For the second straight weekend, the Concordia University wrestling team posted a winning record in a double elimination tournament. Three Bulldog wrestlers posted five or more wins and placed in the Knox College Invitational, a tournament that lasted just over 11 hours.
Julian Silva (Covina, Calif.) won his second straight tournament at 197 pounds. Silva opened the tournament with a fall in 2:51 versus Jake Hare of Hannibal-LaGrange College (Mo.) and then pinned Isaac Juarez of Knox College (Ill.) in 1:07. In the quarterfinals, Silva pinned Anthony Myrick of North Central College (Ill.) in 4:17. In the semifinals, Silva defeated No. 4 seed Theron Stewart of Central College (Iowa), 12-6. In the finals, Silva won a 10-3 decision over Jake Mabry of Oklahoma City University. Silva improved to a perfect 9-0 on the season.
“Julian is wrestling extremely well,” noted Coach Doug Reese. “He is extremely tough and physical on his feet. Mentally, he is breaking his opponents, and you can actually see his competition quit during a match. Julian will be tough to beat the way he is wrestling right now.”
Adam Joseph (Hastings, Neb.) posted a 5-1 record at 133 pounds. Joseph’s only loss came to the No. 1 seed, who placed second in the NCAA II national championship a year ago. Joseph won by fall over Chase Holloway of the University of Dubuque in 3:46. He then won an 8-0 major decision versus Sterling Wright of Oklahoma City University, defeated No. 4 seed Jeff Sand of Simpson College (Iowa), 8-2, then pinned Alex Wright of Central College (Iowa) in 57 seconds. In the consolation finals, Joseph defeated the No. 3 seed, Greg Gegoras of Augustana College (Ill.), 3-0.
Joseph is 9-2 on the season and has placed in the last two tournaments, meeting the NAIA national wrestling championship qualifying standards.
Brandon Starkey (St. Paul, Neb.) wrestled to a 6-2 record at 149 pounds. Starkey dropped his first match and then ripped off six consecutive victories. Starkey defeated Mike Butterfield of the University of Dubuque by the score of 7-4 and then executed a rare first period technical fall over Kin Vong of Knox College, 15-0. Starkey then defeated Curtis Hobbs of Central College, 6-5, and downed Trevor Maus of North Central College by the score of 7-6. He also defeated Justin Hoffman of Augustana College, 10-5. His final win was over Steve Poffenberger of Augustana College, 6-3.
“It was a long day for Brandon,” noted Coach Reese. “To wrestle eight times in one day is a lot of wrestling, and to lose your first match in a double elimination tournament makes it tougher. I was proud to see how Brandon wrestled in tight, physical matches. He proved that he is a wrestler who belongs in the national championships.”
Also posting wins for the Bulldogs were Gordie Fowlkes (2-2) at 125 pounds, Jeff Green (2-2) at 125 pounds, Alex Rostvet (2-2) at 141 pounds, Alex Stepanek (2-2) at 141 pounds, Robbie Resendiz (2-2) at 141 pounds and Hunter Cummins (2-2) at heavyweight.
The Bulldogs posted an overall record of 28-23 for the tournament.
“It is fun to see how the team is progressing,” remarked Reese. “We are wrestling with intensity and toughness. We won at least six matches today because we were in better shape and because we made our opponents quit. Our physical style is fun to watch. It was disappointing that we were not at full strength this weekend. Both Blake Augustyn at 165 and Zach Schnell at 149 were out of the lineup with illness, but we hope to have them back this week.”