The complete dual meet history of Sparta Wrestling

dual-1 For over a year, we have been researching the dual meet records of Sparta Wrestling and filling in the gaps.  A team consisting of Mike Montgomery, Derek Montgomery and Pat Stevenson along with help from Guy Koehler and individuals from various communities around the state have helped us piece together the complete dual meet history of Sparta Wrestling.  Every dual from every year, Sparta’s all-time record against every opponent and more are available to view.  Big thanks to Pat Stevenson for his many hours in the local history rooms doing research.  The same to Mike Montgomery for helping compile this information and to Guy Koehler who supplied records to fill in the gaps for many years where we had no information. The records are fascinating AND YOU CAN VIEW THEM HERE.  Before releasing these on the Internet, we’ve compiled a large list of some of the most interesting facts from over 50 years of wrestling in Sparta.  Let’s see them. spartan-spacer Sparta’s all-time record is 403-304-11.  The 400th victory in program history was the biggest win of the 2013-14 season–a 40-19 drubbing of Holmen. spartan-spacer

Sparta: The South Central Conference’s whipping boy

Sparta has seen a lot of success in recent years.  Since a 4-5 record during the 1986-87 season, the Spartans have only three losing seasons.  For any wrestler on the team right now, all they have known is success.  However, that wasn’t always the case.  Sparta had a hell of a time in one of the toughest conferences in the state through the 1960s, 1970s and much of the 1980s before the program turned a corner.  Let’s look at all-time records against former SCC opponents…

  • Adams-Friendship 15-5
  • Baraboo 9-21-1
  • Black River Falls 17-7-2
  • Mauston 11-15-1
  • Nekoosa 6-5-1
  • Portage 13-23
  • Reedsburg 17-30
  • Richland Center  0-13
  • Sauk Prairie 3-7
  • Tomah 25-34
  • Viroqua 5-9-1
  • Wisconsin Dells 6-26-2

Combined Record:  127-195-8. Yikes.  Then again, these SCC teams of a few decades ago were stacked.  Richland Center was a powerhouse and Sparta never came close to competing against them.  The closest dual meet between Sparta and Richland Center was a 30-11 loss during the 1962-63 season and the 13 points the Spartans put up against them the previous year was the most all-time.  Over the final five meetings between Sparta and Richland Center between 1965-66 and 1970-71, the Spartans managed to score 18 points in losses of 35-8, 42-2, 50-0, 44-0 and 43-8.  It’s been 44 years since these teams wrestled.  It was a tough conference and Sparta put up with a lot of abuse. Recent times have seen the Spartans fare much better against their old SCC mates.  Here is Sparta’s record against those same opponents since 1990.

  • Adams-Friendship 1-0
  • Baraboo 2-2
  • Black River Falls 1-0
  • Mauston 0-0
  • Nekoosa 0-0
  • Portage 8-3
  • Reedsburg 15-1
  • Richland Center 0-0
  • Sauk Prairie 1-0
  • Tomah 17-8
  • Viroqua 1-1
  • Wisconsin Dells 1-1-1

Combined Records since 1990:  47-16-1.  Much better. spartan-spacer

Sparta:  Perennial MVC Powerhouse

While Sparta had a long history of being a second fiddle team in the SCC, the program began to turn the corner during its last years in the conference in the mid and late 1980s.  Unfortunately, the program’s rise coincided with Sparta’s move to the MVC so Sparta’s all-time record against SCC teams do not reflect how much the program has improved.  To be fair, Sparta has enjoyed the type of consistent success over the last 25 years that the SCC teams enjoyed from the 1960s through the 1980s and most of them have fallen on harder times.  Different conferences, different fortunes for most of Sparta’s old SCC rivals. As such, Sparta gets to play the role of perennial power in the MVC that teams like Wisconsin Dells, Richland Center and Reedsburg occupied in the SCC.  In 25 years, Sparta has finished below .500 in conference only three times.  They’ve captured seven MVC titles and finished runner-up 12 times.  In those 25 years, they’ve accumulated a 107-35 record in conference, which is second best to Holmen’s 114-28 record and well ahead of Tomah’s 95-47 record.  To put into perspective how dominant Holmen, Sparta and Tomah have been, no La Crosse team has anything near a winning record in conference action.  The best, La Crosse Central, has a 55-86-1 record followed by Logan at 54-88 and then Aquinas at 45-55.  Onalaska is just 7-134-1 in 25 years. spartan-spacer

Dominance of La Crosse schools

While the Spartans were getting whipped on the mat by SCC opponents, they enjoyed a lot of success against Logan, Central, Aquinas and Onalaska.  Holmen wasn’t a regular opponent until the early 1980s.  Here is how the Spartans have faced against the La Crosse schools…

  • Holmen 14-19
  • La Crosse Aquinas 21-4
  • La Crosse Central 17-10
  • La Crosse Logan 25-6
  • Onalaska 28-0

That’s a 105-39 record.  Like Sparta never measured up to Richland Center, the Hilltoppers of Onalaska could say the same of Sparta.  Outside a 37-26 loss during the 1999-2000 season, the Hilltoppers have never really been competitive with Sparta.  The Spartans have shut out Onalaska four times and scored 60 or more points 16 times, 70 or more eight times and 80 or more twice.  Sparta’s 81-0 victory during the 2007-08 season is the most lopsided in program history.  One more interesting fact in this one-sided rivalry is that between 2006 and 2012, Sparta outscored Onalaska 384-12. Duals with La Crosse Central in recent years have been one-sided as Central struggles with numbers, but they were a dominant team in the MVC in the early 90s and 2000s, but have dropped off dramatically since then.  Good individual wrestlers, bad numbers.  Duals with Logan have been pretty competitive over the course of 31 duals, but most are won comfortably by the Spartans.  The same can be said for Aquinas. The last time Sparta lost to a team from the La Crosse area not named Holmen was during the 2005-06 season. spartan-spacer

Tomah and Holmen

Sparta has an all-time record of 25-34 against Tomah.  The early years were tough for Sparta as Tomah absolutely annihilated the Spartans during the rivalry’s first 19 meetings.  Sparta was never closer than 12 points in any of those duals and those included losses of 42-5, 50-0 and 43-0 from 1959 until 1961.  Sparta broke through against Tomah in the 1975-76 season with a 23-21 victory and since then have compiled a 25-15 record against their top rival.  They’ve won the last five meetings by at least 10 points.  Most lopsided loss was a 50-0 decision in the 1960-61 season while Sparta’s most lopsided victory was a 54-9 decision during the 1993-94 season. The rivalry between Holmen and Sparta is a newer one and a little more competitive.  The Vikings were pretty dominant until 2000 when they compiled a 14-5 record.  Since 2000, Sparta is 9-5.  Most lopsided loss to the Vikings was a 43-6 loss during the 1980-81 season.  Most lopsided victory was a 51-5 decision during the 1974-75 season. Together, Sparta, Holmen and Tomah have captured 22 of 25 conference championships.  Holmen leads the way with nine championships while Tomah and Sparta each have seven.  These include co-championships if the math isn’t adding up for you. spartan-spacer

Cleaning up and picking up (the pieces)

Onalaska isn’t the only team the Spartans have seen a lot of success against.  Here are a few others the Spartans have a happy history against.

  • Adams-Friendship 15-5
  • Arcadia 6-2
  • Black River Falls 17-7-2
  • Cashton 8-2
  • GET 6-1-1
  • Lancaster 11-5
  • Oregon 6-1
  • Racine Horlick 14-1
  • West Salem 6-0
  • Westby 17-8-1
  • Weston/Ithaca 5-0

And here are the teams the Spartans just couldn’t figure out over the program’s history…

  • Baraboo 9-21-1
  • Holmen 14-19
  • Mauston 11-15-1
  • Portage 13-23
  • Reedsburg 17-30
  • Richland Center 0-13
  • Sauk Prairie 3-7
  • Tomah 25-34
  • Viroqua 5-9-1
  • Wisconsin Dells 6-26-2


Old foes

Sparta has wrestled no team more than Tomah (59 times) and Reedsburg (47 times).  While the early years were not all that great against Reedsburg and Tomah, modern times have favored the Spartans.  Until 1990, Sparta was 2-29 against Reedsburg and 8-26 against Tomah.  Since then Sparta is 15-1 against Reedsburg and 18-8 against Tomah.  Each team carried enormous winning streaks against the Spartans as well.  From 1966-67 until the 1987-88 season, Reedsburg won 21 straight duals while Tomah won 19 straight from 1959-60 until 1975-76.  We are talking decades without Spartan wins against these teams. spartan-spacer

Random facts

  • Sparta has a 10-9 all-time record against teams from Minnesota.
  • Here is a list of teams that Sparta wrestled at least 20 duals with in their history, but haven’t wrestled in 20 years:  Adams-Friendship, Black River Falls, Mauston, Wisconsin Dells
  • Biggest blowout?  Sparta defeated Onalaska 81-0 during the 2007-08 season.
  • Worst loss?  A 57-0 loss to Mauston during the 1984-85 season.
  • Sparta has scored 60 points 50 times, 70 points nine time sand 80 points twice.
  • The Spartans have shutout an opponent five times while having been on the losing end of a shutout nine times.  However, seven of the times Sparta has been shutout came before 1970.  The most recent was a 57-0 loss to Mauston during the 1984-85 season.  The last time Sparta shutout an opponent was the 2011-12 season against Onalaska in a 76-0 rout.
  • Most wins in a season?  The 2011-12 team went 20-4.
  • Least wins in a season?  Zero.  The 1980-81 and 1984-85 teams failed to win a dual.
  • Undefeated season?  During the 1987-88 season, Sparta went 7-0-2.
  • One-loss seasons?  1958-59 at 1-1-1, 2003-04 at 14-1, 2009-10 at 17-1
  • Double digit win seasons?  17 total.  It took 30 years before Sparta had a season with 10 or more wins, but they finally accomplished it during the 1977-78 season with a 10-3 record.  In the 36 years since, Sparta has accomplished it 16 times.
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