by John Raffel Art Van Sports Complex will be hosting a “Summer Classic” baseball skills camp Monday and Tuesday, July 13-14. The cost of the camp, $70, includes a t-shirt and West Michigan Whitecaps ticket discount for the game that night. Ages are 6-to-9 and 10-to-14. The camp will provide youngsters with a baseball skill and drill instruction in a very fun and creative way. The two-day event is themed around the Major League Baseball all-star game. Instructors will feature some of the area’s current or former college baseball players/coaches with wide baseball experience. Also coming up are the Grand Rapids Summer Championships July 17-19, followed by the Game Day USA National Championships July 23-26. The Grand Rapids Summer championships are sponsored by Game Day USA and will feature 8U, 9U, 10U, 11U, 12U, 13U, 14U and 15U divisions. All teams are guaranteed at least three games. There will be pool play plus playoffs for a divisional champion.
Sports news from Rockford Public Schools
By John Raffel It’s called the USSSA Global World Series and it’s coming this week to Art Van Sports Complex. The United States Speciality Sports Association will be sponsoring the event, which starts on Wednesday and will wrap up on Sunday. It’s an all-day event each day. “We have 18 teams from Michigan, Illinois, Minnesota, Iowa and Indiana in our 13U Open USSSA Global Sports World Series,” USSSA Michigan official Bob Wilkerson said. “Teams qualified during the regular season to participate in this prestigious event. All teams will play a minimum of six games Thursday to Sunday with champions and runner-ups crowned Sunday afternoon.” The 13U division is the only one playing at Art Van this weekend. The opening ceremonies were scheduled for Wednesday. Global Sports is a part of USSSA and tournament official points out that all ranking points picked up in a Global Sports Qualifier for World Series will count in the USSSA ranking. Any teams with the 13U classification in the Major, AAAA or AAA divisions are not in the World Series. Elite World Series teams, tournament officials state are ineligible to play. Teams participated in Global Sports Qualifying Tournament ahead of time. Teams that were in a Global Sports Qualifier were also eligible to partake. All teams were guaranteed six games for the tournament. The deadline was Sunday. There was to be a limit of 24 teams for the age group. Pool play will be featured the first couple of days, followed by championship action. Championship play was set for Red, White and Blue divisions for a modified elimination tournament. There were three divisional champs crowned as World Series champs and they will earn points with the USSSA’s ranking system.
By Todd Van Eck The 2015 Rockford Lady Rams Varsity Tennis Team put an exclamation point on their history-making season by receiving an official “Proclamation” from the Kent County Commissioners during the Cannon Township meeting on June 22, 2015. County Commissioner Diane Jones presented the award to Head Coach Tom Huizing and the team during the meeting. As best described by tennis parent Pete Elford, it was a ‘truly a great end to a truly great year’. The story of the 2015 Lady Rams Varstiy Tennis team starts with high hopes by Head Coach Thomas Huizing and Assistant Coach Aaron Linsley. Coach Huizing had been the varsity girls tennis coach for twelve years. He had seen great ladies throughout his tenure as coach, but this year seemed special. Assistant Coach Aaron Linsley had been with the team for three years and recognized that this team was special. Both had watched the team during the previous year and were very excited about this year. The feeling was justified during the first day of tryouts. The girls had worked hard during the off-season and looked strong. But, it was early, so both coaches were setting high goals with a reservation knowing how tough the Division 1 – OK Red Girl’s Tennis can get. The Lady Rams had previously won the Conference Championship (2009) and the Regional Championship (2012). They knew how difficult a season could be. Yet, the spark in their eyes would not dim, both could see promise that they had not seen previously. The season started with the Rockford Invitational. Rockford has hosted the Rockford Invitational for a number of years inviting the same teams each year. It is a good season opener with good competition. Although anticipated, the Lady Rams did not lose one match to win the Invitational in every flight. The season continued with great wins over very talented teams. They routinely celebrated success with wins, but there was more. The team was winning the close matches, the tie-breakers. The matches that could be won by either competitor were being won by the Lady Rams. It became a mathematical probability that the Lady Rams would step-up to the challenge of a close match and difficult team. There was something special about this […]
In the June 26, 2015 edition of The Rockford Squire two local Rockford students were featured in an article about the Michigan High School Rodeo and how they qualified for the national rodeo taking place in Wyoming this July. Unfortunately, one talented student was left out of the article. I’d like to provide you with her information in hopes that she may be recognized for her hard work as well. Riann Graff, a 16 year old heading into her senior year at Rockford High School, joined the Michigan High School Rodeo Association (MiHSRA) not knowing what to expect. When asked about the season she said, “It was a bit complicated for my horse (Cool Cash Seven) and I at times, but once she steps foot into the arena she has more determination than any horse I’ve ever been on. Our teamwork qualified us for the national finals in our rookie season. We earned the 4th place spot overall in barrel racing and I couldn’t be more proud.” Riann missed 2 rodeos during the year while representing the Rockford High School Equestrian Team in their regional and state championships, this left her going into the MiHSRA state finals in 6th place. Knowing only the top 4 places qualify, she ran a 17.443 (2nd) and a 17.257 (1st) moving her up into the 4th place position. These times, when compared to the 2014 national finals times, would place Riann and Seven in the top 5 in the country. Due to circumstances out of her control she is unable to travel to Wyoming for the national finals this year and she graciously gave up her qualifying spot to an alternate. She is now focusing on her senior year and excited for what future may bring