This was a season to remember for Sparta and for Matt Tourdot. On a team and individual level, it was one of the best Spartan teams to ever step onto the mat. Eight Spartans finished with more than 30 wins while Bryce Nowaczyk finished with 29 and Brandon Rickert (27) and Toby Mosley (24) would have surpassed 30 had injuries and sickness not kept them out of a few matches and tournaments. Of the 14 weight classes, Sparta had 12 guys finish with more than 20 wins. Four guys earned a trip to the state tournament and Matt Tourdot finished 50-0 to win the 215-pound division two state championship.
On the team side, the Spartans went undefeated through the regular season running up a record of 17-0 before falling to Lodi 31-25 in the team sectional. The team won five tournaments and won five duals against teams that garnered votes in the Wisconsin Wrestling Online and Crossface team rankings. Finishing the year with a 17-1 record, the Spartans recorded the highest winning percentage of any Spartan squad since the 1987-88 season when Scott Zurfluh’s team went 7-0-2. And in what might be the most important victory of the year, the Spartans defeated Tomah 41-20 to win the MVC championship and snap the Timberwolves’ 35-match conference winning streak.
Finally, Matt Tourdot set a number of records. Here are a few of them…
- Most wins in a single season: 50
- First Spartan to reach 50 wins in a season
- Career wins: Tourdot finished his four years with 159 career wins passing Jared Rickert’s record of 153. He tied the career mark with his win at the team sectional against Lodi and broke it after his first win at the sectional tournament.
- Career pins: 88. Tourdot absolutely destroyed this record. Jarrod Ebert held the previous record with 70 for 14 years before Tourdot changed that.
- Single season pins: 34. Tourdot also smashed Ebert’s record of 29 in a single season. The impressive thing about Tourdot is how he recorded the pins. Of his 34 pins, 30 were in the first period. The other four were in the second period. 22 pins came under one minute with one coming in at 13 seconds. The fact that he dominated so many opponents and accumulated so little mat time in those 34 matches and still was able to wrestle strong for six minutes all three matches at the state tournament is testament to Tourdot’s work ethic in the practice room.
- Tourdot also became Sparta’s second wrestler to complete an entire season undefeated. Dave Garritson went 32-0 during the 1992-93 season to win the division one state championship at heavyweight.
It was a great year for the Spartans and I had an awesome time covering these guys, taking photos and running the blog. Next year’s team looks to be pretty solid as well as they return seven guys with 30+ win potential.
Finally, check out the photo gallery of Matt Tourdot’s state championship match against Lodi’s Cody Endres below…
We plan to have video up here soon of the finals match between Tourdot and Endres so keep checking back for that. I still have to upload galleries from the Rochester Tournament and the team sectional against Lodi so we aren’t done yet with all the photo action!