Thirteenth-ranked Bulldogs set to make home debut Friday

By Jacob Knabel on Dec. 7, 2016 in Wrestling

SEWARD, Neb. – After four tournaments and two duals, the 13th-ranked Concordia University wrestling team will make its home debut on Friday when it welcomes Northwest Kansas Technical College to Seward. The dual is set to get started at 7 p.m. CT inside the Walz Arena.

The match will be carried live on the Concordia Sports Network with Aaron Sweazy calling the action.

The Bulldogs have emerged victorious from their first two duals. Last Friday they narrowly escaped Crete with a 23-22 win that came down to the third tiebreaker (total match points). Returning All-Americans Kodie Cole (133) and Ken Burkhardt Jr. (197) did their part, recording pins over their Tiger opponents. Second-ranked Burkhardt Jr. wiped out No. 12 Chandler Knight in 3:47 for the 97th victory of his career.

Concordia’s projected lineup for Friday looks similar to the one it used last week. First-year head coach Andrew Nicola’s squad is still without the services of senior heavyweight Ceron Francisco (9-0), who has been nursing an injury. Sophomore Alexander Reimers moved up a weight to 285 last week to replace Francisco. Reimers is one of five national qualifiers that appear in the projected lineup which also includes seniors Dmitri Smith at 125 and Foster Bunce at 149.

Burkhardt Jr. is the team leader with 11 wins. Reimers is right behind him with 10 victories. Reimers paces the Bulldogs with six pins. Freshman Deandre Chery has five and Cole has four.

New national rankings were released on Wednesday (Dec. 7). Concordia checked in at No. 13 in the team rankings. Six individual Bulldogs appeared in the national rankings: No. 9 Cole (133), No. 13 Bunce (149), No. 14 Nelsen (184), No. 2 Burkhardt Jr. (197), No. 10 Reimers (197) and No. 4 Francisco (285).

Northwest Tech will enter the dual ranked 17th in the National Junior College Athletic Association poll. Maverick heavyweight Odgerel Batkhishig of Mongolia is ranked third individually. Dominique Evans is ranked eighth at 149. Northwest Tech owns a dual mark of 2-2.

Following Friday’s dual, Concordia will compete at the Doane University Open on Saturday. Action in Crete is set to begin at 9 a.m. CT.

Projected lineups

Concordia: 2-0
125 – Dmitri Smith (5-4)
133 – No. 9 Kodie Cole (7-3)
141 – Cooper Bailey (0-1)
149 – No. 13 Foster Bunce (6-1)
157 – Jon Lado (2-2)
165 – Kirk Kaliszewski (4-5)
174 – Walker Fisher (5-5)
184 – No. 14 Josh Nelsen (4-6)
197 – No. 2 Ken Burkhardt Jr. (11-5)
285 – Tommy Andrews (4-4) or No. 10 Alexander Reimers (10-6) 

Northwest Kansas Technical College (2-2)
125 – Fabian Guerrero 
133 – Jesus Morales or Austin Hernandez
141 – James Taylor
149 – No. 8 Dominique Evans
157 – Ryan Snow
165 – Adrian Kois 
174 – Schyler James
184 – Turah Reed
197 – Kyle Rodriguez 
285 – No. 3 Odgi Batkhishig