MOORHEAD, Minn. (6/25/18)---Concordia's 2018-19 recruiting class includes something for every position as head coach Grant Hemmingsen continues to add strength and depth to his team.
Hemmingsen announced his second recruiting class since taking over as head coach in the spring of 2017.
"We are very excited about this group of Cobber players joining our program," Hemmingsen commented. "We have a great balance of size, athleticism and skill spread throughout the class."
The Cobbers' new recruiting class boasts four guards, one forward and two centers who will help Concordia replace big men Austin Heins and Kevin Wolfe who were lost to graduation.
The strength of the class will come from the guard position where Hemmingsen added one of the top scorers from the state of Minnesota and the top assist guard from North Dakota.
Cal Wright, who starred for Mora HS, was fourth in Minnesota with a 28.8 points per game average. Wright scored over 2000 points in his storied career for the Mustangs. He also showed his versatility as an athlete as he was the Minnesota state champion in the 400 meters at the 2018 state meet.
Point guard Ian Schafer led all of North Dakota in assists as he dished out 6.7 helpers per game for Bismarck HS. He also averaged 12.9 points and 1.2 steals per game for the Demons.
Hemmingsen also added a pair of 6-7 post players who could help the Cobbers replace Heins and Wolfe. Zac Fincher and Blake Smith both have the tools to make an impact in practice and games for the Cobbers. Fincher averaged 13.8 points and 6.2 rebounds in his senior season at Stephen-Argyle HS while Smith patrolled the lane for Grand Rapids HS.
Included in Hemmingsen's second class is a pair of players who led their high school teams get to the Minnesota State Tournament. David Birkeland averaged 18.3 points and 7.1 rebounds per game and helped Hermantown HS advance to the State AAA Tournament. Jackson Johnsrud from Minnewaska HS averaged 14.4 points and 5.1 rebounds per game and guided the Lakers to a berth in the State AA Tournament.
Grant Pederson is the one "in-between" incoming player for the Cobbers. A 6-3 player who can play the wing, Pederson averaged 21.7 points and 8.8 rebounds per game last season for Lake Park-Audubon HS.
"I can't wait to see what this group can do for us," Hemmingsen added. "Even though it is only June, I can't wait for October when we can start practice and see how this group will fit with our returning players.
Concordia opens the season on Nov. 15 when they travel to Morris to take on Minn.-Morris. The Cobber will also have preseason exhibition games against North Dakota State University and MSU Moorhead.
Below is a list of the current Cobber recruits to commit for the 2018-19 season.
|Player||Pos.||Ht.||Hometown/High School||High School Stats/Accolades|
|David Birkeland||G||6-3||Hermantown, Minn./Hermantown||18.3 ppg/7.1 rpg/4.0 apg; Led HS team to State AAA Tournament|
|Zac Fincher||C||6-7||Stephen, Minn./Stephen-Argyle||13.3 ppg/6.2 rpg/1.1 bpg|
|Jackson Johnsrud||G||6-2||Minnewaska, Minn./Minnwaska Area||14.4 ppg/5.1 rpg/Led HS team to State AA Tournament|
|Grant Pederson||F||6-3||Lake Park, Minn./Lake Park-Audubon||21.7 ppg/8.8 rpg|
|Ian Schafer||G||5-11||Bismarck, N.D./Bismarck||12.9 ppg/6.7 apg/1.2 spg; Led state of North Dakota in assists|
|Blake Smith||C||6-7||Grand Rapids, Minn./Grand Rapids||2.3 ppg/3.1 rpg|
|Cal Wright||G||6-3||Mora, Minn./Mora||28.8 ppg/7.9 rpg; 4th in Minnesota in scoring; 2000 pt. scorer|