Rockford girls varsity water polo continued their strong showing in the region on Tuesday, May 3, by defeating the combined team from Zeeland East/West high schools by a score of 8-4. The contest, hosted in Zeeland’s beautiful aquatic center, saw the Rams slowly and consistently score goals and put the game out of reach early on. Senior Jamie VanPortfliet assisted sophomore Adrianna Craft on the night’s first goal, followed by junior Casey Wolfer zinging a solo shot into the net to end the first quarter with the visiting Rams up 2-0. The second period provided some early excitement with two consecutive alley-oop passes from senior Lauren Hulsebus to senior Jamie Fase, each scoring. These goals came off offensive plays that were run to perfection, showing the constant improvement by the team. Senior Erica Finlayson followed up with two goals of her own, one of which was assisted by a beautiful pass from VanPortfliet, and one solo shot that quickly found the back of the net. Zeeland found the cage late in the half, and the Rams led 4-1 at the break. The second half started with an Abby Finlayson goal and was followed by a Wolfer goal assisted by junior Maddie Levine. Zeeland ended the quarter with a “hail mary” buzzer beater, and managed a couple more goals late in the fourth, but it was too little too late for the host team. Hulsebus and Fase ended the night leading in assists with two apiece, and both of these seniors had four steals to lead that category. Senior goalie Tiffany Elenbaas had eight saves in the win. Head Coach Scott Voltz stated after the game, “Zeeland is in first place in their district. Any time you can grab a win against a district-leading team, it’s a good night.” Thursday, the Rams wrapped up the conference championship by defending rival Hudsonville 6-4 at home. The night began with the introduction of this year’s seniors. Girls playing their final season for Rockford include co-captains Taylor Downs, Sloan Ouellette and Tiffany Elenbaas, as well as Erica Finlayson, Brandy Fase, Kaitlin Cress, Lauren Hulsebus and Jamie VanPortfliet. Coach Voltz was very complimentary to these girls for their leadership and tenacious play in the pool. As is usually the case, […]
May 12 2011
The Rockford Athletic Department is accepting nominations for the Rockford Athletic Hall of Fame through May 20, 2011. The class of 2010 will be officially inducted during homecoming week this coming fall. The Athletic Hall of Fame was created in 1990 to honor individuals who have contributed to the athletic program. Each year a panel meets to select members to be inducted from a pool of candidates nominated by Rockford alumni and community members. The following procedures are used to nominate a candidate. The nominee must have exemplified the pride and spirit of Rockford athletics during and following his/her career. An athlete is eligible if they have graduated from Rockford High School at least 10 years prior to induction. A coach is eligible if they have coached in the Rockford school system for at least five years. Community members and other at-large nominees must have made significant contributions to the Rockford High School program. If you would like to nominate someone deserving of this honor, please pick up an application at Rockford High School. Please direct questions to the Rockford Athletic Office by calling (616) 863-6040 or e-mailing Athletic Director Tim Erickson at email@example.com.
Rockford girls varsity tennis team ended an extremely busy week on a winning note Saturday, May 7, adding to several other wins posted earlier in the week. The team traveled to Ludington and enjoyed favorable weather for a change, ultimately emerging the winner in a six-team invitational, which was also attended by Petoskey, Traverse City, Holland and Coopersville. Excellent teamwork led to the victory, as all flights contributed at least two points to the ultimate score. Coach Tom Huizing is proud of his girls, and said, “We’ve had a big week, and we needed to stay focused. I’ve talked to the girls about being prepared on and off the court. They’re doing a great job of being professional and putting priorities in the right place for the week. That has helped them be successful on the courts.” Although the team lost to tough competition at West Ottawa on Monday, May 2, they were victorious over Grand Haven on Tuesday, May 3, with a 6-2 score, and also defeated Muskegon 8-0 on Wednesday, May 4. According to senior and team co-captain Alex Stembaugh (three singles), “It was a great day to be a Ram; it was nice to have a big win today.” Echoing the sentiment was Kristen Long at four doubles. “It was a rough start in our big match yesterday, but we’re playing tough,” she said. “I can’t wait to get to Ludington.” Thursday, May 5, saw the team tie in their match at Northview.
Tuesday, May 3, the Rockford Rams girls soccer team learned that Cedar Springs was ranked ahead of Rockford locally. That news was a little more motivation for an already motivated Rockford team. Wednesday night, May 4, the Rams started strong, registering a couple shots on the Red Hawk goal within the first several minutes. Cedar Springs was not without a fight, though, and tried to bring the ball back at the Rams. But Rockford stayed strong and in the 14th minute created a corner kick. Senior winger Emily Cowan served a ball in front of the Red Hawk goal, and junior mid-fielder Erica Scott fired a beautiful shot past the Hawks’ goalkeeper for the first goal of the evening. Rockford kept the pressure up but had trouble getting shots on frame, making several shots either high or wide. The Red Hawks put a couple on the Rockford goal, but junior goalkeeper Mikaela Harrell made some outstanding saves, keeping the Rams on top. Then, at the 29th minute, Rockford senior co-captain Sydney Benda fired a great free kick at the Red Hawk goal and junior forward Allison Cook finished the score, putting the Rams up 2-0 to end the first half. Beginning the second half, the Rams did not let up the intensity, but Cedar Springs also ramped up their energy level, getting great pressure on the Rockford attack and putting the Rockford defense to the test. Defenders Gabrielle Pilgrim, Samantha Anderson and senior Allison Hazy had their hands full but made some beautiful saves with the goalie. However, with only 1:15 left in the match, Red Hawk junior Amber Milligan put Cedar Springs on the board. That goal was to be the last of the evening, making the final score Rockford 2, Cedar Springs 1. After the game, Ram junior wide-out Erica Scott said, “We started the game strong and we did not let up after we scored the first goal.” Scott scored a goal in the beginning of the match and said she got her last two goals from set pieces. “I love the corner kicks that Emily Cowan is serving up,” she commented. “Our defense did a great job the second half as well.”
The third annual Rockford Spring Classic was competed under the best conditions the Rockford boys varsity golfers had seen yet this season. While the sun was bright and the temperature hovered around 60 degrees, the course played very firm and the golfers all found the conditions challenging. The event was held at Cedar Chase Golf Club, par 72, on Saturday, May 7. Colin Breit and his brother Alec handled the conditions wonderfully to lead the West Michigan Christian team to a victory with a score of 326. The host Rockford Rams finished second by two shots, 328, with junior Jake Stephan leading the way with a third-place finish at 79. The contest was truly a great example of what high school athletics can be. All competitors fought hard all day and came with smiles. They may not have been satisfied with their numeric score, but you could see the accomplishment on their faces. Grand Rapids Christian finished third with a score of 333, followed by North Pointe Christian with 344, Kalamazoo Central 352, Kenowa Hills 355, Wayland Union 358, Byron Center 358, Rockford C 367, Rockford B 373, Greenville 393, and Tri County with 428. Contributing to the Rams’ scoring were AJ Varekois with 81, Steven Mette and Alec Dewitt each with 84, and Mark Pearson with 93. Rockford’s C team included David Anderson with an 86, David Dominiak with 88, Sam Barnard 94, Parker Derks 95 and Mitch Sloboda with 110. Rockford’s B team included David Keller with an 85, Justin Ullery with 89, Nick Delafuente 94 and Alex Lewis with 105.