VanRooyen only Ram in finals at Holt tournament
by TIM COOPER
The Rams fell behind the East Kentwood Falcons early in their dual meet on Wednesday, Jan. 19. Matt Franklin put his Falcons up 6-0 when he pinned Rockford’s Danny Apkarian early in the first period of their 160-pound match. Rockford tied the scored at six apiece after decisions in the 171- and 189-pound matches. At 171 pounds, Robby Gorton won a 6-2 decision over Ernie Morton. At 189, Brady Gent won his match over Zac Tinerella, 3-2.
East Kentwood (EK) took the lead back after the 215-pound weight class, when Jesse Keenan defeated Brent Showers 10-7, making the team score 9-6. Jake Wilson of Rockford defeated Phil Morrow, 11-7, allowing the Rams to knot the score at 9.
Rockford took its first lead of the night when 103-pound Steven Jendritz edged Charlie Hang in a 6-4 overtime decision. Hang had defeated Jendritz earlier this season when the two wrestled at the Kent County Classic.
The Rams took a 24-9 advantage into the 125-pound match, following a 1:59 second pin by Nate Rojas over Curtis Blackwell in a 112-pound match and a void for Tyler VanRooyen at 119. EK cut the Rockford lead by three when Anthony Hang won a 6-3 decision over Cullen Maksimowski.
At 130 pounds, Rockford’s Trent Boyer gave up an early takedown to pass regional qualifier Anwar Munye. Boyer battled back in the second period, receiving two near-falls and taking a 5-2 lead into the third period. Boyer built on his three-point lead in the third period, finishing with a 13-2 major decision.
“I didn’t think I would beat him,” Boyer said. “The first time I tilted him, everything changed. It made me more confident. The second turn was when I knew I could win.”
The Ram lead was extended further as Alex Padilla (135) and Mick DeBoer (140) both received voids, giving Rockford a 40-12 lead. Austin Geerlings of EK used 5:54 seconds to pin Peter Nugent, leading into the final match of the night.
The 152-pound match between Rockford’s Austin Scogg and EK’s Niko Parks was tied 4-4 after regulation. The two would battle another two minutes in overtime, with Scogg scoring three points in the final 30 seconds for a 7-4 decision, contributing to the Rams’ 43-18 dual meet victory.
“Our kids really need to work on consistency,” commented Head Coach Brian Richardson. “Steven Jendritz  and Trent Boyer  are really coming on strong. Trent is really starting to wrestle up to his potential, and that showed tonight.”
On Saturday, Jan. 22, a shorthanded Rockford team traveled to Holt to wrestle in an individual tournament, where they finished 11th. Rockford’s highest placer was VanRooyen, who brought home a second-place medal.
The Rams’ varsity B wrestlers will host their own invitational Saturday, Jan. 29 at 9 a.m. Rockford will travel to Hudsonville on Wednesday, Feb. 2 for a 6 p.m. meet.