Rockford’s girls varsity tennis team beat Jenison on their courts 6-2 last Wednesday, April 28. Rams first doubles Katie Rachon and Heather Williams and fourth doubles Julie Daukss and Megan Zawacki won their flights in straight sets. Second doubles Mackenzie Young and Lindsay Gauger went to three sets, ultimately posting a win for their flight. Singles Lauren Korlewitz, MJ Bothma and Alex Stembaugh claimed victory in straight sets as well. Earlier in the week, the squad took one on the chin from Hudsonville 0-8, but not without forcing five of the flights to third sets. Rockford has been the strongest team Hudsonville has encountered so far. Expect a reprisal by the Rams at the OK Red conference meet on May 15 at home. In non-conference action, the Rams traveled to Forest Hills Eastern courts along with Grand Rapids Christian for a double dual match. The Rams lost to Forest Hills 0-8 and beat Grand Rapids Christian 6-2. The scheduled double dual on Ram courts Saturday was rained out.
May 6 2010
The waters of Michigan high school swimming pools are definitely heating up as teams throughout the state battle for playoff positioning. This was particularly evident at Rockford High School April 30 through May 1 as the Lady Rams hosted top contenders Okemos, Hudsonville, Jenison, Fenwick, East Kentwood, Ann Arbor Pioneer and Zeeland for the 2010 Rockford Varsity Water Polo Invitational. The Rams took on the Jenison Wildcats in game one in what turned out to be a very close, down-to-the-wire, hard-fought battle. Rockford got off to a very strong start with two goals each from seniors Natalie Beeg and Holly Nauta. Jenison regrouped at half time, and narrowed the 4-1 gap to 4-3 at the end of the third period. In the fourth quarter, sophomore Casey Wolfer countered Jenison’s two goals to tie the game. With overtime looming, Wolfer found the net with seconds to spare on an assist from senior Ashley Gremel to win 6-5. Rockford’s second game against Ann Arbor Pioneer took four periods plus overtime to settle the score, with the Rams winning 4-3 on a hard-fought goal from hole set Christina Weston. Junior goalie Tiffany Elenbaas was tough, stopping four goals in regulation and one crucial attempt in overtime. Gremel, Nauta and Wolfer scored the Rams’ regulation goals. With two wins under their belt, Rockford then faced the state’s top contenders, Okemos and Hudsonville, respectively. Okemos’ size, impenetrable goalie with 21 saves, and Division I college-bound player were tough to conquer, and the Rams fell to Okemos 2-12. The Rams concluded the tournament with a 5-9 loss to Hudsonville, after being tied up 5-5 at half time. Two goals came from junior Jamie VanPortfliet and one each from junior Lauren Hulsebus and seniors Gremel and Weston. The Rams traveled to Hudsonville Tuesday, May 4 for a rematch, then return to Rockford on Thursday, May 6 for Senior Night against East Grand Rapids. Playoffs begin Friday, May 14-15, with East Grand Rapids hosting districts.
by JACKIE HOLLAND-DECKER Sorrow played a heavy hand against the Rockford girls soccer team in the last two weeks, but for those 80 minutes out on the field, the Rams were able to overcome their grief and play great soccer. They won two of their three games in the midst of their despair, and even their loss felt like a victory. Reeling from the death of popular Freshman Center health teacher Jan Egbert two weeks ago, the ninth-graders and others who had known her were downcast, but with the help of their teammates, they easily defeated OK Red rival Jenison 7-0 on April 23. Last week Wednesday, April 28, as the pain of that death was lifting, the Rams played a terrific game against Class B leader Spring Lake, holding them to a 1-1 tie until just three minutes remained before losing 2-1. Euphoric after that loss which felt like a win, the Rams went home happy, but their joy soon turned to mourning again when they learned of the unexpected death of senior Stephen May, a three-sport athlete and all-round good guy. When the girls took the field Friday night, April 30, against league rival Grand Haven, their distress was evident. They picked each other up, however, and beat the visiting Buccaneers 2-1 to put their league record at 3-0. “We were still trying to heal from Jan’s death and now this,” said Coach Amira Ponne, as she exited the field. “With all of the tragedy in the last two weeks, they’ve been through a lot, but it has made us stronger. The girls love each other so much. They are such a special group of girls. The seniors are so tight; they have played with each other forever. The freshmen cared so much to see their mentors upset. They stepped up support-wise.” Grand Haven has always been a conference rival for the Rams, but Friday night, they were the least of the team’s worries. The Rams went in wanting to win and get the game over with. Under the circumstances, they played quite well, dominating the shooting (15-7) and controlling the ball for much of the game. They passed well. They communicated, and they scored. “I think that part of it [success] is […]
With weather conditions less than ideal, the Rockford women’s crew team proved that neither wind nor rain could keep them from their goal of defeating one of the best crew teams in the state. In a tri-meet against Ann Arbor Pioneer and Ann Arbor Skyline, Rockford took to the water to show what they were made of. The Rams crew team is used to rowing on a river, where high winds have less impact on rowing conditions. However, Saturday’s race at Orchard Lake proved to be more challenging. With high winds and threatening storms, many of the races were delayeadidn’t stop the lightweight women’s eight boat. They took to the water with little fear and easily defeated the Ann Arbor Skyline boat. The women’s junior four also claimed first place, knocking off rowing giant Ann Arbor Pioneer. As the race came to an end, the Rams were awarded the first-place trophy for scoring the most points against the other two Ann Arbor teams. The women’s lightweight eight boat is made up of stroke Raechel Wrona, rowers Molly Guthrie, Andrea Galloway, Lora Gleghorn, Chloe McColgan, Lyndsey Felty, Stephenie Sawicki, and Emily Prus, and coxswain Dani Tefft. The women’s junior four boat is made of stroke Kendra Bilardello, Rebecca Markam, Kate Fraser, Kara Korson, and coxswain Becca DeKorne. Both the men’s and women’s teams will compete this weekend at the Midwest Scholastic Regional Regatta in Cincinnati, Ohio, on Friday, May 7.
Wednesday evening on a gorgeous spring night, April 28, the Rams girls lacrosse team traveled to Mehney Field to take on the Pioneers from East Grand Rapids (EGR). EGR proved to be less than hospitable in the game’s first nine minutes, as they raced out to a 7-0 lead. That deficit is the largest the Rams had faced all year in building their 8-2 record. Coach Neerken called a time out to settle the Rams and get them to play one goal at a time. The Rams, led by Andi Raymond, quickly scored four goals of their own, and the game was on with the Rams back in it. Over the remaining 15 minutes of the half, Rockford went on a scoring tear of their own, outgunning the Pioneers 8-2 over that time. Trailing 9-8, Coaches Emery and Neerken continued to tinker with the lineup to get the proper match-ups against EGR. Junior Sydney Gray, in goal in the second half, led the defensive effort for the Rams with six saves, as they shut down EGR, only allowing two goals in the half. The transition defense led by Jill Fowle, Lexi O’Connor and Alyssa Neumen frustrated the EGR offense all half. The Rams ran away at the end, 16-11, and their offense killed eight minutes of clock at the end with their excellent ball movement and communication. Leading the way for the Rams was Raymond with six goals, and the Neumen “sister act” had five with junior Alyssa Neumen scoring three and freshman Erica Neumen two. Single goals were scored by Taylor Balch, Kelsei Streeter and Meagan Emery. Emery also contributed four caused turnovers and six ground balls, while Abbey Neerken matched her in the ground ball department and had two takeaways as well. The Rams move in the conference showdown with Catholic Central Wednesday night, May 5 at the Ted Carlson Memorial Stadium. • • •