Rockford’s boys lacrosse team started their state regional tournament run with an offensive explosion against Grand Haven last week, defeating the Buccaneers by a score of 15-3. Leading the scoring attack for the Rams were juniors Mitchell Newton and Ryan Hartley. Newton had three goals with two assists, while middie Hartley also recorded a three-goal hat trick. Senior Erik Datema and sophomore Karson Konkle each scored twice for the Rams, as did freshman Kane Wolfer. Also finding the back of the Bucs’ net for the Rams were Blake McDonald, Anthony DeDamos and Alex Pouba. Rockford’s defense was led by a tremendous game from junior long-stick Ryan Hartnagel, whose key takeaways and ground balls kept Grand Haven back on their heels all game. “Tonight’s win was a nice send-off for our seniors’ final game at the Ted,” said Rams Coach Pete Sims after the contest. Those seniors are Datema, Adam Kroll, Cam Daisy, Charlie VanderZee and Elliott Vickers. The Rams play in a regional quarterfinal game this Wednesday, June 1, against the Holt Rams at Holt. Rockford is ranked 15th in the state, while Holt is seventh, based on the MHSAA ratings posted by LaxPower.com. Coach Sims said, “…we are looking forward to redeeming ourselves against Holt after our early season loss to them.” Holt defeated Rockford 14-9 on March 29, prior to spring break.
June 2 2011
The Rams traveled to Jenison on Monday, May 23, for the first of their last two conference games in OK Red action, and defeated the Wildcats 8-3. Rockford scored early as Drew Farmer walked to lead off the game and then advanced to third base on an errant pick-off move and scored on a passed ball. The Rams scored one in the second inning as well, when Christian Leinesch drew a walk, Ian Stankus and Max Crimp singled, and Andrew Rademacher hit a sacrifice fly to plate Leinesch. Rockford then scored four more runs in the third inning as Brandon Nostrant led off with a single and stole second. Tony DiLeo walked, Leinesch reached on an error, Matt Boonstra singled and Stankus doubled to the fence in left-center. In the fourth, the Rams plated two more runs when Farmer led off with a single, Nostrant walked, Shain Showers sacrifice bunted and DiLeo singled. Rockford was held scoreless in the fifth, sixth and seventh. Offensive contributors were Farmer (1-3), Nostrant (1-2, SB), DiLeo (1-3, RBI), Boonstra (1-4, RBI), Stankus (2-3, double, RBI), Crimp (1-3) and Rademacher (0-2, RBI). Defensively, Bryan Baldwin was on the mound for Rockford. Baldwin went the distance in securing his fifth win. He gave up one run in the second inning and two in the fourth. His line for the game was 7 IP, 5 H, 3 R, 2 ER, 2 BB, 6 K. Rockford beat Jenison once more, in their last OK Red conference game of the season on Wednesday, May 26. The Rams mercied the Wildcats 10-0 in five innings behind another solid pitching performance from Joe Kropiewnicki. The Ram offense wasn’t as prolific as it had been recently, as they had just four hits for the game. They did capitalize on 13 walks, one error, two wild pitches and two passed balls by the Wildcat defense. Offensively, Rockford was led by Farmer (2-2, two RBI, two SB), Nostrant (1-1, RBI, two SB) and Stankus (1-2). Kropiewnicki scattered four hits and didn’t give up a run in claiming his eighth win of the season. He went the complete five innings walking one and striking out two. With the win, Rockford claims at least a share of the OK Red crown. […]
Caleb Post, a senior right-handed pitcher at Rockford, will be attending Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology in Terre Haute, Ind. to study software engineering and play baseball. Rose-Hulman (RH) is listed in the top 10 engineering schools in the country along with MIT, Columbia, Stanford and Carnegie Mellon among others. RH is a Division III school and competes in the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference. Rockford baseball has a lot of great students, but Post stands out a bit with his 4.63 grade-point average. He is ranked third in his senior class. Post was Academic All State last year as a junior. He had many schools to choose from, but chose RH because they are one of the top schools in the country and they have a successful baseball program. Their head coach recently celebrated his 600th collegiate win. Post will join his older brother, and former Ram, Ethan at RH. Ethan is on the pitching staff at RH and had a solid year on the mound. Surely, the Post brothers will provide some quality innings for the RH baseball program next year.
Austin Stephens, a senior left-handed pitcher for the Rams, has signed a national letter of intent to pitch for the Grand Rapids Community College (GRCC) Raiders baseball team next year. Stephens accepted the scholarship offer from GRCC head coach Mike Cupples after a long and difficult evaluation process. Stephens had received scholarship offers from several NAIA schools including Aquinas, Davenport, Huntington, Spring Arbor, Indiana Wesleyan, University of Northwestern Ohio and Division II Northwood University. Being such a “late-bloomer,” Stephens felt that going to GRCC at this point would allow him to continue to get stronger and possibly lead to a Division I scholarship offer in a year or two. “I really appreciate all the interest and generous offers by all the baseball coaches, but I think GRCC is the right fit for me at this point in my life,” said Stephens. Stephens has been an important part of the Ram pitching staff for the last couple of seasons. “It’s been great playing for Coach Hearn and being a Ram. If you can compete in the tough OK Red conference, you can compete at a lot of places,” said Stephens. “I’m looking forward to the opportunity to be an important part of the Raider pitching staff and improve even more. GRCC has won five national baseball titles. They have a great tradition and I hope to help them continue that tradition.” Stephens will join fellow Ram, Christian Leinesch, who also accepted a scholarship offer to play for GRCC. Austin is the son of Mark and Wendy Stephens.
Closing Thoughts by MICHAEL S. SHIBLER, Ph.D. Superintendent of Schools Rockford Public Schools With the end of the 2010-11 school year rapidly approaching, I would like to briefly review this past year. Senior Class of 2011 Congratulations to the 624 Rockford High School and River Valley Academy seniors who will be receiving a guaranteed diploma from the Rockford Public Schools (RPS). I wish you the very best that life has to offer, and I encourage you to use the skills you have acquired at RPS to further your life-long learning. Another Eventful Year We have many things to be proud of here at Rockford Public Schools and, at the top of the list is our students. Once again, Rockford students continue to excel academically as well as in the fine arts, athletics, and in other co-curricular activities. This year also saw several firsts in our district, including the privilege to host the Special Olympics State Basketball Tournament and the induction of the first group of Rockford Hall of Fame inductees, which recognizes and celebrates the accomplishments of Rockford alumni and residents who have made their mark on the world. Ram pride was demonstrated through “The Year of the Ram” project as statues appeared and continue to grace our community. Staff and students continue to explore the world first-hand, with students traveling to China last fall to learn about the Chinese language and culture, and students and staff members traveling to Haiti to provide relief efforts in the wake of the devastating earthquake. In the true spirit of growth, the Rockford Community Gardens will flourish and thrive for the first time ever. The gardens provide a new opportunity for our residents to plant and harvest their own produce, flowers, etc. Please contact our Community Services Department if you are interested in learning more about the gardens. The fall of 2011 will see the launch of the district’s new Early Childhood Center (ECC) at Meadow Ridge Elementary School. The ECC will house all of the district’s developmental kindergarten and early childhood special education students and allows for collaboration of services to provide a second-to-none educational experience for our youngest learners. We are currently working on RAMS VIII, the district’s eighth strategic plan for success, which will be […]