Coach Larsen accepts job in Iowa

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Larsen (far right) was 84-20 in six years as Sparta’s head coach.

Citing an opportunity to be closer to family, Spartan head wrestling coach Jake Larsen is expected to sign a contract with Pleasant Valley High School in Bettendorf, IA.  The move comes after seven years with the program including six as head coach.

Larsen’s six years as head coach at Sparta High School were among the greatest stretches in program history from both a team and individual standpoint.  His 84-20 record as head coach tied Lyle Blum’s record for program wins by a coach in two less years and with 27 fewer losses.  Over those six years, Larsen’s squads won three MVC championships, were consistently ranked in the top ten and saw 27 individual state tournament berths.  In 2012 and 2014, Larsen was named MVC coach of the year.

In January of 2012, Larsen was highlighted by the La Crosse Tribune’s Todd Sommerfeldt a program where participation numbers are booming when many other teams had a hard time keeping kids on the mat.  Sommerfeldt quoted Larsen as saying they accomplished this by keeping focused on the kids.

Many high school wrestling programs are struggling. The number of co-operative teams in the state grows each season.

But not one level in Sparta is, and that means a lot to Larsen, the high school coach.

While most communities are struggling to keep varsity lineups filled, Sparta is one – Holmen is another – that is flourishing, and that has led to plenty of recent success.

“Our constant focus is to keep kids,” Larsen said after his Spartans beat Aquinas 69-6 last week for his 50th dual victory. “We work really hard to keep kids out for the sport, keep it fun and keep the schedules filled for them.”

Full Article.

Larsen’s impact on the program may have never been more evident than this past season.  Sparta rolled out a lineup that was routinely without wrestlers at two weights and sometimes three.  Despite this, Larsen’s team compiled a 13-4 record, a surprising MVC championship and came within one match of going to team sectional.  All year long, Sparta’s wrestlers were healthy, rested and won matches when they needed to and a big part of that was Larsen’s preparation of the team for the season’s most important matches.

As mentioned in an earlier post on Spartanwrestling,com, Mike Montgomery had a lot to say about Larsen’s contribution to this year’s team.  Much of what Montgomery said can be applied to Larsen’s entire time as head coach at Sparta.

Coach Larsen has done a great job of putting and keeping a varsity lineup together this season despite the challenges of not having the upper weights to round out his line-up. The ability to win close matches this season has been the result of winning the toss-up matches and having our wrestlers prepared to compete when the pressure was on. The Holmen match is probably a great example of winning when the odds were against us. Coach Larsen has stuck with a plan and not deviated from it as far as conditioning and training for the season. The goal is always to be at your best and freshest at the end of the season and hopefully that is where the Spartans are at. With only three seniors on the team it could be considered a rebuilding year but those seniors have provided good leadership and the rapid improvement of a talented freshman group has been a pleasant surprise.

With all the talent in the freshman and sophomore classes it becomes equally important to maintain their level of improvement and development throughout the season. Coach Larsen brought in Coach Zurfluh to help with this transition and it has paid great dividends.  Coach Zurfluh has provided a nurturing, positive, and encouraging presence to the young wrestlers as they await their opportunity in the upcoming years. The sign of a strong and lasting program are high levels of participation and competition among the wrestlers for varsity positions. A state championship team needs to be 2 or 3 deep at every weight class. It is a very long and demanding season and anything can happen along the way. When you have quality wrestlers to fall back on, minor injuries, illnesses or other setbacks won’t impact the overall strength of the team as much.
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So where does the program go next and what type of coach should the program look to bring in?  We’ll examine that and more later this week.  Again, thanks to Coach Larsen for everything you have done for the program.  All the best in your move to Iowa.
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Enjoy a few photos of Larsen during his six years as head coach at Sparta…
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Jon Bailey Competes at National Folkstyle Tournament.

Sparta 7th grader Jon Bailey is competing this weekend in the USAW Kids Folkstyle Nationals in Cedar Rapids, IA.  Jon is competing in the Schoolboy 105 lb. class.

In the first round of 64 Jon received a bye; in round 2 he defeated Noah Hunt from Bloomington, IN. 8-4 to move into the round of 16. In the 3rd round Jon defeated Christian Minto from Cape Coral, Florida 5-0.  In quarterfinal action Jon defeated Brett Benton from Casper, Wyoming 2-0 to move into the semi-finals.   In the semi-finals this morning Jon lost to Tyler Eischens from Anoka, MN by fall in 1:30. Eischens, was a varsity wrestler for Anoka High School this past season as an 8th grader.  He finished 2nd in the District 7 AAA Sectional and qualifying for the State High School Tournament.

Jon will continue through wrestlebacks today having already guaranteed himself at least a 6th place National finish and still a chance for 2nd.

More information to come.

Weekend sees three state champs, one All-American for Spartans

From left:  Brett Von Ruden, Hayden Krein and Jon Bailey all earned WWF Kids Folkstyle state championships this past weekend in Madison.

From left: Brett Von Ruden, Hayden Krein and Jon Bailey all earned WWF Kids Folkstyle state championships this past weekend in Madison.

Sparta sent 14 wrestlers to the WWF Kids Folkstyle State Tournament in Madison this past weekend and half came as state placewinners with three finishing the weekend standing at the top of the podium.  Leading the way as state champs for the Spartans were Brett VonRuden, Jon Bailey and Hayden Krein.  Also medaling for the Spartans were Carter Veith (2nd), Cole Wisniewski (3rd), Brendan Burke (2nd) and David Hayes (4th).

Von Ruden dominated his bracket with an opening match 33 second pin followed by victories of 8-2 and 13-1 before winning by injury default in the finals.  Bailey was equally as impressive in his first three matches winning by pin in 59 seconds followed by 9-0 and 7-0 wins before winning a close 3-2 match in the finals.  Finally, Hayden Krein had a tougher road to his championship winning his opening round match 12-0 before then squeaking through to the semifinals with a 4-3 victory in the quarterfinals.  Then it was a 6-2 victory followed by a 4-0 win in the finals.

Carter Veith and Brendan Burke also advanced to the finals, but lost their championship matches.  The three state champions and seven place winners overall is almost certainly a record number in each category for Spartans at youth state.  Records on this are much harder to come by, but I don’t recall any year with a Spartan contingent this talented or deep.

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Alice Todryk finished 4th at the 2014 USAW Girls Folkstyle Nationals.

Meanwhile, Alice Todryk earned a 4th place finish at the 2014 USAW Girls Folkstyle Nationals.  She was just one point away from finishing third as she dropped a 2-1 decision in the third place match.  Here’s how she did in Oklahoma City…

Schoolgirl (2000-2001) 97 – Alice Todryk’s place is 4th and has scored 14.00 team points.
Quarterfinal – Alice Todryk (Sparta) won by fall over Summer Rockstroh (Minnesota) (Fall 2:21)
Semifinal – Angel Rios (Colorado Girls National Team) won by major decision over Alice Todryk (Sparta) (Maj 9-1)
Cons. Semi – Alice Todryk (Sparta) won by fall over Mya Kretzer (Kansas Team) (Fall 1:00)
3rd Place Match – Mia Rodriguez (Team Illinois) won by decision over Alice Todryk (Sparta) (Dec 2-1)

Congrats to all the wrestlers who advanced to the state tournament.  Sparta is proud!!

Now let’s see how everyone did at the tournament…

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Hayden Krein stands above the rest.

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Jon Bailey.

Boys Born 2005-06 66 – Brock Connelly’s place is unknown and has scored 1.00 team points.
Champ. Round 1 – Zane Grams (Lakeland Wrestling Club) won by fall over Brock Connelly (Sparta) (Fall 0:35)
Cons. Round 1 – Brock Connelly (Sparta) won by decision over Trey Schulte (River Valley Youth Wrestling) (Dec 4-0)
Cons. Round 2 – Brody Hart (Winneconne Wrestling Club) won by decision over Brock Connelly (Sparta) (Dec 5-0)

Boys Born 2005-06 105 – Carter Vieth’s place is 2nd and has scored 22.00 team points.
Champ. Round 1 – Carter Vieth (Sparta) won by fall over Taylor Haney (GET Blue Demon) (Fall 0:25)
Quarterfinal – Carter Vieth (Sparta) won by fall over Breyden Johll (Cuba City Wrestling Club) (Fall 1:58)
Semifinal – Carter Vieth (Sparta) won by fall over Bradley Neve (Pittsville) (Fall 1:19)
1st Place Match – Aiden Schenk (JYWC Pythons) won by decision over Carter Vieth (Sparta) (Dec 6-0)

Boys Born 2003-04 87 – Tye Klass’s place is unknown and has scored 2.00 team points.
Champ. Round 1 – Tye Klass (Sparta) won by decision over Nicholas Sommers (Marathon) (Dec 6-0)
Quarterfinal – Cole Hoesly (Brodhead Youth Wrestling) won by decision over Tye Klass (Sparta) (Dec 6-1)
Cons. Round 2 – Reece Piontek (Denmark) won by decision over Tye Klass (Sparta) (Dec 3-1)

Boys Born 2001-02 94 – Cole Wisniewski’s place is 3rd and has scored 14.00 team points.
Champ. Round 1 – Cole Wisniewski (Sparta) won by decision over Carter Napiwocki (Wausau West) (Dec 6-2)
Quarterfinal – Cole Wisniewski (Sparta) won by decision over Max Ehlen (Burlington Wrestling Club) (Dec 3-0)
Semifinal – John Diener (Kaukauna Grapplin` Ghosts) won by decision over Cole Wisniewski (Sparta) (Dec 4-0)
Cons. Semi – Cole Wisniewski (Sparta) won by decision over Reese Anderson (Rosholt Area Youth Wrestling) (Dec 4-1)
3rd Place Match – Cole Wisniewski (Sparta) won by decision over Austin Hernandez (KWA Bulldogs) (Dec 2-0)

Boys Born 2001-02 105 – Corbin Hauser’s place is unknown and has scored 2.00 team points.
Champ. Round 1 – Corbin Hauser (Sparta) won by decision over Jake Skrundz (Burlington Wrestling Club) (Dec 6-1)
Quarterfinal – Aaron Bahr (LAW) won by fall over Corbin Hauser (Sparta) (Fall 0:39)
Cons. Round 2 – Dylan Schmidt (Hortonville Wrestling Club) won by decision over Corbin Hauser (Sparta) (Dec 7-0)

Boys Born 2001-02 150 – Madden Connelly’s place is unknown and has scored 0.00 team points.
Champ. Round 1 – Jake Rau (Medford) won by fall over Madden Connelly (Sparta) (Fall 0:41)
Cons. Round 1 – Isaiah Upson (Phillips) won by decision over Madden Connelly (Sparta) (Dec 5-0)

Boys Born 2001-02 165 – Brendan Burke’s place is 2nd and has scored 20.00 team points.
Champ. Round 1 – Brendan Burke (Sparta) won by fall over Alan Uttecht (Wittenberg-Birnamwood) (Fall 0:32)
Quarterfinal – Brendan Burke (Sparta) won by fall over Jacob Somlai (Brookfield Wrestling Club) (Fall 2:24)
Semifinal – Brendan Burke (Sparta) won by decision over Jake Johnston (Ringers) (Dec 5-0)
1st Place Match – Angel Garcia (KWA Bulldogs) won by fall over Brendan Burke (Sparta) (Fall 0:53)

Brett Von Ruden

Brett Von Ruden

Boys Born 1999-2000 130 – Brett Von Ruden’s place is 1st and has scored 23.00 team points.
Champ. Round 1 – Brett Von Ruden (Sparta) won by fall over Kaleb Schuster (DC Everest Treetopers) (Fall 0:33)
Quarterfinal – Brett Von Ruden (Sparta) won by decision over Logan Ramos (KWA Bulldogs) (Dec 8-2)
Semifinal – Brett Von Ruden (Sparta) won by major decision over Cade Spilde (Stoughton) (Maj 13-2)
1st Place Match – Brett Von Ruden (Sparta) won by injury default over Jared Bird (Burlington Wrestling Club) (Inj. 2:33)

Boys Born 1999-2000 140 – Keaton Hauser’s place is unknown and has scored 0.00 team points.
Champ. Round 1 – Dillon Martin (Wautoma) won by major decision over Keaton Hauser (Sparta) (Maj 12-2)
Cons. Round 1 – Kolton Bartow (Cuba City Wrestling Club) won by fall over Keaton Hauser (Sparta) (Fall 3:56)

Spartans wrestling for LAW

Boys Born 2001-02 79 – Vince Polhamus’s place is unknown and has scored 3.00 team points.
Champ. Round 1 – Vince Polhamus (LAW) won by major decision over Derek Moravec (Wabeno/Laona) (Maj 11-2)
Quarterfinal – Cayden Robson (River Valley Youth Wrestling) won in sudden victory – 1 over Vince Polhamus (LAW) (SV-1 7-5)
Cons. Round 2 – Josh Luedtke (X-Factor Elite) won by decision over Vince Polhamus (LAW) (Dec 5-0)

Boys Born 2001-02 97 – Jon Bailey’s place is 1st and has scored 21.00 team points.
Champ. Round 1 – Jon Bailey (LAW) won by fall over Gavin Lisowe (Chilton) (Fall 0:59)
Quarterfinal – Jon Bailey (LAW) won by major decision over Jackson Wolf (Oak Creek Attack) (Maj 9-0)
Semifinal – Jon Bailey (LAW) won by decision over Ty Miller (Advance School of Wrestling) (Dec 7-0)
1st Place Match – Jon Bailey (LAW) won by decision over Eric Bauer (Kewaskum IndiansWrestling Club) (Dec 3-2)

Boys Born 1999-2000 95 – David Hayes’s place is 4th and has scored 16.00 team points.
Champ. Round 1 – David Hayes (LAW) won by major decision over Corbin Trotzer (DC Everest Treetopers) (Maj 11-0)
Quarterfinal – David Hayes (LAW) won by fall over Brandon Baltz (Higher Level Wrestling) (Fall 2:34)
Semifinal – Logan Walker (X-Factor Elite) won by decision over David Hayes (LAW) (Dec 2-0)
Cons. Semi – David Hayes (LAW) won by major decision over Corbin Trotzer (DC Everest Treetopers) (Maj 10-2)
3rd Place Match – Drew Scharenbrock (Advance School of Wrestling) won by decision over David Hayes (LAW) (Dec 3-2)

Boys Born 1999-2000 120 – Mathias Krein’s place is unknown and has scored 2.00 team points.
Champ. Round 1 – Klay Ellenbecker (Athens) won by decision over Mathias Krein (LAW) (Dec 4-2)
Cons. Round 1 – Mathias Krein (LAW) won by decision over Anthony Christenson (Askren Wrestling Academy) (Dec 3-0)
Cons. Round 2 – Mathias Krein (LAW) won by decision over Evan Frisque (West De Pere/Fox Valley Elite) (Dec 2-0)
Cons. Round 3 – Val Kochiu (Wausau West) won by decision over Mathias Krein (LAW) (Dec 6-0)

Boys Born 1999-2000 135 – Hayden Krein’s place is 1st and has scored 19.00 team points.
Champ. Round 1 – Hayden Krein (LAW) won by major decision over Cody Sawyer (Wisconsin Rapids) (Maj 12-0)
Quarterfinal – Hayden Krein (LAW) won by decision over Teagen Miller (Mauston) (Dec 4-3)
Semifinal – Hayden Krein (LAW) won by decision over Jerry Lipke (Milton) (Dec 6-2)
1st Place Match – Hayden Krein (LAW) won by decision over Nathan Crayton (Higher Level Wrestling) (Dec 4-0)

5 Young Spartans in Finals of State Kids Tournament, 2 more fighting for 3rd.

Spartans Jon Bailey, Hayden Krein, Brett VonRuden, Brendan Burke and Carter Vieth are all in the State Kids Finals wrestling for a Championship. David Hayes and Cole Wisniewski are still fighting for 3rd place.

Boys Born 2001-02 97 – Jon Bailey’s place is 2nd and has scored 19.00 team points.
Champ. Round 1 – Jon Bailey (LAW) won by fall over Gavin Lisowe (Chilton) (Fall 0:59)
Quarterfinal – Jon Bailey (LAW) won by major decision over Jackson Wolf (Oak Creek Attack) (Maj 9-0)
Semifinal – Jon Bailey (LAW) won by decision over Ty Miller (Advance School of Wrestling) (Dec 7-0)

Boys Born 1999-2000 95 – David Hayes’s place is 4th and has scored 16.00 team points.
Champ. Round 1 – David Hayes (LAW) won by major decision over Corbin Trotzer (DC Everest Treetopers) (Maj 11-0)
Quarterfinal – David Hayes (LAW) won by fall over Brandon Baltz (Higher Level Wrestling) (Fall 2:34)
Semifinal – Logan Walker (X-Factor Elite) won by decision over David Hayes (LAW) (Dec 2-0)
Cons. Semi – David Hayes (LAW) won by major decision over Corbin Trotzer (DC Everest Treetopers) (Maj 10-2)
3rd Place Match – Drew Scharenbrock (Advance School of Wrestling) won by decision over David Hayes (LAW) (Dec 3-2)

Boys Born 1999-2000 135 – Hayden Krein’s place is 2nd and has scored 17.00 team points.
Champ. Round 1 – Hayden Krein (LAW) won by major decision over Cody Sawyer (Wisconsin Rapids) (Maj 12-0)
Quarterfinal – Hayden Krein (LAW) won by decision over Teagen Miller (Mauston) (Dec 4-3)
Semifinal – Hayden Krein (LAW) won by decision over Jerry Lipke (Milton) (Dec 6-2)

Boys Born 2005-06 105 – Carter Vieth’s place is 2nd and has scored 22.00 team points.
Champ. Round 1 – Carter Vieth (Sparta) won by fall over Taylor Haney (GET Blue Demon) (Fall 0:25)
Quarterfinal – Carter Vieth (Sparta) won by fall over Breyden Johll (Cuba City Wrestling Club) (Fall 1:58)
Semifinal – Carter Vieth (Sparta) won by fall over Bradley Neve (Pittsville) (Fall 1:19)

Boys Born 2001-02 94 – Cole Wisniewski’s place is 4th and has scored 12.00 team points.
Champ. Round 1 – Cole Wisniewski (Sparta) won by decision over Carter Napiwocki (Wausau West) (Dec 6-2)
Quarterfinal – Cole Wisniewski (Sparta) won by decision over Max Ehlen (Burlington Wrestling Club) (Dec 3-0)
Semifinal – John Diener (Kaukauna Grapplin` Ghosts) won by decision over Cole Wisniewski (Sparta) (Dec 4-0)
Cons. Semi – Cole Wisniewski (Sparta) won by decision over Reese Anderson (Rosholt Area Youth Wrestling) (Dec 4-1)

Boys Born 2001-02 165 – Brendan Burke’s place is 2nd and has scored 20.00 team points.
Champ. Round 1 – Brendan Burke (Sparta) won by fall over Alan Uttecht (Wittenberg-Birnamwood) (Fall 0:32)
Quarterfinal – Brendan Burke (Sparta) won by fall over Jacob Somlai (Brookfield Wrestling Club) (Fall 2:24)
Semifinal – Brendan Burke (Sparta) won by decision over Jake Johnston (Ringers) (Dec 5-0)

Boys Born 1999-2000 130 – Brett Von Ruden’s place is 2nd and has scored 19.00 team points.
Champ. Round 1 – Brett Von Ruden (Sparta) won by fall over Kaleb Schuster (DC Everest Treetopers) (Fall 0:33)
Quarterfinal – Brett Von Ruden (Sparta) won by decision over Logan Ramos (KWA Bulldogs) (Dec 8-2)
Semifinal – Brett Von Ruden (Sparta) won by major decision over Cade Spilde (Stoughton) (Maj 13-2)

Jaden Winchel, Youth wrestlers lead the way at Dominate in the Dells

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Seven Spartan wrestlers traveled to Wisconsin Dells last weekend and competed in the tough Dominate in the Dells tournament.  Alice Todryk, Jaden Winchel, Dylan Winchel , Logan Degenhardt, Hayden Krein, Jon Bailey and Vince Polhamus competed at the tournament that featured wrestlers from 331 clubs and schools.

Leading the way for high school Spartans was freshman Jaden Winchel who went 6-2 at the tournament to finish in third place.  In the third place match, Winchel defeated Evansville/Albany’s Jordan Meyer 8-5.  Meyer defeated Winchel 14-4 at sectionals and was a state runner-up to West Salem/Bangor’s Devin Bahr.

Dylan Winchel went 4-2, but did not place.  He lost his opening round match to Menomonie’s Logan Schlough who finished 3rd in division one at 132 pounds at this year’s state tournament.  After the loss, Winchel picked up four straight victories before falling in the consolation quarterfinals.  Also competing for the Spartans was Alice Todryk and Logan Degenhardt.

The middle school saw three wrestlers finish in 2nd.  Vince Polhamus, Jon Bailey and Hayden Krein all finished 2nd.  Both Bailey and Krein lost their championship matches and won their second place matches by rule while Polhamus wrestled back to earn 2nd place.  Both Spartans who advanced to the finals lost close matches.  Bailey dropped a 4-2 decision while Krein fell 7-6.

Check out the full match-by-match results for the Spartans below…

TOA – 2014 Dominate in the Dells Results for Sparta
Schoolboy/girl 91 – Alice Todryk’s place is unknown and has scored 0.00 team points.
Champ. Round 1 – Jack Tangen (Northshore Edge) won by fall over Alice Todryk (Sparta) (Fall 3:25)
Cons. Round 1 – Benjamin Smith (PWC Trophy Hunters) won by major decision over Alice Todryk (Sparta) (Maj 9-1)

Cadet 132 – Jaden Winchel’s place is 3rd and has scored 22.00 team points.
Champ. Round 1 – Jaden Winchel (Sparta) received a bye () (Bye)
Champ. Round 2 – Jaden Winchel (Sparta) won by fall over Drew Fjoser (Sauk Prairie Youth Wrestling) (Fall 1:11)
Quarterfinal – Michael Peters (Road Dawg Wrestling) won by fall over Jaden Winchel (Sparta) (Fall 3:33)
Cons. Round 4 – Jaden Winchel (Sparta) won by major decision over Vincenzo DiGennaro (Advance School Of Wrestling) (Maj 12-1)
Cons. Round 5 – Jaden Winchel (Sparta) won by major decision over Lenny Petersen (No Mercy Wrestling Academy) (Maj 13-1)
Cons. Semi – Jaden Winchel (Sparta) won by decision over Jess Karber (Clark-Willow Lake Cyclones) (Dec 6-2)
3rd Place Match – Jaden Winchel (Sparta) won by decision over Jordan Meyer (Evansville Demons Wrestling Cl) (Dec 8-5)
2nd Place Match – Andrew Wenger (Dakota Wrestling Club) won by decision over Jaden Winchel (Sparta) (Dec 6-3)

Junior 138 – Dylan Winchel’s place is unknown and has scored 10.00 team points.
Champ. Round 1 – Logan Schlough (Menomonie wrestling club) won by fall over Dylan Winchel (Sparta) (Fall 3:37)
Cons. Round 1 – Dylan Winchel (Sparta) received a bye () (Bye)
Cons. Round 2 – Dylan Winchel (Sparta) won by fall over Travis Wollenberg (Bonduel) (Fall 1:52)
Cons. Round 3 – Dylan Winchel (Sparta) won by fall over Erik Rupp (Columbus Cardinals Wrestling C) (Fall 2:39)
Cons. Round 4 – Dylan Winchel (Sparta) won by decision over Kyle Hutterer (X-Factor Elite) (Dec 6-4)
Cons. Round 5 – Ricky Vigil (No Mercy Wrestling Academy) won by fall over Dylan Winchel (Sparta) (Fall 3:39)

Junior 220 – Logan Degenhardt’s place is unknown and has scored 0.00 team points.
Champ. Round 1 – Beau Thompson (Wisconsin Rapids) won by decision over Logan Degenhardt (Sparta) (Dec 9-3)
Cons. Round 1 – Logan Degenhardt (Sparta) received a bye () (Bye)
Cons. Round 2 – Kenny Maclin (Rockets Youth Wrestling Club) won by decision over Logan Degenhardt (Sparta) (Dec 11-6)

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From left: Krein, Bailey and Polhamus. All placed second.

Spartans Wrestling for LAW
Novice 80 – Vince Polhamus’s place is 2nd and has scored 19.00 team points.
Champ. Round 1 – Vince Polhamus (LAW) received a bye () (Bye)
Champ. Round 2 – Vince Polhamus (LAW) won by decision over Jack Schmitz (Denmark) (Dec 8-3)
Quarterfinal – Vince Polhamus (LAW) won by decision over Tate Johnson (Legends of Gold) (Dec 4-2)
Semifinal – Deon Davis (Dirty Eagles Wrestling Club) won by tech fall over Vince Polhamus (LAW) (TF 15-0)
Cons. Semi – Vince Polhamus (LAW) won by decision over Jack Schmitz (Denmark) (Dec 8-2)
3rd Place Match – Vince Polhamus (LAW) won by decision over Tate Johnson (Legends of Gold) (Dec 4-2)
2nd Place Match – Vince Polhamus (LAW) won by decision over Jack Bruso (Rochester WC) (Dec 7-0)

Schoolboy/girl 98 – Jon Bailey’s place is 2nd and has scored 20.00 team points.
Champ. Round 1 – Jon Bailey (LAW) won by fall over Alexander Deheck (Kewaskum Indians Wrestling Clu) (Fall 3:49)
Champ. Round 2 – Jon Bailey (LAW) won by decision over Will Jefferson (Agoge Wrestling Club) (Dec 6-0)
Quarterfinal – Jon Bailey (LAW) won by decision over Colby Njos (Anoka Youth Wrestling Club) (Dec 1-0)
Semifinal – Jon Bailey (LAW) won by decision over Aaron Schulist (Mukwonago Wrestling Club) (Dec 4-3)
1st Place Match – Austin Boone (Michigan Xtreme) won by decision over Jon Bailey (LAW) (Dec 4-2)
2nd Place Match – Jon Bailey (LAW) won by rule over Aaron Schulist (Mukwonago Wrestling Club) (RULE)

Cadet 138 – Hayden Krein’s place is 2nd and has scored 24.00 team points.
Champ. Round 1 – Hayden Krein (LAW) received a bye () (Bye)
Champ. Round 2 – Hayden Krein (LAW) won by fall over Russell Sanchez (North shore edge) (Fall 1:05)
Quarterfinal – Hayden Krein (LAW) won by fall over Max Schmitz (Denmark) (Fall 1:59)
Semifinal – Hayden Krein (LAW) won by decision over Jake Gille (Pulaski) (Dec 9-8)
1st Place Match – Billy Higgins (Berley Brothers) won by decision over Hayden Krein (LAW) (Dec 7-6)
2nd Place Match – Hayden Krein (LAW) won by rule over Jake Gille (Pulaski) (RULE)

Sparta sending 15 to Youth State

If the number of wrestlers Sparta sends to the youth state wrestling tournament is any indicator, the future of Sparta wrestling is strong.  Sparta will be sending 15 wrestlers to next weekend’s youth state wrestling tournament in Madison beginning on Saturday, March 28th.  Those wrestlers include Corbin Hauser, Keaton Hauser, Brock Connelly, Carter Vieth, Tye Klass, Hayden Brueggeman, Cole Wisniewski, Madden Connelly, Brendan Burke, Brett Von Ruden, Vince Polhamus, Jon Bailey, David Hayes, Mathias Krein and Hayden Krein.  The list of 15 includes ELEVEN champions.

Most of the kids competed at the Westby qualifier, but a few traveled to Mineral Point for that qualifier.  We will have periodic updates throughout the day on Saturday so be sure to check the website and Sparta Wrestling’s Facebook page for updates on how are Spartans are doing.  If you plan on following along, please note that Spartan wrestlers are competing under both Sparta and LAW clubs so be sure to check both clubs to find see how our Spartans are doing.

We asked a few of the people who attended regionals to give us the inside scoop on some of the matches.  Here are a few quotes…

From Andy Polhamus

“Vince won his six man bracket.  Four of the six kids in his bracket were past state qualifiers–very tough bracket.  Vince was also on the young side of the birth year. He won his first match 2-0, second match 3-0, and his championship match 2-0 with an excellent takedown in OT.  Wrestled great and didn’t allow a point scored on him.”

 

Let’s see how all our Spartans did this past weekend.  State qualifiers are in bold.

WWF Kids Folkstyle Mineral Pt. Qualifier Results for Sparta Youth Wrestling
Boys Born 2001-02 105 – Corbin Hauser’s place is 1st and has scored 18.00 team points.
Quarterfinal – Corbin Hauser (Sparta Youth Wrestling) received a bye () (Bye)
Semifinal – Corbin Hauser (Sparta Youth Wrestling) won by fall over Logan Schneider (Lancaster) (Fall 0:54)
1st Place Match – Corbin Hauser (Sparta Youth Wrestling) won by decision over Joe Sklenar (Askren Wrestling Academy) (Dec 5-3)

Boys Born 1999-00 110 – Turner Sund’s place is unknown and has scored 2.50 team points.
Quarterfinal – John Phelan (Dodgeville Mat Club) won by decision over Turner Sund (Sparta Youth Wrestling) (Dec 7-0)
Cons. Round 1 – Turner Sund (Sparta Youth Wrestling) won by tech fall over Shale Meyer (Riverdale) (TF 15-0)
Cons. Semi – Caleb Radtke (River Valley Youth Wrestling) won by decision over Turner Sund (Sparta Youth Wrestling) (Dec 1-0)

Boys Born 1999-00 120 – Luke Wendorf’s place is 4th and has scored 4.00 team points.
Quarterfinal – Luke Wendorf (Sparta Youth Wrestling) won in sudden victory – 1 over Sam Pieper (Oregon Wrestling) (SV-1 3-1)
Semifinal – Noah Durst (Dodgeville Mat Club) won by decision over Luke Wendorf (Sparta Youth Wrestling) (Dec 4-0)
Cons. Semi – Luke Wendorf (Sparta Youth Wrestling) won by decision over Jacob Pape (Sauk Prairie Youth Wrestling ) (Dec 5-1)
3rd Place Match – Sam Pieper (Oregon Wrestling) won by decision over Luke Wendorf (Sparta Youth Wrestling) (Dec 6-0)

Boys Born 1999-00 140 – Keaton Hauser’s place is 3rd and has scored 12.00 team points.
Quarterfinal – Keaton Hauser (Sparta Youth Wrestling) won by fall over Brandon Dolphin (Mineral Point Wrestling) (Fall 0:50)
Semifinal – Kolton Bartow (Cuba City Wrestling Club) won by fall over Keaton Hauser (Sparta Youth Wrestling) (Fall 2:00)
Cons. Semi – Keaton Hauser (Sparta Youth Wrestling) received a bye () (Bye)
3rd Place Match – Keaton Hauser (Sparta Youth Wrestling) won by fall over Brandon Dolphin (Mineral Point Wrestling) (Fall 0:24)
2nd Place Match – Kolton Bartow (Cuba City Wrestling Club) won by rule over Keaton Hauser (Sparta Youth Wrestling) (RULE)

 

WWF Kids Folkstyle Westby Qualifier Results for Sparta

Boys Born 2005-06 63 – Ryne Brueggeman’s place is unknown and has scored 0.00 team points.
Champ. Round 1 – Drew Purifoy (Reedsburg Youth Wrestling) won by decision over Ryne Brueggeman (Sparta) (Dec 2-0)
Cons. Round 1 – Ryne Brueggeman (Sparta) received a bye () (Bye)
Cons. Round 2 – Benjamin Bemis (Tomah Youth Wrestling) won by fall over Ryne Brueggeman (Sparta) (Fall 2:22)

Boys Born 2005-06 66 – Brock Connelly’s place is 2nd and has scored 13.00 team points.
Quarterfinal – Brock Connelly (Sparta) received a bye () (Bye)
Semifinal – Brock Connelly (Sparta) won by decision over Jesse Penchi (Desoto Youth Wrestling) (Dec 2-1)
1st Place Match – Dylan Bronk (Reedsburg Youth Wrestling) won by fall over Brock Connelly (Sparta) (Fall 1:45)
2nd Place Match – Brock Connelly (Sparta) won by decision over Logan Dunn (Wautoma) (Dec 7-3)

Boys Born 2005-06 69 – Bennett Burke’s place is unknown and has scored 0.00 team points.
Champ. Round 1 – Bennett Burke (Sparta) received a bye () (Bye)
Quarterfinal – Korey Machovec (Reedsburg Youth Wrestling) won by forfeit over Bennett Burke (Sparta) (FF)
Cons. Round 2 – Bennett Burke (Sparta) received a bye () (Bye)
Cons. Round 3 – Ross Zvolena (Loyal Youth Wrestling) won by fall over Bennett Burke (Sparta) (Fall 0:30)

Boys Born 2005-06 72 – Carson Kelsey’s place is unknown and has scored 2.00 team points.
Quarterfinal – Gabriel Tomas (Boscobel Youth wrestling) won by decision over Carson Kelsey (Sparta) (Dec 14-12)
Cons. Round 1 – Carson Kelsey (Sparta) won by major decision over Cole Faulkner (Desoto Youth Wrestling) (Maj 19-7)
Cons. Semi – Alexander Wieczorek (GET Blue Demon) won by major decision over Carson Kelsey (Sparta) (Maj 11-2)

Boys Born 2005-06 105 – Carter Vieth’s place is 2nd and has scored 9.00 team points.
Round 1 – Carter Vieth (Sparta) won by decision over Ty Nottestad (Westby) (Dec 6-4)
Round 2 – Jesus Gonzalez (Reedsburg Youth Wrestling) won by decision over Carter Vieth (Sparta) (Dec 7-3)
Round 3 – Carter Vieth (Sparta) won by fall over Taylor Haney (GET Blue Demon) (Fall 1:18)

Boys Born 2003-04 69 – Chris Jacobs’s place is unknown and has scored 0.00 team points.
Champ. Round 1 – Aiden Brosinski (Desoto Youth Wrestling) won by fall over Chris Jacobs (Sparta) (Fall 2:48)
Cons. Round 1 – Chris Jacobs (Sparta) received a bye () (Bye)
Cons. Round 2 – Colin Oneil (Cashton) won by fall over Chris Jacobs (Sparta) (Fall 0:36)

Boys Born 2003-04 87 – Tye Klass’s place is 1st and has scored 17.00 team points.
Quarterfinal – Tye Klass (Sparta) received a bye () (Bye)
Semifinal – Tye Klass (Sparta) won by tech. fall over Michael Weber (cochrane-fountain city) (TF4 15-0)
1st Place Match – Tye Klass (Sparta) won by decision over Bradyn Saint (PDC Wrestling Club) (Dec 4-2)

Boys Born 2003-04 120 – Hayden Brueggeman’s place is 1st and has scored 18.00 team points.
Quarterfinal – Hayden Brueggeman (Sparta) won by fall over Jake Collins (Westby) (Fall 0:51)
Semifinal – Hayden Brueggeman (Sparta) won by decision over Andrew Thompson (Desoto Youth Wrestling) (Dec 6-3)
1st Place Match – Hayden Brueggeman (Sparta) won by fall over Kane Groom (North Crawford/Seneca) (Fall 2:24)

Boys Born 2001-02 94 – Cole Wisniewski’s place is 1st and has scored 19.00 team points.
Champ. Round 1 – Cole Wisniewski (Sparta) won by fall over Logan Shramek (Blair-Taylor) (Fall 2:20)
Quarterfinal – Cole Wisniewski (Sparta) won by decision over Jake Rogers (LAW) (Dec 7-0)
Semifinal – Cole Wisniewski (Sparta) won by major decision over Tristin Grant (Cashton) (Maj 9-1)
1st Place Match – Cole Wisniewski (Sparta) won by decision over Gage Anderson (Holmen Viking Wrestling Club) (Dec 6-0)

Boys Born 2001-02 125 – Garret Pfaff’s place is 3rd and has scored 11.00 team points.
Quarterfinal – Cameron Zimmerman (Brookwood) won by decision over Garret Pfaff (Sparta) (Dec 4-0)
Cons. Round 1 – Garret Pfaff (Sparta) received a bye () (Bye)
Cons. Semi – Garret Pfaff (Sparta) won by fall over Nicholas Loesel (cochrane-fountain city) (Fall 0:57)
3rd Place Match – Garret Pfaff (Sparta) won by major decision over Cameron Zimmerman (Brookwood) (Maj 10-1)
2nd Place Match – Drake Schams (Holmen Viking Wrestling Club) won by fall over Garret Pfaff (Sparta) (Fall 2:15)

Boys Born 2001-02 150 – Madden Connelly’s place is 1st and has scored 4.00 team points.
1st Place Match – Madden Connelly (Sparta) won by fall over Tyler Smelcher (weston wrestling club) (Fall 0:54)

Boys Born 2001-02 165 – Brendan Burke’s place is 1st and has scored 20.00 team points.
Quarterfinal – Brendan Burke (Sparta) won by fall over Dawson Gerhardt (Neillsville Greenwood) (Fall 1:54)
Semifinal – Brendan Burke (Sparta) won by fall over Sebastian Billington (Adams Friendship Green Demons) (Fall 0:32)
1st Place Match – Brendan Burke (Sparta) won by fall over Jacob Morris (Richland Center Youth Wrestli) (Fall 0:28)

Boys Born 1999-00 80 – Blake Brooks’s place is 3rd and has scored 10.00 team points.
Quarterfinal – Colton Sime (melrose-mindoro) won by decision over Blake Brooks (Sparta) (Dec 4-2)
Cons. Round 1 – Blake Brooks (Sparta) received a bye () (Bye)
Cons. Semi – Blake Brooks (Sparta) won by disqualification over Matt Werner (West Allis/West Milwaukee) (DQ)
3rd Place Match – Blake Brooks (Sparta) won by decision over Dale Allen (Mat Rats) (Dec 7-4)
2nd Place Match – Colton Sime (melrose-mindoro) won by rule over Blake Brooks (Sparta) (RULE)

Boys Born 1999-00 90 – Kyle Erickson’s place is 3rd and has scored 10.00 team points.
Quarterfinal – Kyle Erickson (Sparta) won by fall over Payton Wood (GET Blue Demon) (Fall 1:51)
Semifinal – Kyle Erickson (Sparta) won by decision over Chase Watson (PDC Wrestling Club) (Dec 6-2)
1st Place Match – Dalton Schams (LAW) won by decision over Kyle Erickson (Sparta) (Dec 4-0)
2nd Place Match – Trevor Plomedahl (Holmen Viking Wrestling Club) won by decision over Kyle Erickson (Sparta) (Dec 5-3)

Boys Born 1999-00 120 – Jacob Oliver’s place is 4th and has scored 12.00 team points.
Champ. Round 1 – Chase Beinborn (Boscobel Youth wrestling) won by major decision over Jacob Oliver (Sparta) (Maj 10-2)
Cons. Round 1 – Jacob Oliver (Sparta) received a bye () (Bye)
Cons. Round 2 – Jacob Oliver (Sparta) won by fall over Jayden Alderson (Boscobel Youth wrestling) (Fall 2:14)
Cons. Round 3 – Jacob Oliver (Sparta) won by decision over Robert Velsco (Prairie Wrestling) (Dec 4-2)
Cons. Semi – Jacob Oliver (Sparta) won by injury default over Zachary Smith (Neillsville Greenwood) (Inj. 0:00)
3rd Place Match – Samuel Rogers (LAW) won by fall over Jacob Oliver (Sparta) (Fall 1:31)

Boys Born 1999-00 120 – Andrew Rickey’s place is unknown and has scored 8.00 team points.
Champ. Round 1 – Andrew Rickey (Sparta) won by fall over Riley Bolden (Hillsboro) (Fall 1:31)
Quarterfinal – Andrew Rickey (Sparta) won by fall over Jayden Alderson (Boscobel Youth wrestling) (Fall 1:38)
Semifinal – Mathias Krein (LAW) won by decision over Andrew Rickey (Sparta) (Dec 4-2)
Cons. Semi – Samuel Rogers (LAW) won by fall over Andrew Rickey (Sparta) (Fall 1:50)

Boys Born 1999-00 125 – Gabe Lamon’s place is unknown and has scored 5.00 team points.
Champ. Round 1 – Gabe Lamon (Sparta) won by decision over Riley Wayerski (pittsvillle) (Dec 2-1)
Quarterfinal – Gabe Lamon (Sparta) won by major decision over Dane Bach (Hillsboro) (Maj 13-3)
Semifinal – Brandon Peckham (Tri-county) won by decision over Gabe Lamon (Sparta) (Dec 11-5)
Cons. Semi – Riley Wayerski (pittsvillle) won by injury default over Gabe Lamon (Sparta) (Inj. 0:00)

Boys Born 1999-00 130 – Brett Von Ruden’s place is 1st and has scored 20.00 team points.
Quarterfinal – Brett Von Ruden (Sparta) won by fall over Nate Clark (West Allis/West Milwaukee) (Fall 1:57)
Semifinal – Brett Von Ruden (Sparta) won by fall over Nathan Thesing (Holmen Viking Wrestling Club) (Fall 2:38)
1st Place Match – Brett Von Ruden (Sparta) won by injury default over Kevin Sugden (Royall Wrestling Club) (Inj. 0:42)

Boys Born 1999-00 140 – Kashe Downing’s place is unknown and has scored 0.00 team points.
Quarterfinal – Levi Rieckmann (New London) won by decision over Kashe Downing (Sparta) (Dec 6-2)
Cons. Round 1 – Kashe Downing (Sparta) received a bye () (Bye)
Cons. Semi – Hunter Mason (GET Blue Demon) won by major decision over Kashe Downing (Sparta) (Maj 10-0)

Boys Born 2001-02 79 – Vince Polhamus’s place is 1st and has scored 14.00 team points.
Quarterfinal – Vince Polhamus (LAW) won by decision over Jake Ball (Fort Atkinson) (Dec 2-0)
Semifinal – Vince Polhamus (LAW) won by decision over Zach Foley (cochrane-fountain city) (Dec 3-0)
1st Place Match – Vince Polhamus (LAW) won by decision over Cody Welker (Higher level wrestling) (Dec 2-0)

Boys Born 2001-02 97 – Jon Bailey’s place is 1st and has scored 24.00 team points.
Champ. Round 1 – Jon Bailey (LAW) received a bye () (Bye)
Quarterfinal – Jon Bailey (LAW) won by fall over Alexander Parish (Richland Center Youth Wrestli) (Fall 1:44)
Semifinal – Jon Bailey (LAW) won by fall over Tyler Katzenberger (Marshfield) (Fall 0:59)
1st Place Match – Jon Bailey (LAW) won by fall over Hunter Grimm (pittsvillle) (Fall 0:35)

Boys Born 1999-00 95 – David Hayes’s place is 1st and has scored 22.00 team points.
Champ. Round 1 – David Hayes (LAW) received a bye () (Bye)
Quarterfinal – David Hayes (LAW) won by fall over Jason Griffiths (Hillsboro) (Fall 2:45)
Semifinal – David Hayes (LAW) won by fall over Matthew Grossman (pittsvillle) (Fall 1:19)
1st Place Match – David Hayes (LAW) won by decision over Todd Werner (LAW) (Dec 7-5)

Boys Born 1999-00 120 – Mathias Krein’s place is 1st and has scored 21.00 team points.
Champ. Round 1 – Mathias Krein (LAW) received a bye () (Bye)
Quarterfinal – Mathias Krein (LAW) won by fall over Robert Velsco (Prairie Wrestling) (Fall 0:32)
Semifinal – Mathias Krein (LAW) won by decision over Andrew Rickey (Sparta) (Dec 4-2)
1st Place Match – Mathias Krein (LAW) won by major decision over Chase Beinborn (Boscobel Youth wrestling) (Maj 8-0)

Boys Born 1999-00 135 – Hayden Krein’s place is 1st and has scored 16.00 team points.
Round 1 – Hayden Krein (LAW) won by fall over Reece Fernholz (Arcadia) (Fall 0:25)
Round 2 – Hayden Krein (LAW) won by fall over Justin Erdmann (Westby) (Fall 0:46)
Round 3 – Hayden Krein (LAW) won by fall over Jesse Zamora (OFA) (Fall 0:19)

Photos from the 2014 WIAA State Tournament

It was another great year at the state tournament to be a fan of Sparta wrestling.  The Spartans had six qualifiers, four placewinners and one finalist.  Christian Lamon, John Roddick, Jaden Winchel, Brock Polhamus, Dylan Winchel and Logan Degenhardt made the trip to the Kohl Center and were great representatives for Sparta.

Below are three galleries broken down by day.  If you want to see images beyond just Sparta, be sure to check out this blog post that covered some of my favorite images from the 2014 tournament.  And here are links to the individual galleries…

Day One  |  Day Two  |  Day Three

Let’s get to it.  Be sure to click on the navigation arrows to transition through each of the three galleries–they are not autoplay.  Here are images of the Spartans in action from the 2014 state tournament…

Day One

Day Two

Day Three

The 2014 State Tournament & Season

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The Spartans are making it a habit of sending about half their team to the state tournament each year and the 2013-14 season was no different.  On the heels of seasons where the Spartans sent six wrestlers in 2012 and seven in 2013, the Spartans sent six more this year.  Like the previous years, there were plenty of Spartans still wrestling on Saturday and standing on podiums that evening.  This year, Christian Lamon, John Roddick, Jaden Winchel, Brock Polhamus, Dylan Winchel and Logan Degenhardt made the trip to the Kohl Center.  Dylan Winchel, John Roddick and Brock Polhamus made their third trip to state, which matches a team record set by Steve Kimpel, Kevin Dutton, Troy Lietzau, Jared Rickert and Kyle Burkhalter.  Roddick and Polhamus have a chance to be the first four-time qualifiers next year.

Since 1995 when Josh Isensee qualified for state as a freshman, the Spartans only sent two other freshman wrestlers to state and that was John Roddick and Brock Polhamus in 2012.  Instead of waiting another 17 years between freshman qualifying for state, Sparta only had to wait two years as Christian Lamon and Jaden Winchel qualified.  Jaden made the most out of his appearance with a third place finish at 138.  His only loss was to Wrightstown’s Josh Verbeten in the quarterfinals.  After that loss, Winchel would pick up three straight wins to finish third.  And how did the guy who beat Winchel finish?  Verbeten finished 5th.  That’s right.  Winchel came back with three straight impressive wins, including one against the top-ranked wrestler in the state coming into the tournament in Stanley-Boyd/Owen-Withee/Thorp’s Robert Csukker (46-3), to finish ahead of the guy who beat him.  The top three finishers in state at 132 pounds in division two came from the West Salem sectional.  West Salem’s Devin Bahr finished first, Evansville/Albany’s Jordan Meyer was 2nd and Winchel was 3rd.  That 3rd place finish is the first time a freshman has placed at state for Sparta.  Winchel finishes the year at 39-14.

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Christian Lamon qualified for the tournament with a 3rd place finish at sectionals, but won his first match at state with a dominant 13-9 decision over Campbellsport’s Bennett Marchant.  After that, Lamon dropped a 9-2 decision to Wrightstown’s Dillon Micke (43-9) and a 6-2 decision to Lodi’s Jason Clapper (43-5).  The 6-2 decision was a big improvement over his technical fall loss to the Lodi senior in sectionals just a few days earlier.  Lamon finishes the year with a 33-12 record.

The good news didn’t end there.  At 138 pounds, Brock Polhamus won his first two matches to advance to the state finals.  He beat the coach’s son in Luxemburg-Casco’s Mason Berceau 7-2 in his first match to advance to the semifinals where he won a 4-3 decision against Ellsworth’s Tristan Mueller.  That sent Polhamus to the finals where he would face Two Rivers’ Chris Yauch.  The junior from Two Rivers was too much for Polhamus as he won 9-4.  The second place finish was not bad for a guy who had yet to win a match at state during his previous two trips.  Polhamus finishes the season with a 42-8 record.

Fellow junior John Roddick earned a place on the podium for the second year in a row with a 5th place finish at 126 pounds.  Roddick opened up the tournament with a pin over New London’s Scott Cook in 4:16.  That was followed by a 6-0 victory over a very tough Cody Chelminiak (40-6) of Delaven-Darien.  After that, it was a familiar story for Roddick as he ran into Ellsworth’s Jens Lantz who was going for his fourth state title.  Last year, Lantz pinned Roddick in just over three minutes and this year, the victory came by way of technical fall.  In the wrestleback following his loss to Lantz, Roddick dropped a close decision to Freedom’s Cody Walrath.  The official called Roddick for stalling in the third period and it appeared Roddick wasn’t aware Walrath had been awarded a point.  My guess is that it is standard to get down to the level of the wrestlers, pound on the mat and warn them of stalling.  That didn’t happen here and Roddick was unaware of the point that was awarded.  The point made the difference in a 3-2 loss.  In the 5th place match, Roddick won a 2-0 match he controlled from start to finish.  John finishes the year with a 43-10 record and has finished all three years with 40 or more victories.

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At 145 it was one and done for senior Dylan Winchel as he drew defending state champion Dewey Krueger of Oconto Falls.  Krueger was too much for Winchel as he won with a fall in 1:50 and would go on to place 2nd with a 2-1 loss in the finals.  Winchel finished the season with a 26-17 record, a 130-44 record over four years, three trips to the state tournament and two tournaments that ended with a spot on the podium.  The 130 wins is good for 7th all-time on the Spartan wins list.  Congrats Dylan on a great four years.

The final Spartan state qualifier was Logan Degenhardt at 220.  Like Tristan Zurfluh last year, Degenhardt lived and died by the closest of margins.  His first match was an ultimate tie breaker loss to Wisconsin Lutheran’s Bryce Roberts.  That was followed by a 1-0 victory over Sheboygan Falls’ Brady Koller.  That victory secured a spot on the podium for Degenhardt and set up a match with Almond Bancroft/Pacelli’s Jack Lawlis.  In a match that was close throughout, Lawlis emerged with a 6-3 victory, which sent Degenhardt to the 5th place match and rematch with Roberts.  It looked like Degenhardt was going to avenge his loss earlier in the tournament to the Wisconsin Lutheran sophomore, but a takedown by Roberts in the final seconds led to a 2-1 victory and a 6th place finish for Degenhardt.  Logan finishes the season with a 39-12 record.

The Spartans have sent at least two wrestlers to state every year since 2002 and have seen at least three wrestlers place every year since 2012.  The 19 qualifiers over the past three years are an unprecedented run in the history of Sparta wrestling and with four qualifiers returning and a talented group of eighth graders coming next year, it looks like this run has a good chance of continuing.

winchel-lamon
For this to continue, we need to continue to support the Sparta Wrestling program at all levels.  The tough tournaments Sparta competes in throughout the year prepare the Spartans for the tournament season.  No offense to some of the smaller tournaments around Sparta, but the lesser-competition at those tournaments don’t benefit the Spartans as much as the top-caliber competition the Spartans will see at tournaments like the Ellsworth Invitational and the Cheesehead.  The national tournaments the middle school wrestlers participate in prepare those wrestlers for what it will be like wrestling at the high school on a weekly basis.  The open mats that allow wrestlers of all ages in Sparta and the surrounding area to wrestle year-round keep those wrestlers fresh, sharp and prepared for competition when the season begins in November.  Champions in February and for this year, March, are not molded during the season.  They are molded in the 11-months before and after the tournament when weaknesses are addressed and strengths solidified.  This has never been more apparent than the last five years where Sparta has seen 26 state qualifiers.  As the youth, middle school and high school levels have started to work together more than ever, the results have played out at the Kohl Center and beyond.  So while the fruits of this hard work are played out at the high school level, we need to pause and give thanks to those at the youth and middle school who lay the foundation for this success.  And also, big thanks and congrats to coach Jake Larsen for preparing these wrestlers and getting them to the tournament season healthy and ready to go.

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Records and MVC Notes

After the completion of this year’s state tournament, a number of Spartan records are poised to fall.  With a three year record of 124-37, John Roddick is within striking distance of Matt Tourdot’s 165 career wins.  Roddick could also become the first Spartan wrestler to win 40 or more matches in every season while both him and Polhamus could become the first four-time state qualifiers in Sparta history.  Roddick also has the opportunity to join Troy Lietzau and Kody Seekamp as Sparta’s only three-time MVC champions.

Here is some more data to ponder over.  Sparta’s MVC championship this year is even more impressive when you examine enrollment numbers throughout the conference.  La Crosse Aquinas is the smallest school in the conference with just 338 students, but Sparta’s 704 is 162 less than the next smallest school, which is Onalaska with 866.  Tomah has 979 students, Logan 869, Tomah 979, Holmen 1083 and Central 1111.  And this gap between Sparta and the other schools is nothing new.  That makes Sparta’s MVC title and 9th straight season finishing first or second that much more impressive.  Sparta coaches and wrestlers are making the most with an enrollment that is hundreds less than the other conference foes with the exception of Aquinas.

After 25 years of MVC wrestling, here are the conference dual records over that time…

  1. Holmen 114-28
  2. Sparta 107-35
  3. Tomah 95-47
  4. Central 55-86-1
  5. Logan 54-88
  6. Aquinas 45-55
  7. Onalaska 7-134-1

With Coach Larsen’s 13-4 record this year, he is one victory away from tying Lyle Blum’s record for most wins by a Spartan coach.  Blum had a 85-47 record over eight seasons as coach while Larsen has a 84-20 record in six seasons.  His three MVC titles ties Mike Montgomery for the most of any coach.  Congrats Coach Larsen on another great season!!

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Best coaching job yet?

While the Spartans certainly did not lack top-end talent this year–the state tournament is evidence of that–one could certainly make the argument that Sparta was lean for depth in areas of the team.  Specifically, Sparta was routinely without wrestlers at 195 and 285.  The lack of depth at those weight classes may have cost the Spartans at regionals, at the Lancaster Invite, their dual against Baraboo at Stevens Point, at the Sparta Invite and Badger State.  There were questions of whether or not the Spartans would be able to compete with the likes of Tomah and Holmen while lacking wrestlers at weights where the Timberwolves and Vikings were strong.

Former head coach Mike Montgomery had this to say just before the tournament season started about the job Larsen has done with this year’s team.

Coach Larsen has done a great job of putting and keeping a varsity lineup together this season despite the challenges of not having the upper weights to round out his line-up. The ability to win close matches this season has been the result of winning the toss-up matches and having our wrestlers prepared to compete when the pressure was on. The Holmen match is probably a great example of winning when the odds were against us. Coach Larsen has stuck with a plan and not deviated from it as far as conditioning and training for the season. The goal is always to be at your best and freshest at the end of the season and hopefully that is where the Spartans are at. With only three seniors on the team it could be considered a rebuilding year but those seniors have provided good leadership and the rapid improvement of a talented freshman group has been a pleasant surprise.

With all the talent in the freshman and sophomore classes it becomes equally important to maintain their level of improvement and development throughout the season. Coach Larsen brought in Coach Zurfluh to help with this transition and it has paid great dividends.  Coach Zurfluh has provided a nurturing, positive, and encouraging presence to the young wrestlers as they await their opportunity in the upcoming years. The sign of a strong and lasting program are high levels of participation and competition among the wrestlers for varsity positions. A state championship team needs to be 2 or 3 deep at every weight class. It is a very long and demanding season and anything can happen along the way. When you have quality wrestlers to fall back on, minor injuries, illnesses or other setbacks won’t impact the overall strength of the team as much. 
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So while Sparta regularly forfeited two matches in each tournament and dual, they still finished with a 13-4 record and was no worse than 5th at all tournaments not named Cheesehead.  Sparta was successful because those who could step on the mat wrestled to their full potential.  Take Stevens Point for example.  Sparta won against Stevens Point 37-36 and against DC Everest in the championship 31-26.  In each of those duals, Sparta forfeited three times yet still won.  That’s because each of the guys who took the mat did their job, won the matches they should have won, closed out close matches and picked up bonus points.  Little by little all those efforts made a big difference.
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We could pat ourselves on the back all day for what we accomplished this year, but there is always room for improvement.  Sparta will look to earn their first regional title and trip to team sectionals since the 2011-12 season next year.  Sparta has fallen short at regionals the last two years by a combined 13 points.  There are tournament titles to be had and improvements could definitely be made at the very-tough Cheesehead, but these things will come if we continue the hard work and sacrifices of the wrestlers, coaches, alumni and parents.  On the most basic level, wrestling is an individual sport, but that individual can go so much farther with the support of their parents, fellow wrestlers, coaches, school and club.
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So let’s take time to enjoy the success of the 2013-14 team.  It was a great year to be a Spartan.  At the same time, let’s not settle for what we’ve accomplished.  As the last three years have shown, there is always room for improvement, for records to be broken and room for the program to reach new heights.
Larry Mosley - March 10, 2014 - 5:13 pm

I agree with Mont. This is the best coaching performance turned in by Jake. Great job to all the coaches and wrestlers, and a special thanks to the great Sparta Fans!!

Banquet on March 13th, Sponsor a Wrestler!

It’s hard to believe, but the 2013-14 wrestling season is over, but that means one more thing.  THE END OF THE SEASON BANQUET IS HERE.

On Thursday, March 13th, Club 16 will be hosting the banquet with a social hour at 6pm and the dinner at 630pm.  The cost per plate is $10 for an adult and $5 for a child under 12.  All wrestlers will eat free.

Speaking of wrestlers eating free, we are offering our “Sponsor a Wrestler” program again this year.  This is an opportunity for alumni and relative to help support the program and members of the team.  Your sponsorship of a wrestler will go to covering a wrestler’s banquet costs so they can eat for free.  Donations are tax-deductible and if desired, you can designate who you would like to sponsor.  You will be recognized by name at the banquet. Also, it is hoped that parents won’t have to sponsor a wrestler as they do enough during the season to support the team and your son or daughter so that is why we hope alumni, fans and other relatives can help out.  Of course, we can’t stop you if that is what you want to do, but we would like to recognize parent’s contributions and hope others will help out and sponsor a wrestler.

If you’d like to sponsor a wrestler, please contact Mike Montgomery at mmont0505@gmail.com or go ahead and donate here on the website by clicking on the donate button in the left margin.

Five Spartans named to 1st Team, Larsen Coach of the Year

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State runner-up Brock Polhamus earned his first All-MVC first-team honor while Coach Jake Larsen won Coach of the Year honors.

Five Spartans were named 1st Team All-Confrence today.  John Roddick, Jaden Winchel, Brock Polhamus, Dylan Winchel and Logan Degenhardt all received top honors in the conference.  The five matches a team record set during the 1992-93, 1993-94, 2002-03, 2003-04 and 2006-07 seasons. Receiving Second Team honors was Walker Polhamus while honorable mention honors went to Christian Lamon and Logan VanTassel.  Of the eight receiving honors, six return for next season.

Spartan head coach Jake Larsen received Coach of the Year honors while Central’s Ben Thornton was named Wrestler of the Year.

If you look at the weight classes among the first and second team and some of the weight classes of the honorable mentions, you’ll notice something.  There are a lot of school names right next to each other.  Central has 106 through 113 locked down on the first team, Sparta 126 through 145 and Tomah 182 and 195 while Holmen has three of the final four weight classes on the second team.  This is a pretty clear indication of how important practice partners are.  The harder you are pushed and the better caliber wrestler you face every day in practice goes a long way toward determining how you are going to perform when you face live competition.

For Dylan Winchel and John Roddick, this is their second All-MVC First Team honor.  For everyone else, it is their first time receiving the honors.  Freshman Jaden Winchel is the first Spartan to earn All-MVC first team honors as a freshman.  With his fourth All-MVC honor, Thornton joins fellow Central alum Eric Jetton and Tomah’s Tyler Laudon as the only four-time MVC champions.  Hunter Hauser became the 16th three-time MVC champion.

I’ll have another post recapping the final day at state, the season and more coming this week.  In the meantime, let’s look at the full roster of All-MVC award winners for the 2013-14 season.

roddick-1

John Roddick earned 1st Team All MVC honors for the second time this season.

1st Team All-Conference

  • 106  -  Jaden VanMaanen, Central
  • 113  -  Josh Kuhse, Central
  • 120  -  Ben Thornton, Central
  • 126  -  John Roddick, Sparta
  • 132  -  Jaden Winchel, Sparta
  • 138  -  Brock Polhamus, Sparta
  • 145  -  Dylan Winchel, Sparta
  • 152  -  Scott Ring, Aquinas
  • 160  -  Ben Linzmeier, Tomah
  • 170  -  Duncan McKinney, Holmen
  • 182  -  Seth Fryett, Tomah
  • 195  -  Jordan Reisinger, Tomah
  • 220  -  Logan Degenhardt, Sparta
  • 285  -  Hunter Hauser, Holmen

2nd Team All-Conference

  • 106  -  Drake Kulmaczewski, Holmen
  • 113  -  Nick Burns, Aquinas
  • 120  -  Nick Houlihan, Logan
  • 126  -  Hunter Pierce, Tomah
  • 132  -  Jordan Corcoran, Aquinas
  • 138  -  Ryan Stalsberg, Holmen

    jw-4

    Jaden Winchel is the first freshman Spartan to medal at state and is the first freshman to earn 1st Team All MVC for the Spartans.

  • 145  -  Conner Williams, Central
  • 152  -  Collen Samson, Tomah
  • 160  -  Konrad Ernst, Onalaska
  • 170  -  Walker Polhamus, Sparta
  • 182  -  Jacon Wiemerslage, Holmen
  • 195  -  Noah Risch, Holmen
  • 220  -  Calvin Wright, Logan
  • 285  -  Charles Serauskas, Holmen

Honorable Mention All-Conference

  • Aquinas  -  Emil Walleser, Charlie Fuchsel
  • Holmen  -  Ryan Bennett, Logan Lasack
  • Tomah  -  Logan Pollack, Casey Curran
  • Sparta  -  Christian Lamon, Logan Vantassel
  • Central  -  Jake Obert
  • Onalaska  -  Morgan Mueller, Cameron Robbert, Tyler Wood
  • Logan  -  Adam Bergeron, Cody Larson

Final Standings

  1. Sparta 6-0
  2. Holmen 5-1
  3. Aquinas 3-3
  4. Logan 3-3
  5. Tomah 3-3
  6. Central 1-5
  7. Onalaska 0-6
Jordan Jenkins - March 6, 2014 - 7:26 pm

Great job guys. Coach Larson is the man!

Jay Graham - March 6, 2014 - 8:42 pm

Awesome Job Jake!!!! See you soon to celebrate.

Shawn Dueholm - March 6, 2014 - 9:06 pm

Awesome job jake

Mary Ellen Leis - March 7, 2014 - 1:52 am

What an awesome year! These photos brought tears to my eyes! Jake; couldn’t be happier for you; you are an amazing coach!

Shellie Forbes Von Ruden - March 7, 2014 - 4:02 am

Congratulations Jake and team! It has been a fun year to watch some great tough matches! We are very proud of all of you!

Mark Johnson - March 7, 2014 - 4:50 pm

Congratulations !

Muriel Hutson - March 7, 2014 - 11:39 pm

Way to go Sparta! This was a great year and it seems to be getting better every year. To all the wrestlers, congratulations for your continued dedication, discipline and commitment to the sport. I love seeing all of these pictures as it brings a huge smile on my face every time I see something like this as it brings back such awesome memories of the state tournaments and all the hard work the wrestlers put into this. Jake…..Congratulations! Couldn’t be happier for you also! As Mary Ellen says, you are an amazing coach!