Rockford wrestlers dominate Muskegon

Shorthanded Rams struggle at Howell Invitational

by TIM COOPER

Braden Zych attempts to turn his Big Red opponent. Photo by JIM COOPER

The Rams wrestling team started the new year on a good note by shutting out Muskegon on Wednesday, Jan. 4. Though the Rams were missing three seniors, they showed depth by defeating the Big Reds 76-0.

The Rams pinned 10 of the Big Reds’ 11 wrestlers, with only one of the matches going the full six minutes.

Nate Rojas, wrestling up two weight classes at 135 pounds, defeated his opponent 14-3, in what was the closest match of the evening.

Jared Bennett ties up his opponent's arms with a bundle. Photo by JIM COOPER

“This is a nice kick coming out after the break. A real nice start to 2012,” Coach Brian Richardson said. “We set three goals for January. We want to be better hand control, be better in the down position, and pin more people. We did a great job at all three of those tonight.”

A depleted Ram squad traveled to Howell on Saturday, Jan. 7. Wrestling with 10 underclassmen in the lineup, the Rams struggled in three of the five dual meets. The Rams fell to Stevensville Lakeshore 49-16 in the first round, 45-10 to Howell in the second, and 49-25 to seventh-ranked Rochester in the fifth round.

Nate Rojas shoots through his opponent's legs for a takedown. Photo by JIM COOPER

The lone victory for Rockford was a 51-18 win over Plymouth.

“We had great leadership from our seniors today,” Richardson said of the Rams on Saturday. “The freshmen and sophomores responded well to the challenge. It was nice for them to gain the varsity experience.”

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