After a 15-3 regular season record, OK-Red title, District championship, and Regional championship…the Rams travelled to Kalamazoo to compete in the Division 1 team and individual State Finals.
Team action began Tuesday morning as Rockford took on Holt in the State Quarterfinal. Rockford would defeat Holt 36-29 to become the first West-Michigan school in 13 years to advance to the D1 State Semifinals. Rockford would drop their semifinal matchup to the eventual 2021 State Champion, Davison High School.
It’s no secret that this year was a challenge for all of Rockford’s athletic programs, but the Wrestling program was grateful for the opportunity and clearly took advantage. “This team came into the season with 100 different questions about who we would be. They chose the motto ‘Don’t wish for it, Work for it’. I don’t think they could’ve been braced that mentality anymore,” Coach Richardson said. “They worked their butts off, accomplished every goal they set out for themselves, and eventually took their team to the final-four. We did that starting 9 of 14 wrestlers as underclassmen. I couldn’t be more proud of everything they accomplished together.”
Following their team success, 9 Rams hit the mat on Saturday to compete in the Individual State Finals. Those competing included…Jak Keller, Trenton Wachter, Ryan Ahern, and Luke Watkins, Elijah Bunn, Logan Schwartz, Brysonn Aulbach, Colin Harju, and Moses Bosscher. The Rams success continued as 5 wrestlers claimed All-State honors. The Rams were headlined by Trenton Wachter who captured the 152lb State Championship (Rockford’s first since 2011).
State Champion – Trenton Wachter – Senior
5th Place – Jak Keller – Sophomore
6th Place – Moses Bosscher – Senior
7th Place – Elijah Bunn – Sophomore
7th Place – Ryan Ahern – Freshman
Coach Brian Richardson was thrilled with his team’s performance during finals week. Richardson said, “Our goal from the start of the season was to take this team further than we’ve been in over a decade. On Tuesday we came out, shorthanded because of COVID and quarantine, and beat a highly ranked whole-team in the quarterfinals. I think that says a lot about our senior leadership and just how unified this team can be. We haven’t gotten that far in over a decade. We eventually lost to the nationally-ranked, state champions Davison. Every one of our guys contributed in some shape or form to help us get there. That’s something the coaching staff is extremely proud of. For the individual state, I am so happy that we could put five wrestlers on the podium. Many of those wrestlers are partners in the wrestling room. It just goes to show how well these wrestlers complement each other. We put two seniors on the podium, Moses Bosscher and the accomplished Trenton Wachter. Trenton claimed his first state championship with a come-from-behind victory and it was a direct reflection on how hard he’s worked for it. Nothing came easy for him, and our team couldn’t be more proud. We were also able to put a freshman and two sophomores on the podium. That bodes extremely well for our future.”