The Women’s Track and Field Team continued their undefeated season along with their string of Regional Championship when they outdistanced the 15 team field at Houseman Field. The #1 state ranked Lady Rams tallied 178.5 points to outdistance second place East Kentwood with 153.5 and the rest of the field. “This makes it 12 in a row with this one being against some of the toughest competition,” said Head Coach Randy VanderVeen. The Lady Rams claimed three individual first place performances by seniors Samantha Mette and Sarah Birkemeier. Mette won the 100 Hurdles in a time of 15.1 in addition to the 300 Hurdles in a time of 47.2. Birkemeier won the Pole Vault with a height of 11’ 8”. Three relay teams claimed first place finishes. The Rams 400 Meter Relay of Courtney Klawieter, Margaret Smiley, Elise Schierbeek and Abby Blanchard had a winning time of 49.7. The 800 Meter Relay which won in a time of 1:42.7 was made up of Rachel Jerrils, Klawieter, Smiley and Blanchard. The 1600 Meter Relay of Smiley, Katie DeHaan, Jerrils, and Katie Carlson won in a time of 4:01.4. This Regional Championship set the Rockford Rams up to compete for the MITCA Team State Championship at Jenison on May 29 as well as having participants in 16 of the 17 events in the MHSAA State Championship hosted by Rockford on June 5.
Teams raise over $1,900 for Komen Foundation The Rockford High School Natatorium was a blaze of bright pink on Thursday, April 29, when the Lady Rams welcomed the Zeeland women’s junior varsity and varsity water polo teams to the Pink Polo Power fundraiser to benefit the Susan G. Komen for the Cure Foundation, Grand Rapids. Prior to the event, both teams sold pink t-shirts and pink polo balls to raise money, and the Rams hosted two bake sales at the high school. Sponsors D&W Fresh Market, Reds on the River, and the Gremel Group stepped up to help underwrite the pink polo caps, pink polo balls, pink officials’ shirts, pink rubber ducks, and other event costs, thus enabling the teams to raise $1,918.53. Head Coach Scott Voltz congratulated both the JV and varsity Rams for their victories—JV with 8-5, and varsity with 8-4—over Zeeland, but emphasized the real victory of the night was “learning our efforts could help with breast cancer education, prevention, treatment and research right in our community.” Voltz also emphasized the collaborative efforts by the Zeeland team, as they too sold t-shirts and collected donations totaling over $600. The JV Rams were led by freshman Adriana Craft with five goals and two steals and freshman Sara Karamol with two goals, one assist and two steals. Goalie Elli Raymond contributed five saves, one assist and one steal. Sophomore Sarah Smith scored one goal and had one steal. The varsity won the first-quarter pink polo ball sprint and dominated the first three quarters of play, leading 8-1 at the start of the fourth. Zeeland rallied in the fourth with three goals to end the game 8-4. Junior goalie Tiffany Ellenbaas covered the corners in net, stopping nine attempts and stealing three balls. Sophomore Casey Wolfer led the scoring with three goals and two steals. Senior Christine Weston had two goals, and Ashley Gremel, Taylor Downs and Erica Finlayson each scored one goal.
Basketball season—over in a flash, four years of high school competition gone by fast, while the memories will last. Memories last a lifetime. The Rockford Rams planned to make some memories at Forest Hills Northern (FHN) on Saturday night, Jan. 23. This non-conference match-up with FHN (5-6, 3-1) proved to be memorable for the Rockford Rams (8-2, 3-2) with a 54-50 victory. Tonight FHN was just what the Rams needed after dropping their last two contests. Coach Yonkers’ Rams led throughout the game, leading 29-28 by half. The lead was extended further into the third quarter, however, the cushion vanished midway through the final quarter. A full court press by Rockford proved to be FHN’s undoing late in the fourth quarter, as the Rams outscored the taller Huskies 25-22 in the final stanza. The Rams had no answer for FHN’s Andrea Byl, their 29-point leading scorer and one-person wrecking crew, rebounding and pouring in baskets mostly around the glass. The Huskies were 18 for 30 from the foul line, while the Rams went 16 for 22. The Huskies out-rebounded the Rams on both ends of the court. The difference came via bench scoring, Rockford 18, FHN 6. The Rams proved to be the deeper team, with eight Rams scoring: Megan Kelley 13, Caitlyn Patterson 12, Kate Huyser 7, Halle Peterson 6, Kimberly Weston 5, Andi Raymond 5, Karli Showers 4, and Allison Huyser 2. The Rams continue to do many little things to persevere while competing with taller opponents. Tuesday night, Jan. 26, the Rams get back to OK Red conference play, traveling to meet Jenison (3-8, 0-5). Then they will travel to Muskegon on Friday, Jan. 29.
The Rockford girls swimming and diving team qualified 14 teammates for the Division I Michigan High School Athletic Association (MHSAA) Division I state championships held November 20-21, 2009, at the Holland Aquatic Center. Division I qualifications are the toughest in the state, and the Rams’ depth holds them in good standing for years to come. Only two of the 14 qualifiers—twins Erica and Jessica Cutler—are seniors. Following the meet, in which the Lady Rams took 12th place out of 37 teams, Head Coach Tom Parks noted, “We did have some great swims this past weekend, but many were just out of scoring range.” To score at finals, girls must place in the top 16 during prelims, and it is not possible to move from the consolation heat (places 9-16) during the finals, even with a faster time. Coach Parks summarized highlights as follows: • Both E. Cutler and Sarah Smith broke the varsity record in the 100 fly. E. Cutler now holds the record at 57.7. Smith went 58.2. E. Cutler’s swim was particularly impressive in that it was on the rebound from the flu, which turned into pneumonia. • All three relays scored and swam well in finals. • S. Smith had a great prelim swim in the 200 free with a 1:59.0, which was just out of scoring range. • J. Cutler broke the varsity record again in the 200 IM with a 2:10.9. • Freshman Kennedy Cutler and sophomore Casey Wolfer had good prelim swims in the 50 free. • Divers Katie DeHaan and Erica Finlayson were both happy to make state and will be back next year. • Alaina Smith also had a great prelim swim in 100 fly with a 1:00.8. • Morgan Lipe swam out of her head in the 100 breast with a 1:10.8. Per event finishes were as follows: • 10th place—200 medley relay (1:52.28), Longberg, Lipe, Morgan, E. Cutler, Wolfer • 19th place finish in prelims—200 free, S. Smith (1:59.02) • 11th place—200 IM, J. Cutler (2:11.22) • 27th place in prelims—200 IM, E. Cutler (2:17.24) • 19th place—50 free, Wolfer (25.15) • 30th place—50 free, K. Cutler (25.46) • 47th place—50 free, VanPortfliet (26.12) • 5th place—100 fly, E. Cutler (57.86) • 10th place—100 fly, S. Smith (58.26) • 24th place—100 […]
Swim/dive meets don’t get any closer than the October 22 battle between conference favorite West Ottawa and the formidable Rockford Rams. To set the stage, both teams are packed with depth and speed. It’s the final home meet for the Lady Rams, complete with Senior Night ceremonies, the Rockford High School chamber singers serving up an A+ rendering of the “National Anthem,” and then the deafening roar of the crowd. On paper, the Rams are the underdogs. What remains to be seen is what happens in the water. The meet begins with Rockford taking second and third in the 200 medley relay. Things are looking good for the Lady Rams, with Casey Wolfer, Morgan Lipe, Erica Cutler and Taylor Hutson going a quick 1:55.44, followed by teammates Morgan Longberg, Rachael Romain, Taylor Downs and Kennedy Cutler with a 1:58.25. Race one was victory for the Rams. West Ottawa was not daunted, and came back with first-, second- and fourth-place finishes in the 200-yard free. Sarah Smith (2:01.94) took third just .08 behind second place, and her twin Alaina Smith took fifth with 2:04.26. Lexy Caster and Holly Nauta went sixth and seventh respectively. The score advantage went to West Ottawa. In the third event, the Rams went first, fourth and sixth (Jessica Cutler, Romain, Lipe), with a neck-and-neck finish for third and fourth place. West Ottawa was beginning to gain momentum, and the first half of the meet, as Head Coach Tom Parks remarked afterward, “was not how we had hoped. We stumbled a bit—we had some illness, but so did they.” The 50 freestyle—the last race before diving—is always quick and always a nail biter. Sophomore Wolfer swam tough with a fast 25.62, just getting tapped out for first by West Ottawa’s Amanda Teske. The Rams’ Jamie VanPortfliet and Lauren Girard took fourth and fifth. The Rams’ divers literally put the bounce back in the swimmers for the second half of the meet, going second, third, fourth and fifth, with Erica Finlayson (202.50), Katie DeHaan (180.20), Macie DeGraaf (165.80) and Rita Synder (153.10) all scoring. For those in the crowd keeping a running score, the divers put the Rams back in the meet, and there was plenty of swimming to go. The sixth event, […]