Rockford varsity boys lacrosse played three league games this past week and came away with their own hat trick. The Rams beat league opponents West Ottawa, Forest Hills Northern/Eastern, and Forest Hills Central. Coach Sims’ team traveled to Holland for the first game of the week against West Ottawa. Playing on grass for the first time this season, the Rams rolled to a 13-3 win.
The “Big Three” led Rockford in scoring: senior Mitch Newton with three goals and two assists, junior Kento Nakano with three goals and three assists, and sophomore Kane Wolfer with three goals and three assists. Also scoring goals for the Rams were seniors Alex Pouba, Jared Seifert and Jesse Siegel. Jon Hazy and Jordan Shiparski led the defense in ground balls. In goal for the Rams, and holding the Panthers to three goals, were Connor Flynn and Tyler Wolpert.
Friday night, with 38 degree chilling temps, Rockford hosted Forest Hills Northern/Eastern (FHNE). Like the weather, the boys started out cold in the first half, but turned the heat up in the second half to register an exciting 9-8 win.
FHNE jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the beginning of the game but Rockford knotted it up 2-2 to end the first quarter. Scoring the goals were Blake McDonald and Seifert. They were assisted by Newton and Nakano. FHNE answered back with two more goals in the second period, but were answered right back with goals by Newton and Nakano. Those goals were assisted by Karson Konkle and Wolfer. The score stood at 4-4 to end the half.
With heat added during the locker room session by Coach Sims and his coaching staff, who quickly broke down assignments, Rockford scored the only two goals of the third period to end it at 6-4.
The fourth quarter became a roller coaster ride. FHNE was not going home silently. As they tied the score to 7-7 with 3:56 left on the clock, senior Spencer Sims scored the next goal on an assist by Newton. Another quick goal by McDonald on an assist from Caleb Cuneo sat the Rams with a comfortable two-goal lead. With 1:59 left on the clock, FHNE added another goal to their total.
With Rockford’s one-goal advantage FHNE created a one-on-one opportunity as they advanced the ball down the field. Stonewalling the effort was a confident Flynn, who stopped the attempt with just 40 seconds left in the game, sealing the win for the Rams. Newton led the offense with three goals to his credit. Ryan Hartnagel and Shiparski provided stellar defense with respective two and four ground balls. In net, Flynn registered 22 saves.
Saturday was an all-day affair for Rockford lacrosse as the Ted was the site for the annual Ramger event. This year funds were raised for the VanAndel Institute. The day held excitement for teams that began with the first graders and ended with the varsity match between Rockford and Forest Hills Central (FHC). The day was a huge success and the appreciated funds that were raised will be donated on behalf of Rockford and FHC lacrosse.
The Ramger Cup is a trophy passed on to the winner of this varsity battle. The Rams are proud to announce that this year the trophy will remain in Rockford. The Rams beat the Rangers 7-6 in another nail-biter.
The Rams marched onto the field on Saturday wearing their new black helmets with orange chrome facemasks, presenting a daunting field of players. They seemed to bring good luck to Rockford as the Rams led the Rangers 2-1 after the first period with the Rams exhibiting good ball movement and a strong defense. Scoring for the Rams were Wolfer and McDonald.
Sharp passing continued as the Rams jumped to a 4-1 lead in the second quarter with goals by Konkle and Newton. FHC scored two quick goals with two minutes left in the half to tighten the gap to 4-3.
The second half brought a tug of war as both teams traded blows back and forth. The score was tied 5-5 heading to the fourth quarter. With 11:04 on the clock, FHC took the lead 6-5. Newton then showed why he has been one of the top lacrosse players to wear a Ram uniform, as he scored at 6:20 to tie the game. He then put the game away at 2:42 with a strong power move goal. This was Newton’s third straight game of the week where he scored three goals.
Flynn was in goal and had 14 huge saves to register his first varsity win over FHC. Cuneo led the defense with three ground balls. This was a great team win for Coach Sims and his staff. The win put Rockford in first place in conference play.
The Rams hold three contests next as they take on West Ottawa on May 1 at home, 7 p.m., for Senior Night. They also travel to FHNE on May 3 at 7 p.m. and then host Cranbrook on May 5 at 6 p.m.