The Ram senior wrestlers with their parents. ~ Photo by Connie Hill
ROCKFORD – The Rockford varsity wrestling team celebrated Senior Night in a big way, Wednesday, Jan. 16. The Rams played host to the West Ottawa Panthers and came away with a dominant 62-9 victory over their OK Red opponent.
“We got to wrestle all of our 4-year seniors and honor them, which was a lot of fun,” said head coach Jack Richardson. “It was a nice night to win. The Panthers are struggling to get kids out for their team and they unfortunately had four forfeits in the middle of the line-up.”
The Rams claimed 22 points quickly. The dual started at the 171-pound weight class, where Isaac Fetterman claiming a 7-4 Decision. He was followed by Tyler Waterstrat (189), who registered a Fall at the 3:12 mark. Jacob Slabaugh earned three points for the Rams with a 7-4 Decision, and Taylor Green (285) made quick work of his man, pinning him at just :25. At 103, Brysonn Aulbach registered a Major Decision with a 9-1 victory.
At 119, Asthton Halland earned an 18-4 Major Decision to give the Rams four points, and Jacob Simkins (125) pinned his man at 3:02. Trenton Wachter (130) followed with a Fall of his own at the 3:30 mark to move the score to 38-6, Rockford. Jack Tadych (135), Evan Kaser (140), Connor White (145), and Jack Richardson (152) followed with forfeits.
The Rams honored seniors Jacob Simkins (125), Jack Tadych (135), Connor White (145), Jack Richardson (152), Noah Anderson (160), Blake Gordon (160), Isaac Fetterman (171), Tyler Waterstrat (171/189), Jacob Slabaugh (189), and Taylor Green (215).
“I think it’s so cool to be able to keep 10 seniors on the team and that they earned a spot in the line-up,” continued Richardson. “Wrestling is a tough sport. It requires a lot of time and effort and you might not be a starter. I admire the resolve and bond of friendship these guys have to make that happen. I’m so proud to have the full-time starters stick with it.”
The Rams will travel to Stevensville Lakeshore, Saturday, Jan. 19, for the Lakeshore Super Duals. Richardson is looking forward to the competition and returning to his old alma mater. His high school coach is still the current coach at Stevensville Lakeshore, and his best friend is an assistant coach there. But, don’t think Richardson isn’t going in ready to compete and win.
“You never know how you’re going to come out down there, there’s always good competition,” he shared. “Last year we had one of those days and came home with a 1-3 record. We had four kids with the flu and had to plug in some junior varsity guys. We are looking to turn that around this year.”
On that same day, the B team will compete in the Jenison Varsity Tournament.
The Rams will then have a huge dual next week and will face off against the defending OK Red Champs the Hudsonville Eagles. The dual is slated for Wednesday, Jan. 23, at home, with the JV wrestling at 6 p.m. and the varsity at 7 p.m.
“That’s a big match for us,” said Richardson. “They got us twice last year and we are hungry to get those back.”