It was close but no cigar for the Rockford wrestling team when the hosted the annual Rockford wrestling tournament on Saturday, January 10th. The Rams went 2-3 on the day while cruising to a pair of easy victories over Traverse City West and Okemos but the other three matches were tantalizingly close to coming out on a positive note for Rockford. The Rams fell to Hesperia 33-32, Jckson Lumen Christi 34-33 and to the eventual champions from Grand Ledge by nine points. “It was a case of just one more thing going our way in all three of those matches,” said Rockford coach Brian Richardson. “We finally wrestled more to our capabilities against Grand Ledge, but we didn’t put forth our best effort at times in the other two losses. We need to learn from this and just keep moving forward to achieve what we expect to.” Rockford had a pair of wrestlers finish the day at a perfect 5-0 in seniors Jared Bennett (119/125) and Nick Guerra (152). There were also a trio of Rams who finished 4-1 led by seniors Chris Bell (160) and Caleb Childers (171) as well as freshman Austin Spiegel at 103 pounds. Several Rockford grapplers continue to sport excellent records at this juncture of the season led by Bennett at 23-1. Guerra stands at 22-2 while Childers at 21-2 and Hansen at 20-4 are trailing closely behind. Richardson also pointed out the excellent contributions of Spiegel. “Austin is a joy to have on the team,” said Richardson. “He is a very hard worker and has been the beneficiary of an outstanding workout partner in Caleb Wagner. We have so many kids who haven’t quite made it onto the varsity team yet but who continue to push wrestlers for time and have made us better across the board. We had 1,417 matches wrestled at Rockford from Wednesday to Sunday and all of that action will do nothing but make us better as a team.” The Rams fell 40-21 to one of the top teams in the state in Grandville on Wednesday, January 7th. That loss left them at 0-1 in conference action as the OK Red campaign kicked off.
Rockford Wrestling Team
The Rockford wrestling team hosted a double dual with Detroit Catholic Central, Grand Haven, and Hesperia on Wednesday, Dec. 21. The Rams took on OK Red conference foe Grand Haven before wrestling the Shamrocks of Detroit Catholic Central (DCC). Senior leadership and a pair of 2-1 decisions helped to propel the Rams to a dual meet victory against Grand Haven. Senior Cullen Maksimowski battled Garrett Young to a 0-0 tie after the first four minutes of their match at 125 pounds. Young escaped early in the third period to gain a 1-0 lead. A late takedown by Maksimowski gave Rockford the decision. Defending state champion and second ranked senior Austin Scogg struggled against Grand Haven’s Dakota Juarez. Scogg scored a reversal in the second period and then held on for a 2-1 victory. Juarez, who is ranked fourth, scored his lone point in the third period with an escape. All six seniors wrestling for Rockford won their matches. Tyler VanRooyen easily defeated Chris Tebeau with a second-period technical fall in the 130-pound match. Trent Boyer jumped up to 140 pounds and downed Grand Havens’ Luke Averill, taking a 13-3 major decision. At 160 pounds, Dan Apkarian added a major decision of his own when he beat Drew Ellingbe 11-3. Robby Gorton (189 pounds) won 8-3 over Matt Mulcay. These six wins helped bring the Rams to a 37-23 victory over the Buccaneers, improving their conference record to 2-0. The second dual of the evening pitted the Rams against Division I’s top team, DCC. The powerhouse Shamrocks won 13 of 14 matches to easily down the 10th ranked Rams. Rockford’s sole win was at 103 pounds when Steven Jendritz scored a 12-4 major decision over Parker O’Brien. “Grand Haven was the team we needed to beat tonight,” said Rams Head Coach Brian Richardson. “They’re a well-coached team, and my kids busted their tails to beat them.”
Wednesday, March 16 was the night to recognize the accomplishments of the 2010-2011 Rockford wrestling team. It was also a big night for senior Mick DeBoer, who was the recipient of the 5th Annual Robert Townsend/Robert Zahm Wrestling Scholarship. The award is given to a senior who exhibits great passion for the sport, enthusiasm to learn over a four-year commitment to the sport, and shows great leadership to others. DeBoer pushed the team through a tough season and kept a positive attitude, even through some of his own injuries this season. He had also been chosen by his peers as a team captain early in the season. Mick is the son of Chris and Danielle DeBoer. The scholarship is presented by Robert and Peggy Townsend of Rockford, Jim and Maureen Townsend of Comstock Park, and Julie and Bernie Zahm of Rockford, and their families.
Scogg wins state championship for his mom by JIM COOPER A state championship is never a small feat. The hard work that goes into winning a title can never be emphasized enough. Unquestionably, it’s one of the greatest accomplishments most athletes who do will ever achieve. But sometimes, it’s much more than just a state championship. Sometimes it’s more than the medal and the fanfare. When Rockford junior Austin Scogg won the state individual championship at 152 pounds in Auburn Hills on Saturday, March 5, no superlative could describe the power of the moment. In December, Scogg’s mother, Renee, was diagnosed with stage three ovarian cancer. Her doctor scheduled surgery at the most immediate time available. She’s been undergoing chemotherapy since then. While, for many competitors, that might be a hindrance to their performance, it helped Scogg intensify his focus. “Ever since I found out about my mom having cancer, I’ve been wrestling for her,” said Scogg. “I’ve been trying to put a smile on her face.” It wasn’t hard to tell she had a huge smile on her face as Renee danced and cheered wildly in the stands after her son’s match at the Palace of Auburn Hills. But why not dance? In that moment, all the pain and fatigue of her battle with cancer was nonexistent. For the entire Scogg family, on that night, the worries were gone. It was the perfect distraction from the reality of their situation. It wasn’t only a distraction for Renee. It was therapeutic, as well. “Watching Austin wrestle the last few months has given me something else to think about,” she said after the medal ceremony. Scogg’s father, Andy, was also beaming. “We couldn’t be more proud of Austin,” he commented. “It’s great to see him realize his dreams, even through the adversity he’s faced. When he was a little kid, I asked him where he wanted to be. He said, ‘In a gym, on the wrestling mat.’ I asked him why, and he said, ‘To get a medal.’ He’s done that.” Ram wrestling coach Brian Richardson acknowledged Scogg’s accomplishment as one of the most special thing’s he’d ever been a part of. “A championship is always a big thing,” Richardson said, “but when a kid faces […]
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. […]