Zeeland hosted the Sept. 18-20 weekend junior varsity water polo tournament. Rockford was given the opportunity to enter two teams into the tournament. Coached by Craig Peterman, the Rockford JV team was split into the Rockford “A” team and the Rockford “B” team. The teams were placed in opposite brackets, with the possibility of playing each other in the championship game of the weekend.
Rockford “A” team was comprised of Justin Hulsebus, Michael Arend, Grant Beach, Dan Newberger, Trenton Babcock, Alex Savage, Corey Fase, Harrison Webb and Nick Willison. They defeated Grandville’s “B” team (17-0), Zeeland (16-2), and Okemos (14-1) to capture first place in their bracket.
The Rockford “B” team was comprised of Corey Fase, Cody Brown, Nick Dulak, Conner Betten, Cameron Cross, Jared Seifert, Josh Waldvogel, Nathan Napolillio, Andrew Bleeker, and Justin Hulsebus. They defeated East Kentwood (8-7), Grandville’s “A” team (9-8), and a sudden-death win (10-9) against West Ottawa to secure first place in their bracket.
Both Rockford teams managed to meet in the final game of the weekend to decide first and second places. In the true sense of “team,” Coach Peterman decided to mix up the players of both teams for the championship game. Both teams were coached alone during the whole weekend by Peterman, so he enlisted a parent/coach, Don Seifert, to take one of the teams. The two teams that were divided during the tournament became one team in the finals. During the final game, each teammate played with Rockford polo pride, knowing that they all had contributed to the final win of the weekend.