Wrestling shoots for school record while honoring Schoepf

By Jacob Knabel on Feb. 2, 2016 in Wrestling

SEWARD, Neb. – A school record will be on the line when the eighth-ranked Concordia University wrestling team welcomes Bethany College (Kan.) to Walz Arena on Wednesday. Fourth-year head coach Dana Vote’s program will use the night to honor former 11-year Seward High School assistant wrestling coach Jeramie Schoepf, who died tragically in March of 2014. Jeramie’s brother Josh will join the Concordia coaching staff as an honorary coach for the dual.

The action is set to begin at 6 p.m. CT. Aaron Sweazy will call the action for the Concordia Sports Network. The Bulldogs will welcome members of the Schoepf family as well as Seward youth and Seward High School wrestling teams.

In last week’s 33-6 victory at Briar Cliff, the Bulldogs equaled the 1970-71 Concordia Athletic Hall of Fame team (10-3) for the most dual victories in a single season in program history. Currently 10-4 overall, the Bulldogs can set a new school standard on Wednesday night following seasons of nine wins apiece in 2013-14 and 2014-15 under Vote.

Concordia has been rolling, winning four-straight duals overall and 12-straight versus GPAC opponents. Vote’s program has not dropped a GPAC dual since Feb. 13, 2014, a run of 718 days without a conference defeat. During that stretch, the Bulldogs have outscored opponents by a combined total of 411-106 while winning 91 of 120 of the individual matches. Individually, 2015 NAIA All-American Andrew Schulte, ranked No. 1 at 141 pounds, carries a 15-match win streak into Wednesday’s action.

Schulte is one of seven nationally-ranked wrestlers on Vote’s roster. The others are No. 10 Dmitri Smith (125), No. 8 Jr Lule (157), No. 14 Tommy Bailey (165), No. 6 Matt Atwood (184), No. 15 Ken Burkhardt Jr. (197) and No. 7 Ceron Francisco (285). On Tuesday Francisco was named the GPAC wrestler of the week, giving the Bulldogs four conference weekly awards already in 2016.

Bethany, a member of the Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference, sports a dual record of 1-7. The Swedes’ lone nationally-ranked grappler is No. 15 184-pounder Trevor Whittaker, who’s also the second-ranked competitor in the NAIA’s south region. First-year head coach Larry Nugent’s squad picked up a 39-12 win over Central Baptist College (Ark.) on Nov. 14.

Following the visit from Bethany, Concordia will return to GPAC dual action on Saturday with a trip to Hastings (2-9, 1-5 GPAC) for a 5 p.m. dual. As the only remaining unbeaten in conference duals, the Bulldogs will be able to clinch at least a share of a second-straight conference title with a win.

Projected lineups

Bethany College (1-7)
125 – Quinton Harrison
133 – Ty Kolterman
141 – James Lohman
149 – Brandon Archuletta
157 – Trent Robb
165 – CJ Garcia
174 – Open
184 – No. 15 Trevor Whittaker 
197 – Open
285 – Tyler Smith

Concordia (10-4)
125 – No. 10 Dmitri Smith (15-15)
133 – Kodie Cole (8-9)
141 – No. 1 Andrew Schulte (29-6)
149 – Foster Bunce (9-7)
157 – No. 8 Jr Lule (27-7)
165 – No. 14 Tommy Bailey (24-18) / Austin Starkey (8-13)
174 – Travian Cooke (16-11)
184 – No. 6 Matt Atwood (18-5) / Noel Richardson (0-1)
197 – No. 15 Ken Burkhardt Jr. (23-11)
285 – No. 7 Ceron Francisco (22-13)