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Grappler Gold

Sparta Invitational Preview

By MI Grappler, 01/11/19, 9:15AM EST


Every weekend will breakdown the top tournaments to watch around the state.

Our featured tournament preview is the Sparta Invitational.  Read below for a weight by weight breakdown of the tournament, and click below for a preview of the other major tournaments.

Airport Invite
Forest Hills Eastern Duals
DCC Super Duals
Clarkston Duals
Dick Welsh Memorial Duals @ Algonac

D1 #2 Riley Rhone (Grand Haven)
D3 #5 Bailey Borgeld (Comstock Park)
D4 #5 Aydan Roesly (Hesperia)
Nate Vanocker/Rayana Sahagun (Sparta)
Breakdown: A well-represented weight across divisions.  Three ranked plus a Sparta pair who sit just outside the top-ten.  Rhone was been on a roll since week 1, winning the Adam Provencal tourney where Borgeld was 3rd.  Roesly has been a pleasant surprise for Hesperia this year as he sits undefeated on the season.
Finals Pick: Rhone over Borgeld

D4 #4 Robert Paterson (Springport)
Jack Parker (Spring Lake)
Kye Andrews (Shepherd)
Colin Hassenger (Vicksburg)
Breakdown: While Paterson is the lone ranked wrestler here, definitely keep an eye on Parker and Andrews.  Both have turned in great years to this point; Parker has just one loss.  It's possible still that Paterson's experience could propel him to a title, though.  
Finals Pick: Parker over Andrews

D1 #9 Dash Herrema (Grandville)
D3 #6 Will Kidder (Shelby)
D4 #7 Trenton Graddy (Springport)
Lance Clark (Shepherd)
Connor Baird (Hesperia)
Alex Russo (Kent City)
Anthony Gaiser (Mona Shores)
Hayden Cook (Sparta)
Breakdown: Really deep weight with 8 regional qualifiers or better.  Herrema is coming off a huge weekend at the DCC Invite where he placed 5th and knocked off some quality guys; he was undefeated coming into the tournament.  Both Kidder and Graddy are having big seasons.  Clair, Gaiser, and Cook have all shown flashes as well so any of them could be a dark horse in this bracket.
Finals Pick: Herrema over Graddy

D1 #7 Cody Miller (Grand Haven)
D4 #5 Mack Baird (Hesperia)
Anthony Allen (Mona Shores)
Austin Hickman (Kent City)
Jesse Veldhouse (Grandville)
Dylan Whidden (Comstock Park)
Gavin Caudill (Springport)
Breakdown: Miller is in an interesting spot in the D1 rankings.  He's undefeated currently but the weight is so deep that he's been hanging around the bottom half of the top 10.  Nevertheless, he's one of the top 25 lbers in the state, and super explosive for the weight class.  Expect him to come home with a title here, with Baird being the biggest challenger.  Grandville's Veldhouse could be a threat as well.
Finals Pick: Miller over Baird

D1 #10 Damien Ballan (Traverse City West)
D3 #6 Zion Taylor (Comstock Park)
Korbin Klaus (Hesperia)
Caleb Cline (Shepherd)
Breakdown: Taylor comes in as the lone returning all-stater followed by Ballan, a two-time state qualifier.  Those two could be the finals matchup.  Cline has put together a nice season, especially of late, and has some good wins on his resume, so he could be a bracket buster.
Finals Pick: Ballan over Taylor

D1 #6 Anthonie Taylor (Grandville)
D4 #2 Evan Jones (Kent City)
Breakdown: Taylor made his debut last week up a couple weights.  Expect him to settle into a lighter weight class and round into form by the postseason.  He'll be tested by returning all-stater Evan Jones, who brings a 27-0 record into the tournament.
Finals Pick: Taylor over Jones

D1 #5 Hunter Derry (Traverse City West)
D2 #4 Logan Slominski (Sparta)
D3 #3 Tanner Astrauskas (Tri County)
D3 #5 Austin Sanders (Comstock Park)
D4 #3 Thomas Potter (Springport)
Anthony Taylor (Grandville)
Dakota Oman (Gull Lake)
Owen McDaniel (Plainwell)
Hunter Dysinger (Shepherd)
Breakdown: Without a question the deepest weight of the tournament, with five top-five ranked wrestlers.  Initially, it looks like it'll likely be a three-horse race between Slominski, Astrauskas, and Potter to win the weight.  Slominski bumped to 45 last week and knocked off state finalist Felt of Shelby.  Astrauskas is undefeated with a win over the top-ranked 135 in D2.  Potter and Sanders are state placers as well.
Finals Pick: Slominski over Astrausaks

D2 #6 Justin Postal (Sparta) 
D3 #2 Nick Felt (Shelby)
D4 #5 Zack Potter (Springport)
Dylan Crump (Northview)
Max Kyser (Shepherd)
Breakdown: Two-time finalist Felt would appear the no-brainer favorite at 145.  However, Postal should be right in the mix.  At 18-1, his only loss is to Rockford's White, who he also has beaten.  Potter and Crump are having breakout seasons as well and could make a deep run in the bracket.
Finals Pick: Felt over Postal

D3 #2 Trevor Robinson (Shepherd)
Trevor Rademaker (Grand Haven)
Luke Aune (Sparta)
Devin Strong (Springport)
Breakdown: Robinson should have little issue winning this weight, but there will be good competition for the other finals spot.  Aune is the lone state qualifier in the bunch, but Rademaker and Strong are quality wrestlers who can compete. 
Finals Pick: Robinson over Aune

D1 #6 Josh Kenny (Grandville)
D2 #1 Alec Rees (Sparta)
Barak Haring (Springport)
Kurtis Stitt (Hesperia) 
Jonathan Willison-Westbrook (Kent City)
Chris Beyer (Shelby)
Breakdown: Returning state champ Rees headlines this weight at his home tournament.  He'll have a really good test in Kenny, who was outstanding at the DCC Invite and hopped into the rankings for the first time this year.  Expect them to meet in the finals.  Stitt and Beyer are probably the next in line behind those two.  
Finals Pick: Rees over Kenny

D2 #9 Trent Rector (Northview)
Jake Paganelli (Grandvillle)
David Larson (Gull Lake)
Robert Swanker (Mona Shores)
James Seaver (Plainwell)
Logan Buckner (Shepherd)
Breakdown: Actually a pretty open weight class with several contenders.  Paganelli is the only one with state tournament experience and is the likely pick to win it.  Rector has just one loss on the year and is having a solid senior season.  The quartet of regional qualifiers behind those two will definitely challenge both.
Finals Pick: Paganelli over Rector

John Howe (Gull Lake)
Brandon VanDyke (Sparta)
Breakdown: Not sure exactly who will be entered at 189, but typically when the contender list is brief someone will either come up or go down, which is a possibility.  Howe hasn't wrestled in a couple weeks but is a quality guy.  VanDyke is a tough sophomore with some nice wins on the year to his credit.
Finals Pick: Howe over VanDyke

D1 #1 Josh Hill (Mona Shores)
D1 #9 Zac Masiewicz (Traverse City West)
D4 #6 Aaron Ludwig (Springport)
Roshawn Williams (Comstock Park)
Breakdown: Top-ranked Hill headlines this weight that features a pair of others ranked.  Obviously Hill is the likely pick, but really watch for Masiewicz to challenge him.  Ludwig is a returning state placer who adds some solid depth to the bracket, along with Williams, a regional qualifier.
Finals Pick: Hill over Masiewicz

D2 #5 Jonathan O’Neal (Sparta)
Colt Stout (Mona Shores)
Zachary Parker (Shelby)
Kevin Smith (Shepherd)
Breakdown: O'Neal picked up a big win over Lowell's Delooff in week two and had been unbeaten on the year until Wednesday.  He's the favorite here without a doubt.  Stout, Parker, and Smith are all regional qualifiers and any one of them is capable of making a finals run.
Finals Pick: O'Neal over Smith