by RANDY GREGORY
After a few seasons where numbers waxed and waned, the football program at Rockford is seeing a bit of a rebound. Leading the way for the Rams is the freshman class with an incredible preliminary roster of about 75. The varsity isn’t trailing too far behind with numbers in the mid 60s. The junior varsity has seen their numbers swell to the upper 40s as well. North Rockford and East Rockford Middle Schools will both see around 60 players ready for gridiron action.
With the increasing attention and concern given to injuries, especially concussions, there is the perception that parents will be much more reticent about their sons playing football. There is also the allure of other sports that have recently taken off in popularity and participation like lacrosse. As recently as the 2011-12 season, the state of Michigan saw a nearly 7% decline in the number of football participants in the Michigan High School Athletic Association.
With all of this going against them, it is a welcome sight to see that in a football-mad community like Rockford the numbers have bucked the trend and participation continues to be strong.