Sparta can go a long way toward earning back-to-back MVC championships by defeating rival Tomah on Thursday. Not only does this dual have big MVC implications, it is the first installment of Roddick vs. Von Haden, which will be an interesting subplot in its own right.
There will also be a chance for a significant piece of history to happen. If senior John Roddick wins his match, he will tie Matt Tourdot for career victories at 159 with a chance to break the record a week later at Logan.
After losing five consecutive duals to Tomah from the 2004-05 season to the 2008-09 season, Sparta has earned five straight wins against their rivals including a 40-30 victory last year. Tomah is a pretty young team with only four seniors on varsity. There are eight freshman and sophomore wrestling varsity and two juniors. There aren’t many weak weights with a lot of the guys from Tomah hanging around .500 for their record. Sophomore Hunter Piece (32-5) leads the team with 32 wins.
Here is Tomah’s lineup and some notes on each wrestler…
- 106 – Tommy Repka (24-11), Lost 5-3 to Holen’s Trevor Plomedahl, Corey Zimmerman defeated Plomedahl 3-1, in last year’s dual against Tomah, Zimmerman defeated Repka 6-3.
- 113 – Bobby Bemis (19-12), was pinned by Holmen’s Tanner Schultz in 1:27. Schultz defeated Sparta’s David Hayes 10-6 in match that Hayes led for a good portion of.
- 120 – Katon Moser (26-8), Christian Lamon pinned Moser last year in 1:46,
- 126 – Alec Devito (6-15), was pinned by Holmen’s Isaac Lahr in 1:07, Lahr pinned Sam Forbes in 5:18.
- 132 – Hunter Pierce (32-5), Pierce defeated Holmen’s Ryan Bennett 6-2. Roddick defeated Bennett 7-0. Placed 5th at Bi-State, John Roddick defeated Pierce 15-7 in last year’s dual,
- 138 – Isaac Linzmeier (13-12), lost 21-9 to Holmen’s Jonah Rieber. Rieber tech falled Trygve Zurfluh.
- 145 – Casey Curran (14-5), tech falled Holmen’s Taylor Goins 17-2 in 5:37. Goins was pinned by Brett VonRuden in 1:27, lost 5-3 to Dylan Winchel in last year’s dual,
- 152 – Ryan Baldwin (10-10)
- 160 – Collin Samson (16-14), Holmen’s Nathan Thesing pinned Sampson in 44 seconds. Hayden Krein pinned Thesing in 38 seconds. Defeated Haydn Bernett in 6:29 of overtime in last year’s dual,
- 170 – Ben Linzmeier (10-6), pinned Walker Polhamus in 1:30 last year,
- 182 – Justice Blackhawk (17-15)
- 195 – Mason Komary (8-11)
- 220 – Jack Hessil (16-15), lost 13-1 to Holmen’s Jack Westscott. Logan VanTassel pinned Westscott in 1:52, both of these matches were at 195 so we could see Hessil drop down a weight.
- 285 – Zach Herricks (14-13)
Common dual opponents for each team are below.
- Sparta tied Rhinelander 39-39 and won on criteria, but also gave up 30 points via forfeits. Sparta has been wrestling tournaments with less than a full team all year, but they have guys to compete in duals. Don’t expect the Spartans to give up 30 points to Tomah via forfeits. Just last weekend, Rhinelander beat Tomah 42-27.
- Holmen defeated Tomah by nine back in December by a 41-32 score. Just a couple weeks ago, Sparta defeated the Vikings 48-26.
Tomah is a solid team from top to bottom with few weaknesses. They will only get better next year, but I think Sparta’s exceptional senior leadership plus a solid lineup will prove to be too much for the Timberwolves. That said, it could be said that Holmen was favored to beat Sparta last year so anything can happen. The only guarantees are that Coach Roddick and Coach Von Haden will be chomping at the bit and there will be no comments made by any Tomah officials regarding the 15th anniversary of the infamous Sparta-Tomah dual of 2000 that saw a dual victory by the Spartans ripped from the Spartans’ grasp by an official who didn’t know the rulebook.
Finally, on a more serious note, you’d be a fool to doubt the Spartans this year. For much of the year, Sparta has been wrestling without wrestlers at all their weight classes and they have continued to pick up dual meet victories and tournament championships. The core nine or 10 guys who have stepped onto the mat for each dual and tournament have done a tremendous job and a lot of that can be attributed to the coaching staff.
There will be a live stream of tomorrow’s dual. Be sure to check back here tomorrow afternoon for a link to the live stream. Good luck Spartans!