Jake Banaszak

Ending bittersweet for Ram wrestlers

March 4, 2010 // 0 Comments

by TIM COOPER  The Rockford Rams traveled to Battle Creek on Friday, March 26 for the final dual meets of the season. In the quarterfinals the Rams took on Westland John Glenn, a team they had defeated in late December. One Ram in particular found himself in an interesting situation for any wrestler at this time of the season. Jake Dorulla, defending state champion at 171 pounds, was told he had to gain weight to help fill out the Ram lineup. Dorulla took the task at hand and gained 6.5 pounds in about 20 hours, going over the 173-pound limit to possibly wrestle in the 215-pound weight class. Dorulla set the tone early in his match, winning by fall and helping the Rams cruise to a 34-28 victory over the Westland John Glenn Rockets. Other victorious Ram wrestlers were Joe Stefanski at 285 pounds, Jake Scholten (119), Jake Byers (125), Austin Scogg (145), Bruce Carlstrom (152), Jake Johnson (160) and Zach Banaszak (171). The victory over the Rockets punched the Ram ticket to the semifinal round where they wrestled the Eagles of Hartland. This was a rematch from December 19, when Hartland defeated the Rams 43-17. Because of key additions, the Rams were able to erase the 26-point deficit and turn the tables on the Eagles, beating them 29-25, and advancing to the state finals, a familiar place for Rockford, having been there three of the last four years. In the finals, Rockford faced the top-seeded team from Detroit Catholic Central (DCC). The Shamrocks—who had defeated the Rams twice in individual tournaments earlier in the season—were loaded and ready for the defending state champions. The Shamrocks had qualified 14 individual wrestlers for a state championship run this week. The Rams will be wrestling seven boys, starting Thursday, March 4, at the Palace of Auburn Hills. Byers (130) gave the Rams an early lead when he scored a major decision over DCC’s Charlie Joseph. Byers used a series of takedowns and releases to build a 13-5 victory, giving the Rams a 4-0 lead after the first match. The Shamrocks strung three victories together, taking a 17-4 margin into the 152-pound match between Carlstrom and the Shamrocks’ Gerid Gee. Carlstrom cut into the DCC lead, scoring a […]

Rams advance to state team wrestling tournament

February 25, 2010 // 0 Comments

Rockford sends seven to individual state competition by TIM COOPER In the opening round of the team regional competition, Rockford faced a familiar foe when they wrestled the Wildcats of Jenison. Rockford had beaten Jenison 42-19 in a dual meet in the middle of December. The Rams continued to show their dominance over the Wildcats, winning nine of 14 matches and racking up a 48-21 team score to advance to the finals where they faced the number-one-ranked Lowell Red Arrows. Lowell advanced by beating West Ottawa on their side of the bracket. In the finals, Zach Banaszak (189) fell in a 14-5 decision to Lowell’s Ryan Olep, giving Lowell an early 4-0 team lead. At 215 pounds, Rockford’s Joe Stefanski wrestled district champion Gabe Dean (189). Dean, who had moved up one weight class, was trying to upset Stefanski. In a match that went four periods with a tied score at 4-4, Stefanski and Dean wrestled for the takedown. With three seconds remaining in overtime, Stefanski used a double-leg takedown, scoring two points and winning in sudden victory. The 285-pound match was one Lowell was expected to win. Most pundits across the state had Lowell’s Connor Cruse pinning the much smaller Banaszak. Banaszak kept the match close for the full six minutes, but fell in a 4-2 decision, giving the Red Arrows a 7-3 team score lead. Tyler VanRooyen pinned his opponent in 55 seconds, giving the Rams the first lead of the night, 9-7. With bonus points at a minimum in this dual meet, VanRooyen’s pin would prove to be the only pin of the evening for either team. The big surprise of the evening for Lowell was seeing Rockford’s “Chubbs” Johnson walk to the mat for the 112-pound match. Johnson, who has been injured most of the season, was excited to be back in action. Building an 11-2 lead after the first period, Johnson cruised through the next two periods, building a 16-7 lead after six minutes. Johnson’s major decision gave the Rams a 13-7 advantage over the Arrows. Lowell proved that they deserve the number one ranking by climbing back into the dual meet at the 119-pound match, where the Red Arrows’ Calvin Meyer defeated Rockford’s Chris Barrentine with a 14-6 major decision. […]

Rams go undefeated in OK dual meet

February 15, 2010 // 0 Comments

Ram Wrestlers finish strong in OK Red By Tim Cooper For the seventh straight year, the Rams wrestling team was undefeated in conference dual meet competition. The final victim in the string was the Grandville Bulldogs on Wednesday, February 3. Leading the Ram charge was the 103-pound Tyler VanRooyen who defeated Dakota Torralva with an 8-4 decision, giving the Rams an early 3-0 lead. The Bulldogs tied the score at 112 pounds when Nick Reddy scored a 6-2 decision over Rockford’s Nate Rojas. The Rams took the lead for good when the Bulldogs forfeited the 119 match to Rockford’s Jake Scholten, giving a team score of 9-3. Grandville’s Tyler Maczinski defeated Rockford’s Chris Barrentine in the 125-pound match with a 7-0 decision. At 130 pounds, Rockford’s Jake Byers pinned Brad Norman of Grandville in 1:21, giving the Rams a 15-6 lead. Again the pesky Bulldogs cut into the Ram  margin at 135 pounds when Austin Merryweather defeated Drew Scogg 7-2. Austin Scogg, 140, used the bulk of his six minutes before pinning Dominick Barrencon, giving the Rams a 21-9 margin. At 145, Brian Ellis, of Rockford, up from the B team, fell to David Rivera in 1:22 by pin, to keep the match close with a team score of 21-15. Bruce Carlstrom, 152, took a 4-1 lead after the first period and used just 56 seconds of the second period before pinning Grandville’s Tim Sides. Robbie Gorton added three more points to the Rockford total with a 4-1 decision over Trevor Sousley, allowing the Rams to double the Bulldog score and create a 30-15 margin. Undefeated Jake Dorulla, 171, wrestled the full six minutes with Colton Hunt and walked away with a 12-0 shutout and a major decision. Once again Jake Johnson, wrestling up two weight classes at 189 pounds, wrestled one of Grandville’s best in Caleb Rivera. In a match that saw little scoring through six minutes, the two went into overtime with a 1-1 score. Twently-three seconds into overtime, Rivera threw Johnson from his feet to his back and pinned him with 6:23 and adding six to the Grandville team score, 34-21. In one of the few times all season Joe Stefanski would not wrestle, Zack Banaszak took to the mat in the […]