GRIMES, Iowa – The Bulldogs believe they can learn from what they saw and experienced this weekend at the Grand View University Open held in Grimes, Iowa. Ten competitors represented the Concordia University Wrestling program at the tournament and combined to take away 13 wins. Jack Hedke, Garret Moser and Thomas Ivey produced three victories apiece while taking part in the freshman/sophomore brackets of the Grand View Open. Four Bulldogs were entered into the “open” bracket divisions.
This marked the second tournament this season for Concordia and the first for many of the wrestlers who competed on Saturday (Nov. 12). Head Coach Chase Clasen’s squad is also 2-0 in conference duals to begin 2022-23.
“We didn’t come here just to have 10 championships. We came here to face some of the best wrestlers around the country to know where we’re at and what we need to work on,” Clasen said. “Honestly, I saw a lot of positives. There are a lot of little things right now that are things we can take care of now that we’re aware of it. Issiah Burks wrestled a JUCO national champion and barely loses – I think that’s huge. I think that built a little confidence. Grant Wells goes down 6-0 and pushes the pace and ends up winning in overtime. I think they lived out those little things.”
Bulldogs in the open brackets at Grand View included NAIA 12th-ranked Creighton Baughman at 141, Issiah Burks at 165, Jose Sanchez at 174 and Stephen Duffy at 285. Each of them went 0-2 on the day, but there were a number of close calls. Baughman dropped a 6-5 decision to Jordan Mitchell of Life University (Ga.) and then was beaten in sudden victory, 6-4, by 18th-ranked Austin Kolvek of Ottawa University (Kan.). As for Burks, he also was clipped twice by decision – 4-3 to Joel Romero (unattached) and 8-3 to No. 15 Joey Hancock of Baker University (Kan.). Both Baughman and Burks are 2-0 this season in conference dual action.
At 133 pounds, the York, Neb., native Ivey got on a roll after a 3-1 loss in the first round. He proceeded to notch a win by major decision, 11-1, over Lindsey Wilson (Ky.)’s Garrett Koestel before pulling out two triumphs by decision. His day ended with a loss via fall. As for Moser at 197, he took home two victories over NAIA foes and Hedke (285) defeated an NAIA opponent and two junior college combatants.
A promising freshman out of Lincoln Lutheran High School, Wells collected two wins by decision before his day concluded in round four of the 125-pound consolation bracket. At 157, Tommy Wentz pinned Missouri Valley’s Hugo Perez and Iowa Central’s Joseph Cruz as part of a 2-2 tournament. Lastly, Henry Gaertner competed at 141 and was defeated in his two matches.
Said Clasen, “A lot of stuff we’ve worked on is starting to click and we’re seeing it in some of our matches. It just takes a little bit of time. We’re starting to implement some of that stuff. We didn’t necessarily do as well as we wanted, but sometimes losing is the best teacher. We have to learn from the mistakes that we’re making.”
Next up on the schedule is the University of Nebraska-Kearney Open on Saturday, Nov. 19. Wrestling is scheduled to get started at 9 a.m. CT from Kearney, Neb., on that date.