As the regular season for the Rockford Men’s Water Polo begins, the rams are ranked second in the state as defending division 1 state champions. Having something to prove, the rams come off a strong preseason tournament schedule having lost only to top rated Hudsonville.
The season started on September 10th on the road at Grand Haven. The rams started out a little slow with a number of turnovers in the first quarter and a 1-0 lead. But as the game progressed, they showed why they are ready to make a run toward another state championship with a convincing 15-3 win.
Leading the scoring were the four co-captains. Senior Gavin Saur with 4 goals. Senior Kyle Arend and Junior Elijah Chino each had 3 goals and senior Zach Burns had 2 goals. Sophomores Brenden Saur and Nolan Graalman along with junior Brendan Chaudoir each added 1 goal.
The rams continued their strong defensive play with a total of 25 steals in the game. Leading the way was Gavin Saur with 6, Kyle Arend, Elijah Chino, and Junior Kyle Dedert each had 4 steals. Zach Burns and Nolan Graalman each had 2 steals. Brenden Saur, Junior Nick Deugaw and Junior Goalie Ben Schuchardt each had 1 steal.
Game two of the season had Rockford on the road once again, this time visiting Jenison. Unlike the last game however, the rams started fast with a 7-0 lead after the first quarter and 11-0 at the half. Coach Haga was able to substitute a number of players and end the game with a 13-3 victory.
Leading the scoring was Zach Burns with 4 goals, 3 of those coming in the first quarter. Kyle Arend, Gavin Saur, and Elijah Chino each had 2 goals. Kyle Dedert, Brenden Saur, and freshman Nate Chaney added 1 goal each. Goalie Ben Schuchardt had 2 assists with some precise outlet passes.
Gavin Saur and Kyle Dedert led the defense, each racking up 3 steals. Kyle Arend, Elijah Chino, and Junior Matthew Weber each had 2 steals. Brenden Saur and Juniors Boede Mitchell and Samuel Radtke had 1 steal each.
On September 17th, Rockford Men’s Water Polo had their first home game vs. Grandville. Once again the rams started strong with an 11-0 half time lead and a 17-2 Victory.
Zach Burns led all scorers again with 4 goals. Junior Trey Williams had 3 goals. Gavin Saur and Kyle Dedert each had 2 goals. Kyle Arend, Elijah Chino, Brenden Saur, Nate Chaney, and Nolan Graalman each added 1 goal.
Kyle Dedert led the defense with 4 steals. Brenden and Gavin Saur had 3 and 2 steals respectively. Nick Deugaw had 2 steals and Ben Schuchardt, Elijah Chino, Nate Chaney, and Brendan Chaudoir had 1 steal each. Goalie Ben Schuchardt had 5 saves and backup goalie, Boede Mitchell had 3 saves.
September 19th saw the rams back on the road to take on the Panthers of West Ottawa. Rockford started strong with a 12-3 lead at half once again giving the bench a good number of minutes in the pool.
Elijah Chino led all scorers with 5 goals. Zach Burns continued finding the back of the net with 4 goals. Brenden Saur had 3 goals with older brother Gavin adding 2 goals. Kyle Arend and Kyle Dedert each had 1 goal to end the game with a 16-10 win. Kyle Arend led the team with 5 assists.
Kyle Arend led the defense with 4 steals. Kyle Dedert and Brenden Saur each had 3 steals. Gavin Saur and Zach Burns had 2 steals each.
The week ended with Rockford continued to be ranked second in the state. Next up for the Rams is a home game vs. Zeeland on Sept. 24th.