Cobbers’ hard work is paying off as they make strides in nat’l rankings
Concordia’s wrestling team came out strong from winter break placing second in the NWCA National Duals meet.
The team traveled to Des Moines, Iowa on January 12, 2013, and defeated La Crosse, Wabash and Augsburg to earn the second place national ranking, the highest in program history.
The team’s meet against Augustana over winter break was canceled due to weather.
This meant when going into the National Duals, the team hadn’t competed in almost four weeks.
“It really was a question for me as a coach to see how they were going to respond as athletes…ultimately they came out ready to go,” head coach Matthew Nagel said.
Nagel and two of the captains seemed to think that the team was determined and confident that they would be able to place well in the Duals.
“We knew we had the potential the do well. We just had to go out there and prove it…” senior and captain Jake Long said.
“They’ve always had the capability and I think it’s just a matter of mentally believing in themselves, and they did that,” Nagel said.
During the Duals there were many ups and downs.
Nagel was pleased with Brandon Haluptzok’s performance after coming back from a semester studying abroad.
He contributed a win in the match against La Cross to put the Cobbers off to a good start for the weekend.
During the La Cross match, Concordia was leading 16-3. La Cross came back to tie it up 16-16 with one individual match to go.
Cody Kasprick closed off the win for the team with a pin fall. Beating second ranked, and rival team, Augsburg was also a highlight for the team.
“These guys could wrestle the guys they’re wrestling and it could go either way every time. It’s just that competitive. It just shows how mentally tough you have to be,” Nagel said.
The matches against La Cross, Wabash and Augsburg were all hard earned wins.
“(We) showed a lot of heart throughout those matches,” Long said.
In the end, Concordia lost to number one ranked Wartburg.
The Cobbers made program history with their second placing and were moved up four places in the national rankings.
“I think it was just a great eye opener for the guys to start to believe in themselves as far as being able to be a top team…”
According to Nagel, the team has a strong work ethic in practice that leads to doing so well during completion.
“When they’re in the room we’re getting the most out of them every single day. They are maxing out their effort (and) continuing to get better.”
The Cobbers will continue to prepare throughout the season for the NCAA National Meet in March.
“I think a lot of it’s just hard work and believing that we are that good as a team,” senior captain Kyle LeDuc said.
Hi I’m Quinn! I am a sophomore majoring in elementary education here at Concordia. Reading and writing has always been something that I enjoy. Other hobbies of mine include singing, hunting, playing volleyball and instructing Zumba. This is my first year writing for the Concordian. You will find my writing in the sports section!