At the end of 2010 spring rugby season, most would see a lackluster season. The boys’ season ended with a 3-5 record and loss in the quarterfinals, and the ladies’ ended with a 1-7 record. With a closer look at the teams, you would see a bright future for the Rams. The boys team had 50 players with nearly 70 percent being sophomores and freshmen, including sophomore Trevor Alferink (Overall and Forward MVP), sophomore Brady Gent (Backs MVP), and junior Zach Nelson “Mr. Rugby.” During the summer break, more than 20 players are continuing their rugby education with Rugby 7’s tournaments in State Games of Michigan and Hard Rock 7’s. The ladies had 30 players with 60 percent being sophomores and freshmen. The speed and tackling ability of these young Lady Rams will be seen for years to come. Being a new sport and the only contact sport for high school ladies, it has taken two years for the program to develop. You can expect big things from this team in the next year. Feeding both of the programs is the Rockford Youth Rugby (RYR). RYR has just completed its sixth season and helped Forest Hills start their program this year. RYR’s goal is to have everyone learn traditions of this nearly 200-year-old game: everyone plays, everyone is involved, play hard for your team, and the fellowship of both teams after the game. In this age of “me” or “the star” and lack of respect for the players, referees or the game itself, rugby has laws mandating respect for the opposing players and the referee (“sir”), and a player can actually be penalized and/or sent off for disrespect and/or showboating. The Rams had eight second- and third-graders play coed/non-contact flag, and 14 fourth- and fifth-graders play advanced coed/non-contact flag rugby. The sixth-, seventh- and eighth-grade boys play full contact and had combined with the Forest Hills team to defeat Grandville 5-0 in Rockford and 17-5 in a very wet Grandville pitch. More information can be found at www.ramrugby.net.
July 15 2010
The Michiana Mystique 16U softball team spent their Fourth of July weekend winning the MASA state championship in Mount Pleasant. The team went 6-0 in bracket play, winning the title by knocking off PC Pride Elite 4-1 in the final game. Rockford’s Peyton Wells (pictured) plays first base for the Mystique, which is comprised of girls from Michigan and Indiana.
Positive and driven young woman not afraid to stand up for her beliefs Cailie Johnson, 17, is the daughter of Chuck and Sheryl Johnson and sister to Ivy, 15, Madye, 13, and Mavis, 9. Cailie is considered a leader at Rockford High School, where she always has a smile on her face and is ready to bring out the best in those around her. This student encourages others with her tireless enthusiasm. In all she does, Cailie’s leadership abilities are clear. On her volleyball team she keeps fellow student athletes working hard while having fun. This National Honor Society student is also involved in her church youth group, Student Council, community service programs, and summer camps. She is known as an extremely hardworking person, whether it is on the volleyball court, in student leadership events or in the classroom. This positive and driven young woman wants to be kind to all, but is not afraid to stand up for something she strongly believes in. She has a desire to always improve herself. Cailie was elected mayor of Student Council by her classmates. She was junior class president and was elected to the homecoming court for her class. She is on the National Honor Society and is a Board of Education student representative. Cailie is excited to play volleyball at Grand Valley State University next year. Currently she plays volleyball for Rockford and on the prestigious Michigan Volleyball Academy Travel volleyball team. She loves politics and planning school events through student council. Among Cailie’s other pastimes are watching movies and spending time with her family. She also is involved with a weekly small group Bible study. Staff at Rockford High School are confident that this young woman has a bright future and will continue to make a difference in the lives of those around her.