CRETE, Neb. – Thirteen Bulldogs took to the mats while representing the 19th-ranked Concordia University wrestling team on Saturday (Dec. 7). The grouping combined for a pair of place finishes, 25 wins and 10 pins during action at the Doane University Open in Crete, Neb. At 184 pounds, junior Jason Watkins placed as the tournament runner up.
Head coach Levi Calhoun held back many of the starters who competed in Thursday’s 23-16 dual victory at Morningside.
“It was a pretty good day,” Calhoun said. “We had four in the semifinals. Jason Watkins made the finals and Blake Castillo was our other place finisher. A lot of guys had multiple wins on the day and some pretty good wins against tough opponents. It definitely showed what we need to work on. Most of those guys are looking to break into our lineup. It was good to have them get some matches in against quality opponents.”
A native of Palmer, Alaska, Watkins made his way to the final by taking out foes from fellow GPAC schools. He defeated Joseph Felix of Hastings by technical fall (16-1) and then Jesus Maganda of Doane by decision (8-3). He was upended in the 184-pound final, 9-6, by Luke Jenness of Northwestern.
Other Bulldogs to advance to at the semifinal rounds were seniors Deandre Chery (174), Darrin Miller (184) and Demetrius Miller (285). Demetrius Miller put together some of the finest wrestling of his career. He toppled Grand View University (Iowa)’s Gary Whitaker in the quarterfinals and his two losses came by margins of two and one points, respectively. Chery was prevented from advancing to the 174-pound title match by Zach Lee of Grand View. Chery recorded two wins and a pin on his day.
Said Calhoun of Demetrius Miller, “He probably should have been in the finals. He lost an overtime match in the semifinals. It was some of the best wrestling he’s had.”
Eight of the 13 Bulldogs in action notched two or more victories (six had at least one pin). Castillo (174) placed fourth in his weight class while picking up four wins. Sophomore Gad Huseman also collected four triumphs at 141 pounds.
It will be back to dual action on Friday, Dec. 13 when Concordia is set to host Midland (0-3, 0-2 GPAC) at 7 p.m. CT. The Warriors have lost twice to GPAC opponents – 48-3 to Jamestown and 38-18 to Doane.