The men’s distance medley relay record has stood at Aquinas College since 1972. The quartet of Jerry Gumbleton, Mike Sweeney, Wayne Steanich and Ryan Sexton had the record of 10:16.34. Fast forward 39 years to Saturday, Feb. 12, when the foursome of (pictured l–r) Grant Gunneson of Rockford, B.J. Klotz of Forest Hills Eastern, Nick Thelen of Grand Ledge and Dustin Heiler of Fowlerville eclipsed the record by 11 seconds at a meet at Grand Valley State University. The new record now stands at 10:05.95 and currently is the third fastest time in the NAIA.
February 24 2011
Team season ends by TIM COOPER The Rockford wrestling team entered their regional competition on Wednesday, Feb. 16, looking for a way to make up points against Hudsonville, who beat the Rams 39-20 two weeks prior. Knowing that, Coach Brian Richardson adjusted his lineup in hopes of obtaining more favorable match-ups. Hudsonville grabbed an early lead, winning the 145- and 152-pound matches, putting the Rams down by nine. Rockford got on the board in the 160-pound match when Austin Scogg outworked opponent Zach VanEss before pinning him at the 5:42 mark. Hudsonville increased their lead by four with a major decision in the 171-pound match. Robby Gorton, at 189 pounds, brought the Rams to within one point by pinning Todd Holstege in 1:33. Freshman Brent Showers gave Rockford its first lead of the dual with a 15-0 technical fall over Dallas Dickson. Taylon Nuyenhuis put the Eagles back on top 19-17 with a fall in 2:16 over Jake Wilson. Steven Jendritz kept hope alive in the 103-pound match by pinning Victor Urzola, giving the lead back to the Rams at 23-19. An 11-5 decision by Zach Henderson over Rockford’s Nate Rojas in the 112-pound match pulled the Eagles to within one. A decision at 119 pounds by Cullen Maksimowski over Matt Igo, followed by Tyler VanRooyen’s major decision over Zach Nystrum, gave the Rams an eight-point lead with three matches remaining. Hudsonville won the remaining three matches, giving them a 37-30 victory, and a place in the regional finals against Grand Haven. Grand Haven advanced to the finals by beating East Kentwood 36-29. Hudsonville defeated Grand Haven 35-33, moving them on to Battle Creek for a shot at the team state championship. “We had our chance tonight,” said the Rams’ Coach Richardson. “These kids have seen adversity all season long. Our senior captains did the best tonight to give us a win. Mike Rottier of Hudsonville is a good coach. That’s a well-coached team.” On Saturday, Feb. 19, six Ram wrestlers traveled to East Kentwood for the individual regional competition. Scogg advanced through the championship bracket, beating Spencer Hill of Midland Dow in the opening round, and Jenison’s Trevor Dunham in the semifinals. Scogg’s semifinal victory was his 100th career win. In the finals, Scogg […]
There couldn’t have been a more appropriate occasion for the Rams to host Senior Night than on their last OK Red dual meet of the season at Rockford’s home pool on Thursday, Feb. 17. It was a bittersweet ending to a perfect conference dual meet record, as the Rams beat the Grandville Bulldogs 196-116, making them 10-0 for the season. Head Coach Tom Parks had nothing but words of praise for his seven seniors: swimmers, captain Ben Fredrickson, Victor Lima, captain Jared Martella, Tim Newberger, captain Jeff Schmitt, and divers, captain LJ McCauley and Kurt Plaggemars. Parks boasted, “This is the first group of seniors that I have ever coached in which the entire senior class has scored at conference. They are truly a diverse group, but have all worked together and become tremendous leaders with a strong work ethic.” Diving Coach Mark VanDyken agreed, “Our two senior divers have led their younger teammates by example. Kurt never quits until he gets it right, and LJ fulfills his role as captain very well by bringing a positive and fun attitude to diving, which makes all the hard work fun.” It was a night of mixed emotions, as Parks introduced the seniors to the audience one by one, while the younger Rams stood in a line and firmly shook the hands of their senior leaders and said goodbye. For some it was hard to hold back the tears, as they realized that this would be the last time that these Rockford seniors and their younger teammates would swim together on this deck. Parks admitted, “It has been an absolute pleasure to have coached these guys. They will be truly missed.” As for the senior swimmers and divers, they had some words of wisdom about their experience over the years of being on the team. Senior captain Martella, whom Parks doted as a “hard worker,” admitted, “Swimming on the high school team is one of the hardest things I’ve ever done, and probably will ever do… getting up so early, the grueling workouts. Yet, if I had to do it again, I would still swim. It gives you discipline, and a sense of commitment, and helps you to become a better student.” Newberger, whom was described by […]
The Rockford Rams hosted the MHSAA District I competitive cheer tournament this season. Thirteen teams throughout West Michigan competed in an action-packed tournament. The Lady Rams brought a spark to the mat with a round one score of 212. Sixteen back tucks led the way to the highest marks of the season in round two with a score of 243. Coach Dengler remarked, “We added two new sections in round three this week and the girls did a great job with the changes and performed them with pride and great execution.” With new skills added in round three, the Lady Rams completed their performance with a total score of 756, landing them in sixth place. In the overall district standings, East Kentwood won the district championship with a total score of 812, followed by Grandville, Hudsonville and West Ottawa, with less than three points separating the top three finishers. Rounding out the Lady Rams’ season, Coach Dengler commented, “I am so proud of my team this season. We started with only seven returners from last year and, what we produced today at districts out on the mat, you would have never known that. The girls in each round gave everything they had out on the floor. That is all a coach can ever ask of their team. I am so thankful to have been given the opportunity to coach these fine athletes this winter. We improved at every meet this year, but more importantly we became a TEAM this season. That, to me, is a successful season!”