In a dual where they won every match that was wrestled, Sparta defeated La Crosse Logan 65-6 Thursday evening to win their second MVC championship in a row. The win was Sparta’s eighth in a row against the Rangers. It was as complete a dual performance as the Spartans have put together all season. Sprinkled in among the Spartans’ 13 victories were six pins, a technical fall and two major decision. The two victories that did not come with bonus points included freshman Brett VonRuden’s 2-0 victory over Dylan Smith who entered the match with a record of 23-3. The other was Brock Polhamus’ 9-2 dismantling of Nick Houlihan (21-9) who is currently a division one honorable mention.
Keyshawn Stewart kicked off things with a first period pin of Logan’s Tanner Thompson. Jumping to his feet and flexing for the crowd, Stewart set the tone for the rest of the night. After a forfeit at heavyweight, Sparta would rattle off 12 straight victories. Outside the forfeits at 285 and 182, Sparta won every match that was wrestled. Sam Forbes and Trygve Zurfluh also came up with big victories for the Spartans generating 10 team points between them via Forbes’ pin and Zurfluh’s major decision victory.
None of the 13 matches may have been bigger than John Roddick’s 9-0 victory over Jaren Poff. In some ways it was your typical Roddick match with John pushing the pace from start to finish, but this one was four years in the making. The victory was John’s 160th and it set a new program record for wins. He passed the previous record holder Matt Tourdot with nearly a month remaining in the season. Congrats John on a great victory and hard earned accomplishment.
Let’s see how everyone else did on the night…
220 – Keyshawn Stewart pins Tanner Thompson (Logan) in 1:50
285 – Jacob Trussoni (Logan) wins by forfeit
106 – Corey Zimmerman pins Matthew Jeffers (Logan) in 0:32
113 – David Hayes wins by major decision over Cody Larson (Logan) 10-2
120 – Sam Forbes pins Paul Bartle (Logan) in 1:59
126 – John Roddick wins by major decision over Jaren Poff (Logan) 9-0
132 – Jaden Winchel pins Alex Rodriguez (Logan) in 2:41
138 – Brett VonRuden defeats Dylan Smith (Logan) 2-0
145 – Trygve Zurfluh wins by major decision against Aaron Zitelman (Logan) 12-2
152 – Brock Polhamus defeats Nick Houlihan (Logan) 9-2
160 – Hayden Krein wins by technical fall over Kyle Bakalars (Logan) 16-0
170 – Logan VanTassel pins Rowan Reynolds (Logan) in 0:28
182 – Walker Polhamus wins by forfeit
195 – Austin Zweifel pinned Collin Mastin (Logan) in 3:43
The victory pushed Sparta’s dual meet record to 11-6 overall and 6-0 in the MVC. You’d have to go back to January 17, 2012 against Holmen to find the last time Sparta lost to a conference opponent. The consecutive MVC championships are the third time in program history they’ve accomplished the feat. The first time was under coach Mike Montgomery during the 1992-93 and 1993-94 seasons. The second came under Jake Larsen during the 2009-10 and 2010-11 seasons. This one was a split accomplishment with last year’s team coached by Larsen and this year’s team by Coach Mike Roddick. Both Larsen and Roddick won MVC championships with teams that were often not fully stacked until the end of the year. For the first time in as long as anyone can remember, the Spartans had a lack of upper weights, but each coach managed to get the most out of the guys out there and came away with well-deserved MVC championships.
The 65-6 win over Logan marked the second most points Sparta has ever scored against the Rangers. Sparta won 67-12 and 67-9 during the 2009-10 and 2010-11 seasons, but those duals included multiple losses by the Spartans. Sparta may have scored two less points tonight, but this match was a more thorough and dominating victory compared to the 2009-10 and 2010-11 wins. Overall, the Spartans are now 26-6 all-time against Logan.
The Spartans are now off until Saturday, February 14th when the tournament season begins. Regionals are at Mauston, team sectional at Lodi, sectionals at Richland Center followed by the state tournament at the Kohl Center in Madison. The JV concluded their season tonight. Congrats to them on a great season and congrats to the Spartans on hanging another banner with their MVC championship.