Mike Arend

Rams water polo opens dual season with wins

September 13, 2012 // 0 Comments

Ranked number one in the state, the Rockford Rams men’s water polo team opened up its dual season this past Wednesday with a victory over the visiting Jenison Wildcats. This was a strong home statement win for the Rams against the Cats. Right from the start, the Rams were focused and motivated. In the first period, four Ram players scored as Rockford jumped out to a 5-2 lead. Rockford continued its balanced attack, gaining an 8-3 lead at half. The Rams claimed the victory by a final score of 13-4. This was a total team effort as five Ram players had three steals and seven different Rams scored. Senior captain Nick Willison had a statement game, leading the scoring with four and also leading the team in assists. Senior Grant Beach dominated the hole set, scoring three. After the game, Willison said, “It was important for us as a team to start the season off on the right foot and this win against Jenison was a good way to begin our dual matches.” On the weekend, the Rams traveled to the lakeshore to compete in the Shootout at the Shore, which consisted of 14 teams playing at Grand Haven and West Ottawa pools. Rockford began the tournament by playing Grand Haven at the Bucs’ pool. The Rams dominated the Bucs, cruising to a 13-1 victory. The contest was an opportunity for everyone to gain valuable playing experience. This became evident as Vietnamese exchange student Quang Le, new to the sport of polo, scored his first ever goal. The Rams had a short night of sleep, as they traveled back to the Grand Haven pool for the 8 a.m. game against the Maples of Birmingham Seaholm. Minimal sleep did not hinder the Rams, however, as they overpowered the Maples and swam away with a 16-2 victory. Senior captain Justin Hulsebus led the team, scoring five goals. Hulsebus said, “This was a solid team win. The entire squad played with 100 percent intensity throughout the entire game.” The Rams next faced the Walled Lake Cobras. The Rams’ experience and depth proved too much for Walled Lake as Rockford won 21-1. The semifinal games pitted the Rams against the Jenison Wildcats in one bracket and Hudsonville versus Zeeland […]

Rockford men’s water polo fields 10 Academic All Americans

September 29, 2011 // 0 Comments

The Rockford men’s water polo team excels in the classroom as well as in the pool. Rockford Public Schools is honored to announce that 10 team members have been selected as Academic All Americans for the 2010-2011 school year. Dan Zang, Rockford High School principal, stated, “We are very proud of these fine young men and this very prestigious recognition. We wish them continued success in polo and so appreciate their commitment to excellence in the classroom.” To qualify for this honor, the selectees must have participated in a national water polo event. The Rockford Aquatic Club traveled to California this past summer to compete against teams from around the United States in the Water Polo Junior Olympics. Nominees must carry a minimum 3.6 GPA. Water polo coach Dave McWatters is very proud of the 10 students. “These young men represent the best of the Rockford student-athlete: succeeding in the classroom and in athletic competition. They are great role models for younger kids who want to accomplish great things both academically and athletically.” Gaining the honors are seniors Cody Brown, Eric Chisholm, Nick Dulak, Mac Finnie, Allyn Kinney and Alex Savage. Juniors honored are Mike Arend, Grant Beach, Corey Fase and Nick Willison. Further recognition goes to Arend, Beach, Dulak, Finnie, Kinney and Willison, who made “outstanding” recognition, which is carrying a GPA above 4.0. The water polo team has currently compiled a 19-1 record and is a model program in the state of Michigan. Superintendent of Rockford Public Schools Dr. Michael Shibler congratulates the team on their success and the 10 academic honorees. “The Rockford High School men’s water polo program is considered one of the most successful in the state of Michigan, if not the Midwest. This is because of our outstanding coaches, parent support, and our student-athletes, who excel in the classroom and in the pool. Without hesitation, I believe our men’s water polo program to be a ‘point of pride’ for the Rockford community.” Following are the plans of the senior recipients: • Cody Brown expects to attend Grand Rapids Community College for pre-med. • Eric Chisholm expects to attend Mercyhurst in Pennsylvania to study criminal justice. • Nick Dulak expects to attend Michigan Tech University to pursue engineering. • Mac […]

Rockford water polo achieves academic success

November 11, 2010 // 0 Comments

As they prepare to defend their state water polo title on November 12, thirteen Rockford Rams took time out to receive Academic All State honors from the Michigan Water Polo Association (MWPA). Eight of the honorees are juniors: Cody Brown, Nick Dulak, Mac Finnie, Allyn Kinney, Alex Savage, Matt Vermeer, Josh Waldvogel and Bryan Wasberg. Five are sophomores: Mike Arend, Trenten Babcock, Grant Beach, Corey Fase, and Nick Willison. “We are proud of our student-athletes at Rockford High School,” said Athletic Director Tim Erickson. “Notice the word ‘student’ precedes the word ‘athlete.’ That is our philosophy: student first. Coach McWatters and the water polo team provide a perfect example of this philosophy.” MWPA Academic All State athletes must have a 3.75 cumulative grade-point average (GPA) after completing at least a full year of high school. All 13 boys meet that benchmark; several of them with a GPA higher than 4.0. “We are very proud of the student participation rate in our Rockford High School athletic program,” noted Principal Dan Zang. “More important than the scoreboard, conference standings, and pursuit of state championships, however, is our students’ performance in the classroom. We are fortunate to have student-athletes who truly understand that classroom performance is more important than what happens in the playing arena. Having our coaches appreciate and value this perspective is vitally important as well.” Coach Dave McWatters agreed, “Half of our team is Academic All State! This achievement represents our greatest hope for these young men: that their experience as part of Rockford water polo will enrich their lives long after they graduate. These young men and others are able to respond to the demands of the sport and also achieve academic excellence. That will serve them well for years to come.”