While the atmosphere was cold and dreary outside, the Rams—along with five area teams—were turning up the heat inside with some strong performances at the Rockford Invitational meet on Friday and Saturday, Jan. 6-7. Rockford showed their dominance in the pool by scoring almost 300 points ahead of second-place East Kentwood. The final scores of the meet were Rockford 680, East Kentwood 388, West Ottawa 359, Jenison 333, Spring Lake 273, and Grand Haven 232. The Rockford divers faced fierce competition on Friday night when West Ottawa’s Jordan Welling, an All American qualifier, ran away with the lead, grabbing 422.60 points. Ram diver Shane Phillips earned fifth place with 310.90 points, followed by Devin Rittenhouse in seventh (291.65), Mitch Rodema in eighth (288.65), and freshman Nate Isley in 15th place (191.10). In the first event of the day on Saturday morning, the 200-yard medley relay, Rockford’s senior captains Eric Chisholm, Josh Travis and Bryan Wasberg, along with sophomore Craig Wasberg, energized the crowd by breaking the pool record in a time of 1:36.90. Hours later, the same four swimmers seized one of the fastest times in Division I so far this season with their 200-yard free relay state-qualifying swim of 1:27.64, barely missing breaking another pool record by only .50. E. Chisholm continued to entertain the fans with his incredible individual performance in the 50-yard free (21.12), just .03 seconds away from taking down another pool record. He continued his winning streak in the 100-yard free by touching the wall first in 47.85 seconds. Junior Mike Arend grabbed the eighth individual state cut for the Rams so far this season with his second-place finish in the 500-yard free (4:56.71), behind first-place Grand Haven swimmer Takuya Kobayaski (4:53.66). B. Wasberg added the ninth, with his 50-yard state-qualifying lead-off swim in the 200-yard free relay (22.53). Rockford claimed numerous points when junior Nick Willison won the 100-yard back event (55.82), improving on his original state time in that event. Travis pulled in second with 57.01. C. Wasberg led the way in the 200-yard individual medley (2:03.82), followed by Willison in second (2:05.93). In the final event of the day, the 400-yard free relay team of Mike Arend, Harrison Webb, Willison and Trenton Babcock gained even more points […]
The Rockford men’s swim and dive team came away victories from Jenison’s home pool on Thursday, Jan. 5, when they defeated the Wildcats 185-124, in their first OK Red match-up of the season. Despite some fast swims by the Jenison squad, the combination of the depth and the speed of the Rams proved that they will be a tough contender in the conference this year. The Rockford boys swam to a first-place finish in every event but two, and displayed great depth by placing three Rockford swimmers in the top four spots of every individual event. Rockford’s Trenton Babcock and Craig Wasberg picked up two more individual state cuts at the meet, making it seven for the Rams so far this season. Babcock claimed his first state cut of the year with his first-place finish in the 200-yard individual medley (2:01.18). Wasberg earned his second state-qualifying time with his win in the 200-yard free (1:47.74). Other individual first-place finishes for the Rams included Eric Chisholm in the 50-yard and 100-yard free (21.49, 48.63), and Bryan Wasberg in the 100-yard breast (1:04.13). Senior Josh Travis also touched the wall in first in the 100-yard fly (55.42 seconds), barely missing the state cut. The score couldn’t have been any closer on the diving board at the Jenison pool when Rockford’s Devin Rittenhouse seized first place with 179.95 points, closely followed by teammate Shane Phillips, who grabbed second place with 179.75 points. Sophomore Mitch Rodema of Rockford took fifth place with 145.30 points. The Rams’ next OK Red contest will occur at Rockford’s home pool on Thursday, Jan. 12, against Grand Haven.
If senior co-captain Eric Chisholm was nervous about starting the state tournament schedule, he surely did not show it. Chisholm led the Rockford men’s water polo team as they began their state tournament run Friday night, Nov. 11, against Ann Arbor Skyline. “It is my senior year, my last state tournament; I did not want to let the team down,” Chisholm said. Chisholm scored Rockford’s first goal and then 20 seconds later threaded a beautiful pass to hole-setter Grant Beach, who pushed it into the net. The Michigan High School Water Polo Association state tournament pitted the top eight teams from around the state competing at Saline High School. The team claiming the state title would have to win three straight games. The Rams (42-2), the number-one-ranked team in the state, opened Friday evening with a 14-2 victory over the Eagles of Ann Arbor Skyline. The win set up a state semifinal grudge match between the Rams and the Ann Arbor Huron River Rats Saturday morning. The Rats are the only team to defeat the Rams this season, and are led by talented Serbian exchange student Aleksandar Petrovich. The match between the Rats and Rams was high on passion, emotion and drama. Saturday morning, in front of a standing-room-only crowd, the River Rats and Rams squared off in a contest proving to live up to the hype. Both teams played with focused intensity in a tightly contested first quarter. Petrovich gave the River Rats a 1-0 lead as the first period came to an end. In a back-and-forth battle, the Rams and Rats traded goals and ended the half with a 4-3 River Rat lead. The Rats exploded in the third period behind Petrovich, ending the period with a commanding 9-4 lead over the Rams. The Rams refused to give in, opening the fourth period by scoring two quick goals. As the River Rats slowed their play to work on the clock, the Rams continued a thrilling comeback by scoring a total of five goals in the fourth period. The River Rats were able to score one goal in the fourth period on a five-meter penalty shot, which turned out to be the deciding goal as the Rats held on to win a thrilling 10-9 […]
With over 50 teams competing at the Division I State Swim Championships on March 11-12 at Oakland University, Rockford showed just how far they have come this year when they nabbed the third-place title with 150 points, becoming the only west side team to bring home a trophy. It has been 10 long years since the Rams have brought back a trophy to Rockford, and four years since a Rockford male swimmer has claimed first in an individual event. But all that changed over the weekend. Junior Eric Chisholm clenched the individual state title with his swim in the 50-yard free in the finals on Saturday, clocking a lightning speed time of 21.19 seconds. Along with an individual state championship, the Rams also broke two high school records and placed all three relays in the top 16. The 200-yard medley relay team of Craig Wasberg, Bryan Wasberg, Ben Fredrickson, and Chisholm swam their fastest relay splits of the season to grab second place in an “All American” time of 135.19, breaking the 2001 Rockford record previously held by K. Hyde, K. Cannon, N. Harley and C. Sullivan, who held it with a 135.50. Freshman C. Wasberg made an immediate impact at the state meet when he also broke a 10-year-old Rockford record previously held by Kevin Hyde (53.00) with his swim in the prelims of the backstroke (52.79). Wasberg placed fifth overall in the finals of the backstroke on Saturday. Rockford accumulated numerous points from their other two relays when swimmers Chisholm, Jeff Schmitt, Fredrickson, and B. Wasberg touched in fifth place in the 200-yard free relay (1:27.43), and the 400-yard relay team of Schmitt, Mike Arend, Trenton Babcock and C. Wasberg grabbed 13th in a time of 3:16.42. With only the top 16 individuals able to score in each event, the Rams came out with big points in the 100-yard fly when both C. Wasberg and Fredrickson locked into the top eight finals, placing fourth and sixth respectively. Juniors Chisholm and B. Wasberg also contributed in the consolation finals with Chisholm’s 15th place in the 100-yard free, and B. Wasberg’s ninth place in the 200-yard IM and 10th place in the 100-yard breaststroke. Rockford senior diver LJ McCauley and sophomore swimmer Arend (500-yard free) […]
Over the last two weeks, the Rockford swim and dive team have proven that they will be a tough contender at the end-of-season championship meets. The Rams continued their OK Red dual meet winning streak by defeating the Jenison Wildcats 215-100 on January 13, and then by dominating the Grand Haven Buccaneers 193-116 on January 20. However, the true test for the Rams came about at Zeeland’s home pool when Rockford paired up against Zeeland for an out-of-conference dual meet on Saturday, Jan. 22. The Rams surprised the talented Zeeland team—who have not lost a dual meet in their OK Green conference yet this season—by outscoring them 110-76. Zeeland, who is currently ranked fourth in the state behind third-ranked Rockford, did not give the Rams an inch as the teams battled back and forth in every event. Rockford set the tone from the first event, the 200-yard medley relay, by swimming their fastest times yet this season while grabbing first and third. The first-place 200-yard medley relay team of Craig Wasberg, Bryan Wasberg, Ben Fredrickson and Jeff Schmitt clocked a best time of 1:38.77, with third-place Rams, Nick Willison, Jared Martella, Josh Travis and Eric Chisholm, swimming a solid 1:42.11. Rockford continued to show a lot of heart and determination, as Mike Arend seized the top spot in the 200-yard freestyle with his first state-qualifying time of the season (1:48.90), edging out Zeelands’ Sam Borgman (1:49.87). Trenton Babcock of Rockford came in third with 1:51.09. However, Zeeland turned the tables in the 200-yard IM event, with Dylan Zwiers placing first (2:00.13) and Christian Otteman picking up third (2:06.04). B. Wasberg placed second with a time of 2:01.99. Rockford gained some ground in the 50-yard free when Rockford’s Chisholm pulled out an impressive first-place finish of 21.99, followed by Chad Stears of Zeeland in second (22.63), Fredrickson of Rockford in third (23.39), and Harrison Webb of Rockford in fourth (23.69). After the 50-yard free event, the Rams were ahead 37-25. The Rockford divers knew they faced a tough challenge going into the meet, as Zeeland is home to one of the best divers in the state of Michigan. As expected, Zeeland’s Tyler Keelean dove to a first-place finish with 293.10 points. Rockford divers Kurt Plaggemars and […]