by RANDY GREGORY In what has almost become a yearly right of passage, the girls track team from Rockford took home the top spot in the Michigan Interscholastic Track Coaches Association (MITCA) Division I State Championships held at Jenison High School on Saturday, May 26. The Rams totaled 731 points to top the runners-up from East Kentwood, who had 685 as a team. “We always strive to score the most points of any OK Red team regardless of the event,” said Rockford Coach Randy VanderVeen. “We did that, but as a whole our times and places were not where I thought they should have been. In a meet like this one, a 50-point lead can evaporate in a heartbeat. Our relay teams were a bright spot and I think three or all four of them ran their best times of the season. But as a whole, we were a little disappointed and I think we still need to develop a little better depth.” Rockford won five of the 17 events, but only two of them were by an individual. Taylor Manett won the 1,600 meters with a time of 4:54.09, and Rachel Raab took the shot put with a toss of 38′ 10″. The relay events were an entirely different story for Rockford, however. The only team that didn’t win was the 4×100 relay team that still ran a credible time of 49.30 seconds to finish second. The 4×200 relay team blew away the field with a time of 1:41.82 to top the field by nearly two seconds. The 4×400 crew (4:00.11) won by nearly seven seconds and the 4×800 quartet (9:17.88) bettered that by winning by over eight seconds. The members of the teams were: 4×100, Courtney Klaweiter, Sammy Cuneo, Allison Kelley and Elise Schierbeek; 4×200, Katie DeHaan, Klaweiter, Cuneo and Schierbeek; 4×400, Olivia Gilbert, Kelley, Klaweiter and DeHaan; 4×800, Jane Hawks, Morgan Harney, Kerianne Schoff and Manett. Where the Rams distanced themselves from the field was in the plethora of second- and third-place showings they were able to capture. Probably the biggest surprise was by Bri Malstrom, who just began competing in the long jump in the last few weeks. Malstrom had a second-place showing in the long jump with a leap of […]
May 31 2012
The Rockford varsity lacrosse team won its first regional playoff game at the Ted Carlson Memorial Stadium with a 15-3 victory over Hartland. This was the last home game of the season. The Rams finished 8-3 at home. The Rams started out fast and furious and never looked back. The score stood 8-1 at the half. The second half added seven more goals to the scoreboard. Leading the attack was Kento Nakano with five goals and one assist to his credit. Blake McDonald added four goals and an assist, and Mitch Newton put in three goals. Adding one goal each were Spencer Sims, Kane Wolfer and Dallas VanBelkum. Assisting the goals were seniors Jordan Shiparski and Jesse Siegel. Also assisting in his first varsity appearance was freshman Landon Howard. Highlights of the game included Newton scoring his 201st goal of his high school career. This is a school record at Rockford High School. Shiparski had his first assist playing as a long stick defenseman, and Nakano scored a sweet “behind the back” goal. Defense was led by Connor Flynn and Tyler Wolpert in goal. Shiparski picked up 12 ground balls in this game alone—this season’s record for a defenseman. The Rams traveled to Holt on Tuesday, May 29, in pursuit of the regional championship. Watch next week’s issue of The Rockford Squire for results.
by MARY CLINTHORNE Six Rockford boats competed in the Scholastic Rowing Association of America National Championship last Friday and Saturday, May 25-26, in Camden, N.J. The championship drew rowers from 177 schools, 16 states, and two countries. Friday’s preliminary races advanced the Women’s Freshman 8+, Men’s Freshman 8+, Women’s Junior 4+, Women’s Varsity 4+, and Men’s Varsity 4+. The heartbreaker of the day was when the Men’s Lightweight 8+ missed qualifying for the semifinals by less than one-half of a second after a seat malfunction. The semifinal races on Saturday morning saw the Men’s Freshman 8+ and the Men’s Varsity 4+ advancing to the finals Saturday afternoon. A fourth-in-the-nation finish was earned by the Men’s Freshman 8+ (A. Karsten, A. Houn, R. O’Grady, Z. Lecceadone, A. LaBadie, J. Ullrey, E. Sawicki, M. Crimp, and coxswain J. Villarreal). The medals in that race went to first-place Winter Park (Fla.), second-place St. Joseph Preparatory (Philadelphia), and third-place Central Catholic (Pittsburgh). The Men’s Varsity 4+ (M. Hendershott, C. Fase, A. Carley, B. VanderBerg, and coxswain R. Featherston) also came in fourth, finishing behind first-place Saratoga (N.Y.), second-place Episcopal Academy (Newtown Square, Pa.), and third-place Monsignor Bonner Rowing (Drexel Hill, Pa.). “What an amazing season!” exclaimed Head Coach Timothy Jacobs, “Topping off the year with Rockford crew taking six boats to the nationals, then qualifying five boats to the semifinals, and ending with two boats in the grand finals. And then, having both boats take an amazing fourth-place finish in the nation. It is very rewarding as a coaching staff to continue to watch your team get better as the season progresses. Some of this can be attributed to good coaching, but ultimately it is the hard work and dedication of the rowers.”
by RANDY GREGORY It was only a few short years ago that the Rockford baseball program was viewed as an annual contender for middle-of-the-pack status in the always-difficult OK Red. That perception has changed immeasurably over the last four years, however, as the Rams slugged their way to their third league crown in the last four years. This week’s punching bag for Rockford was Grandville. Rockford routed the Bulldogs 10-0 at home on Monday, May 21, then jumped out to a 7-0 lead on Wednesday, May 23, before settling for a 7-3 triumph at Grandville. The pair of wins left the Rams at 13-1 in league play (25-4 overall) and one game ahead of Hudsonville (12-2). The Ram win streak also grew to 11 games and their confidence is growing right in lock step with their improved results. “Our goal is to get better as the season progresses and we have done that offensively, defensively and on the mound so far this year,” said Rockford Coach Ian Hearn. “GBED [Get Better Every Day] has been our motto for years, and our players realize that pertains to life as well. These young men have gotten better both on the field and off, and to see their growth has been rewarding for our entire coaching staff.” Monday’s contest was all Rockford from the start. The Rams jumped out to a 4-0 lead after three innings and invoked the mercy rule with a six-run fifth inning that cemented at least a share of the league crown. Brent Showers was dominant on the mound for Rockford, allowing only one hit while whiffing seven and walking only one. Ronnie Searl was the big gun offensively for Rockford with three hits (including a double) and four runs batted in (RBIs). But he had plenty of help from his teammates. Tony Dileo, Drew Farmer, Ian Stankus and Steven Powell all pitched in with a pair of hits to help key the triumph. The return engagement at Grandville appeared to be headed to the same sort of outcome as the Rams jetted out to a 7-0 lead through the first three innings. But to Grandville’s credit, they held the Rams in check for the balance of the game and tried to chip away. […]
by RANDY GREGORY It has been an up-and-down season for the Rockford softball team in 2012. The season got off to a pretty solid start, but the Rams cooled recently as the level of opposition rose considerably. But the last few weeks have seen a bit of an uptick for the young Ram squad. Rockford began the week by pummeling Muskegon 13-0 and 18-3 in a pair of mercy rule league triumphs at Muskegon on Monday, May 21. Rockford then journeyed to Lowell for the Lowell Invitational on Wednesday, May 23. The Rams stumbled temporarily against Kenowa Hills in the semis before rallying for a 14-6 win in eight innings. But Rockford was completely stymied offensively by Lowell in the finals and lost a heartbreaking 1-0 decision. “We are peaking at the right time,” said Rockford Coach Troy Brown. “We have gone from a very young team with little experience to still a young team that has played almost forty games together. We have a lot of games under our belt and I think we have a good chance to cap off the season on a nice little run.” Ashley Mengyen got the win on the mound for Rockford in Monday’s opener against Muskegon. Mengyen went the first three innings, and Lyndsey Bettig came on to get the save by hurling the final two innings. Carmen Zeboor was the winner in the second contest with Bettig coming on to earn her second save. Offensive highlights were scattered throughout the lineup. Lexie Brown was five for six with four runs batted in (RBIs), Rachel Feinauer was four for five with four RBIs, and Zeboor added a home run and five RBIs. Ali Erbes, Madilyn Genter and Karlee Tykosky all chipped in with triples to fuel the offense. Rockford jumped out to a 4-0 lead against Kenowa Hills on Wednesday before the Knights rallied with four of their own to tie things up in the fifth. Brown made a diving catch of a suicide squeeze to temporarily save the game for Rockford in the seventh. The Rams erased all of the suspense as to the eventual outcome with a nine-run outburst in the top of the eighth inning. Kenowa Hills came up with a single run […]