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 […]
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. […]
Paul Mudget, Taylor Masiewicz and Joe Stefanski sign letters of intent to play football for the school of their choice. Three Rockford football players sealed their fate as far as their choice of college on the first day possible when they signed their letters of intent on Wednesday, February 3, in the Ram Den at Rockford High School. Joe Stefanski, tackler, and also a star in the school wrestling program, announced his choice of Ohio University. Coach Ralph Munger introduced Stefanski as a three-year starter for Rockford. Stefanski, a 6’3” tackler at 225 pounds, said his most memorable moment in his high school football career was the Muskegon game when he was a sophomore. He said he liked that last year Ohio was first in their division and the school has an excellent program. He had advice to offer upcoming players at Rockford. “Work hard and get good scores on the SAT.” Paul Mudget, a 5’9” and 168-pound kicker, signed to play football for Central Michigan University. He credited his success in the game by the hard work put in with Coach Munger over the years with his success. His highlight of his high school career was winning the state championships. For younger players in the program, Mudget advised, “Get your highlight tape out early and let them [scouts] get a look at you.” Taylor Masiewicz, quarterback for Rockford at 6’4” and 175 pounds, chose Ferris State University. He said his favorite memory of his high school football career was the fourth-quarter comeback this year to win over Muskegon. He credits discipline during his high school career for his success and advised young players to work hard as well. “Go hard all four years and don’t slack off.” He said he is confident about playing in college because he has been well-prepared by the Rockford coaching staff. Congratulations to these three young men and best of luck to them as they finish their high school careers and go on to the next great adventure of their lives.
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 […]
by TIM COOPER On Wednesday, Feb. 18 at Kentwood High School, the top-ranked Rockford Rams faced Grand Ledge in district dual competition. The district consisted of Rockford, Grand Ledge with the winner facing East Kentwood. Leading off for the Rams at 140 pounds was Zach Johnson facing Josh Vaillencourt. In a short and sweet match Johnson tidily disposed of Vaillencourt in 51 seconds with a fall. At 145 pounds Bruce Carlstrom took on Corey Knapp of the Comets. In a match that would go the full six minutes, Carlstrom came away victorious with an 11-4 decision, giving the Rams a 9-0 lead. CJ Scholl (152) was up next for the Rams, facing Ethan Schulert. Scholl jumped to a quick 2-1 lead in the first after taking Schulert to the mat and releasing him. Scholl carried the lead into the second and at the 2:41 mark turned his opponent to the mat, securing the fall. The win brought Rockford to a 15-0 lead. At 160 pounds, Jake Johnson carried a 7-1 lead through the first against Grand Ledge’s Wade Smith. In the second period Smith chose the down position, reversing Johnson only to have the tables turned as Johnson reversed Smith and turn Smith’s shoulders to the mat for the pin in 3:31. At 171 pounds Paul Crieghton came up from his usual B team spot to face the comets John Cosgrove. Creighton kept the mat close as the first period ended in a 3-3 tie. The second period saw Creighton in the up position and Cosgrove reversed for two points, giving him a 5-3 lead going into the third. In the third period Creighton scored one point on a technical violation for locking hands. Time expired with Creighton trailing 5-4, putting Grand Ledge on the board with a team score of 3 to Rockford’s 21. Rockford spent the next few matches racking up plenty of points. The Rams began their tear with a pin by Zach VanAzak (189) at 5:50. Voids by Grand Ledge at 215 pounds and 285 pounds Tyler VanRooyen used just 17 seconds to pin his Comet opponent in the 103 pound weight class. The match was followed by a void in the 112-pound weight class, bringing the team score to 51-3 […]