Photos by John Maniaci
The Spartan wrestling season came to a close Saturday morning at the UW Field House after a 40-27 loss to top-ranked Freedom. The Irish jumped out to a 25-0 lead before Sparta started their comeback, but they never pulled within 10 points as Freedom avoided pins and picked up bonus points. That was a formula Sparta was familiar with throughout the year and used at team sectionals to get to this weekend’s final four of division two teams. Sparta finishes the season with a 13-7 record and top four finish at the state team tournament. Freedom would go on to defeat Ellsworth 34-15 in the championship match later that afternoon.
The dual against Freedom was the last match for seniors Corey Zimmerman, John Roddick, Brock Polhamus, Logan VanTassel and Walker Polhamus. They left an incredible mark on the program. We’ll have more on that in a later post, but congrats to this year’s seniors on their accomplishments.
Sparta’s dual against Freedom started at 220 with the Irish’s Evan Philibeck picking up a first period pin against Keyshawn Stewart. That was followed by a Spartan forfeit at 285. After that came 106 and 113, which were critical matches for the Spartans. At 106, Garrison Murphy pinned Zimmerman in 5:25 and one match later, the Irish’s Mitch Garvey picked up an 8-0 major decision victory over David Hayes.
Then at 120, Sam Forbes put up a solid fight in a 12-7 loss against the Irish’s Mason Manteuffel who was a state runner-up this year at 120. Then Sparta’s bread and butter took over. John Roddick closed out his Spartan career with a 14-0 major decision victory over Freedom’s Nolan Gaffney. That was followed by a technical fall victory by Jaden Winchel over Freedom’s Evan Vosters. There was no rematch of the epic 132-pound semifinal ultimate tie breaker match between Winchel and Cody Walrath. Freedom decided to bump Walrath up to 138 pounds.
I’m sure the Irish were expecting an easier match for Walrath against freshman Brett VonRuden, but that’s not what they got. Von Ruden and Walrath ended the third period tied 2-2 and it appeared a number of times that Von Ruden had the takedown near the edge of the mat. There have certainly been takedowns given for less. One of those saw VonRuden completely parallel on Walrath’s back at the edge of the mat with both feet in for a few seconds yet no call was given. Five seconds later, the officials gave one back as it appeared Walrath had the takedown. In the end, Walrath picked up a takedown with one second left to edge Von Ruden 4-2. It was an impressive performance by Von Ruden against Walrath who finished 3rd, 3rd, 2nd and 3rd at the state tournament the last four years.
At 145, Brock Polhamus closed out his Spartan wrestling career with a 6-3 victory over Blaz Daul. That was followed by a pin from freshman Hayden Krein, which brought Krein’s record to 40-7 on the year. Fellow freshman Brett VonRuden finished with a 38-13 record. Sound familiar? John Roddick finished his freshman season with 40 wins while Brock Polhamus finished with 36.
At 160, Ryan Wisniewski ran into state runner-up Seth Vosters and lost by pin in the second period. At this point, Sparta needed three pins in three matches to defeat Freedom and that meant pinning the 195-pound state champion in Ramsey Bloy. That’s not an impossible task, but it would be difficult. At 170, Logan Van Tassel won 9-4 over Freedom’s Adam Vosters, which sealed the match for the Irish. Van Tassel had an incredible senior season finishing with 39 wins. Next up was state champion Ramsey Bloy who pinned Walker Polhamus in 1:08. Polhamus also had a great senior season with some very big wins for the Spartans–especially at team sectionals. The final match of the night was won by Austin Zweifel via injury default.
Full results below…
220 – Evan Philibeck (Freedom) pins Keyshawn Stewart in 1:43
285 – Alex Rohan (Freedom) wins by forfeit
106 – Garrison Murphy (Freedom) pins Corey Zimmerman in 5:25
113 – Mitch Garvey (Freedom) won by major decision against David Hayes 8-0
120 – Mason Manteuffel (Freedom) defeated Sam Forbes 12-7
126 – John Roddick won by major decision over Nolan Gaffney (Freedom) 14-0
132 – Jaden Winchel won by technical fall over Evan Vosters (Freedom) 15-0
138 – Cody Walrath (Freedom) won in sudden victory over Brett Von Ruden 4-2
145 – Brock Polhamus defeated Blaz Daul (Freedom) 6-3
152 – Hayden Krein pinned Sean Murphy (Freedom) in 5:26
160 – Seth Vosters (Freedom) pinned Ryan Wisniewski in 2:42
170 – Logan Van Tassel defeated Adam Vosters (Freedom) 9-4
182 – Ramsey Bloy (Freedom) pinned Walker Polhamus in 1:09
195 – Austin Zweifel won by injury default over Jacob Vosters (Freedom) in 3:26
In the other division two match, Ellsworth took care of Wisconsin Lutheran to advance to the championship against Freedom via a 37-27 victory.
The Spartans finish the season with a 13-7 dual record. We will have a season recap later this week. Congrats to the Spartans on a great season and thank you to all the seniors for everything you gave to the program!