Rockford’s boys lacrosse team knocked off West Ottawa in the opening game of the Division 1, region 1 state high school lacrosse tournament on May 26. The final score was 7 to 5 at West Ottawa High School. The Rams scoring was led by junior midfielder Erik Datema, who scored three goals. Attack man Mitch Newton had two goals along with two assists. Also scoring for Rockford were Blake McDonald and Kevin Badersnider. The Rams defense of Cooper Sturr, Jordan Shiparski, Austin Mills, Josh Henry and Brandon Emmons supported the strong goal-keeping of sophomore Connor Flynn, who recorded 14 saves against the Panthers. Coach Tim Murray’s young team will next face Detroit U-D Jesuit in a regional semi-final match on Wednesday June 2, at the neutral location of Holt High School.
Fish Creek Sportsman Club
Oops, they did it again! Rockford girls varsity tennis qualified for the state finals after accumulating the necessary 18 points to earn the honor. The stage was set back on May 15 when the Rams hosted the OK Red conference tournament. Rockford earned 45 points, finishing third and providing the positioning needed for preferred seeding at the regional tournament this past Saturday, May 22 in Jenison. Each of the eight flights won their first round in the single elimination regional event. As the day progressed, it started to become a possibility that Rockford would be a contender. All four doubles teams won their second round as two, three and four singles did as well. It happened to be the hottest day of the season, with temperatures reaching over 80 degrees on the courts. All the players were getting anxious to see if their dream would become a reality. As each flight advanced, it became evident the dream was possible. By late afternoon, after each flight contributed points toward the required 18, it was realized that Rockford had 17 points with one match still to play. Junior Alex Stembaugh, playing three singles, had advanced all the way into the final round. Playing as cool as she did all year, Stembaugh beat her worthy opponent from Hudsonville in straight sets. “I expected tough competition going into the match,” said Stembaugh. “I knew I would have to step up my game.” Coach Tom Huizing stated, “This was a hard-fought season. In the OK Red anything can happen on any day. The same holds true in the regionals. Everyone knew what to do and everyone contributed. Alex was amazing at handling the pressure like a veteran player. I’m extremely proud of the entire team. They did it as a team. They got it done.” It looks like spring tennis is blossoming nicely in Rockford. This will be the third year in a row that the team will be going to state finals under the coaching of Huizing. The entire team is thankful for Coach Huizing, all the community for their support, the parents, the press for covering the action each week, their teachers and friends that came out to see them play, JV coach Val Wallace and their number […]
Rockford varsity baseball Coach Ian Hearn notched his 300th win at Grand Haven on Friday, May 14. That’s no small feat for someone just 38 years old. It often takes many coaches 18 years, 20 years or even longer to hit the 300 mark. It took Coach Hearn just over 11 seasons. That also qualifies him for entry into the Michigan High School Baseball Coaches Hall of Fame. Hearn was a standout athlete at Central Michigan University (CMU). At CMU, he played two sports, baseball and wrestling. Coming to CMU, he was an outfielder and hitter. What he found was that the wrestling commitment was so intense that by the time the wrestling season was over, and baseball was just beginning, he didn’t have his full strength and stamina to give to baseball. Having a good arm and being left-handed, the decision was made that if he continued to wrestle, he would become a pitcher. He was an effective lefty for the Chippewa baseball team during his time at CMU. After graduating from CMU with a degree in education, Hearn took a teaching job at Owosso High School. He also was the wrestling coach while there. He had been there just one year, when he and his wife, Michelle, moved to Traverse City. He was a substitute teacher and JV baseball coach at Traverse City Central (TCC) for his first year. The varsity baseball coach soon recognized Hearn’s talent and abilities and, with his impending retirement, decided to offer Hearn the role of taking over the varsity program. Soon after taking over as the head varsity coach at TCC, Hearn was well on his way to 300 victories. At TCC, Hearn coached several standout players. Many have gone on to play at the college level including Division I, University of Michigan. Coach Hearn left Traverse City and took the coaching job at Rockford, but not before notching 239 wins there. At Rockford, Hearn won 20 games in 2008 (his first season at Rockford) and 26 games in 2009 as the Rams won the OK Red conference championship for the first time in over 20 years. So far this season, the Rams are 16-6 under Coach Hearn, and hope to do well in district and regional […]
With weather conditions less than ideal, the Rockford women’s crew team proved that neither wind nor rain could keep them from their goal of defeating one of the best crew teams in the state. In a tri-meet against Ann Arbor Pioneer and Ann Arbor Skyline, Rockford took to the water to show what they were made of. The Rams crew team is used to rowing on a river, where high winds have less impact on rowing conditions. However, Saturday’s race at Orchard Lake proved to be more challenging. With high winds and threatening storms, many of the races were delayeadidn’t stop the lightweight women’s eight boat. They took to the water with little fear and easily defeated the Ann Arbor Skyline boat. The women’s junior four also claimed first place, knocking off rowing giant Ann Arbor Pioneer. As the race came to an end, the Rams were awarded the first-place trophy for scoring the most points against the other two Ann Arbor teams. The women’s lightweight eight boat is made up of stroke Raechel Wrona, rowers Molly Guthrie, Andrea Galloway, Lora Gleghorn, Chloe McColgan, Lyndsey Felty, Stephenie Sawicki, and Emily Prus, and coxswain Dani Tefft. The women’s junior four boat is made of stroke Kendra Bilardello, Rebecca Markam, Kate Fraser, Kara Korson, and coxswain Becca DeKorne. Both the men’s and women’s teams will compete this weekend at the Midwest Scholastic Regional Regatta in Cincinnati, Ohio, on Friday, May 7.
Rockford’s inline hockey orange team headed into this championship against an extremely talented Cedar Springs team, who posted only one loss during regular season play. The Rams started the season at 1-5, but have continued to work with intensity all year. They came into this game poised and ready to rise to the challenge of bringing the championship home to Rockford. After a hard-fought but scoreless first period, the Rams struck early in the second period with a goal from senior Andrew Wenger, assisted by Ty Schwandt. The Red Hawks answered with two quick goals. Rockford battled back with a goal from Steve Jaeger to tie the game up with seven minutes remaining in the second. A Red Hawk popped in a goal with 30 seconds left, putting the Rams down 3-2. Determination from Rockford players continued, with Wenger scoring again to tie the game in the third. Adam Shiffman then found the back of the net for the Rams to take the lead. With just over a minute remaining, Cedar’s Jordan Brower scored, bringing the score to 4-4 and forcing overtime play. And play they did, for five overtime periods. These five overtime periods were filled with incredible defensive plays, great shots and huge saves. Cedar Rock Sportsplex hockey director Scott Ebenstein might have said it best when he called this game “a battle for the ages, breaking all previous records for the facility with the five overtimes and nearly two hours of play. The atmosphere in the building was electric, with screams and groans from the crowd for every goal and every save made—easily the loudest it’s ever been in the rink. This game was high school sports at its finest.” With the battle raging on and only 47 seconds left in the fifth overtime, Rockford’s Schwandt tossed the puck in front of the net, and Cory Ball was in the right place to punch in the winning goal for the Rams. Coach Trimble had much to say about this Rockford orange team. “I’ve told them all season it doesn’t matter how many wins we get in the regular season. The only one we need to win is the championship game, and they did it! Our senior captain David Schaller has worked on […]