FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – Concordia football fans will want to make sure and pick up a roster when they head out to Zollner Stadium this fall as a number of new names will be taking center stage for a Cadets program that will be relatively young in 2023 after going 4-7 last season.

Defensively, coach Tim Mannigel must replace graduated stalwarts James Rusher, a linebacker, and defensively lineman Grant Hayworth. That duo combined for 144 tackles, 26.5 tackles for loss, and 9 sacks last fall, as Rusher signed to play at Wabash College while Hayworth is headed to Wheaton College.

Offensively, quarterback Eli Mattox – a two-year starter – is gone, as are running back Landon Kaschinske and standout linemen Chance Harris and Bubba Craig (who signed with Hutchinson Community College, a JUCO in Kansas).

Receiver Noah Trent, who tallied 30 receptions for 318 yards and 3 TDs as a sophomore last fall, returns for an offense that is looking for playmakers. Senior Carter Ripke, who missed last year with an injury, is leading the way in a battle for the starting quarterback position.

Avery Cook, a junior, will be counted on to help lead the defense after racking up 28 tackles and two interceptions in the secondary last season.

Concordia opens the 2023 season on the road at Indianapolis Scecina on Friday, August 18.