SEWARD, Neb. – Conference and NAIA national preseason rankings have been released for the 2021-22 wrestling season. As a team, the Concordia University Wrestling program landed at No. 4 in the GPAC ratings while being listed under “receiving votes” in the NAIA coaches’ preseason poll. On an individual level, eight Bulldogs were tagged with top six rankings within the GPAC at their respective weight classes. Mario Ybarra and Jacob Telles represented Concordia with national rankings.
Myron Bradbury is readying to make his head coaching debut for the Bulldogs, who have hopes of improving upon last season’s GPAC finishes of tied for fifth in the regular season and sixth at the tournament. Concordia sent three qualifiers to the 2021 national tournament, including the aforementioned Ybarra (All-American at 133) and Telles (GPAC heavyweight champion).
Ybarra opens this season as the GPAC’s top-rated competitor at 133. The native of Scottsbluff, Neb., is a returning All-American with 62 career wins, two career national tournament appearances and an individual GPAC title on his resume. Ybarra was slotted in as the NAIA’s No. 8-ranked 133-pounder this preseason. Meanwhile, Telles is currently the conference’s third-rated heavyweight and is ranked No. 19 in the NAIA. The native of Albuquerque, N.M., won 33 matches last season.
The rundown of Concordia wrestlers who appeared in the GPAC preseason ratings is shown below. The group includes each of the team’s four captains in Issiah Burks, TJ Huber, Telles and Ybarra. Each of the four Bulldogs are ranked within the top three of the GPAC in their respective weight classes. Burks enjoyed a solid 2020-21 season that saw him go 23-10 overall.
Concordia will open the season on Saturday at the York College Open. The host Panthers will welcome the Bulldogs and wrestlers from institutions such as Avila University (Mo.), Bryant & Stratton College (Wis.), Hannibal LaGrange University (Mo.), Hastings and Wayland Baptist University (Texas). Live results will be available via Track Wrestling.
Bulldogs with preseason rankings
125 – Thomas Ivey: 6th in GPAC
133 – Mario Ybarra: 1st in GPAC; 8th in NAIA
157 – Tavoris Smith: 5th in GPAC
157 – Anthony Perez: 6th in GPAC
165 – Issiah Burks: 3rd in GPAC
174 – TJ Huber: 3rd in 174
197 – Mason Garcia: 4th in 197
285 – Jacob Telles: 3rd in GPAC; 19th in NAIA