Sparta enters regionals this weekend at Adams-Friendship ranked 4th in division two and features the most ranked wrestlers at six and more importantly, they seem to be finally getting as healthy as they’ve been all year. The only other teams in Sparta’s regional to find themselves in the rankings are West Salem/Bangor and Mauston. West Salem was ranked 10th right after Christmas, but dropped out in the next rankings and haven’t been seen since. Mauston is currently an honorable mention. Let’s see the ranked wrestlers for each of the six teams the Spartans will see this weekend…
- Adams-Friendship (3) – Stacked at the lower weights with some talented freshman. At 106 pounds, freshman Trenton McManus is ranked 7th while fellow freshman Cole Clark comes in at 4th at 113 pounds. At 120 pounds, the elder McManus, Trevor, will enter regionals ranked 9th.
- Mauston (5) – At 120 pounds, John Maki is ranked 8th while at 126 pounds, junior Spencer Davies is ranked 3rd. Two weight classes up at 138 pounds, Colin Dolata is 3rd. At 152 pounds, Cameron Dahlgren is an honorable mention and at 160 pounds, another Dolata, Justin, is also an honorable mention.
- Sparta (6) – Dylan Winchel enters regionals ranked 2nd at 113 pounds. At 120 pounds, John Roddick is ranked 7th while fellow sophomore Brock Polhamus is an honorable mention at 132. Senior Michael Murnane is 6th at 145, Kyle Burkhalter is 5th at 182 and Dan Dawley is 8th at 195.
- Viroqua (2) – At 106 pounds, former rival to Dylan Winchel, JJ McClelland, is ranked 4th while teammate Clay Fitzpatrick comes in at 5th at 170 pounds.
- West Salem/Bangor (2) – At 160/170 pounds, Alex Peter is ranked seventh while junior teammate Nick Buisman is ranked 5th at 195 pounds.
- Westfield Area – no ranked wrestlers
There aren’t really any standout weight classes. Every weight class with the exception of 220 has a ranked wrestler while 106, 113, 160 and 195 have two ranked wrestlers. The 120 pound weight class appears to be the toughest with three ranked wrestlers. Mauston’s John Maki debuts in the rankings at 8th, which is one spot behind Roddick. While no weight classes are particularly deep, there are some standout individuals. There are eight wrestlers ranked in the top five. Dylan Winchel is the highest ranked wrestler in the regional at second.
On paper, Sparta should win this tournament. They have the most ranked wrestlers and are strong at the weights where they have no ranked wrestlers. Then again, anything could happen and teams like Adams-Friendship and Mauston feature some very good wrestlers.
Let’s look at how Sparta fared against some of the above teams in action earlier this year…
- 113 – Dylan Winchel pinned Nate Rutherford of Adams-Friendship in 32 seconds at the Sparta Invite.
- 170 – Greg Skon won by technical fall over Adams-Friendship’s Rylan Burrows at the Sparta Invite.
- 182 – Kyle Burkhalter pinned Collin Faretta of Adams-Friendship in 1:31 at the Sparta Invite.
That’s it! Sparta has not seen much competition from these regional teams in the tournaments they’ve gone too this year. However, Sparta’s likely had the toughest schedule of any of team they will see at regionals or sectionals and that should make them well prepared for the tournament season.
The top two individuals at each weight class will advance to sectionals while the top team will wrestle three days later at team sectionals.