Jim Cooper

Dorulla takes state wrestling championship, four others place

March 11, 2010 // 0 Comments

Pox knocks Stefanski from title defense by TIM COOPER On the verge of defending his individual state championship title at 215 pounds, a childhood illness knocked senior Joe Stefanski out of the competition when he contracted chicken pox, ending his high school wrestling career one week early. Stefanski is bound for the University of Ohio next fall where he intends to play football. Six other Rockford wrestlers walked the floor of the Palace of Auburn Hills in the grand march on Thursday, March 4. The state individual high school wrestling tournament begins each year with 896 wrestlers parading their school colors before cheering fans and families. This year over 44,000 wrestling fans attended the three-day event, culminating with the individual championship matches on Saturday night, March 6. Following the opening ceremonies, six Rockford wrestlers participated in the first round of action. Senior Jake Scholten (119) led the Ram attack with a 7-1 victory over Detroit Catholic Central’s Matt Thompson. The 125-pound match saw senior Jake Byers win a 15-5 major decision over Dan Jaijo of Troy. Byers used numerous takedowns in his dominance of Jaijo, earning his advance to the second round. Sophomore Austin Scogg faced a tough opponent in Detroit Catholic Central’s Justin Melick, the eventual 135-pound champion. Scogg fell into the consolation bracket when Melick pinned him at the 1:58 mark of the match. Takedowns and releases seemed to be the order of senior Jake Johnson’s opening match in the 160-pound bracket. Johnson achieved 12 takedowns, building a 24-10 major decision over Matt Schodowski of New Baltimore Anchor Bay. Johnson, the runner-up in last year’s 160-pound tournament, showed he was determined to get back to the finals. Defending state champion at 171 pounds, senior Jake Dorulla dominated his first opponent, Ryan Erps of Pinkney. In this match Dorulla proved why he is the top-ranked wrestler in his weight class in the state of Michigan. This highly recruited wrestler has committed to Eastern Michigan University where he will continue his wrestling career next fall. First-time state qualifier, sophomore Tyler VanRooyen also found himself dropping into the consolation bracket when he lost a 7-1 decision to Macomb L’Anse Creuse North’s Lucas Banning. Early Friday morning, the two wrestlers in the consolations were back at work. […]

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. […]

Ram wrestlers qualify 10 for regionals, prepare for Lowell rematch

February 18, 2010 // 0 Comments

  by TIM COOPER After a long two-hour bus ride north to Traverse City, the Rockford Rams had to wait for their first opponent, as Traverse City Central and Traverse City West met in the first dual meet of team districts. The two Traverse City schools went to the final match of the dual meet before the outcome was determined by a 37-28 victory in favor of the Trojans of Traverse City Central. With a starting weight of 171 pounds, Jake Johnson made short work of his Traverse City opponent, building an 8-0 lead in the first 56 seconds and ending the match with a fall.   Continuing the early trend in the 189-pound match, Zach Banaszak used just 1:05 before pinning Mark Bollinger, giving the Rams a 12-0 lead. The third match of the evening ended at 2:25 when Rockford’s Joe Stefanski put Traverse City Central’s Cody Vickers’ shoulders to the mat, giving the Rams an 18-0 lead. In one of the few matches that went the full six minutes, Rockford’s Jake Banaszak (285) beat his Trojan opponent with an 11-3 major decision. Traverse City failed to send wrestlers out for the 103- and 112-pound matches, adding 12 points to the Ram total and building the lead to a nearly insurmountable 34-0.   Chris Barrentine (119) filled in nicely for the injured Colin Maksimowski by adding six points to the Ram total with his fall at the 3:10 mark. Jake Scholten (125) scored a technical fall with a 17-1 victory over Cameron Bennett, scoring all 17 points in the first two minutes. This helped to build the Rams’ score to 45-0, essentially putting the dual meet out of reach for Traverse City. In the 130-pound match, Jake Byers kept the Rockford momentum going by using a short 49 seconds to finish off his Trojan opponent, making the Ram score 51-0.   In the second of two matches to go the distance for the entire dual meet, Rockford’s Drew Scogg (135) faced Traverse City’s Paco Diaz. With no scoring in the first period, Scogg scored seven in the second two minutes of the match, using a reversal and two near-falls to take a 7-0 lead into the third. Diaz chose down in the third, only […]

Rams grab their champion share of last home dual wrestling meet

February 4, 2010 // 0 Comments

by TIM COOPER  With the starting weight drawn at 140 pounds, Rockford’s Austin Scogg took to the mat first on Wednesday, Jan. 27 at Rockford High School. Scogg’s opponent was a well-coached Niko Parks of East Kentwood. Apparently attempting to set the tone for the rest of the dual meet, the referee awarded numerous stalling calls during the first two periods. With the score tied at 2-2 after the first period, East Kentwood’s Parks escaped early in the second, putting both wrestlers back on their feet and taking a 3-2 lead. Again the referee awarded double stalling calls, awarding two points to each wrestler. With Scogg trailing 5-4 at the start of the third period, he evened the match with an escape for one point, sending this battle into overtime. In the first overtime period, both wrestlers started on their feet and, after the end of one minute, remained on their feet. In the second overtime period, Parks chose the down position and was given 30 seconds to escape the grasp of Scogg, who proved up to the task and was able to ride Parks for the entire time. In the final overtime period, Scogg chose the down position. Using a standup, he escaped from Parks, taking a one-point lead. Scogg opened the gap with a double-leg takedown and two points. As time ran out, Scogg led the match 8-5. In the 145-pound match, East Kentwood’s highly ranked Nick Bohn faced Rockford reserve wrestler Connor Grady. Bohn used just 1:50 to pin Grady and give East Kentwood a 6-3 lead on a team score. At 152 pounds, Bruce Carlstrom faced another highly ranked East Kentwood wrestler, as he took the mat against Deshawn Nelson, the number-one-ranked 152-pounder in Division I. In the first period, Nelson took Carlstrom to the mat for two points, but could gain no further advantage. In the second period, Nelson chose the down position, escaped for one point, and again took Carlstrom to the mat for a 5-0 lead after four minutes. In the third period, Carlstrom chose to be on bottom and was released by Nelson, making the score 5-1. As time ran out, Nelson received his third takedown of the match and a 7-1 victory after six minutes, building […]

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