Nate Rojas

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 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.”

Ram wrestlers defeat West Ottawa, then take on Michigan’s best

December 22, 2011 // 0 Comments

by TIM COOPER Following a brutal tournament at East Kentwood in the opening weekend of the 2011-2012 wrestling season, the Rockford Rams hosted their first dual meets on Wednesday, Dec. 14. In the opening meet of the evening, Rockford battled with the OK Red conference foe Panthers of West Ottawa. The Panthers jumped out to an early 14-3 lead, winning three of the first four matches. The Rams’ sole victory, 103-pound Jared Bennett, defeated West Ottawa’s Ivan Hernandez 5-0. Rockford started to roll in the 125-pound match when Tyler VanRooyen pinned Panther Mitch Beckman in 50 seconds. The Rams received a 6-1 victory from Nate Rojas at 130 to bring them within two points of West Ottawa. When Cullen Maksimowski defeated Clayton Castro 13-5, the Rams went on top for good. Rockford continued their dominance as they won the following seven matches to close out the dual and take a 44-14 OK Red conference victory. In addition to VanRooyen’s fall, Dan Apkarian pinned Joel Munoz in 1:44 at 160, and Robby Gorton added a fall at 189 as he defeated Justin Rich in 1:59. In Rockford’s second duel of the night, the Rams took on the Forest Hills Central Rangers. Once again, Rockford found themselves battling back after falling behind early, as the Rangers opened up a 13-0 lead after the first three matches. VanRooyen again ignited the Rams, this time with a 5-2 decision over the Rangers’ Steve Emery. Rockford won eight of the last 10 matches, en route to a 35-22 victory. Coach Brian Richardson said of his Rams, “I am very happy about tonight. West Ottawa was very tough. The boys gave a great effort. Freshman Grant Tennihill gave us two big wins tonight.” Richardson also gave high praise to the senior leadership on the Ram squad. On Saturday, Dec. 17, the Rams traveled to Holland High School for the Tim Horn Memorial tournament. This tournament put the Rams into action against some of the top teams in the state of Michigan. Following a first-round bye, Rockford wrestled St. Johns, the top ranked team in all divisions. A void at 103 and a 5-0 decision at 130 from VanRooyen were the only victories the Rams received against the overpowering Redwings. St. Johns […]

Rockford wrestlers defeat Grand Haven

December 23, 2010 // 0 Comments

Rams face tough competition at Holland Tournament  by TIM COOPER Wednesday, Dec. 15, the Rams traveled to Grand Haven to take on the Buccaneers in wrestling action. With the dual starting at 189 pounds, Rockford’s Zach Banaszak stepped on the mat, facing Quintin VanDorn of Grand Haven. Banaszak walked off the mat with a fall 3:27 later, giving the Rams an early 6-0 lead. Grand Haven tied the meet at 6 points each when Jerry Westerman pinned Banaszak’s twin brother Jake in the third period. The Rams began to take over the dual meet at the 285-pound weight class, when junior Jake Wilson used 1:19 to defeat Garret Kell. Steven Jendritz kept the momentum going by making short work of the Buccaneers’ Terry Franklin at 103, gaining a pin in only 20 seconds. At 112 pounds, with Rockford leading 18-6, Nate Rojas built a 16-1 lead on Grand Haven’s Levi Gregory. The 15-point margin gave Rojas a technical fall and put five more points on the Rams’ total. Following Rojas’ match, freshman Terry Gant of Rockford received his first high school win with a 12-6 decision over Eric VanHorssen in the 119-pound match. Junior Tyler VanRooyen bumped up to 125 pounds for the dual. With 16 seconds remaining in the second period, he pinned Josh Jucartz’s shoulders to the mat for the fall, giving the Rams a 32-6 lead halfway through the dual meet. The Rams received decisions in five of the remaining seven matches, building a 47-6 lead before losing the final two matches of the dual to make the score 47-15. “We received a great effort from our young kids tonight,” said Coach Brian Richardson. “The underclassmen really stepped up and responded.” On Saturday, Dec. 18, the Ram wrestlers again traveled to the Lakeshore for the 40th annual Tim Horn Memorial Windmill City Classic Wrestling Tournament at Holland High School. Each year the tournament features many of the top ranked wrestling teams in the state. This year, the defending Division II champion St. Johns Redwings and defending Division IV champion Hudson Tigers were among the teams at the prestigious invitational. The Rams advanced to the semifinal round by defeating Grand Rapids Catholic Central 60-12, Holland 38-31, and Marshall 78-0. Rockford fell in the […]

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 […]

1 2