Jim Cooper

Rockford wrestlers finish strong at Jenison

February 9, 2012 // 0 Comments

Rams come up short at OK Red conference tournament by TIM COOPER and JIM COOPER The Rockford High School wrestling team fell behind Jenison early in the dual between the two schools on Wednesday, Feb. 1. With the Rams trailing the Wildcats 11-0 after the first two matches, senior captains Austin Scogg (152 pounds) and Danny Apkarian (160) quickly gave Rockford the lead as they each pinned their opponents. A third pin at 171 pounds by Grant Tennihill put the Rams on top 18-11. Rockford went on to win seven of the final nine matches, to take away a 48-23 victory. In addition to the falls in the middle weights, the Rams added three more. In the 119-pound match, Nate Rojas pinned his opponent in just 21 seconds. Cullen Maksimowski (125) won by fall in 2:33. Tyler VanRooyen (130) pinned his opponent in 2:39. With the match well in hand, the Rams sent Trent Boyer against fifth-ranked Dylan Wyngarden. Boyer, who has consistently come up big for Rockford this year, once again pulled an upset against a ranked opponent. “I knew I broke him when I threw him in the first period,” said Boyer. “He ran out of steam as the match went on. I felt stronger and stronger. This is probably the biggest win of my career.” On Saturday, Feb. 4, the Rams traveled to Hudsonville for the annual OK Red conference tournament. Rockford needed to finish ahead of Grand Haven in order to win the conference crown outright. The Rams came up short, despite placing 11 of their 14 wrestlers. Brandon Houle (215), Stephen Jendritz (112) and Tennihill all finished in fourth place for Rockford. Taking third-place honors were Robby Gorton at 189 pounds and Jared Bennett at 103. Maksimowski, Boyer, Scogg and Apkarian were runners-up. VanRooyen won a 7-2 decision over Zach Nystrum of Hudsonville to secure his third OK Red title. Rojas defeated 10th-ranked Zack Henderson of Hudsonville in a stunning upset in the finals at 119 pounds. “I didn’t expect to win this championship,” Rojas said. “This is the first time I have ever beaten Henderson. This really feels great.”

Rockford wrestling tops Grandville

January 26, 2012 // 0 Comments

Rams get complete effort in dual meet win by TIM COOPER When the Rockford Rams took to the mat on Wednesday, Jan. 18 against Grandville, memories of losing to the Bulldogs last year were very strong. This year’s team was determined to prevent history from repeating itself. The Rams’ scoring opened in the 103-pound match when Stephen Jendritz caught Micah Newton at the 1:07 mark of the first round, giving Rockford a 6-3 lead after two matches. Grandville went back on top with wins at 112 and 119, taking a 10-6 advantage going into the 125-pound match between Rockford’s Cullen Maksimowski and Grandville’s Keedan Hoezee. Maksimowski, who splits time with Tyler VanRooyen at 125 and 130, dominated Hoezee, taking the Bulldog wrestler to the mat seven times en route to a 19-7 major decision. A Grandville void to Corey Stankus at 130 and VanRooyen’s pin of Jake Brower put the Rams on top for good. “This was the most complete effort we had all season,” said Coach Brian Richardson, whose Rams won 10 of 14 matches on their way to a 52-14 victory over their arch-rival. “This team is peaking at the right time. We’re glad to be in the driver’s seat of the OK Red.” On Saturday, Jan. 21, the Rams traveled to Stevensville for a tournament hosted by the Lancers of Lakeshore High School. In the opening round, Rockford faced off with Division IV’s top-ranked team, the Hudson Tigers. The Tigers showed the Rams why they’re ranked number one by beating Rockford 41-16. In round two of the tournament, Rockford faced the host Lancers for the third time this season. The first dual saw the Rams win by one point on December 23 at Lakeshore’s Alumni Night. The second time around, the Lancers soundly defeated a depleted Rockford squad on January 7 at Howell High School. In the rubber match between the two teams, Rockford won 30-23. The Rams won nine of the 14 matches, sparked by a VanRooyen pin in the 125-pound match and Trent Boyer’s 9-3 victory, despite battling flu-like symptoms all day. Austin Scogg’s fall at 152 and decisions by Danny Apkarian (160) and Robby Gorton (171) also contributed to the Rams’ victory. In the final dual of the day, […]

Rockford wrestlers down East Kentwood

January 19, 2012 // 0 Comments

by TIM COOPER and JIM COOPER The Rockford High School wrestlers improved to 4-0 in OK Red conference competition when they defeated East Kentwood on Wednesday, Jan. 11. The Rams defeated the Falcons of East Kentwood in Holland on December 17 by 12 points in a preview of last week’s conference match-up. Falls by Collin Curtis at 145 pounds and Austin Scogg at 152 pounds gave the Rams an early 12-0 lead. The Rams’ lead evaporated as the Falcons won the next five matches, building to a 19-12 lead. Rockford pulled to within four in the 103-pound match when sophomore Steven Jendritz won a hard-fought match against Eric Fisher. With only two weights remaining, the Rams trailed the Falcons by a score of 28-27 going into the 135-pound match. After two periods, Rockford’s Trent Boyer and East Kentwood’s Anthony Hang had battled to a 3-3 tie. Boyer scored six points in the final stanza, giving the Rams a two-point lead with one match remaining. Braden Zych secured victory for Rockford when he pinned Demir Frazier in 5:51. Rockford Head Coach Brian Richardson said, “I’m not surprised about the outcome of the meet. We were lucky to get the win against a well-coached East Kentwood team. The pins by Collin Curtis and Braden Zych were huge. The fact that Nate Rojas and Trent Boyer turned previous losses into wins helped us tonight.” On Saturday, Jan. 14, the Rams hosted the Rockford Varsity Invitational. Rockford went 3-0 in their pool, defeating Lumen Christi 51-21, Portage Central 39-36, and Reed City 72-6. The Rams went on to wrestle the Hesperia Panthers in the finals. The Panthers, who are ranked second in Division IV, won the tournament last year in an individual format. Rockford got off to a strong start with a decision by Grant Tennihill (171), followed by a major decision by Robby Gorton (189) and a pin by Brent Showers (215). Hesperia heavyweight Brett Martin got the Panthers on the board with a fall over Brandon Houle. Jendritz, at 103 pounds, remained undefeated on the day with a pin at the 5:02 mark against fourth-ranked Cory Agens. Hesperia jumped back into the dual meet with falls at 112 and 119 pounds. A pin by Tyler VanRooyen in the […]

Rockford wrestlers dominate Muskegon

January 12, 2012 // 0 Comments

Shorthanded Rams struggle at Howell Invitational by TIM COOPER The Rams wrestling team started the new year on a good note by shutting out Muskegon on Wednesday, Jan. 4. Though the Rams were missing three seniors, they showed depth by defeating the Big Reds 76-0. The Rams pinned 10 of the Big Reds’ 11 wrestlers, with only one of the matches going the full six minutes. Nate Rojas, wrestling up two weight classes at 135 pounds, defeated his opponent 14-3, in what was the closest match of the evening. “This is a nice kick coming out after the break. A real nice start to 2012,” Coach Brian Richardson said. “We set three goals for January. We want to be better hand control, be better in the down position, and pin more people. We did a great job at all three of those tonight.” A depleted Ram squad traveled to Howell on Saturday, Jan. 7. Wrestling with 10 underclassmen in the lineup, the Rams struggled in three of the five dual meets. The Rams fell to Stevensville Lakeshore 49-16 in the first round, 45-10 to Howell in the second, and 49-25 to seventh-ranked Rochester in the fifth round. The lone victory for Rockford was a 51-18 win over Plymouth. “We had great leadership from our seniors today,” Richardson said of the Rams on Saturday. “The freshmen and sophomores responded well to the challenge. It was nice for them to gain the varsity experience.”

Rams hold on in regional football final

November 17, 2011 // 0 Comments

Rockford advances to face Detroit Catholic Central in semifinals  by TIM COOPER The goal for Coach Ralph Munger and his Rams in the regional final game was not necessarily to stop the high-powered Grand Blanc Bobcats’ offense. Grand Blanc, in the first two games of the playoffs, had run up 108 points, more than any other team in Division I. Munger gave high praise to the Grand Blanc squad, saying, “They’re the most talented team in the state.” Early in the first quarter, it appeared the Rams were going to do more than slow Grand Blanc. On the second play from scrimmage, Kyle Short intercepted a pass from quarterback Bart Williams, returning it to the Bobcat 15-yard line. Connor Darby powered into the end zone from four yards out three plays later. On Grand Blanc’s second possession, it appeared as if the Rams were going to continue to stop the Bobcats, as Rockford forced Grand Blanc to kick the ball away. KC Zenner returned the punt to the Bobcat 47, where the Ram offense took command. They advanced to the 24-yard line before being stalled by the Grand Blanc defense, where Steve Mette was called upon to kick the first of three field goals. Mette connected from 42 yards, 32 yards, and 45 yards. With the Rams leading 10-0, the Bobcats showed they wouldn’t be stopped, but rather they could only be slowed down. Grand Blanc moved the ball to the Rockford 7-yard line, where they were faced with a third-and-goal situation. A pass interference call against the Rams gave the Bobcats a fresh set of downs inside the 5-yard line. Williams completed the drive when he found Tearon Jameson, bringing the Bobcats within three points. After Mette knocked in his second and third field goals to give Rockford a nine-point lead, Grand Blanc appeared to have reversed the tides. They moved the ball 61 yards before giving up an interception in the end zone to Chubbs Johnson. The Rockford offensive line took control of the game, opening large holes and allowing the Ram running backs to chew up the field. With time running out in the first half, quarterback Mark LaPrairie found receiver Brandon Lubenow in the corner of the end zone from 13 […]

1 2 3 6