Brent Showers

Rockford wrestling tops Grandville

January 26, 2012 // 0 Comments

Rams get complete effort in dual meet win by TIM COOPER When the Rockford Rams took to the mat on Wednesday, Jan. 18 against Grandville, memories of losing to the Bulldogs last year were very strong. This year’s team was determined to prevent history from repeating itself. The Rams’ scoring opened in the 103-pound match when Stephen Jendritz caught Micah Newton at the 1:07 mark of the first round, giving Rockford a 6-3 lead after two matches. Grandville went back on top with wins at 112 and 119, taking a 10-6 advantage going into the 125-pound match between Rockford’s Cullen Maksimowski and Grandville’s Keedan Hoezee. Maksimowski, who splits time with Tyler VanRooyen at 125 and 130, dominated Hoezee, taking the Bulldog wrestler to the mat seven times en route to a 19-7 major decision. A Grandville void to Corey Stankus at 130 and VanRooyen’s pin of Jake Brower put the Rams on top for good. “This was the most complete effort we had all season,” said Coach Brian Richardson, whose Rams won 10 of 14 matches on their way to a 52-14 victory over their arch-rival. “This team is peaking at the right time. We’re glad to be in the driver’s seat of the OK Red.” On Saturday, Jan. 21, the Rams traveled to Stevensville for a tournament hosted by the Lancers of Lakeshore High School. In the opening round, Rockford faced off with Division IV’s top-ranked team, the Hudson Tigers. The Tigers showed the Rams why they’re ranked number one by beating Rockford 41-16. In round two of the tournament, Rockford faced the host Lancers for the third time this season. The first dual saw the Rams win by one point on December 23 at Lakeshore’s Alumni Night. The second time around, the Lancers soundly defeated a depleted Rockford squad on January 7 at Howell High School. In the rubber match between the two teams, Rockford won 30-23. The Rams won nine of the 14 matches, sparked by a VanRooyen pin in the 125-pound match and Trent Boyer’s 9-3 victory, despite battling flu-like symptoms all day. Austin Scogg’s fall at 152 and decisions by Danny Apkarian (160) and Robby Gorton (171) also contributed to the Rams’ victory. In the final dual of the day, […]

Review of Rockford baseball’s 2011 championship season

June 30, 2011 // 0 Comments

The Rams didn’t have anyone get drafted in the MLB draft this year. It’s not that they didn’t have talent—they certainly did. But they didn’t rely on the pitcher who throws 90+ or the hitter who hit 20 homeruns. What they did have was a never-give-up attitude, a mantra of GBED (Get Better Every Day) and inspiration in the form of an 11-year-old boy. Coach’s son, Ian Hearn Jr., had to have two heart surgeries as the Rams prepared to go into the playoffs. It was a source of inspiration as they resolved to win for Ian Junior. And win they did. The Rams worked their way through the districts, regionals, quarterfinals and semifinals until they got to the title game and won the state championship—a first for Rockford baseball. Thankfully, the surgeries for Ian Junior were successful as well. There wasn’t any one player who carried the team on their back. It was a total team effort from day one. The Rams had adversity and distractions along the way, but worked through them like a true family. The guidance and instruction from the coaching staff allowed the team to stay focused and on track to accomplish what had not previously been done at Rockford. In a school the size of Rockford, playing in the tough OK Red conference, it’s hard to believe there would be freshmen mature and talented enough to be part of a state championship-caliber varsity team. Kory Young is one such player. Young could have stayed at the junior varsity level and received more playing time, but chose to stay at varsity and gain valuable experience that will certainly serve him well in the years to come. He batted .333 and was a great utility player when the Rams needed him. He will certainly be one of the bright spots in the future for Ram baseball. Two other freshmen were pulled up for the playoffs: Reid Kelley and Brent Showers. Kelley is a fireballing right-handed pitcher and will likely be a big part of future Ram success. He gained some valuable experience and will no doubt be looked to as a team leader in the years to come. Showers’ situation was a bit different. Tony DiLeo, the junior everyday catcher, was […]

Rockford beats Kenowa Hills in district baseball opener

June 9, 2011 // 0 Comments

Rams defeat Northview to win district title On Saturday, June 4, at Northview High School, Rockford won their first district game 11-2 behind another great pitching performance by senior left-hander, Joe Kropiewnicki. Kropiewnicki did what he has done all year, utilizing pinpoint accuracy and keeping the hitters off balance. Kropiewnicki cruised through the first and second innings facing only seven batters. He struck out the last two batters in the second and the first two batters of the third for four consecutive strikeouts. Then, with two out in the third, Kenowa Hills’ Chad Makarewicz reached on an error. That was followed by doubles by Matt Neal and Greg Chulski to score Kenowa Hills’ only two unearned runs. Kropiewnicki breezed through the fourth and fifth innings as well. In the sixth, he got into a bit of a jam by allowing two consecutive singles and his only walk to load the bases with no outs. He then proceeded to strikeout the next batter, induce a shallow pop fly to right field, and strike out the final batter of the inning to strand all three runners. He worked a 1-2-3 seventh to seal the win. Kropiewnicki’s line was 7 IP, 7 H, 2 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 9 K. He moved his record to 9-0 on the season and has an ERA just above one. The Rams’ offense was explosive and they also benefited from nine walks doled out by Kenowa Hills pitchers. Rockford scored two runs in the first when Drew Farmer and Brandon Nostrant walked, Shain Showers singled, and brother, Brent Showers (who is freshman brought up for the tournament), hit a sacrifice fly. In the second inning, Bryan Baldwin walked, as did Andrew Rademacher. Farmer singled and Christian Leinesch singled to score two more. The Rams garnered four more runs in the third when Ian Stankus walked and Rademacher, Farmer and Nostrant all singled. Rockford was scoreless in the fourth and fifth. In the sixth the Rams scored one more when B. Showers doubled, Stankus walked for a third time, and Baldwin hit a sacrifice fly. Rockford’s final two runs came in the seventh when Farmer walked, Nostrant and Leinesch singled and B. Showers doubled. Offensive leaders were Farmer (2-3), Nostrant (3-4, 2b), […]