Tyler Johnson

Rockford’s Swim/Dive Team Wins OK Red Conference Title

March 5, 2009 // 0 Comments

by DENISE WEBB How sweet it is to taste victory as the underdog! As West Michigan media favored Grandville as the next winner of the OK Red swimming and diving conference title, Rockford had much to prove as it entered the waters of the Jenison Aquatic Center during preliminaries on Friday, Feb. 27, followed by the final heats on Saturday, Feb. 28. After a two-day battle filled with nonstop excitement against some of West Michigan’s top swimmers and divers from East Kentwood, Grand Haven, Grandville, Hudsonville, Jenison and West Ottawa, the Rams won by 56.5 points. Even though the Rams eventually won by a respectable margin, the score of the 12-event meet was always fluctuating, keeping Rams fans on the edge of their seats. A prime example was when Rockford was down 11 points after the eighth event, and then fought back only to tie Grandville after the ninth and tenth events. The moment of the meet that “sealed the deal” came when junior Brian Ginebaugh, freshman Bryan Wasberg and seniors Andrew Sakala and Guy Gordon placed 1-2-3-7, respectively, in the 100-yard breaststroke, the 11th event, earning the Rams enough points to enter the 12th, and final, event with an untouchable lead. As Gordon touched the wall and quickly looked at the scoreboard, he said he was “ecstatic” to learn that his teammates placed 1-2-3, and his time qualified him to compete at the state level in two weeks. “All the hard work paid off!” he expressed. The competition overall was extremely fierce at the conference meet. Several swimmers from all seven schools secured state qualifying times. Throughout the two-day meet, approximately 80 percent of Rockford’s extraordinary team swam or dove personal bests, resulting in 27 individual conference medals. The Rockford medal holders are: seniors Tyler Augustine (four medals), Gordon (one), diver Quinton Rodriguez (one) and Sakala (four); juniors Derik Bothma (four), Alex Devries (three), Ginebaugh (four), diver Tyler Johnson (one) and Connor Thelen (one); and freshmen Josh Travis (two) and Wasberg (four). “This team’s seniors have come a long way since their freshman year,” said Assistant Coach Don Seifert. “Their progress has been exceptional, and their win has been an incredible achievement.” “This year’s team is one of the most aggressive I have ever […]

Ram Wrestlers Crowned District Champs, Heading to Regionals

February 26, 2009 // 0 Comments

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 […]