First Round Matchups

With the 50th Midlands less than four weeks away, we wanted to find out who you thought was the best wrestler in Midlands history. For that reason, we'd like to introduce the "Midlands All-Time Greatest Bracket Challenge".

With 49 years of Midlands we had to get the list of wrestlers down to a manageable number. So we have a list of 32 wrestlers who qualified for the tournament. In order to qualify you had to meet at least one of the following criteria:

-Won 4 or more Midlands Championships OR
-Won 3 or more Midlands Championships and a "Ken Kraft Champion of Champions" Award OR
-Won 2 or more Midlands Championships and a "Triple Crown" (Midlands + 2 Of NCAAs, Worlds and Olympics)
-Won 1 or more Midlands Championships and a "Grand Slam"
(Midlands + NCAAs, Worlds and Olympics)

Those criteria yielded 32 wrestlers. Next, we split them into four groups of eight by weight. Those groups are small, medium, large and XL. This was somewhat difficult and there are some variations within the weights. Finally, we put them into a bracket divided into four sections (S, M, L and XL).

Now its up to you. The first round match-ups are below. This is the lower half of the bracket containing the large and XL sized wrestlers, the upper half containing the small and medium wrestlers is also available as a separate survey. Voting will be open until December 12th. Then we will tabulate the results and start round two.

Decide who you think was the better wrestler (not necessarily who would win head-to-head, but who was the better wrestler) and make your choice. In the end, we will have the ultimate Midlands Champion!

And remember, tickets are on sale NOW for the 50th Ken Kraft Midlands Championships, hosted by Northwestern on December 29th and 30th. To order tickets call 888-GO-PURPLE.

* 1. Large Weight Class Round 1:
Cael Sanderson vs. Dan St. John

* 2. Large Weight Class Round 1:
Ed Banach vs. John Peterson

* 3. Large Weight Class Round 1:
Joe Williams vs. Jake Herbert

* 4. Large Weight Class Round 1:
Chris Campbell vs. Jim Scherr

* 5. XL Weight Class Round 1:
Bruce Baumgardner vs. Tom Erikson

* 6. XL Weight Class Round 1:
Bill Scherr vs. Melvin Douglas

* 7. XL Weight Class Round 1:
Ben Peterson vs. Larry Kristoff

* 8. XL Weight Class Round 1:
Steve Neal vs. Russ Hellickson