Oops, they did it again! Rockford girls varsity tennis qualified for the state finals after accumulating the necessary 18 points to earn the honor. The stage was set back on May 15 when the Rams hosted the OK Red conference tournament. Rockford earned 45 points, finishing third and providing the positioning needed for preferred seeding at the regional tournament this past Saturday, May 22 in Jenison. Each of the eight flights won their first round in the single elimination regional event. As the day progressed, it started to become a possibility that Rockford would be a contender. All four doubles teams won their second round as two, three and four singles did as well. It happened to be the hottest day of the season, with temperatures reaching over 80 degrees on the courts. All the players were getting anxious to see if their dream would become a reality. As each flight advanced, it became evident the dream was possible. By late afternoon, after each flight contributed points toward the required 18, it was realized that Rockford had 17 points with one match still to play. Junior Alex Stembaugh, playing three singles, had advanced all the way into the final round. Playing as cool as she did all year, Stembaugh beat her worthy opponent from Hudsonville in straight sets. “I expected tough competition going into the match,” said Stembaugh. “I knew I would have to step up my game.” Coach Tom Huizing stated, “This was a hard-fought season. In the OK Red anything can happen on any day. The same holds true in the regionals. Everyone knew what to do and everyone contributed. Alex was amazing at handling the pressure like a veteran player. I’m extremely proud of the entire team. They did it as a team. They got it done.” It looks like spring tennis is blossoming nicely in Rockford. This will be the third year in a row that the team will be going to state finals under the coaching of Huizing. The entire team is thankful for Coach Huizing, all the community for their support, the parents, the press for covering the action each week, their teachers and friends that came out to see them play, JV coach Val Wallace and their number […]
Wednesday, May 12, was destined to be a tough match for the Rockford Rams varsity golfers. Grandville was the only team that had defeated them in the OK Red this season. Rockford’s record in league was 15-1 and Grandville’s was 14-0. To say that the Rams stepped up is an understatement. The Rams turned in a sizzling school record of 144 (+4) ahead of Grandville (155) and Jenison (160). On a cloudy 55-degree day, seniors Sam Gallup (35), Trent Davison (35), Jake Chaffee (36), and Eric Conroy (38) stepped up in a spectacular way on the front nine at BraeSide Golf Club in Rockford. The nine-hole total of 144 set the nine-hole record for Rockford High School, and the Rams are very proud of their performance. The Rams still have battles ahead to achieve a conference championship, but this round should really catapult their confidence. Due to a rainout, the OK Red match hosted by Rockford was rescheduled and played at Cedar Chase Golf Club on Friday, May 14. The Rockford Rams met the Hudsonville Eagles for a match on the par-36 front nine. The Rams prevailed by a tally of 146 (+2) to Hudsonville’s 167. Davison (34) and Gallup (35) both turned in under-par performances and were supported by Steven Mette’s 38 and Conroy’s 39. The Eagles were consistent, with no score over 42. This is the second time this week the Rams have broken the 150 mark. Rockford hosted their own invitational at BraeSide Golf Club on Saturday, May 15 under great conditions—62 degrees and sunny with a light wind. For one of the few days so far this season, the weather was very comfortable. The Rams put up a great fight, but lost by one to Forest Hills Central, 291-290. The medalist of the tournament was Rockford’s Davison, who fired a one-under-par 69. Also scoring for the Rams were Gallup with a 72, Mette with a 73, and 77’s by Conroy and Chaffee. On Wednesday, May 19, the OK Red post-conference tournament was hosted by Hudsonville at Sunnybrook Country Club. Coming into the day, the Rams had a one-point lead on Grandville, and at the end of the day they were tied. Rockford and Grandville are co-champions of the OK Red boys […]
The Lady Rams rolled into Bulldog country Tuesday, Feb. 9, taking on Grandville in a rematch. This match-up seemed to be the most intriguing in the OK Red conference. After Rockford’s win last Friday over West Ottawa, the Rams climbed into a first-place tie with the Panthers (7-2). The Lady Rams are on the home stretch for a championship run in the OK Red. Five games are remaining in league play to determine who will be wearing that championship crown. Determination and mental toughness have been the hallmark of these Rams all season. The Lady Rams are not surgeons, but they set up an operating table on Grandville’s home court Tuesday night and proceeded to carve up the Bulldogs 51-39. In arguably their best all-around performance of the season, the Rams put on a clinic. Rockford jumped out to an early 10-point lead. However, the Bulldogs fought their way back, going ahead one minute into the second quarter. The Rams regained the lead immediately on a coast-to-coast steal and basket, and were ahead 25-19 by intermission. The lead was never given back the remainder of the game. The Rams outscored the Bulldogs in every quarter. This game featured great play in every facet of the game, including rebounding, defending, crisp passing, ball control, steals, and clock management. Seniors Caitlyn Patterson (16) and Megan Kelley (15) led the Rams in scoring, followed by Katherine Huyser (7), Allison Huyser (6), Halle Peterson (4), and Kimberly Weston (3). On Friday, Feb. 12, the Lady Rams traveled to Hudsonville, looking to make amends for an earlier season loss to the Eagles. And the Rams did avenge that loss with a 35-30 victory. Rockford’s win, along with West Ottawa’s loss to East Kentwood, gave the Rams sole possession of first place atop the OK Red. The Rams host their next three league games, finishing out conference play at home. Defense was the key for Rockford, as Hudsonville jumped out to a quick lead. Rockford started slowly, not scoring until 3:02 left in the first quarter, unable to find the range from anywhere on the court. The Eagles held a 14-7 advantage by quarter’s end. Rockford stopped Hudsonville cold during second quarter of play, holding the Eagles scoreless while […]
Last Friday evening, Jan. 15, the Rockford Rams traveled to Grand Haven for a pivotal match-up with the Buccaneers. A log-jam exists atop the OK Red as Rockford, Grand Haven, Hudsonville and West Ottawa all share first place with identical 3-1 records. Last week, Rockford let a win slip away in a tough loss to Hudsonville. Tonight’s contest with Grand Haven afforded the Rams an opportunity to return to their winning ways. It was not to be, as Grand Haven nipped the Rams 58-52 in a thrilling double-overtime struggle in front of a packed house. Grand Haven came out strong, taking an early 8-0 lead. Then Rockford clawed its way back to take the lead early in the second quarter, and the Rams held a 24-21 advantage by intermission. In the second half, the Rams extended their lead by 10 points behind the feisty play of sophomore point guard Kimberly Weston (16 points). The Bucs just would not go away, out-rebounding the Rams on each end of the court and blocking shots. With 56 seconds to go, Grand Haven took 43-42 lead. Trailing 45-42 with little time on the clock, Rockford’s Allison Huyser hit a huge three-pointer to tie the game. The Bucs came down court with enough time to win in regulation, but Rockford’s Halle Peterson stole the ball with four ticks remaining and drove the length of the court just as regulation time expired. The Rams took a early four-point lead in the first overtime, but could not hold on, ending in a 49-49 tie. In double-overtime, Weston was double-teamed as Grand Haven applied full court pressure. The game was decided at the foul line as the Bucs were 20 for 34 and went 7 for 15. The Rams were led in scoring by Kimberly Weston (16), Megan Kelly (12), Caitlyn Patterson (11), Rachael Henry (7) and Allison Huyser (6). The Lady Rams travel to Forest Hills Northern Saturday, Jan. 23, for a non-conference match-up.
by TIM COOPER On Wednesday, Jan. 6, the Rams stepped back into OK Red action, hosting the Buccaneers of Grand Haven. Early on it was all Rockford with the lightweights. Grand Haven showed promise with the middle weights, only to be denied at the end. At 103 pounds, sophomore Tyler VanRooyen used an early lateral drop to take Grand Haven’s Jarod Spencer off his feet onto his back. VanRooyen improved his position further, pinning Spencer in 1:47. Nate Rojas (112) would not be denied against Dylan VanderHyde. Rojas attained the first takedown early in the match, using a double-leg takedown. Rojas gained an early 2-0 lead before VanderHyde reversed the situation, tying the score as time ran out in the first period. VanderHyde took a 2-3 lead when he escaped Rojas at the start of the second period. Rojas again took back the lead with another double-leg takedown. Each wrestler reversed one another before the period ran out, giving Rojas a 6-5 lead to start the third. Rojas continued scoring in the third with an early escape followed by a takedown, giving him a four-point advantage when time expired, and giving the Rams a 9-0 lead after two matches. Freshman Cullen Maximowski (119) showed that the Rams came to wrestle, as he continued the trend for the lightweight wrestlers. For the third consecutive match, the Ram wrestler was first to the takedown, an accomplishment which would continue through 11 of the 14 matches. Maximowski used his takedown to build a 7-4 lead and gain a tough-fought victory. In the 125-pound match, Rockford senior Chris Barrentine dominated Garret Young. Young relentlessly turned his opponent’s shoulders to the mat, building a 12-5 lead after two periods. Young took down his opponent in the third, only to be reversed by Barrentine for the final score, 14-7, giving the Rams a 15-0 lead. Grand Haven finally was able to get on the board in the 130-pound match, when the Buccaneers’ Justin Mezzo pinned Rockford’s Trent Boyer in 1:47. Rams senior Jake Byers, wrestling up one weight class at 135 pounds, remained undefeated with his 13-4 victory over CJ Stock. Byers, as he’s done all season, used takedown after takedown to build his score and add four more points to […]