Wrestling puts unbeaten GPAC mark on the line in Wednesday home dual

By on Jan. 26, 2015 in Wrestling

Wrestling puts unbeaten GPAC mark on the line in Wednesday home dual

SEWARD, Neb. – The 14th-ranked Concordia University wrestling team returns to Walz Arena on Wednesday to play host for the first time since a 23-13 win over No. 25 Northwestern on Dec. 10. The Bulldogs, ranked atop the NAIA’s North Qualifying Group, welcome Dakota Wesleyan for a 7 p.m. dual.

The night will feature a pre-match ceremony to honor Jeramie Schoepf, a former assistant wrestling coach at Seward High School. Jeramie died tragically on March 7, 2014, at the age of 36. Representatives from Seward youth wrestling as well as members of the Seward High School wrestling team will be in attendance. The Bulldogs will warm up wearing T-shirts with Jeramie’s initials on them.

The dual will be shown live via the Concordia Sports Network.

Concordia has won each of its first four GPAC duals by 10 points or more. In last week’s only outing, the Bulldogs snapped No. 19 Morningside’s streak of 31-straight conference dual victories. Sophomores Austin Fehlhafer (174) and Kodie Cole (133) both recorded pins as Concordia won seven of 10 bouts over the host Mustangs in Sioux City, Iowa. Concordia also owns conference wins over Doane (35-12), Midland (32-9) and Northwestern (23-13).

On the other hand, the Tigers are 1-10 overall and 0-4 in GPAC duals. Dakota Wesleyan has suffered conference losses to Doane (38-15), Northwestern (37-9), Briar Cliff (43-3) and Midland (33-22). First-year head coach Boomer Fechko’s biggest standout had been 165-pounder Trever Devestern, who is ranked first in the North region and third nationally. However, Devestern is out with an injury. Kyle Gerlach checks in at No. 5 in the 174-pound North rankings.

In tournament action, Concordia and Dakota Wesleyan wrestlers have faced just once with the Bulldogs’ Austin Starkey claiming a 5-0 decision over Brook Woehl in a 157-pound match at the Dakota Wesleyan Open on Nov. 15. In last season’s tilt between Concordia and the Tigers, Emilio Rivera allowed the Bulldogs to edge Dakota Wesleyan, 19-18, by taking a 5-2 decision over Richard Rios in the dual’s final match at 133 pounds.

Third-year head coach Dana Vote’s probable lineup features six nationally-ranked wrestlers (see below) who have combined for a record of 88-47. Twelfth-ranked 197-pounder Ken Burkhardt Jr. (23-14) leads Concordia in both wins and pins (8). Sophomore Andrew Schulte, ranked No. 6 at 141, has won 10 of his first 12 career matches in the Bulldog singlet.

Following Wednesday’s action, Concordia will have two remaining GPAC duals – both at home. The Bulldogs have a showdown looming with Briar Cliff, also unbeaten in conference duals, on Feb. 3 prior to finishing their dual slate with Hastings on Feb. 12.

Concordia probable lineup
125 – Dmitri Smith (8-11)
133 – Kodie Cole (6-5)
141 – No. 6 Andrew Schulte (10-2)
149 – No. 7 Enrique Barajas (18-8)
157 – No. 15 Jr Lule (9-4)
165 – Austin Starkey (14-12)
174 – Tommy Bailey (4-11)
184 – No. 14 Austin Fehlhafer (6-7)
197 – No. 12 Ken Burkhardt Jr. (23-14)
285 – No. 11 Ceron Francisco (22-12) 

Dakota Wesleyan probable lineup
125 – Will Seydel or Chad McCannon
133 – Open
141 – Open
149 – Mito Mendivil
157 – Open
165 – Kyle Gerlach
174 – Alex Osborne
184 – Isaac Rangel
197 – Alex Smith
285 – Open