The Rockford Raptors 13U baseball team went undefeated in winning the West Michigan Classic baseball tournament held May 2-3 at Huff Park in Grand Rapids. The Raptors completed the tournament with a perfect 5-0 record. With solid defense, timely hitting and good pitching, the Raptors compiled a 2-0 record in pool play with victories over Diamonds West and Sparta. In bracket play, the Raptors earned a spot in the championship game with victories over the Kalamazoo Maroons and the Grand Rapids Flames. With a match-up against West Michigan Elite Gold in the championship game, the Raptors fought back from an early 2-0 deficit with more timely hitting to secure an 8-5 victory. The Raptors next compete in the Fireball Classic Tournament on May 16-17 in Battle Creek.
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Olivia Dopkiss, a level six all-around state champion, had her personal best all-around score of 37.425 at the level six and seven USAG state meet on May 2-3 at Oakland University in Rochester. Competing in the 10-year-old age bracket, Dopkiss also took first places on the vault with a 9.5, the beam with a 9.425, and the floor exercise with a 9.325. Dopkiss also took a bronze medal on the uneven parallel bars with a 9.175 score. Dopkiss trains 18 hours a week in Lansing at Gedderts’ Twistars Gymnastic Club. She is a fifth-grader at Chandler Woods Charter Academy, and is a straight-A student. She raised $500 earlier this season by participating in a cartwheel-a-thon to benefit the Children’s Miracle Network-a charity near her heart, given that her younger sister was born with a neuromuscular disorder. Dopkiss lives in Rockford with her parents, brother, and two sisters.
The Rockford Athletic Department will be accepting nominations for the Rockford Athletic Hall of Fame through May 15, 2009. The class of 2009 will be officially inducted during homecoming week this coming fall. The Athletic Hall of Fame was created in 1990 to honor individuals who have contributed to the athletic program. Each year, a panel meets to select members to be inducted from a pool of candidates nominated by Rockford alumni and community members. The criteria for nominating an individual is simple. The nominee must have exemplified the pride and spirit of Rockford Athletics during and following his/her career. An athlete is eligible if they have graduated from Rockford High School at least 10 years prior to induction. A coach is eligible if they have coached in the Rockford school system for at least five years. Community members and other at-large nominees must have made significant contributions to the Rockford High School program. If you would like to nominate someone deserving of this honor, please contact the Rockford Athletic office at (616) 863-6040 or e-mail Athletic Director Tim Erickson at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Rockford High School is proud to announce the hiring of Brian Richardson as the head varsity wrestling coach. Richardson will take over for Don Rinehart, who recently retired after spending 35 years with the Rockford wrestling program. Richardson has been an assistant wrestling coach at Rockford for the past 12 seasons. During these 12 years, he was a member of the staff that coached the team to nine OK Red championships, nine district championships, six regional championships and two MHSAA Division I state titles. Coach Richardson previously served as an assistant coach at Avondale High School and Kalamazoo Central High School. He was recognized as Division I Assistant Coach of the Year in 2006. He also has been a registered MHSAA wrestling official since 1985. In addition to wrestling, Coach Richardson has also been a member of the Rockford football coaching staff since 1999. Coach Richardson has been in the teaching profession for the past 17 years and currently teaches in the area of technology education at Rockford High School. He received his undergraduate degree at Western Michigan University and his master’s degree in career and technology education from Bowling Green State University. He and his wife Carolyn reside in Rockford with their two children, Jack and Jamie.
Trent Vander Lende was recently named Player of the Week for the Rockford Rebels 12U baseball team for the week ending May 3, 2009. Vander Lende was 1-0 as a pitcher and batted 3-7 with two doubles and four runs batted in. He also had five stolen bases for the week. For his efforts, Vander Lende will receive a 10 dollar gift card and a free pizza from B.C. Pizza in Belmont.