Spotlight Stays The Same In Opener

Junior Jake Johnson was one of five Cobber wrestlers to earn Top 3 finishes at the season-opening Pointer Open. Johnson went 3-1 and placed second at 174.
Junior Jake Johnson was one of five Cobber wrestlers to earn Top 3 finishes at the season-opening Pointer Open. Johnson went 3-1 and placed second at 174.

STEVENS POINT, Wis. (11/05/16)—The only visible change since the 2015-16 season and the 2016-17 season opener was on the sidelines. Otherwise the names that were in the spotlight during last year stepped back into the limelight at the Wis.-Stevens Point Pointer Open.     

Cobber fans are used to seeing the names Stageberg, Johnson, Briggs and Davis on the final stages of multi-team meets and that was the case in the opener as all four former NCAA Meet participants made deep runs into the invite.

The quartet of experienced wrestlers helped Concordia place five athletes in the Top 3 of their weight class and record 11 Top 5 finishes at the meet which featured some of the top wrestlers in the state of Wisconsin.

Junior All-American Jakob Stageberg started the season off with a second-place finish at 125. He went 2-1 at the invite and lost in the championship match to Division II All-American Ronzel Darling of Wis.-Parkside. Stageberg posted decisions in his first two matches to get to the title bout.

Jake Johnson, who earned his first-ever trip to the NCAA Meet last year, went 3-1 at finished second at 174. Johnson started his season with a 4-2 win over Division II opponent Job Ayala from Parkside. He then recorded a 2-1 win in the quarterfinals and a 5-3 victory in the semifinals over wrestlers from Wis.-Whitewater. Johnson fell 2-1 in the title bout to Mason Mergener of Concordia (Wis.).

Ricky Briggs was also an NCAA Meet participant last year and also found success in this year's season opener. He finished second at 184 after posting a 2-1 record. Like Stageberg, Briggs' only loss came against a Division II opponent from Parkside. Briggs posted a pin fall in his first match and then won 6-3 in the semifinal to advance to the championship match.

Last year heavyweight Justice Davis struggled with injuries after playing for the Cobber football team in the fall. Davis decided to forego playing on the gridiron this season to concentrate on his final collegiate season on the mat. The early work in the room paid off as Davis claimed third place at 285. His only loss came in the semifinals against Division I athlete Ben Stone of the University of Wisconsin.

Davis had a team-high four wins on the day and went 4-1 in his first invite of the year. He started with a 9-0 major decision and then won 3-0 in the quarterfinals. After his loss in the semis he won 5-2 and then 3-2 in overtime in the third-place match.

Adam Presler was the other Cobber wrestler to finish in the Top 3 of his weight class at the meet. Presler lost his opening match of the tournament but then rattled off four straight wins to go 4-1 on the day and tie Davis for the most wins.

Presler lost a tough 3-2 decision in the first round but then rebounded with a 12-7 decision in the opening match of wrestlebacks. He then posted a pin fall and a tight 8-7 win to advance to the third-place match where he claimed a 6-4 sudden victory win over Frank Lor from hos Wis.-Stevens Point.

Ty Johnson, Ben Baumgartner, Joe Heinz, Travis Deegan and Kody Van Den Eykel all had Top 5 finishes in their first meet of the year.

- 125: Jakob Stageberg 2-1, second place
- 133: Aaron Dick 0-2
- 141: Adam Presler 4-1, third place; Cody Weiland 2-2
- 149: Blane Tschida 3-1, fourth place; Ty Johnson, fourth place 2-1; Ben Baumgartner 4-2 fifth place
- 157: Joe Heinz 3-2 fourth place
- 165: Nick Gravdahl 2-2; Travis Deegan 3-2 fourth place
- 174: Jacob Johnson 3-1, second place; Joseph Grove 0-2; Collin Dolej 0-2; Parker Jackson 2-2; Jake
Berens 1-2
- 184: Ricky Briggs 2-1, second place
- 197: Jacob Briggs 0-2;
- 285: Justice Davis 4-1, third place; Kody Van Den Eykel 4-1; Travis Adams 1-2 

WHAT'S NEXT: Concordia will stay with its early-season multi-team invite schedule when they participate in the Dakota Wesleyan Open in Mitchell, S.D. on Saturday, Nov. 12. The Cobbers will open their dual-meet season on Wednesday, Nov. 16 when they host crosstown rival MSU Moorhead at 7 p.m.