The Rams didn’t have anyone get drafted in the MLB draft this year. It’s not that they didn’t have talent—they certainly did. But they didn’t rely on the pitcher who throws 90+ or the hitter who hit 20 homeruns. What they did have was a never-give-up attitude, a mantra of GBED (Get Better Every Day) and inspiration in the form of an 11-year-old boy. Coach’s son, Ian Hearn Jr., had to have two heart surgeries as the Rams prepared to go into the playoffs. It was a source of inspiration as they resolved to win for Ian Junior. And win they did. The Rams worked their way through the districts, regionals, quarterfinals and semifinals until they got to the title game and won the state championship—a first for Rockford baseball. Thankfully, the surgeries for Ian Junior were successful as well. There wasn’t any one player who carried the team on their back. It was a total team effort from day one. The Rams had adversity and distractions along the way, but worked through them like a true family. The guidance and instruction from the coaching staff allowed the team to stay focused and on track to accomplish what had not previously been done at Rockford. In a school the size of Rockford, playing in the tough OK Red conference, it’s hard to believe there would be freshmen mature and talented enough to be part of a state championship-caliber varsity team. Kory Young is one such player. Young could have stayed at the junior varsity level and received more playing time, but chose to stay at varsity and gain valuable experience that will certainly serve him well in the years to come. He batted .333 and was a great utility player when the Rams needed him. He will certainly be one of the bright spots in the future for Ram baseball. Two other freshmen were pulled up for the playoffs: Reid Kelley and Brent Showers. Kelley is a fireballing right-handed pitcher and will likely be a big part of future Ram success. He gained some valuable experience and will no doubt be looked to as a team leader in the years to come. Showers’ situation was a bit different. Tony DiLeo, the junior everyday catcher, was […]
OK Red Conference
The Rockford varsity volleyball team found themselves on top of the OK Red conference standings with a win over rival East Kentwood this past Thursday, Sept. 30. The Rams won this best-of-five match in four games, losing only the first set. The Lady Rams settled down and stormed back with three straight and decisive wins in this match of undefeated OK Red teams. The Rams moved to 4-0 in conference play and 32-7-0 overall. Rockford has future conference matches ahead on the schedule with Grandville, Hudsonville and Jenison. In Thursday’s match, Rockford showed a tentative start due in part to East Kentwood’s strong defense. During the second set, it was easy to see when the Rams settled in to their own game, consisting of a variety power offense, strong passing, and a tenacious defense. Once the Rams had the momentum on their side, they never let East Kentwood back in the match. The Rams’ next match is Thursday, Oct. 7 at Grandville High School, and then the Rams travel to Byron Center on October 9 to compete in an area tournament.
The Lady Rams varsity golf team has placed second in the OK Red conference. The team is led by senior captain Julie Daukss and junior Kendra Winicki, who have both been named to the First Team All-Conference. Daukss has played the season in the number-one position, carrying the lowest average on the team. Junior Megan Miller and sophomore Halle Dymowski were honorable mention All-Conference. The team’s next match is Thursday, Oct. 7, hosting regionals at Blythefield Hills Country Club. The top three teams will go on to the state finals on October 15-16, along with the top three individuals not on one of those three teams.
The Rockford Rams hosted the OK Red conference meet on Saturday, May 15. North Rockford Middle School hosted the singles teams and the doubles teams played at the high school. The competition was fierce with Rockford posting a strong third place overall for the event, behind first-place Hudsonville and second-place West Ottawa. Earlier in the week, Rockford traveled to Muskegon and won 8-0 in that conference match-up. Other activity last week included a Relay for Life fundraiser and a team dinner the underclassmen hosted for the seniors on the squad.
by DENISE WEBB At state finals for any sport, the realization of how refined and talented Rockford’s athletes are becomes evident. The March 12 and 13 swimming and diving Division I state preliminaries and finals were no exception. Fifty-four Michigan high schools qualified this year to compete at this event, where only the best of the best participate. On Friday afternoon at the preliminaries, Rockford Head Coach Tom Parks escorted 12 of his finest athletes onto the pool deck of the Holland Aquatic Center. They were seniors Derik Bothma, Alex Devries, Brian Ginebaugh and Tyler Johnson (diver); juniors Ben Fredrickson, Jared Martella, LJ McCauley (diver), Kurt Plaggemars (diver) and Jeff Schmitt; and sophomores Eric Chisholm, Josh Travis and Bryan Wasberg. At the conclusion of the preliminaries, only the top 16 in each event would advance to the finals on Saturday, earning points and medals for the team. Rockford had eight swimmers and one diver advance to Saturday. Throughout the state finals on Saturday, Saline High School held the lead, followed by Ann Arbor Pioneer. Rockford and its OK Red conference foes, Grandville and West Ottawa, were separated from each other by only one or two points until event nine. After event nine, neither Rockford nor West Ottawa could match Grandville’s speed and depth. Grandville ended the day in fourth place, Rockford in seventh (one point from sixth-place Livonia Stevenson), and West Ottawa eighth. Third and fifth places went to Northville and Zeeland, respectively. At the conclusion of the state finals, the Rams earned 18 medals (received after a 1-16 finish). Four swimmers were named All American (after swimming a specific time), and two individuals and one relay team of four were awarded All State (finishing first through eighth in a state final event). “After countless hours of diving and lifting and after many miles of swimming, it was a pleasure to see their hard work pay off,” said Parks. The 200-yard medley relay team of Bothma, Fredrickson, Ginebaugh and Travis not only placed second in the state, but also was awarded All State and All American for the exact-time-needed finish of 1:37.02. First place in the state went to the Holland West Ottawa team, with a time of 1:36.33. Johnson was the only Rockford diver […]