Wrestling set for weekend in Mitchell

By Jacob Knabel on Nov. 7, 2018 in Wrestling

MITCHELL, S.D. – A group of roughly 18 wrestlers will make the trip to Mitchell, S.D., this weekend for both a dual and an open tournament hosted by Dakota Wesleyan. The Concordia University wrestling team will go head-to-head with the Tigers on Friday night in the first conference dual of 2018-19 for both sides. The Bulldogs are coming off a 2017-18 season in which they placed fifth in the GPAC dual standings.

Friday’s dual is set to get underway at 7 p.m. CT. The Dakota Wesleyan Open on Saturday will get started at 9 a.m. The dual can be streamed live via Dakota Wesleyan’s Stretch Internet portal.

Formerly a three-year assistant on staff, Levi Calhoun made his official head coaching debut last week at the Dan Harris Open hosted by Baker University (Kan.). Sixteen Bulldogs combined for 31 wins and four place finishes. The standout among them was junior Deandre Chery, who won the 174-pound title at the event. During his dominant run, Chery went 4-0 while ending three matches with pins in the first period. Michael Stann (second at 285), Mario Ybarra (third at 125) and Josh Nelsen (fourth at 184) also put together place finishes.

After winning a GPAC title and qualifying for nationals last season, Chery entered this season with most hype among Bulldogs. He started the campaign ranked first in the GPAC and No. 8 nationally at 174 pounds. Alberto Garcia (10th at 133) and Nelsen (13th at 184) also appeared in the NAIA preseason rankings. Garcia topped the GPAC rankings at 133 in the preseason. Meanwhile, Nelsen is ranked second in the conference at 184.

The projected dual lineup for Friday (see below) includes five returners and five newcomers. Calhoun has high hopes for Ybarra, who helps solidify the top of the lineup. At heavyweight, Stann has already made a splash by advancing to the championship match at the Harris Open. In last season’s meeting with Dakota Wesleyan, Concordia rolled to a 55-0 win. Projected starters in Cam Devers and Nelsen turned in two of the team’s five pins in that victory.

The Tigers have a first-year head coach in Casey Mouw. Dakota Wesleyan’s one wrestler to appear in the GPAC preseason rankings is junior Chris Wheeler, rated sixth at 165 pounds. The Tigers went 0-7 last season in conference duals.

After wrapping up in Mitchell this weekend, the Bulldogs will then look forward to a dual at reigning GPAC tournament champion Midland on Thursday, Nov. 15.

Projected dual lineup
125 – Mario Ybarra (4-1)
133 – Zack Moistner (2-2)
141 – Kyle Carey (2-2)
149 – Cam Devers (2-2)
157 – Issiah Burks (1-2)
165 – Jason Watkins (1-2)
174 – Deandre Chery (4-0)
184 – Josh Nelsen (4-2)
197 – Darrin Miller (3-2)
285 – Michael Stann (3-1)