From left: Vince Polhamus, Jon Bailey, Brett Von Ruden and Hayden Krein

Ten Spartan wrestlers earned All-MVC honors for the 2016-17 season.  Vince Polhamus, Jon Bailey, Brett Von Ruden and Hayden Krein all earned first team honors while Blake Brooks, Jaden Winchel, Matt Fahning and Austin Zwiefel earned second team honors.  Kyle Erickson and David Hayes were honorable mention All-MVC.

For Jon Bailey, Brett Von Ruden and Hayden Krein, this is the second time each have earned first team honors.

Senior Jaden Winchel finished his high school career 23-0 with 15 pins in MVC action yet was only a three-time 1st team award winner.  He was 1st Team All-MVC his first three years and finished second as a senior.  Central’s Jaden Van Maanen earned the 145-pound 1st team honor this season despite wrestling five of six matches at 152 pounds.  His one other match was at 145.  Likewise, Winchel wrestled every match at 145 except for one at 152 pounds.  Conference bylaws dictate that a wrestler need only wrestle one match at one weight class to earn consideration at that weight class.  Always tough to see a guy go 23-0 over four years without much competition and not earn all-conference all four years, but the rules are the rules.

Click here to see the full list of 2016-17 MVC All-Conference award winners.

From left: Justin Schroeder, Chris Buckley, Steve Kimpel, Rob Kimpel and Joel Dutton

Wisconsin wrestling lost a legendary coach and even better man last month with the passing of former UW-Parkside wrestling coach Jim Koch.  The Rangers coach from 1970 until his retirement in 2011 was hit by a car while running between sessions at the division one wrestling tournament in St. Louis, Missouri.  Koch was the first wrestling coach at Parkside.  He coached 68 wrestlers to the national tournament and accumulated 277 dual meet victories in his 41 seasons.

Jim Koch

His wrestlers earned 128 All-American honors, 80 Academic All-American honors and 14 times his wrestlers won national championships.  His teams finished ranked in the top 10 at the end of 23 seasons.  He was inducted into the Wisconsin-Parkside Athletic Hall of Fame in 2012 and he is also a member of the NCAA division two wrestling hall of fame, the NAIA wrestling hall of fame and many others.

During his time at Parkside, Koch coached a number of Spartan wrestlers who have great memories of the coach.  Steve Kimpel, Rob Kimpel, Justin Schroeder, Chris Buckley and Joel Dutton all wrestled for Coach Koch.  Four of them–Steve Kimpel (25th), Joel Dutton (56th), Rob Kimpel (96th) and Justin Schroeder (134th) were named to the program’s top 150 wrestlers in 2008.

Below, the five Spartan alumni who wrestled for Coach Koch share their thoughts on their time at Parkside and what Koch meant to them.

Steve Kimpel
Former head wrestling coach at Colorado School of Mines and Wabash College.  He currently teaches in the Exercise and Sports Science department at Brigham Young University-Idaho.  As an athlete, he was a three-time collegiate All-American and trained briefly with athletes at the Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colorado.  In 2007, he received the Coaching Excellence Award from the National Wrestling Coaches Association.  He wrote the book Wrestle and Win: The Wrestler’s Guide to Strength, Conditioning, Nutrition and College Preparation.

As a Spartan, Kimpel was a two-time MVC first team wrestler and three-time state qualifier.  At the collegiate level, Kimpel was a two-time All-American at UW-Parkside finishing 4th in the nation at 158 pounds in 1994 and 5th in the nation at 150 pounds in 1993.  In 1995, Kimpel earned his third All-American honor finishing 4th in the nation in division two at 158 pounds for the University of Southern Colorado.

My name is Steve Kimpel and I wrestled at 158 lbs for Coach Koch between 1988 and 1994. As I have thought about Coach almost continually over the last week and particularly in the last 48 hours, the thing that comes to my mind most frequently is his character ethic. Obviously those who know him observed that he lived it to a fault.  In fact, it was one of the idiosyncrasies that I think prevented us from appreciating him fully during our time as student-athletes.

His diligence in never missing a day of running, a weekly celebration of Mass, and other regular devotions was something that stood out to me and was inspirational.  Because of some things I have adopted, I’ve benefited from doing several of what I call “minute miracles” the effects of which have been great after several years.

Among Coach’s spoken gems were two that have been written on my mind, the first of which came when I felt I was in a personal crisis.  He listened somewhat distractedly, which was his typical body language, and then said, “Ya know Steve, I’ve kind of learned over the years that things are rarely as bad as they seem and rarely as good as they seem.” And there it was.  Nothing had changed with regard to the situation plaguing me, but I walked away with a little more hope, and in the end he was right.  I have thought of that many times in the years since then and it has always helped me to start thinking a little more rationally.

The second bit of wisdom he imparted that imprinted on me came at the beginning of the 1993-94 school year when our team entered wrestling season ranked number one in the country and were picked to win the national tournament.  During one of our early season meetings Coach presented us with a document detailing what the acronym WIN was to mean for us going forward.  It stood for “What’s Important Now?” What was intriguing to me was that most of the document outlined things we should be doing off the mat more than on the mat.  Coach truly was interested in our development as people not just athletes.

Kimpel at one of his wrestling camps in Sparta.

in attending that initiated discussions of a wrestling scholarship.  However, I planned to serve a church mission for two years between my freshmen and sophomore years and all but a few programs said they would not scholarship me if I would be leaving.  However, I think Coach was kind of intrigued by the idea and offered the scholarship. This is not remarkable until one understands his next investment in me.

The second investment he made in me was one for which he would get no return.  At the end of my junior year, I was a two-time All-American and the highest returning national place winner in the country at my weight class. However, I also had a chance to move to Colorado Springs to train with the Resident Athlete Program, which was a new program for Greco-Roman wrestlers at the Olympic Training Center. Originally, I planned to forgo my last year of collegiate eligibility and focus on Greco-Roman, but ultimately decided to wrestle my last year in college while I was training for Greco.

I asked for an appointment with Coach and outlined my plan along with a request for a release university so I could talk with the University of Southern Colorado (now Colorado State).  We talked for an hour or so, and although I had been nervous to approach him he mostly had a lot of questions and some encouragement.  There were so many things he could have said, such as the fact that he funded me before and after a two-year mission and included a red-shirt year, or that he was one of only a handful of coaches who didn’t withdraw the scholarship offer when they learned of my mission.   He also could have brought up many dumb things I did my freshman year, but he didn’t.  I learned later that he took some criticism from members of the team, a few alumni, and some administrators for giving me the release to accept a scholarship with USC.

I still don’t know what made him willing to do that, but ironically that was a major turning point in my athletic career and changed how I began to view Coach and my relationship with him. I began to think about the various character attributes and wisdom in life he possessed.  A few years later I tore my ACL at the Olympic Training Center and began into coaching myself, first as an assistant for a program and then as head coach for two other universities.  In my new role, I found myself once again looking to Coach for advice on everything from how to run an event to how to handle problem athletes or high-pressure administrators.

He was certainly not a gifted conversationalist and more than once he might actually doze off in the middle of a conversation.  Notwithstanding those quirks his outlook on life and how to react to things was predictable, steady, and often right, when viewed in the big picture.

I might take a moment and speak about how I’ve been treated by the wrestling program after I left.  Given that I spent the next dozen years either competing or coaching against  Wisconsin-Parkside, mostly at larger events such as the National Duals, the Midwest Classic, or the NCAA Championships, one would think that the athletes and coaches would have turned a cold shoulder to me.  However, it has been quite the contrary.  I have been welcomed with gracious hospitality to any wrestling program event over the last twenty-three years.  That speaks to me of the great culture of family in that program, which I think owes itself to the way Coach ran the program.  There were definitely frustrating experiences, but I cannot think of a more perfect set of experiences (the good and the bad) to bond people together in a way that endures.

Learning of Coach Koch’s accident and passing was much more difficult for me than I would have expected, but even in this there has come a lesson for me about what I can learn from the untimely death of a great person.  Had Coach Koch live another twenty years I doubt I would have spent as much time thinking about the life lessons he has taught me.  I seldom reflect much on the passing of someone for whom a goodly age tolls the bell.  With the passing of Coach, I have spent many hours thinking not only about things I learned from him (and easily an equal number of silly things he did) but I’ve also thought about how he was basically an ordinary man who leaves such a legacy because his job and his habits allowed him to do such great service for many athletes who might have had much less direction at that time in their lives.  I was one of them in spite of all having good parents and excellent mentors in my high school program.  This gives me an example to follow in my various roles.

For the last 20 years or so I have hoped that my actions would bring honor to those who have invested in me–a list people which includes Coach Koch.  Even the possibility that he and a few others who have passed away might be aware of my decisions at various points in the future is motivating and something I take seriously.

Sincerely,

Steve Kimpel
Rexburg, Idaho
(formerly of Sparta, Wisconsin)

 

Joel Dutton
Elementary school teacher in the Kenosha, Wisc. school district.  Head wrestling coach at Kenosha Tremper High School.  After graduating from Parkside, Dutton stayed on for one season as a grad assistant in the wrestling program.  He spent two years as an assistant wrestling coach at Racine Horlick, was an assistant coach for two years at Parkside and just finished his 14th season as head coach at Kenosha Tremper.  He is now in his 19th year of teaching.

At Parkside, Dutton finished 4th in the nation at 126 pounds in 1993.  As a Spartan, he was a two-time MVC first team wrestler, a two-time state qualifier with a third place finish at 125 pounds in 1989.  He ranks 13th all-time in Spartan history with 114 career victories.

Not sure where to start; I’m deeply saddened. Coach recruited me and Steve, Buck, Justin and Rob because he believed in us, he saw in us potential and not just because of our wrestling abilities but our character.  Our coaches, Zurf, Mont, and Mr Smith prepared us well and he recognized that. Coach then filled the void when we left our families and came to college; he became our family.  He always was there to help with anything we had going on that was important to us and just being a friend.  Most importantly, he made me see the importance of graduating.

I thought when I stepped on campus that wrestling was the degree I was pursuing; I still had goals I wanted to reach and that was my priority.  He made me see the big picture that I can reach my goals and set myself up for life after wrestling…and it wasn’t easy, we had lots of discussions and I still think about the impact those conversations had on where I’m at today.  Conversations were what made Coach such a unique and great person.  He could talk with anyone and often did…I remember countless times when we’d finish weighing in and we’re ready to go eat but couldn’t because Coach was still talking with someone…”Come on Coach, we’re hungry,” someone would yell.  It seemed most times I’d stop in to see him there was people already talking with him or a waiting line to chat with him. Incredibly, he was also the master of falling asleep during a conversation wrestling trips and a little while later waking up and not missing a beat about the topic of discussion…but as I think back, he probably never slept because people were always calling on him and he was always there for them regardless the time or place.

Coach definitely left us with a lot of great experiences in wrestling as well.  I was part of teams that were ranked number 1 in the country and also became and ALL American in the process. We traveled across the country and wrestled in 15 different states and like a family stopped and visited all the big attractions while on the road.  We also wrestled many tournaments with the D1 powerhouses like Iowas, UW, Okie State, Missouri, etc…that always made us feel our worth even if we got beat up a little bit.  And even when it was all over, Coach was still there for me when I started my own journey after Parkside.  He supported me as a coach, father and husband.

I still can’t believe he is gone and I wish we could have one more talk, but I will always appreciate everything he did for me and never forget him.  Love ya Coach!

Thanks,
Joel Dutton
Gr. 5 Teacher – Jefferson Elem.
Wrestling Coach – Kenosha Tremper HS
Wrestling Coach – Kenosha Wrestling Club

 

Dutton (left) and Schroeder (right) after Dutton’s Kenosha Tremper team won team sectionals in 2011.

Justin Schroeder
Justin is a certified nurse anesthetist at Prairie Du Sac, Wisconsin.  As a Spartan, he was the program’s first state champion and first two-time state champion.

Coach gave me an opportunity to wrestle with 4 other alum at the college level.  That’s an experience I wouldn’t trade.  When I think about it, so many great memories.  I earned a scholarship that really provided me a future, as I’m not sure how my family could’ve afforded my college education at the time. That was a direct result of my previous teammates, and coach listening and taking the time to recruit me. My kids have benefited greatly from that extension, and if/when they choose to continue their education at the higher level, I’ll be able to provide for them.

I’d like to thank coach for allowing me to participate as a student assistant for two seasons after I was done competing. It gave me an opportunity to coach at the university level, and really start me where I am today.  Still hanging around the wrestling room, influencing young wrestlers, encouraging them to reach their goals, and compete at the next level.  Like I said, I have many great memories, and that’s what life is all about. Coach was a trivia savant, and always had the answer.  His itinerary on road trips was incredible too say the least.  Somehow he found himself in the middle of our pranks more than once.  Does anyone remember the hotel mattress switch on Koch?  Or the Mexican place in the basement of an Italian place in Canada. I recall the spicy rice, followed up with vinegar in the water glass, yikes!  Coach was never going to pass up leftovers on the table.  Although I agree with him, that was “dang dirty pool.”

Gotta thank Coach for so many things I have now, that I didn’t necessarily appreciate at the time.  Wish I could have seen him one more time, so close being at the same venue and just didn’t meet up yet.

 

Chris Buckley
Facilities Shop Supervisor at UW-Eau Claire.  He holds a bachelor’s degree in sociology from UW-Parkside.  As a Spartan, Buckley was a two-time MVC first team wrestler and made his only trip to the state tournament count with a runner-up finish at 152 pounds in 1989.

You know I just really appreciate the help he gave me in getting a college degree.   He really stressed to me the importance of leaving UW-Parkside with a degree.  Every Christmas he would send me and I am sure a great deal of his former wrestlers a letter to wish everyone a Merry Christmas and he would also update everyone on what he had been up to in the last year.  I really enjoyed hearing about his extensive traveling with his girlfriend Donna, his dogs, etc.  I am really going to miss those letters.

 

Rob Kimpel
Rob currently lives in the Phoenix, Arizona area and is a licensed, public insurance adjuster with the Arizona Department of Insurance.  As a Spartan, Rob was an MVC first team selection in 1989, a two-time state qualifier with a 4th place finish at 152 pounds in 1990 and a runner-up finish at 152 in 1991.  He finished 5th in the nation at 150 pounds at UW-Parkside in 1993.

Coach Koch was a great man who had a profound influence on so many lives.  He invested in me and believed in me when I didn’t really believe in myself.

Although we did not communicate regularly, we had spoken by phone several times over the past 20+ years.  He was always glad to hear from me and sincerely interested in my family and my career and seems so  surprised that I didn’t end up homeless.

Coach will definitely be missed.  My thought and prayers go out to all of his family, friends and UW Parkside family alike.

After losses in the quarterfinals and semifinals, 3rd place finishes were the best that sophomore Jon Bailey and junior Hayden Krein could hope for and that’s exactly what they battled back to earn after decisive and cathartic victories Saturday afternoon.

For sophomore Bailey, it was the second straight year he ended his state tournament in the third place match.  Last year, he lost in the third place bout 6-4 to Hortonville’s Eric Barnett.  This year, Barnett went 45-0 at 106 pounds and won the division one state championship.  Bailey lost in last year’s semifinal to Arrowhead’s Dominic Dentino 3-2 in overtime.  His opponent in this year’s division one 113-pound third place match?  Dentino.  This year it was Bailey coming away with an overtime victory–this time by a 3-1 score.

For Bailey, this is two podium appearances in two years.  His only loss at state this year was an overtime defeat to Stevens Point’s Dylan Koontz who ended up losing in the finals, but hadn’t lost since 2015 before that.  It was an incredibly strong tournament by Bailey and one he should be proud of.  Congrats, Jon, on an outstanding season.  Bailey finishes the season with a 40-6 record to follow up his 43-6 freshman campaign.

At 160 pounds, Hayden Krein stormed back from his loss in the semifinals to win two matches in decisive fashion to capture third place. His first wrestleback was against Holmen’s Kalyn Jahn. It was the fourth time these two had met this year and the third time in three weeks.  It’s always tough to beat a wrestler of Jahn’s caliber and even tougher to do it three times in as many weeks, but Krein emerged victorious with a 9-2 decision.  That brought Krein to the third place bout, which was a rematch of the opening round of the tournament and little would change.  Krein pinned Kenosha Bradford/Reuther’s Jake Deates in 3:52 to earn a spot on the podium for the third time in three years.

Hayden Krein has ended each of his first three seasons on the podium at the state tournament.  His first year was Sparta’s last year in division two and that ended with a third place finish at 152 pounds.  Last year, he won the division one 152-pound state championship.  The three podium finishes matches a program record held by John Roddick.  It’s hard enough to make it to state, harder yet to win a match once you get there, but to place three times in three years–that’s an incredible accomplishment.  Congrats, Hayden on a great season.  Krein finishes the year with a 36-2 record.

Full match-by-match results from the entire state tournament are below…

D1-113 – Jon Bailey (40-6) placed 3rd and scored 16.00 team points.
Champ. Round 1 – Jon Bailey (Sparta) 40-6 won by fall over Cole Ramos (Kenosha Bradford/Reuther) 44-5 (Fall 0:35)
Quarterfinal – Brady Koontz (Stevens Point) 36-1 won in sudden victory – 1 over Jon Bailey (Sparta) 40-6 (SV-1 7-5)
Cons. Round 1 – Jon Bailey (Sparta) 40-6 won by decision over John Diener (Kaukauna) 29-12 (Dec 5-2)
Cons. Round 2 – Jon Bailey (Sparta) 40-6 won by decision over Jalen Spuhler (Hartford Union) 44-9 (Dec 6-1)
Cons. Semi – Jon Bailey (Sparta) 40-6 won by decision over Cole Gille (Pulaski) 38-5 (Dec 5-0)
3rd Place Match – Jon Bailey (Sparta) 40-6 won in sudden victory – 1 over Dominic Dentino (Arrowhead) 36-5 (SV-1 3-1)

D1-145 – Jaden Winchel (40-5) place is unknown and scored 4.00 team points.
Champ. Round 1 – Jaden Winchel (Sparta) 40-5 won by major decision over Waymon McNeal (Germantown) 43-3 (MD 15-6)
Quarterfinal – Garrett Model (Stoughton) 46-6 won by fall over Jaden Winchel (Sparta) 40-5 (Fall 3:34)
Cons. Round 1 – Jaden Winchel (Sparta) 40-5 won by decision over Keenan Graef (West De Pere) 33-9 (Dec 7-2)
Cons. Round 2 – Austin Thomas (Waterford) 24-7 won by decision over Jaden Winchel (Sparta) 40-5 (Dec 2-1)

D1-152 – Brett Von Ruden (29-14) place is unknown and scored 0.00 team points.
Champ. Round 1 – Shane Gantz (Waukesha West) 41-2 won by decision over Brett Von Ruden (Sparta) 29-14 (Dec 8-3)
Cons. Round 1 – Adam Beine (Slinger) 52-4 won by fall over Brett Von Ruden (Sparta) 29-14 (Fall 4:43)

D1-160 – Hayden Krein (36-2) placed 3rd and scored 19.00 team points.
Champ. Round 1 – Hayden Krein (Sparta) 36-2 won by fall over Jake Deates (Kenosha Bradford/Reuther) 38-5 (Fall 3:31)
Quarterfinal – Hayden Krein (Sparta) 36-2 won by major decision over Alec Bess (Rhinelander) 37-5 (MD 12-0)
Semifinal – Tyler Dow (Stoughton) 52-2 won by decision over Hayden Krein (Sparta) 36-2 (Dec 9-2)
Cons. Semi – Hayden Krein (Sparta) 36-2 won by decision over Kalyn Jahn (Holmen) 44-10 (Dec 8-3)
3rd Place Match – Hayden Krein (Sparta) 36-2 won by fall over Jake Deates (Kenosha Bradford/Reuther) 38-5 (Fall 3:52)

Hello, alumni!  We hope you have enjoyed following the 2016-17 Spartan Wrestling team. Their success this season has continued a tradition of excellence and high expectations for our program. 4 wrestlers qualified for the State Tournament and two came home with 3rd place medals. The team finished 8-1 in duals and were the Division 1 Champions at Bi-State.

We are looking for our alumni to be an active part of our program in the upcoming seasons and would like to begin by offering you the opportunity to help support our team by sponsoring a wrestler at this year’s banquet.

Cost of sponsoring a wrestler is as follows:

1 wrestler dinner – $10.00
3 wrestler’s dinners – $25.00
6 wrestler’s dinners – $50.00
12 wrestler’s dinners – $100.00

(Payment and donation can be made online through Paypal at www.spartanwrestling.com (Click the “Donate” button on the home page)

Checks:
Make checks payable to: Sparta Wrestling Club. Please support by March 12th to assure recognition.

If this is something you are interested in, please download the donation form below…

Sponsor a Spartan Wrestler!!!

Thank you, alumni!

Two Spartan wrestlers remain alive heading into the final day of the state tournament.  There were a lot of ups and downs during day two.  Jon Bailey won both his wrestlebacks, Jaden Winchel and Brett Von Ruden were eliminated and Hayden Krein was defeated in his rematch with Stoughton’s Tyler Dow in the division one 160-pound semifinals.  Bailey and Krein will wrestle Saturday.

Jon Bailey rebounded from an overtime defeat at the hands of the finals-bound Brady Koontz by picking up a 5-2 decision against Kaukauna’s John Diener and a 6-1 victory over Hartford Union’s Jalen Spuhler (44-9).  That victory over Spuhler guaranteed Bailey a place on the podium for the second straight year.  If Bailey wins his first match Saturday, he will wrestle for third place.  If he loses, he’ll wrestle for fifth place.  His opponent to open Saturday’s wrestlebacks will be Pulaski’s Cole Gille (37-4).

At 145 pounds, Jaden Winchel opened the day with a 7-2 victory over West De Pere’s Keenan Graef.  His next match was marked by numerous stoppages for blood for his opponent and a controversial ending that saw Winchel losing 2-1 to Waterford’s Austin Thomas (23-6).  Winchel ends the year with a 40-5 record.

At 152 pounds, Brett Von Ruden opened up action against Slinger’s Adam Beine (51-3) and was dominant for much of the match.  Beine was no match on his feet for Von Ruden as the Spartan junior went up 10-3 deep into the third period before Beine locked up Von Ruden in a tight cradle and pinned him with 17 seconds to go.  Von Ruden was leading the entire match until getting caught.  Von Ruden ends the year with a 29-14 record.

Hayden Krein was searching to reach his second straight state finals appearance after winning the 152-pound championship as a sophomore.  That will have to wait another year as Stoughton’s Tyler Dow won 9-2 after catching Krein early in a scrambled that lead to a five-point move that altered the course of the match.  Krein never recovered and will now wrestle for third place.  His opponent Saturday morning will be a familiar one–Holmen’s Kalyn Jahn.  It will be the fourth time these two have met this year–Bi-State finals, regional finals and sectional finals.  Krein will enter his match against Jahn with a 34-2 record.

 

Full match-by-match results through two days at state are below…

D1-113 – Jon Bailey (38-6) placed 6th and scored 9.00 team points.
Champ. Round 1 – Jon Bailey (Sparta) 38-6 won by fall over Cole Ramos (Kenosha Bradford/Reuther) 44-5 (Fall 0:35)
Quarterfinal – Brady Koontz (Stevens Point) 36-0 won in sudden victory – 1 over Jon Bailey (Sparta) 38-6 (SV-1 7-5)
Cons. Round 1 – Jon Bailey (Sparta) 38-6 won by decision over John Diener (Kaukauna) 29-12 (Dec 5-2)
Cons. Round 2 – Jon Bailey (Sparta) 38-6 won by decision over Jalen Spuhler (Hartford Union) 44-9 (Dec 6-1)

D1-145 – Jaden Winchel (40-5) place is unknown and scored 4.00 team points.
Champ. Round 1 – Jaden Winchel (Sparta) 40-5 won by major decision over Waymon McNeal (Germantown) 43-3 (MD 15-6)
Quarterfinal – Garrett Model (Stoughton) 46-5 won by fall over Jaden Winchel (Sparta) 40-5 (Fall 3:34)
Cons. Round 1 – Jaden Winchel (Sparta) 40-5 won by decision over Keenan Graef (West De Pere) 33-9 (Dec 7-2)
Cons. Round 2 – Austin Thomas (Waterford) 23-6 won by decision over Jaden Winchel (Sparta) 40-5 (Dec 2-1)

D1-152 – Brett Von Ruden (29-14) place is unknown and scored 0.00 team points.
Champ. Round 1 – Shane Gantz (Waukesha West) 41-1 won by decision over Brett Von Ruden (Sparta) 29-14 (Dec 8-3)
Cons. Round 1 – Adam Beine (Slinger) 51-3 won by fall over Brett Von Ruden (Sparta) 29-14 (Fall 4:43)

D1-160 – Hayden Krein (34-2) placed 6th and scored 10.00 team points.
Champ. Round 1 – Hayden Krein (Sparta) 34-2 won by fall over Jake Deates (Kenosha Bradford/Reuther) 37-4 (Fall 3:31)
Quarterfinal – Hayden Krein (Sparta) 34-2 won by major decision over Alec Bess (Rhinelander) 37-5 (MD 12-0)
Semifinal – Tyler Dow (Stoughton) 51-2 won by decision over Hayden Krein (Sparta) 34-2 (Dec 9-2)

It was a mixed bag for Sparta on the opening day of the 2017 state individual tournament, but at the end of the day, all Spartans were still alive.  Jon Bailey, Jaden Winchel and Hayden Krein all won their opening round matches to advance to the quarterfinals while Brett Von Ruden dropped his opening round match.

At 113 pounds, Jon Bailey opened up with a dominating 35-second pin of Kenosha Bradford/Reuther’s Cole Ramos (44-5) before dropping a heartbreaking 7-5 overtime decision to Stevens Point’s Brady Koontz in the quarterfinals.  The Ohio State recruit is 35-0 on the year, the defending state champion at 106 pounds and hasn’t lost since 2015.  Bailey was strong on his feet and held a 5-2 lead at one point before Koontz started chipping away.  Bailey will wrestle Kaukauna’s John Diener (29-11) next.

At 145 pounds, Jaden Winchel’s day started with a dominant 15-6 major decision victory over Germantown’s Waymon McNeal. Next up was second-ranked Garrett Model of Stoughton.  Last year, Model defeated Von Ruden at the state tournament and this year he defeated Winchel.  It was Jaden’s first loss on the year to someone not named Jaden Van Maanen.  Winchel will now wrestle West De Pere’s Keenan Graef (33-8).

Brett Von Ruden drew Waukesha West’s Shane Gantz (40-1)–the top-ranked wrestler at 152 pounds in division one–and fell 8-3.  Gantz won his quarterfinal match so Von Ruden remains in the tournament and will wrestle Slinger’s Adam Beine (49-3) Friday morning.

Hayden Krein’s day at 160 was relatively smooth sailing.  He overcame Kenosha Bradford/Reuther’s Jake Deates (35-4) and his upper body ties to win by pin in 3:31.  Krein followed that up with a 12-0 major decision victory in the quarterfinals over Rhinelander’s Alec Bess (37-4).  He will now wrestle Friday evening in the semifinals in a rematch of last year’s 152-pound division one championship match.  His opponent will be Stoughton’s Tyler Dow (50-2) who picked up a first period pin in his first match and won by technical fall in his second match.  Look for Krein to avoid Dow’s throws and expect a good match.

Full match-by-match results are below…

D1-113 – Jon Bailey (36-6) place is unknown and scored 4.00 team points.
Champ. Round 1 – Jon Bailey (Sparta) 36-6 won by fall over Cole Ramos (Kenosha Bradford/Reuther) 44-5 (Fall 0:35)
Quarterfinal – Brady Koontz (Stevens Point) 35-0 won in sudden victory – 1 over Jon Bailey (Sparta) 36-6 (SV-1 7-5)

D1-145 – Jaden Winchel (39-4) place is unknown and scored 3.00 team points.
Champ. Round 1 – Jaden Winchel (Sparta) 39-4 won by major decision over Waymon McNeal (Germantown) 43-3 (MD 15-6)
Quarterfinal – Garrett Model (Stoughton) 45-5 won by fall over Jaden Winchel (Sparta) 39-4 (Fall 3:34)

D1-152 – Brett Von Ruden (29-13) place is unknown and scored 0.00 team points.
Champ. Round 1 – Shane Gantz (Waukesha West) 40-1 won by decision over Brett Von Ruden (Sparta) 29-13 (Dec 8-3)

D1-160 – Hayden Krein (34-1) placed 6th and scored 10.00 team points.
Champ. Round 1 – Hayden Krein (Sparta) 34-1 won by fall over Jake Deates (Kenosha Bradford/Reuther) 35-4 (Fall 3:31)
Quarterfinal – Hayden Krein (Sparta) 34-1 won by major decision over Alec Bess (Rhinelander) 37-4 (MD 12-0)

We get a lot of questions via email and Facebook about how to follow our Spartan wrestlers at the Kohl Center.  Here are some answers to the most common questions about the state tournament.

When will our guys wrestle?
Beyond Thursday afternoon, that is entirely dependent on how they do.  We do know that all four wrestlers will compete in the opening session of the tournament beginning Thursday at 3pm.  If they win, they will wrestle again Thursday evening in the quarterfinals beginning at 515pm.  If they lose their first match, they will need the guy who defeated them to win their next match to stay in the tournament.  If that happens, they will compete Friday morning in the session beginning at 10am.  Full session details for division one are below…

Session 1 – Thursday, Feb. 23 – Six Mats
Division 1 Preliminaries – 3 p.m. (Doors open 2:00 p.m.)
Div 1 Quarterfinals – Approximately 5:15 p.m.
(Div. 2 on mats 1, 2 & 3; Div 3 on mats 4, 5 & 6)

Session 2 – Friday, Feb. 24 – Six Mats
Div. 1 Consolations – 10 a.m. (all mats) (Doors open 9:00 a.m.)
(Div. 2 on mats 1, 2 & 3; Div. 3 on mats 4, 5 & 6)
Div. 1 Consolation Semifinals – Approximately 1:45 p.m. (all mats)

Session 3 – Friday, Feb. 24 – Six Mats
Div. 1, 2 & 3 Semifinals – 7:00 p.m.  (Doors open 5:30 p.m.)
(Div. 1 on mats 1 & 2; Div. 2 on mats 3 & 4; Div. 3 on mats 5 & 6)

Session 4 – Saturday, Feb. 25 – Six Mats
Div. 1, 2 & 3 Consolation Wrestlebacks – 10:00 a.m.  (Doors open 9:00 a.m.)
(Div. 1 on mats 1 & 2; Div. 2 on mats 3 & 4; Div. 3 on mats 5 & 6)
Div. 1, 2 & 3 Fifth Place*
(Div. 1 on mats 1 & 2; Div. 2 on mats 3 & 4; Div. 3 on mats 5 & 6)
Div. 1, 2 & 3 Third Place*
(Div. 1 on mats 1 & 2; Div. 2 on mats 3 & 4; Div. 3 on mats 5 & 6)
* Fifth-place and third-place matches will run concurrently by weight class following all consolation matches.

Session 5 – Saturday, Feb. 25 – Three Mats
March of Champions – 5:00 p.m. (Doors open 3:30 p.m.)
Div. 1, 2, & 3 Championships
(Div. 1 on mat 1; Div. 2 on mat 2; Div. 3 on mat 3)

How do I get the latest results?

  • Trackwrestling  –   Trusty old Track.  You can see brackets and find scores via Trackwrestling.
  • Sparta Wrestling’s Facebook Page  –  Mike Montgomery will be updating the Facebook page with results and additional match details.  He often posts results after each period as well as additional details from a mind that has been to this tournament for decades.  Even if you get results on Track or somewhere else, you’ll want to visit the page to get updates and additional notes.  We’ll also be posting photos throughout the tournament and videos as well.

Are the matches televised?  How can I watch them?

  • FS Wisconsin  –  Fox Sports Wisconsin will broadcast the finals live on Saturday, February 25th at 5pm.  You can also view the finals via Fox Sports Go.  You may need cable provider authentication for Fox Sports Go so be sure to have your cable login on hand and ready to go.
  • NFHS Network  –  The NFHS Network will broadcast all pre-final matches live.  This is not free.  It will cost you.  Right now, you can buy a monthly pass for $9.95 that should cover all the action before the finals.  NOTE:  If you purchase the monthly pass option, you will need to manually discontinue your subscription.  If you do not, it will automatically renew.From the WIAA website:  For the easiest and most detail on the matches, access the TrackWrestling.com dashboard and click on “Continue” option and then click on the video camera icon for each respective match’s stream.

How do I get tickets?
Tickets can be purchased here…

http://www.expressoticketing.com/wiaa/pickevent.aspx?ECN=18

Buy tickets now.  The semifinals and finals typically sell out.  You will need a printer to print these at home.  You can also have them kept for you at will call.  If the sessions you want to purchase tickets for are sold out, you could always risk it and buy from scalpers outside the Kohl Center.  This is the least ideal method as you’ll probably pay more, but it is one option if online ordering won’t work for you.

Another good place to find out some basic information about schedules, tickets, results and more is the WIAA’s Wrestling page.

We are putting this page together for you because while we would like to instantly answer all questions, we are fans as well and it is a lot of work updating the page, website and more and sometimes we don’t notice or don’t have time to reply to all messages.  So please read this beforehand and get everything in order so you can be prepared to watch, stream, buy tickets or anything else to get yourselves ready to attend what is the greatest state tournament in Wisconsin.

Sparta will be sending four wrestlers to state after Jon Bailey, Jaden Winchel, Brett Von Ruden and Hayden Krein all qualified Saturday in Tomah.  The four have combined for 12 state tournament appearances making this among the most experienced contingent of Spartan state qualifiers in the program’s history.  Jon Bailey and Hayden Krein led the way with individual championships while Jaden Winchel and Brett Von Ruden both finished as runner-ups.

Jon Bailey was dominant at 113 pounds with a first-match pin in 28 seconds, a 15-0 technical fall in the semis and a 7-0 victory over Sauk Prairie’s Dylan Herbrand (39-7) in the finals.  This will be Bailey’s second state tournament appearance.

At 145 pounds, Jaden Winchel advanced to the finals before falling to La Crosse Central’s Jaden Van Maanen 18-6.  It was the third meeting between Winchel (38-3) and Van Maanen this year and all of Winchel’s losses on the year have come at the hands of Van Maanen.  Winchel won his wrestleback 9-1 to secure his fourth state tournament appearance.

Junior Brett Von Ruden is off to state for the third time in three years.

At 152 pounds, Brett Von Ruden was prepared to send you over the edge if you have heart issues.  His day opened easily enough with a 9-0 victory in the opening match before he embarked on three matches that all came down to the final seconds.  In the semifinals, Von Ruden fell 6-4 in sudden victory to eventual sectional champion Nate Lorenz (42-2) of Waunakee.  Von Ruden won his wrestleback over Tomah’s Casey Curran 6-5 by scoring three points in the final 30 seconds to avenge a regional loss to the Tomah senior.  In the second place match, Von Ruden won 3-1 in overtime to advance to state.  This will be Von Ruden’s third state tournament appearance.

At 160 pounds, Hayden Krein advanced to state for the third time with three pins in three matches.  All three of his pins were in the first period.  He pinned Holmen’s Kalyn Jahn in 1:57 to win their third meeting of the year.  Krein had previously defeated Jahn by decision in the finals at Bi-State and in the finals at Regionals one week ago.

For Blake Brooks, Kyle Erickson and David Hayes, their shot at a trip to the state tournament will have to wait another year.  Brooks and Hayes both fell in their opening matches with Brooks losing a 7-6 nailbiter.  Hayes ran up against one of the top wrestlers in the state in his opening 138-pound match in Sauk Prairie’s Drew Fjoser.  Erickson won his opening round match before falling to MVC opponents Tanner Schultz from Holmen and Jacob Obert from Central.  Both Hayes and Erickson will be seniors next year while Brooks will be a junior.

At 170 pounds, Matt Fahning dropped his opening round match to conclude his senior season with a 29-12 record.  Thank you for all your hard work over the years and dedication to the Spartan wrestling program.

Winchel became the third Spartan wrestler to qualify for the state tournament all four years.

State Tournament Matchups

Sparta will have their work cut out for them in the opening rounds at the state tournament.  At 113 pounds, Jon Bailey will face off against Kenosha Bradford/Reuther’s Cole Ramos (44-4) before likely facing top-ranked and defending state champion Brady Koontz of Stevens Point.  At 145 pounds, Jaden Winchel kicks off against Germantown’s Waymon McNeal (43-2).  If he wins, he likely has 2nd-ranked Garrett Model of Stoughton (43-5).

At 152 pounds, Von Ruden opens up against Waukesha West’s Shane Gantz (38-1).  And at 160 pounds, Hayden Krein will wrestle Kenosha Bradford/Reuther’s Jake Deates (35-3).  On the same side of the bracket as Krein is his 2016 152-pound state final opponent Tyler Dow of Stoughton (48-2).  There is a lot that could happen, but that could be a Friday-night matchup as both Krein and Dow are ranked 1-2 by Wisconsin Wrestling Online.

Be sure to follow the Sparta Wrestling Facebook page for the latest results and details about how Spartan wrestlers are doing.  You can also follow along on Trackwrestling.  Just so everyone knows, it’s Mike Montgomery who is putting in the time and effort updating the Facebook page during the tournament.  Be sure to thank him when you have a chance.

Rare company

Don’t take for granted the success of Sparta’s individual wrestlers.  It is unprecedented in program history.  Winchel is Sparta’s third four-time qualifier joining John Roddick and Brock Polhamus in that exclusive club.  Von Ruden and Krein are the 9th and 10th three-time state qualifiers.  Bailey has qualified for two state tournaments in two years and looks to be on pace to join the three-time and four-time club if he keeps wrestling like he does.

There have been hundreds upon hundreds of wrestlers to pass through this program and it might be easy to take for granted all the recent team and individual success, but history shows this recent trend is special, which means we should not overlook how great these individuals and teams have been.  A lot of that is owed to their natural talent and hard work, but the support of coaches, parents, the school, fans and the city cannot be overlooked.  Everybody has a hand in helping this team and these individuals reach this level.

Congrats to Jon, Jaden, Brett and Hayden on qualifying for state and to Blake, Kyle, David and Matt for advancing to sectionals.  We will have a state tournament viewing guide, interview with the qualifiers and more to come this week in advance of the state tournament kicking off on Thursday.

Full sectional results are below…

106 – Blake Brooks (28-13) place is unknown and scored 0.00 team points.
Championship Bracket – Guillermo Tellez (Madison Memorial) 11-4 won by decision over Blake Brooks (Sparta) 28-13 (Dec 7-6)

113 – Jon Bailey (35-5) placed 1st and scored 21.50 team points.
Championship Bracket – Jon Bailey (Sparta) 35-5 won by fall over Jesus Quechol Ramirez (Middleton) 10-18 (Fall 0:28)
Championship Bracket – Jon Bailey (Sparta) 35-5 won by tech fall over Rylee Rensberry (Holmen) 25-10 (TF-1.5 4:13 (15-0))
1st Place Match – Jon Bailey (Sparta) 35-5 won by decision over Dylan Herbrand (Sauk Prairie) 39-7 (Dec 7-0)

132 – Kyle Erickson (25-17) placed 4th and scored 8.00 team points.
Championship Bracket – Kyle Erickson (Sparta) 25-17 won by fall over Kyle Johnson (Sauk Prairie) 23-16 (Fall 5:04)
Championship Bracket – Tanner Schultz (Holmen) 35-5 won by major decision over Kyle Erickson (Sparta) 25-17 (MD 12-1)
3rd Place Match – Jacob Obert (La Crosse Central) 25-10 won by decision over Kyle Erickson (Sparta) 25-17 (Dec 8-4)

138 – David Hayes (24-12) place is unknown and scored 0.00 team points.
Championship Bracket – Drew Fjoser (Sauk Prairie) 33-4 won by fall over David Hayes (Sparta) 24-12 (Fall 1:48)

145 – Jaden Winchel (38-3) placed 2nd and scored 19.00 team points.
Championship Bracket – Jaden Winchel (Sparta) 38-3 won by fall over Damian Benitez (Middleton) 11-9 (Fall 5:04)
Championship Bracket – Jaden Winchel (Sparta) 38-3 won by fall over Bryce Bierman (Reedsburg Area) 17-18 (Fall 4:36)
1st Place Match – Jaden Van Maanen (La Crosse Central) 45-0 won by major decision over Jaden Winchel (Sparta) 38-3 (MD 18-6)
2nd Place Match – Jaden Winchel (Sparta) 38-3 won by major decision over Ben Statz (Waunakee) 35-14 (MD 9-1)

152 – Brett Von Ruden (29-12) placed 2nd and scored 14.00 team points.
Championship Bracket – Brett Von Ruden (Sparta) 29-12 won by major decision over Jacob Hendrix (Madison La Follette) 25-18 (MD 9-0)
Championship Bracket – Nate Lorenz (Waunakee) 42-2 won in sudden victory – 1 over Brett Von Ruden (Sparta) 29-12 (SV-1 6-4)
3rd Place Match – Brett Von Ruden (Sparta) 29-12 won by decision over Casey Curran (Tomah) 30-11 (Dec 6-5)
2nd Place Match – Brett Von Ruden (Sparta) 29-12 won in sudden victory – 1 over Bryant Schaaf (Sauk Prairie) 25-13 (SV-1 3-1)

160 – Hayden Krein (32-1) placed 1st and scored 24.00 team points.
Championship Bracket – Hayden Krein (Sparta) 32-1 won by fall over Harrison Schreiber (Madison West) 16-25 (Fall 1:33)
Championship Bracket – Hayden Krein (Sparta) 32-1 won by fall over Brady Fry (Reedsburg Area) 30-17 (Fall 1:07)
1st Place Match – Hayden Krein (Sparta) 32-1 won by fall over Kalyn Jahn (Holmen) 40-8 (Fall 1:57)

170 – Matt Fahning (29-12) place is unknown and scored 0.00 team points.
Championship Bracket – Preston Webster (Waunakee) 31-11 won by fall over Matt Fahning (Sparta) 29-12 (Fall 3:10)

Led by champions Jon Bailey and Hayden Krein, eight Spartan wrestlers will be traveling to Tomah Saturday after Sparta finished second to Holmen at this past weekend’s regional tournament in Holmen.

Joining Bailey and Krein in Tomah will be Blake Brooks (3rd), Kyle Erickson (3rd), David Hayes (2nd), Jaden Winchel (2nd), Brett Von Ruden (2nd) and Matt Fahning (3rd).  Bailey, Winchel, Von Ruden and Krein will be looking to make return trips to the state tournament after qualifying last season.

Holmen won the regional tournament to advance to team sectionals where they narrowly defeated Sauk Prairie for a trip to the state team tournament.  It was the third tournament that Sparta and Holmen competed in together this year and the first time that Holmen’s full team competed and in a smaller tournament, that made all the difference for a Holmen team that was simply deeper than Sparta.  Holmen finished with 234.5 points to Sparta’s 180 points.

Summarized individual results are below…

106  –  Blake Brooks, 3rd Place, 1-1
113  –  Jon Bailey, 1st Place, 3-0 with a major decision and a technical fall
120  –  Jakob Larson, 5th Place, 0-2
126  –  Thomas True, 6th Place, 1-2
132  –  Kyle Erickson, 3rd Place, 2-2 with a major decision
138  –  David Hayes, 2nd Place, 2-1 with two pins
145  –  Jaden Winchel, 2nd Place, 2-1 with a pin and a major decision
152  –  Brett Von Ruden, 2nd Place, 2-1 with a pin
160  –  Hayden Krein, 1st Place, 3-0 with a pin
170  –  Matt Fahning, 3rd Place, 2-1 with a pin and a technical fall
182  –  Austin Zwiefel, 5th Place, 1-3 with a pin
195  –  James Gann, 6th Place, 1-2 with a pin
220  –  Garet Pfaff, 5th Place, 1-2 with a pin
285  –  Gabe Dearman, 6th Place, 1-2 with a pin

Team scores…

  1. Holmen 234.5
  2. Sparta 180
  3. Tomah 174
  4. Reedsburg 145
  5. Baraboo 129
  6. La Crosse Central 104
  7. La Crosse Logan 86
  8. Onalaska/Luther 61

Winchel fell for just the second time this season with both losses coming at the hands of Central’s Jaden Van Maanen.  The two are likely heading for their third meeting this year Saturday in Tomah.

Sectional Preview

Sparta will travel just down the road to Tomah for sectionals.  The top two finishers at each weight class will advance to the state individual tournament in Madison.  Spartan wrestlers need to win their first match if they hope to advance.  A first-match loss is a season-ender.

At 106 pounds, Blake Brooks has been wrestling well all year and has the ability to beat anyone in his bracket.  Brooks’ first match at sectionals is against Madison Memorial’s Guillermo Tellez (10-2).  If he wins , he’ll likely have Tomah’s Dawson Lambert.  On the other end of the bracket, the favorites should be Reedsburg’s Caden Fry and Sauk Prairie’s Zeke Smith.

Jon Bailey will enter sectionals coming off his second tournament championship of the season.  That is hard to believe when you have a 32-5 record, but for much of the year, Bailey was wrestling up one or even two weight classes and finding himself against a slew of state champions, state finalists and other very highly regarded wrestlers from all three divisions.  His other title was at Bi-State when he also wrestled at 113.  Right off the bat, Bailey will have Middleton’s Jesus Quechol Ramirez (10-17).  If he beats Ramirez, Bailey will face either Holmen’s Rylee Rensberry (23-8) or Waunakee’s Nick Schweitzer (27-12).  On the other side of the bracket, the favorites are Sauk Prairie’s Dylan Herbrand (36-6), Tomah’s Cody Zimmerman (19-4) and Baraboo’s Eli Davidson (26-9).

Kyle Erickson will have to defeat some guys who have given him fits throughout the year if he wants to make his first trip to the Kohl Center.  His first match is against Sauk Prairie’s Kyle Johnson (23-15).  If he wins that, he will likely face Holmen’s Tanner Schulz.  On the other end of the bracket, Middleton’s Christopher Rogers (33-6), Central’s Jacob Obert (23-9), Madison Memorial’s Kaden Reetz (28-6) and Tomah’s Bobby Bemis (17-7) await.  Schultz should be viewed as the favorite here, but it is wide open after that.

At 138 pounds, David Hayes will have one of the toughest opening matches despite finishing second at his regionals.  He will face off against Sauk Prairie’s Drew Fjoser (30-4) who racked up half his season’s losses at regionals the week before.  The weight class is arguably the toughest one at this sectional with the second-ranked wrestler in the state in Fjoser and the third-ranked wrestler and defending state champion Kevin Meicher from Middleton.  Hayes has a knack for coming up big in important matches.  He is not someone you want to underestimate at a tournament like this.

At 145 pounds, Jaden Winchel will attempt to make it back to state for the fourth time with an opening round match against Middleton’s Damian Benitez (11-8).  If he wins that, he will likely have Sauk Prairie’s Miguel Elizondo (10-4).  This weight class is expected to come down to a battle between Winchel and Central’s Jaden Van Maanen.  Van Maanen has won the first two meetings by scores of 5-3 and 7-3.  Van Maanen is the top-ranked wrestler in the state while Winchel is ranked third.  This could be a state finals preview depending on how the brackets shake out if both were to qualify.  Gotta qualify first.

Brett Von Ruden will have his hands full making his third state tournament, but BVR is a guy you never want to underestimate  There are 4-5 guys who could win this bracket.

He opens up against Madison La Follette’s Jacob Hendrix (25-17) and if he wins will likely face 12th-ranked Nate Lorenz of Waunakee (39-2) for a spot in the finals.  On the other end of the bracket is Tomah’s Casey Curran (29-9) and Holmen’s Reed Williams (30-12).  BVR fell to Curran in the regional finals and has defeated Williams multiple times this season.  Von Ruden can beat anyone in his bracket.

At 160 pounds, Hayden Krein takes his 29-1 record into Tomah looking for his third trip to the state tournament.  He will face off against Madison West’s Harrison Schreiber (16-24) in his opening match and will have either Portage’s Cohl Routson (24-15) or Reedsburg’s Brady Fry (28-15).  Krein pinned Fry in 28 seconds at regionals.  On the other end of the bracket, it’s likely to be Holmen’s Kaylyn Jahn advancing to the finals.  If Krein and Jahn both win their first two matches, it will be the third finals match between these two this season.  Krein defeated Jahn at Bi-State and Regionals.

Matt Fahning heads to sectionals in search of his 30th victory of the year.  He takes his 29-11 record against Waunakee’s Preston Webster (30-9) in the opening round match and will likely have Central’s Connor Williams (41-1) if he wins.  On the other side of the bracket is Holmen’s Isaac Lahr who is likely to advance to the finals.  Like Hayes and Erickson, Fahning will have to overcome MVC opponents that have been thorns on their sides this year.

We will have updates on our Facebook page throughout the day Saturday.  Good luck Spartan wrestlers!

Holmen regional individual results…

106 – Blake Brooks (28-12) placed 3rd and scored 10.00 team points.
Quarterfinal – Blake Brooks (Sparta) 28-12 received a bye () (Bye)
Semifinal – Caden Fry (Reedsburg Area) 41-5 won by decision over Blake Brooks (Sparta) 28-12 (Dec 5-3)
3rd Place Match – Blake Brooks (Sparta) 28-12 won by decision over Alex Pellowski (Holmen) 27-14 (Dec 4-1)
2nd Place Match – Caden Fry (Reedsburg Area) 41-5 won by rule over Blake Brooks (Sparta) 28-12 (RULE)

113 – Jon Bailey (32-5) placed 1st and scored 24.50 team points.
Quarterfinal – Jon Bailey (Sparta) 32-5 received a bye () (Bye)
Semifinal – Jon Bailey (Sparta) 32-5 won by tech fall over Eli Davidson (Baraboo) 26-9 (TF-1.5 4:58 (15-0))
1st Place Match – Jon Bailey (Sparta) 32-5 won by major decision over Rylee Rensberry (Holmen) 23-7 (MD 13-1)

120 – Jakob Larson (20-14) placed 5th and scored 5.00 team points.
Quarterfinal – Johnathan Schieber (Baraboo) 18-21 won by decision over Jakob Larson (Sparta) 20-14 (Dec 10-4)
Cons. Semi – Jakob Larson (Sparta) 20-14 received a bye () (Bye)
5th Place Match – Jakob Larson (Sparta) 20-14 received a bye () (Bye)
4th Place Match – Johnathan Schieber (Baraboo) 18-21 won by rule over Jakob Larson (Sparta) 20-14 (RULE)

126 – Thomas Treu (8-16) placed 6th and scored 3.00 team points.
Quarterfinal – Aaron Raabe (Onalaska/Luther) 29-6 won by fall over Thomas Treu (Sparta) 8-16 (Fall 1:55)
Cons. Semi – Thomas Treu (Sparta) 8-16 won by decision over Paul Bartle (La Crosse Logan) 10-17 (Dec 3-1)
5th Place Match – Logan West (Holmen) 21-13 won by fall over Thomas Treu (Sparta) 8-16 (Fall 3:30)

132 – Kyle Erickson (24-15) placed 3rd and scored 13.00 team points.
Quarterfinal – Kyle Erickson (Sparta) 24-15 won by major decision over Damond Butler (La Crosse Logan) 22-10 (MD 9-0)
Semifinal – Tanner Schultz (Holmen) 31-5 won by fall over Kyle Erickson (Sparta) 24-15 (Fall 1:05)
3rd Place Match – Kyle Erickson (Sparta) 24-15 won by decision over Bobby Bemis (Tomah) 17-7 (Dec 7-4)
2nd Place Match – Jacob Obert (La Crosse Central) 23-9 won by decision over Kyle Erickson (Sparta) 24-15 (Dec 3-1)

138 – David Hayes (24-11) placed 2nd and scored 20.00 team points.
Quarterfinal – David Hayes (Sparta) 24-11 won by fall over Nick Pfaff (Baraboo) 11-20 (Fall 1:12)
Semifinal – David Hayes (Sparta) 24-11 won by fall over Dallas Kapanke (La Crosse Logan) 15-6 (Fall 2:49)
1st Place Match – Hunter Pierce (Tomah) 33-8 won by decision over David Hayes (Sparta) 24-11 (Dec 9-3)
2nd Place Match – David Hayes (Sparta) 24-11 won by rule over Dallas Kapanke (La Crosse Logan) 15-6 (RULE)

145 – Jaden Winchel (35-2) placed 2nd and scored 19.00 team points.
Quarterfinal – Jaden Winchel (Sparta) 35-2 won by major decision over Bryce Bierman (Reedsburg Area) 16-16 (MD 11-0)
Semifinal – Jaden Winchel (Sparta) 35-2 won by fall over Zach Gordon (Holmen) 13-5 (Fall 1:17)
1st Place Match – Jaden Van Maanen (La Crosse Central) 42-0 won by decision over Jaden Winchel (Sparta) 35-2 (Dec 7-3)
2nd Place Match – Jaden Winchel (Sparta) 35-2 won by rule over Zach Gordon (Holmen) 13-5 (RULE)

152 – Brett Von Ruden (26-11) placed 2nd and scored 18.00 team points.
Quarterfinal – Brett Von Ruden (Sparta) 26-11 won by fall over Caleb Porter (Baraboo) 10-11 (Fall 1:02)
Semifinal – Brett Von Ruden (Sparta) 26-11 won by decision over Reed Williams (Holmen) 30-11 (Dec 9-7)
1st Place Match – Casey Curran (Tomah) 29-9 won by decision over Brett Von Ruden (Sparta) 26-11 (Dec 2-1)
2nd Place Match – Brett Von Ruden (Sparta) 26-11 won by rule over Reed Williams (Holmen) 30-11 (RULE)

160 – Hayden Krein (29-1) placed 1st and scored 24.00 team points.
Quarterfinal – Hayden Krein (Sparta) 29-1 received a bye () (Bye)
Semifinal – Hayden Krein (Sparta) 29-1 won by fall over Brady Fry (Reedsburg Area) 28-15 (Fall 0:28)
1st Place Match – Hayden Krein (Sparta) 29-1 won by decision over Kalyn Jahn (Holmen) 36-7 (Dec 6-4)

170 – Matt Fahning (29-11) placed 3rd and scored 15.50 team points.
Quarterfinal – Matt Fahning (Sparta) 29-11 won by fall over Alex Statz (Baraboo) 4-5 (Fall 1:54)
Semifinal – Isaac Lahr (Holmen) 28-7 won by fall over Matt Fahning (Sparta) 29-11 (Fall 1:08)
3rd Place Match – Matt Fahning (Sparta) 29-11 won by tech fall over Nick Mihalovic (La Crosse Logan) 17-19 (TF-1.5 6:00 (15-0))
2nd Place Match – Isaac Lahr (Holmen) 28-7 won by rule over Matt Fahning (Sparta) 29-11 (RULE)

182 – Austin Zwiefel (28-13) placed 5th and scored 9.00 team points.
Quarterfinal – Austin Zwiefel (Sparta) 28-13 won by fall over Brandyn Nelson (La Crosse Central) 9-23 (Fall 1:11)
Semifinal – Zach Udermann (Onalaska/Luther) 25-12 won by injury default over Austin Zwiefel (Sparta) 28-13 (Inj. 4:52)
3rd Place Match – Noah Steinhoff (Holmen) 6-2 won by medical forfeit over Austin Zwiefel (Sparta) 28-13 (M. For.)
4th Place Match – Justice Blackhawk (Tomah) 27-15 won by medical forfeit over Austin Zwiefel (Sparta) 28-13 (M. For.)

195 – James Gann (18-15) placed 6th and scored 5.00 team points.
Quarterfinal – Ambrose Metz-Beard (La Crosse Logan) 10-11 won by fall over James Gann (Sparta) 18-15 (Fall 3:43)
Cons. Semi – James Gann (Sparta) 18-15 won by fall over Jonah Parral (La Crosse Central) 4-14 (Fall 0:41)
5th Place Match – Tyson Fry (Baraboo) 15-15 won by fall over James Gann (Sparta) 18-15 (Fall 5:35)

220 – Garet Pfaff (12-16) placed 5th and scored 9.00 team points.
Quarterfinal – Avery Estes (Baraboo) 29-13 won by fall over Garet Pfaff (Sparta) 12-16 (Fall 5:01)
Cons. Semi – Garet Pfaff (Sparta) 12-16 received a bye () (Bye)
5th Place Match – Garet Pfaff (Sparta) 12-16 won by fall over Jake Tahtiten (Tomah) 19-20 (Fall 5:23)
4th Place Match – Avery Estes (Baraboo) 29-13 won by rule over Garet Pfaff (Sparta) 12-16 (RULE)

285 – Gabe Dearman (9-10) placed 6th and scored 5.00 team points.
Quarterfinal – Colin Marquardt (Baraboo) 27-17 won by fall over Gabe Dearman (Sparta) 9-10 (Fall 0:52)
Cons. Semi – Gabe Dearman (Sparta) 9-10 won by fall over Christopher Trammel (La Crosse Central) 6-20 (Fall 1:43)
5th Place Match – Kaden Hericks (Tomah) 19-19 won by fall over Gabe Dearman (Sparta) 9-10 (Fall 2:52)

Sparta travels to Holmen this Saturday to kick off the road to the Kohl Center and will be joined by teams from Baraboo, Holmen, La Crosse Central, La Crosse Logan, Onalaska/Luther, Reedsburg and Tomah.  The top-scoring team will then wrestle three days later at team sectionals in Baraboo.

On the year, the Spartans have fared well as a team against the rest of their regional competition.

  • At Bi-State, Sparta finished first in division one with 246 points.  Holmen was 5th with 182.5, La Crosse Central 11th with 127.5, Tomah 15th with 100, Baraboo 18th with 74 and La Crosse Logan 20th with 33.
  • At the Sparta Invitational, Sparta finished first with 169.5 points.  Reedsburg was third with 149 and Holmen 8th with 118.

In each of these tournaments, Sparta defeated Holmen with varying degrees of intact rosters.  At Bi-State, it was all hands on deck.  At the Sparta Invitational, Sparta was missing Hayden Krein, but still handily beat Holmen thanks to a great effort by his brother Mathias Krein.  Sparta’s dual against Holmen might have been the first time in awhile that Holmen was fully healthy, but I would still give the edge to the Spartans at the tournament level due to them having stronger individual wrestlers.  It will be close either way.  Top three teams should be some combination of Sparta, Holmen, Reedsburg and Tomah.

Here’s a look at all the teams in regionals and their ranked wrestlers according to the latest Wisconsin Wrestling Online rankings…

  • Baraboo  –  Pablo Ramirez – HM at 126
  • Holmen  –  Tanner Schultz – 8th at 138, Reed Williams – 11th at 152, Kalyn Jahn – 8th at 160, Isaac Lahr – HM at 170
  • La Crosse Central  –  Jaden Van Maanen – 1st at 152, Connor Williams – 1st at 170
  • La Crosse Logan  –  No ranked wrestlers
  • Onalaska/Luther  –  Houston Dorn – 7th at 285
  • Reedsburg  –  Caden Fry – 7th at 106, Mason McMillen – 5th at 120, Trey Haugen – 12th at 182, Dalton Hahn – 2nd at 195, Brian Brooks – HM at 220
  • Sparta  –  Jon Bailey – 3rd at 113, Jaden Winchel 5th at 145, Brett Von Ruden – HM at 152, Hayden Krein – 1st at 160
  • Tomah  –  Dawson Lambert – HM at 113, Tommy Repka – HM at 132, Hunter Pierce – 7th at 138, Casey Curran – HM at 160

Check back Saturday night for a recap of the regionals and a preview of who the Spartans might face at team sectionals should they leave Holmen as team champions.

In front of a packed Spartan gym Thursday evening, the Holmen Vikings defeated Sparta 41-24 to capture the MVC title for the second season in a row.  For the 12th time in the 27-year history of the MVC, Sparta and Holmen will finish as either the first or second place team in conference and 2016-17 will make the 12th time the Spartans have finished as runner-ups.

After Sparta jumped out to a 9-3 lead heading into the 160-pound match, Holmen rattled off six straight victories–three by pin and one by technical fall–to turn a 9-3 deficit into a 32-9 advantage before Vince Polhamus’ last second victory at 106 pounds made it 32-12 in favor of Holmen.  By that time, Sparta could not afford to lose another match and needed all pins and technical falls to catch Holmen.

Those hopes were dashed one match later as Rylee Rensberry slipped by Blake Brooks at 113 by a 2-1 score to secure the victory for the Vikings.  It was an incredibly close match between Rensberry and Brooks with both riding each other for the entire second and third periods.  The final seconds of their match were frenetic as Brooks was on the verge of a reversal, but couldn’t free his arm enough to satisfy the officials and get the reversal.

That match was preceded by another extremely one at 106 pounds.  Freshman Vince Polhamus and Holmen’s Alex Pellowski were locked in a 2-0 battle before Polhamus scored four points via reversal and two-point near fall in the final period.  Two of those points came in the final three seconds as Polhamus earned two near fall as time expired.

Full match results are below…

138  –  Tanner Schultz (Holmen) defeats David Hayes 8-1
145  –  Jaden Winchel pinned Zach Gordon (Holmen) in 0:33
152  –  Brett Von Ruden defeated Reed Williams (Holmen) 8-3
160  –  Kalyn Jahn (Holmen) pinned Mathias Krein in 1:24
170  –  Isaac Lahr (Holmen) won by technical fall over Matt Fahning 18-3
182  –  Noah Steinhoff (Holmen) defeated Cole Wisniewski 6-3
195  –  Jack Westcott (Holmen) defeated Austin Zwiefel 9-3
220  –  Brett Davis (Holmen) pinned Garet Pfaff in 1:45
285  –  Jesse Fiers (Holmen) pinned Gabe Dearman in 0:53
106  –  Vince Polhamus defeated Alex Pellowski (Holmen) 4-2
113  –  Rylee Rensberry (Holmen) defeated Blake Brooks 2-1
120  –  Trevor Plomedahl (Holmen) pinned Jakob Larson in 1:27
126  –  Jon Bailey pinned Logan West (Holmen) in 3:48
132  –  Kyle Erickson pinned Carson Eikenberry (Holmen) in 1:44
FINAL:  HOLMEN 41 – SPARTA 24

Going in, it was clear Holmen had some advantages in the upper weights.  Sparta needed to avoid bonus points as much as they could and hope to earn a victory at 170 or 182 depending on who Holmen sent out.  In the end, Holmen earned 20 points from 170 through 285, which put the imperative on Sparta’s lower weights to win and earn bonus points.  At 170, Isaac Lahr dominated on his feet with six takedowns in a match that should have been closer.  At 182 pounds, Cole Wisniewski battled to the end in a match that was closer than what the score indicated.  At 220 and 285, sophomore Pfaff and first-year wrestler Dearman ran into some very experienced and solid upper weights.

At 126 pounds, Jon Bailey moved up two weight classes to pick up a big pin for the Spartans while Kyle Erickson dispatched Carson Eikenberry at 126 pounds to close out the dual.

Sparta needed to be at full strength for this dual and they were not.  Even at full strength, Holmen presented some tough matchups up and down the lineup for the Spartans.  Not having Hayden Krein certainly hurt, but Holmen did their job and picked up bonus points and big victories when they needed them.

Sparta is now 8-1 on the season and finishes the year 5-1 in the MVC.  The JV will close out the season on Monday with the MVC JV tournament at Onalaska.  The varsity are off for eight days before returning for the WIAA Regionals at Holmen.  If they win the regional tournament, they would travel the following Tuesday for a team sectional dual against likely opponent Sauk Prairie.  The sectional tournament would follow four days later in Tomah.

I’ll be posting more photos of the varsity and JV this weekend.  Now is the time to heal up and prepare for tournament season.  While the Spartans did not capture the MVC title like they set out to do, there is a lot of important wrestling still head.  Thank- you to all the parents, fans and supporters of both Sparta and Holmen wrestling who packed the gym Thursday evening to support both these teams and high school wrestling.