The Rockford girls cross-country team’s academic performance matched its athletic performance when they were honored for having the third highest team grade-point average (GPA) of the 27 teams that competed at the Michigan High School Athletic Association (MHSAA) state finals on Saturday, Nov. 6. The Lady Rams raced to a third-place team finish, which continued their legacy of being one of the most dominant teams in Division I. As a team, the Lady Rams recorded a GPA of 3.858 on an un-weighted 4.0 scale. This was calculated by averaging the top five GPAs of the seven runners racing at the state finals. Leading the way academically were seniors Anna Bos and Allison Hazy along with junior Taylor Manett, each of whom received individual All State honors. Individual honors are received by finishing the race in the top half of the 220 racers and then having one of the top 30 GPAs out of those athletes. Academically, Bos finished 17th, Manett 22nd and Hazy 28th. These girls are each ranked within the top two percent of their grade at Rockford High School (RHS). Out of 625 in the senior class, Bos is sixth and Hazy is 12th. Out of 633 in the junior class at RHS, Manett is fourth. “As a group of athletes, the girls that run for Rockford are really hard workers. Accolades like being Academic All State prove that our team is not only athletic, however, but truly scholar athletes who take their hard work ethic into the classroom with them,” stated Coach Benjamin Watson.
Academic All State Honors
As they prepare to defend their state water polo title on November 12, thirteen Rockford Rams took time out to receive Academic All State honors from the Michigan Water Polo Association (MWPA). Eight of the honorees are juniors: Cody Brown, Nick Dulak, Mac Finnie, Allyn Kinney, Alex Savage, Matt Vermeer, Josh Waldvogel and Bryan Wasberg. Five are sophomores: Mike Arend, Trenten Babcock, Grant Beach, Corey Fase, and Nick Willison. “We are proud of our student-athletes at Rockford High School,” said Athletic Director Tim Erickson. “Notice the word ‘student’ precedes the word ‘athlete.’ That is our philosophy: student first. Coach McWatters and the water polo team provide a perfect example of this philosophy.” MWPA Academic All State athletes must have a 3.75 cumulative grade-point average (GPA) after completing at least a full year of high school. All 13 boys meet that benchmark; several of them with a GPA higher than 4.0. “We are very proud of the student participation rate in our Rockford High School athletic program,” noted Principal Dan Zang. “More important than the scoreboard, conference standings, and pursuit of state championships, however, is our students’ performance in the classroom. We are fortunate to have student-athletes who truly understand that classroom performance is more important than what happens in the playing arena. Having our coaches appreciate and value this perspective is vitally important as well.” Coach Dave McWatters agreed, “Half of our team is Academic All State! This achievement represents our greatest hope for these young men: that their experience as part of Rockford water polo will enrich their lives long after they graduate. These young men and others are able to respond to the demands of the sport and also achieve academic excellence. That will serve them well for years to come.”