Defending Division II girls lacrosse champion Flint Powers traveled to Rockford to take on the Rams in a battle between two of 2009’s elite teams. The game went back and forth over both halves with the Rams trailing early 3-1, at the half by one, down 7-6, and midway through the second half 10-8. Each time, the Rams were able to answer as they kept their resolve. The Rams had to fight through back-to-back yellow cards that had them playing down two players for almost two minutes. The Rams’ defense held strong, only surrendering one goal during that time and scoring a short-handed goal of their own. Rockford Coach Neerken stated, “Our defense won that game with the play during the penalty, and with their smothering defense in the last two minutes preventing Powers from getting off the tying shot.” The entire defensive effort led by Alyssa Neumen, Lexi O’Connor, Roxy Rosema, Kelly McCabe, Jill Fowle and Emily Gray gave the potent Ram offense time to find their stride. Kelsei Streeter also played well off the bench, helping to kill the Ram penalties. Gabby Twiest continued her strong play in the nets for Rockford with 10 saves, including two penalty shot saves. The Powers defense tried to shut down the Ram attack, but the teamwork of Michon Moline,Abbey Neerken, Taylor Hiner and Taylor Balch drew the attention of the defense to open the scoring lanes for Andi Raymond and Meagan Emery. According to Coach Emery, “The level of teamwork did not show in the stat book tonight. The hard work keeping the ball in our scoring zone late in the game, and opening the lane for our give-and-go was a total team effort.” Raymond ended with seven goals and three assists. Emery had five goals and two assists, and Moline chipped in an assist to complete the Ram victory, 12-11.
Rockford High School
The Rockford High School Rams girls varsity tennis team finished the regular season with a tie for first place at the Saturday, May 9 OK Red conference tournament. In the final conference standings, Rockford placed second behind OK Red champs Hudsonville by just one point. This week, the Rams’ attention turned to the Thursday, May 14 Division I regional tournament. A non-conference match with Caledonia was scheduled for Monday, May 11. The Rams finished conference play with a 6-1-1 record, and a 9-1-1 overall record. The team won two invitationals. At the conference tournament, the Rockford squad tied with Hudsonville at 50 points each. Lindsay Gauger and Meliah Mead earned first-place medals for the fourth doubles flight, topping the runners-up from Jenison, 6-1 and 6-0. Second singles player MJ Bothma, third singles player Alex Stembaugh, and the first doubles team of Jill Haverkate and Katie Rachon were awarded medals as runners-up in their flights. Rain forced the conference event indoors at MVP in Rockford, Riverview and Ramblewood for the morning. By the afternoon, the rain stopped and the tournament moved back outdoors to the Jenison High School courts. The Rams were to face a nearly identical slate for Thursday’s regional tournament, except for Hudsonville. Ranked fifth in the state in Division II by high school tennis coaches, the Eagles moved to the Division II regional event. Winning teams and top singles flights at the regional tournaments are eligible for the state finals, May 29-30. Last year’s Rockford girls varsity tennis team was the first to qualify for the state finals in a decade, and finished in 15th place.
The Rams varsity boys golf team won another OK Red match on Tuesday, May 5 at Stonegate Golf Club in Muskegon. The Rams struggled a bit with the greens at par 37 Stonegate, but triumphed in the end. Rockford came in first place with a score of 159, followed by East Kentwood with 188 and Muskegon with 225. The Rams were led by Steven Mette, Eric Conroy and Trent Davison, each scoring 39, and Jake Chaffee with a score of 42. On Saturday, May 9, Rockford hosted the 2009 Rockford Spring Classic at Cedar chase Golf Club, a 6,460-yard course, par 72. Conditions were partly sunny, 57 degrees, with around 10-20 mph winds. Host Rockford again took first place with a score of 334, followed by Grandville (338), West Catholic (340), Greenville (355), and the B teams from Rockford and Grandville tying for fifth place with scores of 380. Davison led the Rams’ varsity team with a score of 80, followed by Conroy (84), Sam Gallup (84) and Mette (86). The Rams’ B team was led by Robert Pierson with a score of 91, followed by Darren Mazur (94), Jon Hughey (97) and Alex Fox (98). The OK Red post-season match-up at Grand Haven is on Thursday, May 14, followed by the East Lansing Classic on Friday, May 15, at 7:30 a.m. Watch next week’s Squire for results.
Rockford’s junior varsity A boys golf team recently continued its outstanding season as it ran its season-long record to 35-0-1 through six dual meets, two invitational events and the OK Red preseason tournament. All nine members of the team have contributed to their season-long success as five different players have earned team medalist honors. Saturday, April 25 saw the Rams defend their home turf as they won the Rockford Invitational with over 11 opponents at Braeside Golf Course. The five-man team played great golf while battling their opponents and the weather, withstanding heavy winds and two downpours. The Rams were led by Steven Mette and Alec DeWitt, whose individual scores of 78 were good for third place, and Matt Smith and David VonEschen, with scores of 83 and 84. The Rams had previously won the Cougar Invitational at Centennial Country Club hosted by Grand Rapids Catholic Central on Saturday, April 18. They beat nine opponents and were led to victory by David Keller with a second-place score of 81, and Scott Dater and Jake Stephan with scores of 83 and 85. Earlier in the season, the Rams had their lone tie, for first place, with Hudsonville in the OK Red preseason tournament. The Rams were led that day by Nick Delafuente’s score of 41. The Rams remain undefeated in its OK Red dual meet season with a conference record of 10-0. Keller has paced the team with a 41 average score, as have DeWitt and Stephan with 42 averages. The Rams have three remaining dual meets and the OK Red post-season tournament at Grand Valley State University’s The Meadows Golf Course. Coach Scott Kruisenga and his team look forward to its final weeks of competition.
by PATRICK KEELEY Rockford’s girls water polo team earned a place at the regional tournament with two wins in the district tournament to take the East District championship. Rockford defeated Portage Central and then met East Grand Rapids (EGR) in the final. Rockford busted out, won the sprint and took the ball right up the middle. EGR forced a couple turnovers and blocked a couple shots, but Mary Keeley found Kelsey Vermeer open at the three-minute mark and Vermeer made it count. The Rams looked like last year’s squad for most of the game, as they made catch-and- throw passes and were relentless on defense. EGR was deeply troubled, and hardly had any good shots. Keeley found Vermeer open again, as did Christina Weston a minute later, and it was 3-0. Freshman Casey Wolfer rocketed the fourth goal, and the Rams were up 4-0. EGR got a breakaway and was fouled, but Kaitlyn Korhorn smothered the penalty shot. However, the Pioneers scored on the next play, and it was 4-1 at halftime. In the first three minutes of the third quarter, both teams made great defensive stops. Then Keeley just stripped the ball, sprinted away and scored, and it was 5-1. Weston used a basketball hook shot from the hole to make it 6-1 late in the game. EGR got two goals in the fourth quarter, but Weston got open again and scored. The Rams held on for a 7-4 win. May 15 and 16, the Rams traveled to Zeeland for the MWPA west regional championship. Then, the top four teams from the region will continue on to the state championship to be held at Jenison’s pool May 29-30. The Michigan State Girls Water Polo champion has come from the west region the last five years in a row. Come on out and cheer on the Rams.