The Rockford men’s water polo season came to an end on 11-10-18 with the State Division 1 title on the line. The rams have been ranked second in the state all year right behind Hudsonville and ahead of Okemos. Everyone thought it would come down to these three teams, and everyone was right.
For the rams the tournament started Friday night, Nov. 9 vs. Ann Arbor Huron. Wanting to come out strong, the rams started out the first quarter with a 6-2 lead. Leading the way was Junior Elijah Chino with 3 goals. Junior Kyle Dedert had 1 goal and Seniors Zach burns and Kyle Arend each with 1 goal. Rockford continued to play strong ending the half 12-4 with Chino scoring 3 more times, Burns adding 2 more and Senior Gavin Saur adding 1 goal. In the second half, Arend added 2 more goals with Chino and Gavin Saur each with 1 more. The game ended with a convincing 16-6 win.
The defense played well all game racking up 24 steals in the game led by Gavin Saur with 8. Zach Burns had 6 steals with Kyle Arend having 5. Hudson Verwys, Elijah Chino, Drew Bargwell, Christian Wegan, and Nate Hopkins each had 1 steal.
Game two on Saturday had Rockford vs Okemos in the semi-finals, a team that Rockford had defeated the last two years in the finals. The first quarter started out with Okemos jumping out to an early 6-3 lead. Scoring for the rams were Zach Burns with 2 goals and Elijah Chino with 1. The second half saw Okemos extend their lead to 9-4 with Chino adding 1 more goal. The third quarter saw Hudson VerWys, Brenden Saur and Zach Burns each score once but Okemos countered with 4 more goals of their own to once again extend their led to 13-7. The fourth quarter was more of the same with Zach Burns and Nate Hopkins each scoring once but Okemos adding 5 more goals. Final of the game: Okemos 17, Rockford 9.
The defense had 6 steals in the game, led by Gavin Saur with 2, Kyle Arend, Brenden Saur, and Zach Burns and Goalie Ben Schuchardt each had 1 steal. Schuchardt ended the game with 15 saves.
In the consolation game later that day, Rockford took on Grand Haven for 3rd and 4th place. Rockford led the whole way winning the game 14-10 to take 3rd in the State Tournament.
Leading the scoring were the four Co-captains on the team this year. Zach Burns, Elijah Chino, Gavin Saur, who each had 4 goals, and Kyle Arend who had 2 goals.
Leading the defense in steals were Zach Burns with 5, Elijah Chino with 4, Gavin Saur and Hudson VerWys with 3 each and Kyle Arend with 1 steal. Junior Co-Captain Goalie, Ben Schuchardt had 13 saves in the game.
Congratulations on another strong season for the Rockford rams men’s water polo.
- Overall record for the year: 37-7
- OK Conference Regular Season 1st Place
- Ok District Tournament Champions 1st place
- MWPA West Regional Tournament 2nd place
- MWPA State Tournament 3rd place
Congratulations to the following players:
All Conference: Kyle Arend, Zach Burns, Elijah Chino, Gavin Saur, Ben Schuchardt
All Region Season: Zach Burns (1st Team), Gavin Saur (1st Team), Kyle Arend (2nd Team), Elijah Chino (Honorable Mention), Ben Schuchardt (Honorable Mention)
All Region Tournament: Zach Burns (1st Team), Kyle Arend (2nd Team), Elijah Chino (2nd Team), Gavin Saur (2nd Team), Ben Schuchardt (2nd Team)
All State Season: Zach Burns (1st Team), Gavin Saur (1st Team), Kyle Arend (HM)
All State Tournament: Zach Burns (1st Team), Gavin Saur (1st Team), Elijah Chino (2nd Team), Kyle Arend (HM)
Academic All State: Kyle Arnd, Drew Bargwell, Zach Burns, Bendan Chaudoir, Kyle Dedert, Cade Corer, Nolan Graalman, Nate Hopkins, Boede Mitchell, Samuel Radtke, Brenden Saur, Ben Schuchardt, Hudson VerWys, Matthew Weber, Trey Williams.
MVP: Zach Burns, Most Improved: Elijah Chino, Ram Pride: Gavin Saur