Sparta-Holmen Preview

I had originally envisioned this post to be a lot longer than it’s going to be, but since Sparta and Holmen already wrestled this past weekend in the finals at Stevens Point, we’ll just let the results of that dual speak for themselves. While the Spartans won the dual comfortably, it was a lot closer than the score showed and we should expect more of the same Thursday night.

Saturday’s 32-15 victory over Holmen should serve as a confidence-builder and motivation for the Spartans, but Thursday will see the Spartans wrestling in Holmen instead of neutral territory. With the extra motivation and adrenaline from being at home coupled with how close the matches were in Stevens Point, this is shaping up to be an even tighter dual.

In Saturday’s dual, eight matches were decided by three points or less. Two went to overtime and three more were decided by one point. Sparta won five of those matches and that proved to be the difference. Bonus point are going to be big. Toby Mosley was the only wrestler in the dual to pick up a pin.  Sparta had two major decision victories from Michael Murnane and John Roddick while Holmen had just one in Joe Inglett at 195.

If you want to get an idea of how close these teams have been lately, look no further than the last four duals between Sparta and Holmen dating back to 2008-09. Eight matches seems to be the magic number for Sparta. In all the duals below, the Spartans picked up bonus points and won the close ones. They will need more of the same if they want to have a chance for three straight MVC championships.  Below are the last four duals between Sparta and Holmen.

Sparta 32 – Holmen 15
Sparta wins nine matches, Holmen wins five

Sparta 35 – Holmen 27
Sparta wins eight matches, Holmen wins six

Sparta 38 – Holmen 21
Sparta wins eight matches, Holmen wins six

Sparta 35 – Holmen 29
Sparta wins eight matches, Holmen wins six

And below is a recap of Saturday’s dual at Stevens Point…

152  –  Toby Mosley pinned Nick Frana (Holmen)
160  –  Tyler Westpfahl (Holmen) defeated Bob Ragan 7-4
170  –  Greg Skon defeated Jacob Wiemerslage (Holmen) 12-5
182  –  Kyle Burkhalter defeated Dustin McKinney (Holmen) 4-1
195  –  Joe Inglett (Holmen) defated Dan Dawley 14-1
220  –  Charles Serauskas (Holmen) defeated Logan Degenhardt 11-5
285  –  Chris Beeler defeated Hunter Hauser (Holmen) 2-1 in overtime
106  –  Dylan Winchel defeated Wyatt Anderson (Holmen) 11-9 in overtime
112  –  John Roddick wins 11-3
120  –  Brock Polhamus defeated Darius Wright (Holmen) 4-3
126  –  Sam Schank (Holmen) defeated Tristan Zurfluh 6-4
132  –  Ryan Stalsberg (Holmen) defeated Derek VonRuden 1-0
138  –  Paul Vantassel defeated Dan Niccum (Holmen) 4-2
145  –  Michael Murnane defeated Avery Hackett (Holmen) 16-6

One thing to keep in mind is that Holmen wrestled Saturday without James Bennett who is expected back in the lineup Thursday. Bennett would probably slide in at 126 and Schank would be the odd man out. Holmen is loaded at the lower weights with some talented wrestlers having nowhere to go. They could move everyone up, but they’d be giving up a lot in weight.

James Bennett can only go as low as 126 as that’s his minimum weight class. Darius Wright is already at his lowest allowable weight class at 120. Stalsberg could drop to 120 if he can make weight while Dan Niccum can drop all the way to 126. See what I mean? It’s a little crowded between 120 and 126 for Holmen.  You can find all the minimum weights that wrestlers tested for at This should give you an idea of where some guys might be slotted come Thursday.

In the end, the only thing that will matter is who has more points when the dual ends. Regardless of where people wrestle, Sparta is going to have to win the close ones again. As I’ve mentioned before, there will be a live blog of the dual, but it will be scaled down. We’ll be updating the dual from an iPhone so answering every single question wont’ be possible this time around. We will update you on individual match scores and dual scores after every match ends so those who can’t attend can get results as fast as possible.  I’ll also be back to get some shots of the guys in action so expect a photo gallery on Friday.

With all that in mind, the only thing left to say is GO SPARTANS!!!

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