Freshman football dominates en route to 8-1 season


The freshman football team had an incredible season ending with a record of 8-1 while winning its last seven games straight. The Rangers also finished with an unblemished 6-0 conference record to win the OK White conference. After winning their first two games, the Rangers were demolished by Grandville in week three. After that humiliating loss, the Rangers never looked back on their way to the six-game win streak.

 “We really grew up after that loss,” said freshman linebacker Ivan Wheland about the Grandville game. “We got embarrassed, and we didn’t want to ever have that feeling again. We learned from it and played much better the rest of the way.”

Head coach Ty Hallock praised the teams’ effort this season. “I believe the season was a big success because of our attention to detail, and our ability to play fast, physical, and aggressive.”

The Rangers were able to squeak past Jenison in the opener before destroying West Ottawa in week two. After the tough loss to Grandville, the Rangers had no time to feel sorry for themselves, as they had to next travel to rival Forest Hills Northern. The Rangers were able to beat their rival 28-14 to get their season right back on track.

“[The win against Northern] was huge,” freshman quarterback Hunter Robinson said. “We didn’t let the loss to Grandville spill over into that game. We showed our character in that game.”

Hunter, along with freshmen running backs Arash Kordbacheh, Tyler Weaver, and Quentin Rudolph, created a lethal run game for the Ranger offense all season long. The offensive line led by freshmen Stevie Wolf, Carter Kelly, and WIll Richardson were vital to opening holes for the run game.

The Rangers then demolished Northview before pulling out a last-second win over Cedar Springs. The Red Hawks had a 16-14 lead with 30 seconds left. Facing fourth down and 4, Hallock called on freshman kicker Luke Gustafson for a 44-yard field goal. Luke put a charge into the ball and it just snuck in the uprights, giving the Rangers a 17-16 win.

“It was amazing; I was confident in making it, I just knew I had to do my one-eleventh and help the team win,” said Luke about the field goal.

The Rangers then rolled over opponents in back-to-back weeks against Byron Center and Lowell to extend the win streak to five games, before combining with the JV team to soundly defeat the Greenville Yellow Jackets. The Rangers ended the season on a very high note with winning their last six games and finishing with only one blemish for an 8-1 overall record. 

The Rangers will look to take this success into their JV season next year. Hallock notes the key for the players will be getting overall stronger and in better shape in order to continue their success. 

“It will be critical for our freshman to get into the weight room and in the conditioning program in the offseason to be able to keep playing at a high level.”