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Ram Grapplers Dominate on the Mats

By Jeannie Gregory, 12/08/18, 9:15PM EST


The Rams wrestling team pose with their championship trophy from the 28th Annual Kent City Kickoff Classic, ~ Photo by Connie Hill

KENT CITY – The Rockford wrestling team showed they’ve been working hard during the off-season this past week. The Rams came off the week claiming the Greenville Quad, and then topping off the week with a first-place finish at the Kent City tournament. This was all with a team that shows incredible depth, with some of the team’s regular starters not able to suit up, and talented Ram replacements ably handling their opponents.

Ashton Halland works to pin his opponent. ~ Photo by Connie HIll

Rockford travelled to Greenville, Wednesday, Dec. 5 and showed they are a force to be reckoned with this year. Rockford topped Byron Center by a score of 59-15, and Greenville by a score of 54-18.

“Our guys had a very good opening night,” shared Ram head coach Brian Richardson. “We had nine of our wrestlers go 2-0 on the evening. I think this quad is always a nice start for us, both Byron Center and Greenville are quality programs and they give us a pretty good measuring stick to see where we are at on week one. We did well, but we also found some areas that we can improve upon.”

The Rams then participated in the 28th Annual Kent City Kickoff Classic, Saturday, Dec. 8. Rockford earned the 10-team tournament, by claiming the championship match over Fremont, and going 5-0 on the day.

In Pool 1, Rockford topped Whitehall 64-9, blanked Kenowa Hills 75-0, beat Belding 70-12, and topped Grand Rapids Catholic Central (GRCC) 62-12. Rockford faced off against Pool 2 undefeated champion Fremont in the tournament championship match and completely dominated them 54-18. The final standings after Rockford (5-0), and Fremont (4-1) were GRCC in third at (4-1), and Kent City in fourth at (3-2).

“I really like attending the Kent City tournament during the first week of the season, they are local, they are good competition and they host a well-run tournament,” shared Richardson.

Individual Rams named to the Tournament 1st Team: 119 lb. Ashton Halland (5-0); 125 Lb. Jacob Simkins (5-0); 130 lb. Trenton Wachter (5-0); 135 lb. Jack Tadych (5-0); 140 Lb. Evan Kaser (5-0); 145 Lb. Connor White (5-0); 152 lb. Josh Hill (4-0); 160 lb. Jack Richardson (3-0); 171 lb. Cole Gleason (4-0); 189 lb. Reid Roberts (4-0). Those earning Honorable Mention status were: 112 lb. Landen Demorest (4-1); 215 lb. Taylor Green (4-1).

Josh Hill dominates his opponent on the mat. ~ Photo by Connie Hill

“We went in with three of our returning state placers and another senior not in the lineup due to injury, sickness and testing conflicts, but we plugged in some very experienced wrestlers from the B team and they had a fantastic day," continued Richardson. "Josh Hill, Blake Gordon, Reid Roberts & Landon Demorest had a combined record of 15-2 proving they are more than capable of filling a varsity A spot when called upon. We also had undefeated days from Ashton Halland, Jacob Simkins, Trenton Wachter, Jack Tadych, Evan Kaser, Connor White, Jack Richardson and Cole Gleason. I believe that our overall depth is our strength right now. It has definitely paid off this week, but more importantly, it pays off on a daily basis in our practice room. These kids work hard and challenge each other to have great practices every day. This is a fun group of young men to coach, I’m having a blast!”

Rams B Team Shines

Jacob Slabaugh pins his opponent. ~ Photo by Connie Hill

The Rockford B team won the tournament championship with a 59-12 win over Grand Haven’s B team. The team showed amazing skill on the mat, blanking Grand Haven, with the only points scored by the Bucs were the 12 points they received form the two voids Rockford had. The Rams did not lose a head-to-head match in the finals. Rockford’s C team went 2-2 on the day.

James Kapp ~ Photo by Connie Hill

The Rockford B wrestling team also dominated the Holton Red Devils and the Central Montcalm Hornets during wrestling action. The majority of the wins for the Rams were by pins.