Rockford Little League (RLL) is literally having a “banner year” in the 2012 District 9 All-Star tournament. Three Rockford teams have won their division banners during the District 9 championship games, and are advancing to play in state tournaments. The boys 12U Baseball team won the championship game with a shutout score of 3-0 against Hudsonville. The boys 10-11 Baseball team won against Byron Township in their final game with a score of 8-1. The girls 10-11 Softball team, not to be outdone by the boys, is advancing to the state tournament after blanking Byron Township 9-0 in their championship game. The three Rockford teams swept their brackets with perfect records. Warren Lanphear, president of RLL, is all smiles this year. According to Lanphear, “This is the first time in 20 years we’ve had a Rockford [baseball] team in the state tournament.” Lanphear is too selfless to mention the fact that two of his grandchildren are players on Rockford All-Star teams. Wendell and Lauren Lanphear have played in the RLL system for six and five years respectively. Last year, Lauren was a member of the 9-10 All-Star Softball team that won the District 9 championships and went on to the final eight at the state tournament in Parchment, Mich. This year, both of the Lanphear kids will suit up to represent Rockford in Little League state tournament play. Wendell and Lauren don’t make the All-Star team every year because their grandfather is affiliated with RLL; it is because of their skill. In Lauren’s case, she makes the cut every year because she is the best 11U catcher in the Rockford system, and has been ever since she “played up” in the Major Division her first season. Lauren’s batting average in the 2012 regular season was .529 (.462 during the All-Star tournament)—not bad for an 11-year-old playing up in the Majors Division. Lauren has been the leadoff hitter for her team for the last two years, and put up her first homerun this year. Though Lauren has played in a state tournament before, this is Wendell’s first year wearing the coveted Little League patch on his left arm. Wendell saw plenty of action in his 12U game against Hudsonville. He scored twice, and had a line-drive […]
August 2 2012
by RANDY GREGORY Brandon Lubenow, a 2012 Rockford graduate, became the latest Ram football player to finalize his plans for the upcoming season. After traveling to Big Rapids to meet with new Bulldog Coach Tony Annese recently, Lubenow strutted his stuff and left with an invitation to become a member of this year’s Ferris State University (FSU) squad. “Coach Annese was a very personable and funny guy, and he felt I had the talent to compete at that level after watching me go through some drills,” said Lubenow. “I have put on about twenty pounds since last season at Rockford and have been able to maintain my speed. Coach Annese said they will line me up as a slot receiver and see what I can bring to the table.” Lubenow played primarily as a wide receiver for the Rams, but also saw some time as a defensive back. He saved his best game of the year for the final game of the 2011 season. In that contest the Rams lost in overtime to Detroit Catholic Central (DCC) in the Michigan High School Athletic Association Division I semifinals. The stout Shamrock defense and several untimely injuries to Rockford running backs forced the Rams to the air. Lubenow and Ram quarterback Mark LaPrairie repeatedly torched the DCC defense with a deft passing attack and, despite coming up three points short in the extra session, the duo left all in attendance marveling at their exploits. Rockford Coach Ralph Munger said that the difference in Lubenow physically is striking and feels he has a chance to be a difference maker for the Bulldogs. “Brandon came out to our quarterback clinic and really looked good catching some passes from the QBs that were there,” said Munger. “He is a lot thicker and looked at least as quick as he was last season for us. He has always had the potential and I think that Ferris State is getting a highly motivated young man who can make some plays for them.” Lubenow will have a couple of familiar faces in Big Rapids when he arrives there on August 7. Former Ram quarterbacks Robert Banaszak and Taylor Masiewicz are both members of the team this year as well. He is also no […]
Each year, the National Swim Coaches Association (NISCA) ranks all high school swim teams by their dual meet/conference meet strength. This is in contrast to the state meet, which has no indication of depth but only the strength of teams’ top 8-10 athletes. The national rankings take both depth and top athletes into consideration based on a team’s best dual meet. Rockford’s men’s and women’s programs are in the largest of the five divisions as determined by school size. Within their division, the men’s team ranked eighth and the women’s team ranked 10th. Nationwide by gender, the men’s team ranked 18th and the women’s team ranked 34th. NISCA also ranks each program by overall strength of men’s and women’s teams combined. Many programs are strong in one or the other of the genders but not both. Rockford’s combined teams ranked 10th overall nationwide. Congratulations go to Coach Tom Parks and the student-athletes. For more information please contact Coach Tom Parks at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The 2012 All-State Senior All-Star Volleyball Classic will be held Friday, July 27, 2012, at the Kellogg Arena in Battle Creek. An awards luncheon will be held from 1:00 to 3:15 p.m., two semifinal matches will be played at 5:30 p.m., and the consolation and final matches are scheduled at approximately 7:30 p.m. This tournament is put together to showcase the top senior volleyball players from across the state and give them the final opportunity to compete with and against the best. All seniors who were first, second or third team All-State, in classes A, B, C or D, are invited to participate. The coaches are those who led their teams to the quarterfinals or beyond in the 2011 Volleyball State Championships in each class. Ninety athletes and 30 coaches have been invited to participate and Andrea Kacsits of Rockford High School has accepted the invitation and will play in the All-Star Classic on July 27.
Rockford High School will soon be making available its all-sport passes for the 2012-2013 season. All-sport passes are accepted at all regular season Rockford home sporting events except hockey, multi team tournaments and MHSAA tournaments. A family pass can be purchased for $175 and includes two adult and two student passes. Additional passes may be purchased to include immediate family members for $10 per pass. Other prices include: $70 per adult all-sport pass and $40 per student all-sport pass. Punch passes are also available and include admission to 10 home events for $40 per adult punch pass and $20 per student punch pass. Passes will be available from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. daily at the Rockford High School Athletic Office beginning August 13.