Nine Rams bring home medals
The dual meet with Hudsonville scheduled for Wednesday, Dec. 9 was postponed due to the blizzard and will be made up at as part of the Dec. 19 Tom Horn Tournament to be held at Holland High School.
The Rams did see action on Saturday, Dec. 12, in the Kent County Classic held at Union High School. In a tournament that is a precursor for many of the area’s top wrestlers qualifying for state, the Rams came up short in the team total but showed why they plan on being a force as the season progresses.
Rockford placed nine wrestlers in medals in the day’s competition. Senior Drew Scogg, 135 pounds, showed heart in battling to a sixth-place finish with a 10-5 defeat in his final match of the day. Despite considerable effort, Scogg was bested by conference foe Joe Curley of East Kentwood.
Finishing fourth was Paul Creighton, 189 pounds, by virtue of a close 4-1 decision to Zack Weir of Stevensville Lakeshore.
Jake Johnson, 160 pounds, found himself wrestling for third place after falling in the semi-final round to Greenville’s Adam Bonner, 3-1 in overtime. After suffering his first defeat, Johnson bounced back, finishing third with a 5-4 decision over Jordan Graham of Big Rapids.
Sophomore Austin Scogg, 140 pounds, also found himself wrestling for third place, defeating Tiesean Hatchet of Union, 11-6.
The Rams showed power by placing five wrestlers in the finals, wrestling for first place. Tyler VanRooyen, 103 pounds, found himself trailing 1-0 late in the first period after giving up one point for stalling. He made a strong showing, keeping the match close throughout, but eventually fell in a 2-0 decision to Nick Ross of Comstock Park. VanRooyen brought home the silver medal for second place.
At 145 pounds, Bruce Carlstrom also showed tenacity in a match that changed leads many times. Carlstrom was wrestling the number-one-ranked wrestler in Division II at this weight class. Colin Fuller of Greenville outlasted Carlstrom, winning a 13-7 decision in one of the best matches of the day.
In the 215-pound weight class, Joe Stefanski showed why he is a contender for the individual state championship. Battling tough competition all day, Stefanski continually outclassed the field with two of his three wins on the day coming by fall.
In the finals, Stefanski faced Drake Renas of Big Rapids. Stefanski jumped out to an early lead, scoring a first lead takedown in two points. Wrestling the full six minutes for the first time this season, Stefanski walked away with a 4-2 decision and the gold.
Jake Dorulla, 170 pounds, was one of the three Ram champions for the tournament. He skillfully outwrestled all comers on this, his first day of competition. He won by fall in the second round at 1:19 and technical fall 16-1 to advance to the finals, where he would face Jordan Thomas of Greenville. Dorulla went all three periods to dispatch Thomas with a 5-2 decision.
In what could have been billed as a premier match-up, Jake Byers, 130 pounds, faced Nick Trimble of Sparta in the finals. Trimble is one of the top-ranked wrestlers at 125 pounds in Division II and went up one weight class to wrestle Byers. Byers reached the finals with two falls and a major decision in the preliminaries.
The match was all it promised to be, as each wrestler grappled for takedowns. Byers met the challenge by taking Trimble to the mat midway through the first period. By virtue of a coin toss, Trimble chose the neutral position for the beginning of the second. Byers again took Trimble to the mat, building a 4-0 lead before Trimble escaped with seconds left in the period.
The third period found Byers starting in the down position and escaping from Trimble, building a 5-1 lead. Trimble showed heart in the match by mounting a small comeback, but eventually fell to Byers in a close 7-6 decision.
Next up for the Rams is state-ranked Jenison at Jenison on Wednesday, Dec. 16. On Saturday, Dec. 19, Rams compete at the Tom Horn team tournament at Holland. On Tuesday, Dec. 22, the Rams will travel to Lowell where they will face Division I’s number-two-ranked team, the Red Arrows, and the Division II second-ranked Stevensville at the Lakeshore as well as Main South, a highly-touted team from Chicago, Ill.
Coach Richardson said, “This quad will prove to be a major test on the road to achieving our goals for the 2009-2010 season.”
Richardson would like to see his team win the OK Red conference with a 7-0 dual meet record, win the Division I, district, regional and state titles.