Monday, September 10 was the start of conference play for the Rockford men’s water polo team. The Junior Varsity squad traveled to Grand Haven and beat the home team 7 – 5. Nate Hopkins was the leading scorer with 4 goals. Drew Bargwell, Dominic Galang and Cade Dorer also contributed goals. Assisting in the offense was Isaiah Baker with two and Dorer and Hopkins each with one. Galang led on the defense with 4 steals, followed by Dorer with 3, Baker and Bargwell with 2 and Hopkins, Jordan Miller and Marc Stewart had a steal each. Logan Harris prevented 9 goals from the other team and Joe Reinsma stopped a goal.
The second game of the week was on Wednesday in Jenison. The Rams easily beat Jenison with a final score of 9 – 3. Bargwell led on offense with 3 goals, Dorer and Hopkins each contributed 2, and Baker and Galang both had 1. Hopkins is credited with the only assist of the night. Defense was an integral part of this game with 18 total steals. Bargwell, Dorer and Hopkins led with 3 each, Wyatt Cliff and Baker had 2, while Miller, Stewart, Isaac Gulliver, Jackson Irwin and Galang all had one steal apiece. Reinsma stopped 2 goals and Harris blocked 1 to secure the win and move to 2-0 in conference play.
The squad was back on the road on Friday, this time to Zeeland for a tournament. The first game against Zeeland ended in a tie. Hopkins led in scoring with 3 goals, followed by Nate Cheney with 2. Bargwell, Miller and Dorer all added to the goal count. Hopkins, Cheney, Stewart, Galang and Baker all had an assist. On the defensive side, Cheney led with 3 steals and Hopkins, Bargwell, Miller and Baker each had a steal. Goalie Harris blocked 8 shots.
Day two of the Zeeland tournament began on Saturday with a tough match against Hudsonville. The Rams played hard and ended the match with a 9 – 11 loss. Hopkins led on defense with 5 goals and 4 assists. Cheney followed with 1 goal and 2 assists. Bargwell, Baker and Dorer each had a goal and Miller had 1 assisst. Defense was key in this game with 16 total steals. Hopkins had 7, Cheney had 4, Galang had 3, Dorer had 2 and Miller had 1. Harris was able to block 7 goal attempts by Hudsonville to keep the game close.
Game three of weekend found the Rams facing Jenison again with the same final 9 – 3 score they had earlier in the week. This time the leading scorer was Miller with 4, followed by Dorer with 2. Hopkins, Cheney and Bargwell all contributed a goal. Baker was credited with 2 assists and Gulliver with 1. Rockford was able to net 13 steals during this game. Miller had 3, Bargwell, Cheney and Hopkins had 2 each and Galang, Cliff, Baker and Dorer each grabbed the ball 1 time. Reinsma was able to block 6 shots and Harris got 2 stops.
The final game gave Rockford their second tie of the weekend with 8 – 8 against Grand Haven. Bargwell, Hopkins and Stewart each scored 2 and Baker and Dorer were able to add another goal each. Hopkins had 2 assists on goal and Miller had 1. Of the 14 total steals, Hopkins had 6, Bargwell, Baker and Dorer had 2, with Irwin and Galang each getting 1. There were 12 official blocked shots, with Harris getting credit for 7 and Reinsma getting 5.