Doane Open.

133 – Mario Ybarra (11-2)
Ranked No. 2 in the GPAC and No. 15 in the NAIA at 133 … placed seventh in the NAIA at 133 in 2021 and garnered All-America honors … two-time NAIA national qualifier … ranks in a tie for fourth in school history with 73 career wins … this season, placed second at the University of Nebraska-Kearney Open.

141 – Conner Burrus (10-7)
Earned the 141-pound title at the York Open … has collected three pins and two victories via technical fall.

149 – Jeaven Scdoris (8-11)
Placed fourth at the Hastings Open … has recorded three pins this season … 28 career wins.

157 – Anthony Perez (9-14)
Placed second at the York Open and sixth at the Edmonds Open.

157 – Tavoris Smith (14-16)
Placed third at the York Open … has collected two pins … has earned 28 wins over two seasons as a Bulldog.

165 – Issiah Burks (10-9)
Ranked No. 6 in the GPAC at 165 … placed fifth in the GPAC at 165 in 2020 and sixth in the GPAC at 157 in 2021 … has notched four pins this season … owns 53 career wins.

165 – Jose Sanchez (9-11)
Placed third at the York Open … has produced five pins this season … has 23 career wins.

174 – TJ Huber (13-9)
Ranked No. 4 in the GPAC at 174 … owns a dual record of 8-3 and has posted two pins … has collected 29 career wins.

174 – Hunter Weimer (7-12)
Placed fourth at the York Open … has registered four pins this season.

184 – Jovon Howe (6-8)
Placed sixth at the Doane Open … has produced two pins this season.

285 – Jacob Telles (17-6)
Ranked No. 4 in the GPAC at 285 … reigning GPAC heavyweight champion … 2021 NAIA national qualifier … leads the team in wins for the second season in a row … owns 50 career wins and 22 career pins (team high nine this season) … ranks fifth on the program’s all-time pins list.