The 2019 District Champion Rockford High School Water Polo Team. ~ Photo by Tracy Saur
As the fall sports season winds down, the Rockford High School Men’s Water Polo team is gearing up for tournament play. On Saturday, Oct. 26, Rockford traveled to Zeeland for the District Tournament and took on Portage in the first round. The Rams were victorious with 13 different players scoring 18 points. Although the starters played only about three and one-half minutes, Elijah Chino still managed to score three times. Nate Hopkins, Drew Bargwell and Joe Reinsma scored two goals apiece. Other players who got a goal were Trey Williams, Hudson Verwys, Jordan Miller, Nick Deugaw, Logan Stevens, Christian Wagen, Cade Dorer, Matthew Weber and Dominic Galang. Brenden Chaudoir and Wagen led in assists with two each. Others with assists were Hopkins, Williams, Miller, Stevens, Isaiah Baker, Dorer and Chay Chino. Rockford caused 21 turnovers and the leader in steals was Galang. Goalie Logan Harris blocked four shots and Ben Schuchardt and Ben Seymour blocked one apiece. The final score was 18-2. Coach Craig Peterman rotated each and every player, giving the starters a break before the District 2 championship game later in the day.
The Rams met the Pioneers of East Grand Rapids in the pool for the District 2 championship game. With the #1 seed up for grabs heading into Regionals next weekend, this was an important game. In the first period, the Rams jumped to an early 3-0 lead with Kyle Dedert scoring twice and Hudson Verwys also scored. Elijah Chino score twice in the second period making it 5-1. In the third period, both teams score 2 goals with Nate Hopkins and Christian Wagen responsible for 1 each. Brenden Saur and Dedert scored in the fourth period making the final score 9-4. Assists were made by Nate Cheney, Wagen, Saur and Chino. Rockford stole the ball 14 times. Dedert led with three steals; Verwys, Chino, and Saur with two; and Ben Schuchardt, Hopkins, Cheney, and Wagen with one. Goalie Schuchardt had a strong game, blocking 13 shots.
Coach Peterman recapped the team’s hard work this way, “It was a great week and an even better weekend. District champs feels good, but we have two more goals to chase.”
Rockford’s journey continues Friday, Nov. 1 against West Ottawa in the MWPA Regional tournament.