Randy Gregory

DeDamos part of dominating effort at MHSFCA game

July 5, 2012 // 0 Comments

by RANDY GREGORY   Last year’s playing of the Michigan High School Football Coaches Association (MHSFCA) East-West All-Star Game had a less-than-satisfying result for a former standout Rockford linebacker when Brett Egnatuk was forced to call it a career due to repeated concussions, and his squad lost to boot. This year’s 32nd version, played at Alma College on Saturday, June 30, featured another stalwart former Ram linebacker in Anthony DeDamos. The 6′ 2″ 227-pound DeDamos and his West teammates thoroughly dominated the East in coasting to a 59-7 victory. “I spoke with Anthony [DeDamos] earlier this week and he had been having a lot of fun,” said Rockford Coach Ralph Munger. “He had a good feeling about the other players on his team and you saw the results. He is going to be a very good linebacker at the college level. He really improved in every facet of the game during his time here at Rockford, and Wayne State is getting a solid player this upcoming year.” DeDamos didn’t know his exact stats from the game, but contributed a huge special teams play for the West. On an errant punt snap, DeDamos came off the end and sacked the punter for a huge loss that set up one of many West scores. “The practices went great all week long and I think we bonded as a team over that time frame,” said DeDamos. “We got there the previous Sunday and had one practice that day and three practices a day from Monday through Thursday. It was a great effort across the board for everyone connected to my team. It was also nice to be able to play on the same squad with two of my future teammates at Wayne State.” DeDamos received multiple accolades for his defensive prowess during the 2011 season for the Rams. He was All Conference in the OK Red, All Area for West Michigan and was mentioned in several different sites as an All State performer. He was recognized and rewarded for his efforts by signing a football scholarship with the Wayne State Warriors of the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference. The Warriors made it all the way to the NCAA championship game before coming up just short last year. He […]

So close and yet so far for Rockford softball team

June 14, 2012 // 0 Comments

by RANDY GREGORY Things appeared oh so promising for Rockford as the fifth inning wound to a close against Muskegon Mona Shores in regional action at Jenison on Saturday, June 9. The Rams had just pushed across a run to increase their lead to 3-1, and Ashley Mengyen had allowed only two hits while completely baffling the Sailor batters. Then, the roof seemingly caved in on Rockford. A cavalcade of hits by Mona Shores and errors (both physical and mental) by the Rams led to a four-run outburst that turned a two-run lead into a two-run deficit. Things got even worse for the Rams in the top of the seventh as the same combination of hits and errors led to six more runs crossing the plate for the Sailors. The 11-3 score stood up through the end of the contest and the Sailors advanced to the regional finals against Hudsonville. Hudsonville scored two runs in the seventh inning of the title tilt to edge Mona Shores 2-1 and advance to quarterfinal play. “That was kind of a microcosm of our season today,” said Rockford Coach Troy Brown. “Our theme in most of our losses this year has been to outplay teams for the vast majority of the game, but then have one inning where we kind of lose our focus. We had a lot of chances to build a bigger lead today, but we just couldn’t quite come up with the decisive hit. Give Mona Shores some credit, because they had several well-placed hits, but we played a part in it as well.” Mona Shores got on the board first with an opening inning homer, but Rockford had an immediate retort. Rachel Feinauer doubled in a pair of runs in the bottom half of the first to make it a 2-1 Rockford lead. Mackenzie Vallad singled in another run in the bottom of the fifth to set the stage for the fateful final two innings. Rockford pounded out 12 hits in the contest en route to leaving 10 runners on base. Mona Shores, as a point of contrast, left only four runners on while scoring 11. The Ram hit parade was led by Vallad with a perfect three-for-three showing. Both of Feinauer’s hits were doubles, […]

Rockford baseball reaps rewards for success with annual baseball camps

June 14, 2012 // 0 Comments

by RANDY GREGORY Ian Hearn hosted the first Ram Baseball Camp in 2008 with fewer than 60 participants. As the success of the program has multiplied exponentially over the last four years, attendance has multiplied correspondingly. This year, over 200 kids—from districts as wide ranging as Greenville, Sparta, Comstock Park and Big Rapids—have signed up so far. “When we started offering the camps we were a little disappointed in the turnout,” said head varsity coach Hearn. “We wanted to get it up to at least over a hundred. So we are very pleased with the growth we have experienced over the last few years. We think it is a good experience not only for the participants, but our baseball players as well.” This year will see two separate sessions offered. The first will be the pitching and catching portion to be held this Wednesday and Thursday, June 13 and 14. It will be broken down into three different age groups. Eighth- through tenth-graders will go from 8 to 9:30 a.m., fifth- though seventh-graders will run from 9:45 to 11:15 a.m., and first- through fourth-graders will have their turn from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. The other option available to participants is the Total Offense and Total Defense Clinic to be held from Monday through Wednesday, June 18-20. The eighth- through tenth-graders will meet from 8 to 10 a.m., second- through fourth-graders take part from 10:15 a.m. to 12:15 p.m., and fifth- through seventh-graders go at it from 1 to 3 p.m. for those three days. All of the coaches that comprise Rockford baseball at the high school level will be participating in the clinics. But it doesn’t stop there. Rockford’s varsity baseball team and several previous alumni will also play a pivotal role in teaching the finer points of “Ram Baseball.” This year’s graduating seniors are definitively main cogs in reaching heights that Rockford baseball had only dared dream of previously. The Rams have won three of the last four OK Red titles after not having won one in over 20 years. They have also captured various regular season tournament crowns, district and regional titles, and the school’s first-ever state championship with the Division I top spot in 2011. Individually the Rams have sent multiple […]

Lady Rams race to third-place finish at Division I state track meet

June 7, 2012 // 0 Comments

by RANDY GREGORY The girls track team from Rockford qualified in 12 different events for the Division I state meet held at East Kentwood on Saturday, June 2. They placed in nine of the 12 en route to amassing 35 points and finishing third. Grosse Pointe South took the top spot with 77.50 points and Ann Arbor Huron finished second with 64. “We had a pretty good day overall,” said Rockford Coach Randy VanderVeen. “I feel fairly comfortable in saying that if Sammy Cuneo hadn’t gotten hurt early in the meet, we would have scored in 11 of the 12 events. We scored points across the board in field events, sprints and distance events. We had four different girls score points in multiple events. We have a team comprised of several strong individuals, but the two top teams are loaded in a few select events that really build up points in a quick manner for them. I think we are by far the best team in the state in a dual meet format.” Standout senior Taylor Manett had a big day for the Rams (that could have been bigger). Manett took fourth in the 1,600 (4:58.67), sixth in the 3,200 (10:46.65), and was part of the 4×800 relay team that finished fourth with a time of 9:14.53. Manett ran seven of the eight laps in the 3,200 with one shoe nearly dislodged from her foot after getting stepped on, and still finished a remarkable sixth. The other three members of the 4×800 relay team were Morgan Harney, Jane Hawks and Kerianne Schoff. Katie DeHaan and Courtney Klaweiter also placed in three events for Rockford. DeHaan was seventh in the pole vault with a career-best jump of 11′ 3″, and was part of the third-place finish of the 4×400 relay team (3:59.08) and the fourth-place showing of the 4×200 relay team (1:43.55). Klaweiter was seventh in the 100-meter dash (12.62) and also part of the 4×200 and 4×400 relay teams. Rachel Raab took third in the shot put (38′ 11″) and eighth in the discus with a toss of 112′ 7″. Despite her injured hip flexor, Cuneo gutted out a leg of the 4×200 relay. Elise Schierbeek was the remaining participant in the 4×200 team, and […]

Rams slug their way to district crown

June 7, 2012 // 0 Comments

by RANDY GREGORY In a solid display of every facet of the game of softball, the Rockford Rams pounded out a pair of decisive wins to advance to regional play. Rockford topped Greenville in the semifinal contest 14-0 in a five-inning affair. They followed that up by drubbing Northview 10-2 in the finals to move on. “Our young kids combined with our senior leadership to really step it up today,” said Rockford Coach Troy Brown. “We are a young team that battled all year to get ready for the postseason. We have always known we can hit, but today we got excellent pitching and made only one error over the course of two games. We gave up only two runs in two games and showed what we are capable of when we put it all together.” Ashley Mengyan won the opener against Greenville with a steady effort. Fours were wild as Mengyen struck out four, walked four and allowed four hits in going the distance. Offensively, Isabelle Mudgett and Kayla Tykosky were both two for two with a double. Freshman Mackenzie Vallad clouted her first home run of the day and Lexie Brown added a double. Carmen Zeboor was the winner in the circle for the Rams in the championship game. Zeboor fanned four while allowing seven hits to a normally potent Wildcat offense. Zeboor also had a solid game at the plate with a double and single that contributed to a sizzling Ram offense that pounded out 14 hits en route to the win. Karlee Tykosky had a monster game in going four for four at the plate, including a triple, while knocking in five runs. But she was hardly the only contributor. Brown chipped in with three hits, Vallad belted her second homer, Kayla Tykosky had two hits (including a double), and Jessi Ramos added a double. Rockford (25-16) will take on Muskegon Mona Shores at 10 a.m. on Saturday, June 9 at Jenison in one semifinal contest. Hudsonville and Caledonia make up the other half of the bracket and will play afterward. The two winners will then face off around 2 p.m. for the right to advance to the Division I quarterfinals the following Tuesday, June 12. “We really know very little […]

1 3 4 5 6 7 11