Wisconsin Wrestling Online released their first rankings of the 2011-12 season and Sparta finds itself ranked 9th in Division Two and one spot behind section rival Lodi. Luxemburg-Casco, Oconto Falls and Ellsworth make up the top three teams in D2. Lancaster, who the Spartans pounded 43-24, comes in ranked third in the D3 rankings while Weston/Ithaca debuts at 8th. Other area teams in the rankings include Cashton at 10th in D3 and New Lisbon an honorable mention in D3. For the first time in a long time, no MVC team in D1 are receiving votes in the Wisconsin Wrestling Online Rankings.
In the Crossface rankings, Sparta is an honorable mention in D2 while Lodi is ranked 3rd. The massive difference in rankings between Lodi in the Crossface and Wisconsin Wrestling Online rankings is something to look at. The Wisconsin Wrestling Online rankings are updated much more often than the Crossface rankings. If I were to take one seriously, I’d go with the Wisconsin Wrestling Online rankings due to the frequency they are updated and the fact that they ask for input from coaches and fans.
On the individual side, Sparta has four ranked wrestlers. At 106, Dylan Winchel comes in at 9th. Winchel will be challenged at his section by the top ranked wrestler in D2 in Prairie Du Chien’s Taylor Elliott as well as Viroqua’s Justin McClelland who debuts at 7th. At 138 pounds, Derek VonRuden comes in at 9th overall. VonRuden will have to go through Mauston’s Colin Dolata who holds down the top spot in the rankings. Other ranked wrestlers at VonRuden’s weight class include River Valley’s Nick Lechnir (10th), Melrose-Mindoro’s Erik Low (HM), Neillsville’s Michael Chadwick (HM), Jefferson’s Tim Pendelton (HM) and Viroqua’s Erik Vesbach (HM).
At 152 pounds, Toby Mosely comes in ranked 11th. Like VonRuden and Winchel above, Mosley also has some tough competition between him and the state tournament. Coming in at 2nd in D2 at 152 pounds is River Valley’s Seth Liegal as well as Neillsville’s Damien Luchterland (4th). Marshall’s Cole Hansen debuts at 7th while Cuba City/Southwestern’s Scott Dingman is ranked 10th. Finally, Lakeside Lutheran’s Connor Fussner is an honorable mention.
Last, but not least, Kyle Burkhalter shows up in the rankings for the first time ever. Burkhalter is Sparta’s highest ranked wrestler coming in 6th at 182 pounds. Delavan-Darien’s Marcus Hudson holds down the top ranking while Lodi’s Jesse Ziegler comes in one behind Burkhalter at 7th.
Some of the guys I mentioned above will probably drop down a weight class or two or even go up by the time tournament season starts. I was just trying to give a sense of what the competition might look like once regionals and sectionals start. If you want to see the full rankings, check out the following links…