Rams carry eight-game win streak into the playoffs by TIM COOPER and MATT WEAVER A small crowd braved the cold temperatures on Friday, Oct. 21, as the Rockford Rams battled the Wildcats of Jenison in the final football game of the 2011 regular season. Even temperatures in the 30s weren’t enough to cool off the red hot Rams, whose defense had only allowed 14 points in the previous three games. Points would be at a premium for Jenison, a team that had averaged only 15 points per game through the first eight games this season. The Rockford defense limited the Wildcats to only 115 yards of total offense, while the Rams gained a total of 359 yards on the night. “Randy VanderVeen and the defensive staff do a wonderful job putting together a game plan,” said Coach Ralph Munger. “The type of offense Jenison runs can be difficult to defend.” The Rams’ defense helped their offense by giving them a short field consistently throughout the night. Rockford’s first score of the night came on a four-yard plunge by Connor Darby into the end zone after a 46-yard drive. The second touchdown came following a 40-yard drive when Mark LaPrairie hit Justin Wustman with an 18-yard pass, putting the Rams up 14-0. The Rockford offense left the door open for Jenison by turning the ball over on each of their next two possessions, but the Ram defenders slammed the door each time, forcing the Wildcats to punt. Rockford’s next possession started on their own 18-yard line, a drive that saw the Rams travel 82 yards in only four plays. Darby opened the series with a 34-yard dash to the Ram 42-yard line. Three plays later, Brandon Lubenow finished the series with a 51-yard touchdown romp through the Jenison defense. The Rams had two more possessions in the first half—the first a 48-yard drive that showed balance as the Rams passed on three of the seven plays. The final play was a 13-yard touchdown run by Ryan Hartley. Rockford’s final drive of the first half was a 38-yard series, ending with Lubenow carrying the ball 12 yards for a touchdown, putting the Rams up by 35 at halftime. The Lubenow touchdown, his second of the night, capped […]
October 27 2011
“Give everything you have and leave nothing,” senior co-captain Eric Chisholm summed up the attitude of this year’s senior class of 11 veterans. The Michigan Water Polo Association West Region district championships opened this past Friday, Oct. 21, at the Rockford pool. The Rams entered the tournament ranked second in the state with an overall record of 36-2. The Ram water polo program has a long history of deep successful runs in the state tournament. Once again, the Rams look forward to being a force to reckon with in this year’s state tournament. Senior goalie Matt Vermeer said, “We have been waiting for four years to make the run as seniors, and we are excited and prepared for this.” The West Region district is divided into two flights. Number two state-ranked Rockford secured a number one seed in the East flight while third-ranked Hudsonville was the top seed in the West. The Rams opened play Saturday morning, facing the East Grand Rapids Pioneers. The Rams came out on fire, scoring two goals in the first 1:40. The Ram depth was too much for the Pioneers and, in a total team effort, Rockford came away with a 15-1 victory. The Rams kept the adrenaline going as they faced the Grandville Bulldogs for the West Region East district championship. Once again a total team effort overwhelmed the opponent as the Rams dominated the Bulldogs on their way to a 17-4 victory. Not only did the victory give the Rams the championship, but also set them up as the number one seed in next weekend’s regional match-ups at East Kentwood. District tournament leaders for the Rams were Grant Beach in scoring, senior Allyn Kinney in assists, and senior Mac Finnie in steals.
Last Thursday, Oct. 20, the Rockford swim team honored 16 members of the senior class before the East Kentwood meet. This class has experienced some great moments over the past four years, including an OK Red championship, two top-10 state finishes and numerous individual accomplishments. This group of young women, one of the largest in Rockford history, has continued a tradition of high-quality swim teams at Rockford under the leadership of Coach Tom Parks. Divers Macie DeGraaf, Katie DeHaan and Maggie Setterington along with swimmers Abby Finlayson, Emilie Hahne, Shelby Hodges, Maddie Levine, Morgan Longberg, Kara Loux, Amanda Mull, Alyssa Rollins, Rachael Romain, Alaina Smith, Sarah Smith, Renae Venman and Casey Wolfer have entrenched the Rockford program as one of the top swim programs in all of Michigan. On this special night it was only fitting that they handled their business against East Kentwood with an easy victory, 199-105. Rockford started quickly and never looked back as they swept the 200-yard medley relay, taking the top three positions. They followed that up when Megan Schremp, Emily Smith and Adrianna Craft went first through third in the 200-yard freestyle in times of 2:03.67, 2:04.16 and 2:04.88 respectively. Stephanie Mull grabbed second in the 200-yard individual medley in a time of 2:33.32, followed by Marie Siegel in third in 2:33.56, Hodges was fourth in 2:37.17, and Elliana Raymond was fifth in 2:40.76. In the 50-yard freestyle, Levine took first with a :25.92, Madison Trimble was third in :27.02, Morgan Koop was fourth in :27.22 and Kayla Brower was seventh in :30.77. Rockford then swept diving with DeHaan, DeGraaf, Setterington and Sarah McCabe taking first through fourth places. The second half of the meet saw Rockford take four of the top five spots in the 100-yard butterfly with Erin Hudson in first (1:05.44), Trimble second (1:05.58), Delayni Kornak-Kotarba third (1:06.31), and Mull fifth (1:15.45). Rockford continued its dominance when Kennedy Cutler, S. Smith, Hahne and Morgan Longberg went first through fourth in the 100-yard freestyle. In the 500-yard freestyle, Kayla Kidder was first (5:36.96), Dakota Noble was second (5:48.57), Venman was third (5:49.35), and Raymond was fifth in (6:18.29). In the 200-yard freestyle relay, Rockford took the top two places and they followed that up by placing first […]
Rockford Hockey Association (RHA) is participating in a nationwide event on Saturday, Nov. 5. RHA is sponsoring a “Try Hockey for Free” Day! This is a great time for kids ages 4-9 to experience the sport of hockey. The event will be held at Cedar Rock Sports Plex, with coaches and current players on hand to help teach the kids. The event will run from 9 to 11 a.m. Players will be able to use RHA’s equipment and will receive free jerseys and experience the fun of hockey. Skaters can bring their own skates, gloves or mittens, and bike helmet, too. Please go to www.tryhockeyforfree.com to register.