2015 State Tournament Preview


Sparta’s 2015 State Qualifiers, Top row from left: Brett VonRuden, Brock Polhamus, Christian Lamon, Corey Zimmerman. Bottom row from left: Hayden Krein, Jaden Winchel, John Roddick, Logan VanTassel

Sparta is sending a record eight wrestlers to the state individual tournament this week.  That tops the program record of seven during the 2013 tournament.  For the fourth year in a row, Sparta is sending at least six wrestlers to the Kohl Center.  Statewide, Sparta is tied with Kaukauna, Ellsworth and Stratford for most state qualifiers.  Before we go into detail about each wrestler’s bracket, let’s take a look at some of the nitty gritty details of the tournament.

How can I get tickets?

You can buy tickets for each session online here.  Cost is $10 per session and are available online until two hours before any session begins.  Tickets can also be purchased at the Kohl Center during the tournament.


How can I follow the Spartans?

Good question!  The easiest way would be to buy tickets and come down to Madison.  We realize not everyone can do that so there are still options to follow from afar.  All matches will be streamed live.  The finals of each division will be streamed at  All of the matches before the finals will be streamed live, but will cost you.  You can purchase a subscription to follow the pre-finals action here.  You can buy a one-day pass for $9.95 or a monthly pass for $14.95.  If you want to watch all the pre-finals matches, the best value would be to purchase a monthly pass then you can watch whatever you want from the comfort of your computer, tablet or mobile device.

You can also follow the Spartans here…

Our Facebook and Twitter pages along with offer the most immediate updates.  Go to our Facebook and Twitter pages for more detailed commentary about the matches along with photos.  Go to Trackwrestling if you just want the results.


When will the Spartans wrestle?

That is a good question and we can only give you half the answers.  The pace of wrestling dictates the exact time that each Spartan will take the mat so we can’t give you exact times.  What we can tell you is when each session will start.  Here is that information…

  • Thursday, February 26th  –  Division two preliminaries begin at approximately 7:15pm.  This would be the initial matches for Corey Zimmerman, Christian Lamon, Brett VonRuden, Hayden Krein and Logan VanTassel.  The lighter weights would be earlier while the upper weights would come later.
  • Friday, February 27th  –  Division two quarterfinals begin at approximately 11:15am.  This would mean any of the Spartans from the previous night who won in addition to John Roddick, Jaden Winchel and Brock Polhamus.
  • Friday, February 27th  –  Division two semifinals begin at 7pm.  If a Spartan has lost, they won’t be wrestling here.  If they have yet to lose, they’ll be wrestling for a spot in the state finals.
  • Saturday, February 28th  –  Division two consolation wrestlebacks and placement matches will begin at 11am and the placement matches will proceed after consolation matches are completed.  Spartans wrestling in the consolation wrestlebacks will be going for 3rd or 5th place.
  • Saturday, February 28th  –  Division two finals begin at 6pm.

Here is the full schedule for the tournament…

Thursday, February 26th
Session 1
D1 Prelims  –  3pm
D1 Quarterfinals  –  Approximately 5:15pm
D2 + D3 Prelims  –  Approximately 7:15pm

Friday, February 27th
Session 2
D1 Consolations  –  10am
D2 + D3 Quarterfinals  –  Approximately 11:15am
D1 Consolation Semis  –  Approximately 1:45pm
D2 + D3 Consolation Semis  –  Approximately 2:45pm

Session 3
D1 + D2 + D3 Semis  –  7pm

Saturday, February 28th
Session 4
D1 + D2 + D3 Consolation Wrestlebacks  –  11am
D1 + D2 + D3 Placement Matches  –  following conclusion of wrestlebacks

Session 5
D1 + D2 + D3 Championships  –  6pm


Tell me more about the Spartans

As mentioned above, Sparta is tied with Kaukauna, Ellsworth and Stratford for most wrestlers at the tournament with eight.  That’s some good company to be in.  Here are some interesting facts heading into the tournament…

  • John Roddick and Brock Polhamus are making their fourth trip to the state tournament.  No Spartan has ever done that.
  • The Spartans return three placewinners from last year’s tournament.  Polhamus placed second last year, Winchel 3rd and Roddick 5th.  If Roddick places, he will become Sparta’s first three-time state placewinner.
  • Sophomore Jaden Winchel (45-0) is among 16 wrestlers at the tournament without a loss and is one of six in division two.  He joins Jaden Van Maanen (44-0) as the only undefeated area wrestlers in the tournament.
  • Sophomores Winchel and Christian Lamon are both making their second state tournament appearance.
  • Before Roddick and Polhamus qualified for the state tournament as freshman during the 2011-12 season, only one other freshman in program history had qualified and that was Josh Isensee during the 1994-95 season.  In a display of how times have changed, Sparta has seen four freshman qualify in the past two years alone–Winchel and Lamon last year and Hayden Krein and Brett VonRuden this year.
  • The Spartans have had at least three placewinners the last three state tournaments including a record four during the 2013 state tournament.

Let’s take a closer look at each wrestler’s bracket…

  • Corey Zimmerman  –  Big on experience, light on pounds, senior Corey Zimmerman will wrestle Ellsworth freshman Owen Matzek (37-9) in his first match at the Kohl Center.  If Zimmerman gets past Matzek, he’ll wrestle Grafton’s Arturo Duran (35-9).  Familiar faces in Zimmerman’s bracket include Belmont/Platteville’s Isaac Wiegel (33-9) who defeated Zimmerman 7-0 at sectionals.
  • Christian Lamon  –  Sparta’s 120-pounder will wrestle Whitewater’s Irving Sedano (29-14) Thursday evening.  The winner will wrestle Prescott freshman Sam Stuhl (34-6) Friday morning.  Back in early December, Lamon dropped a 4-0 decision to Stuhl at the Ellsworth Invitational.  Familiar opponents in Lamon’s bracket include Lodi’s Jacob Busser (37-7) and River Valley’s Nate Jennings (25-11).  Lamon defeated Jennings 4-2 at sectionals and lost to Busser in the sectional finals as well as the team dual a few days earlier.
  • John Roddick  –  The senior 126-pounder will face the winner of Luxemburg-Casco’s Josh VandeHei (34-12) and Sheyboygan Falls’ Ryan McGinnes (33-14).  If Roddick wins, he’ll likely have to face Amery’s Hunter Marko (37-1).  Marko will be looking for his third state championship after winning at 106 two years ago and 113 last season.  Besides Evansville/Albany’s Chase Katzenmeyer who Roddick defeated twice in the past week, Roddick has only faced Wisconsin Lutheran’s Tepra Wright, which resulted in a 10-2 loss at Badger State back in late December.
  • Jaden Winchel  –  The sophomore 132-pounder comes into the tournament with a 45-0 record and as the top-ranked wrestler in division two.  Winchel will face the winner of East Troy’s Gabe Braam (28-10) and Stanley-Boyd/Owen-Withee/Thorp’s Sam Burzynski (34-10).  If he wins that match, he will likely face Freedom’s Cody Walrath who is the second-ranked wrestler in D2 at 132. It could also be a preview of what’s to come at team state.  Other familiar faces for Winchel include Evansville/Albany freshman Nolan Kicmol who he defeated twice in the past week and Edgerton’s Sonny Schiedt who Winchel defeated 3-2 in the sectional semifinals.
  • Brett VonRuden  –  VonRuden is the fourth freshman to qualify for the state tournament in Spartan history and he’ll face a senior in his first match in Mayville’s Dakota Danner (34-8).  If VonRuden defeats Danner, he’ll face Luxemburg-Casco’s Mason Berceau (40-1) in the quarterfinals.  At least year’s state tournament, Polhamus defeated Berceau en route to the finals.  Other familiar faces in VonRuden’s bracket include Cuba City’s Josh Donar (33-6) and Evansville/Albany’s Jordan Meyer (31-5).  VonRuden dropped a 6-1 decision to Donar in the 2nd place match at sectionals while splitting with Meyer in the past week. VonRuden lost his opening match at sectionals to Meyer via a 3-2 decision and won his team sectional match after Meyer slammed him.
  • Brock Polhamus  –  Last year’s state runner-up at 138 pounds, Polhamus will look to return to the Kohl Center and take care of unfinished business in the finals.  His first match will be between the winner of Oconto Falls’ Nate Trepanier (36-5) and Cedar Grove-Belgiums’s Garrett Davies (26-16).  If he wins that match, he’ll likely face Medord Area’s Kolten Hanson (40-4).  Familiar faces in the bracket include Viroqua’s Taylor Gilardi (34-14) who Polhamus defeated at regionals and River Valley’s Elijah Alt (38-11) who Polhamus defeated in the sectional finals 4-3.  There is also Wrightstown’s Josh Verbeten who pinned Jaden Winchel in Winchel’s first match at state last year.
  • Hayden Krein    –  VonRuden is joined by fellow freshman Hayden Krein at this year’s state tournament.  Krein enters the match with a 35-6 record.  His first match will see him facing Luxemburg Casco junior Seth Peters (35-12).  If Krein gets past Peters, he’ll face Sheboygan Falls junior Seth Mattek (40-6).  The winner of that match will likely face Chetek-Weyerhausen-Prairie Farm’s Jonny Chamberlain (34-2).  Familiar faces in the bracket include Willie Vandenlangenberg (23-6) who Krein defeated at regionals then lost to at sectionals.  There is also Lodi’s Casey Persike who Krein defeated 7-1 at sectionals.  Wisconsin Lutheran’s Malik Smith (41-7) was a 9-3 winner over Ryan Wisniewski back at Badger State.
  • Logan VanTassel  –  Senior Logan VanTassel will wrestle Ellsworth’s Tristen Mueller (21-3) in his first match at the Kohl Center.  If VanTassel defeats Mueller, he’ll wrestle Wittenberg-Birnamwood’s Alex Peplinski (45-4).  Brock Polhamus was a 4-3 winner  in last year’s 138-pound state semifinals against Mueller.  VanTassel was a winner over Mueller earlier this year via injury default in the semis of the Ellsworth Invitational.  Familiar faces in VanTassel’s bracket include Lodi’s Logan Gordon (30-16) who Logan defeated at team and individual sectionals this past week.  There’s also Brodhead/Juda’s Brady Colden (45-2) who defeated VanTassel 9-2 in the sectional finals.


Area Wrestlers in the Tournament

Here are some other area wrestlers in the tournament you can cheer for…

  • Black River Falls D2  –  Gary Garvin at 285
  • Cashton D3  –  Bradon Klimek at 285
  • Holmen D1  –  Jonah Rieber at 138 and Charles Serauskas at 220
  • La Crosse Central D1  –  Jaden Van Maanen at 120 and Connor Williams at 160
  • Onalaska D1  –  Konrad Ernst at 195
  • Reedsburg D1  –  Dalton Hahn at 182 and Mason McMillen at 113
  • Royall D3  –  Trenton Pasch at 145
  • Tomah D1  –  Hunter Pierce at 132
  • Viroqua D2  –  Taylor Gilardi at 145 and Ryan Hannah at 113
  • Westby D3  –  Riley Cade at 113, Brett Cade at 132, Brock Leum at 182 and Ross Withington at 152
  • West Salem/Bangor D2  –  Aaron Broer at 220



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