Rockford Rams

Rams’ Playoff Run Ends in Regional Hockey Finals

March 12, 2009 // 0 Comments

by CHRIS CRUICKSHANK They say all good things must come to an end, and so it was for Coach Ed VanPortfliet’s 2008-2009 Rockford varsity hockey team. The Rams bowed out on Saturday night in a 0-4 loss at the hands of the Howell Highlanders. The loss left the Rams’ overall record at 19-5-2-1. The Highlanders scored the first period’s only goal on a power play three minutes into the contest. The score stayed pegged at 0-1 late into the second period as the teams battled back and forth. Then with 5:25 remaining, the Rams’ wheels started to fall off. By the end of the period, Howell had exploded for three unanswered goals, and the Rams had imploded as they were whistled off for five penalties totaling an astounding 21 minutes in the penalty box. The third period saw almost continuous action by the teams’ power play and penalty-killing teams, and less than two minutes of five-on-five hockey. Rockford’s only memorable moment of the period came when net-minder Forrest Andrus stopped a Highlander penalty shot. So, at the end of it all, the scoreboard read 0-4, and the teams were exchanging hockey’s traditional handshakes at center ice. Meanwhile, in the stands, the parents of the 12 Rockford seniors were wrestling with lumps in their throats and tears in their eyes as the curtain was lowered to mark the end of their sons’ high school hockey careers and the end of a very successful season for Rockford hockey. Rockford had advanced to the regional final by defeating Grand Ledge/Waverly 3-1 on Monday and DeWitt/St. Johns 5-1 on Wednesday. The Grand Ledge game was among the Rams’ best performances of the season. After a scoreless first period, Jake Chaffee scored a goal assisted by Robert Perry and Shea Mills. Then on a power play, Sam Gallup skated from end to end, weaving in and out of defenders, and slid it into the net for a 2-0 lead. Chaffee scored his second tally of the game when he fired in a rebound resulting from a collision between Gallup and the charging Grand Ledge goalie at the top of the circles. Grand Ledge spoiled Andrus’ shutout bid, scoring with only six seconds left in the contest. Even with that blemish, […]

Regional Results Mixed Bag for Ram Gymnasts

March 12, 2009 // 0 Comments

The Rockford gymnastics team put up their second highest score of the year at the Michigan High School Athletic Association (MHSAA) gymnastics regional event held Saturday at Kenowa Hills by posting a solid 140.275 performance. Unfortunately it was not quite enough for the Lady Rams to qualify for the team state finals competition next weekend. The teams qualifying included regional champion Sturgis (146.575), Kenowa Hills-Grandville (144.325) and Mona Shores (142.675). There were some real bright spots for the Rams as senior Alyssa Scheidel (35.45) qualified for the all-around individual state finals. Scheidel also placed individually in the uneven bars (8.8), vault (8.75), and balance beam (8.9). Ali Vanbelkum took first place in the Division II floor exercise (9.30) event and also qualified for individual state final competition in vault (8.75) and balance beam (8.65). Other Lady Rams who qualified for state finals were Jenelle Miller on balance beam (8.75), and Jehrichole Olenzuk (8.675) on uneven bars. Rockford gymnastics coach Tom Holloway knew getting to the state finals would be a difficult task based on strength of regional competition. “This was arguably the toughest regional in the state, and our girls worked hard and performed well today. They showed great enthusiasm and team spirit, plus battled through tough injuries to Lauren Domico and Alexis Merchant late in the season. I am proud of their efforts.”

Smooooshed – Wrestlers take State Championship

March 12, 2009 // 0 Comments

Battle Creek, Kellogg Arena March 6 and 7 On Friday, March 6, the top-ranked Rockford Rams placed their hopes and a 23-2 record on the line in a single elimination tournament for the team wrestling state championship. In round one, the Rams faced the 31-7 Roseville Panthers. As the Rams have done most of the season, they dominated their opponent, winning 10 of 14 matches with four of them by pin. The Rams earned a 46-21 victory and a birth in the semi-finals Saturday with Lake Orion. The Dragons advanced by upsetting fourth-ranked Detroit Catholic Central 42-27. In a dual meet that saw the Rams and upset-minded Dragons exchange leads several times, it was the role-players who would shine. Though Tyler Johnson (145), CJ Sholl (152), Zach Banzak (189) all lost their matches, they saved valuable team points by only giving up decisions and nine team points, helping to keep the Rams in the hunt. Trailing 24-21, with two matches remaining, heavy-weight Jesse Somsel won a 10-0 major decision over Lake Orions Tyler Benson, giving Rockford a narrow 25-24 lead. The hopes of advancing to the final round landed on the smallest Ram in the lineup, Tyler VanRooyen (103). Although small in stature, VanRooyen carried the weight of his team to the mat in a winner-take-all battle. At the 4:30 mark of the match VanRooyen became the biggest Ram, recording a 16-0 technical fall over John Atwater. VanRooyens five team points brought the score to 30-24, placing the Rams in the championship finals against defending state champion, Holt. Rams found themselves in similar circumstances in 1997 when they lost to defending champion Holt 30-25 because of disqualification due to a bloody nose. In that match the Ram heavyweight Ben Miller was ahead in the match but unable to stop a bloody nose, causing his disqualification and a Holt victory. Like twelve years ago, Rockford is ranked number one in the state and Holt is ranked number two. Holt was also the defending state champion and Rockford was hungry for the win. Unlike 1997, bloodtime would not be a factor. With the starting weight drawn at 112 pounds, B-team wrestler Alex Padilla of Rockford entered the lineup for the injured Charlie Hall. Padilla fell to Ben […]

Ram Wrestlers Head to Kellogg Arena for State Championships

March 5, 2009 // 0 Comments

On Wednesday, Feb. 25, Rockford High School hosted the High School Regional Wrestling Team Tournament. Rams first faced Grand Haven in a dual meet with the winner advancing to take on the winner of the Jenison and Portage Central dual meets. With a starting weight of 152 pounds, CJ Scholl of Rockford went to the mat facing Evan Ingalls. With neither wrestler gaining an advantage in the first period, the two grapplers took a 0-0 tie into the second. Early in the second period, Scholl used a stand-up to escape from Ingalls and begin scoring on a regular basis. Scholl took his opponent to the mat, building a three-point lead before Ingalls was able to score on a reversal. Scholl quickly reversed Ingalls, giving the Ram a 5-2 lead. Ingalls escaped from Scholl, putting both wrestlers back on their feet. The Ram wrestler continued to show his dominance by taking the Buccaneer back to the mat and turning him for a two-point near fall as time expired. With a 9-3 lead at the start of the third, Scholl continued to build his advantage by taking a stalling point. Scholl used two more takedowns to build a 14-5 advantage and the win, giving the Rams a 4-0 team score. At 160 pounds, Jake Johnson used two takedowns in the first period against Taylor Collard, giving him a 4-1 advantage after two minutes. In the second, Johnson reversed Collard for two points before giving up a second point to Collard for stalling. In the third, Johnson took Collard to the mat three times, releasing him each time, giving Johnson a 12-5 victory. The team score stood 7-0 for Rams. Jake Dorulla (171) placed his number-one ranking on the line against Grand Haven’s number-three-ranked Chris Lucas. In the first period, Dorulla showed why he’s held the number-one spot in the state all season. Using a single leg at the whistle to score a two-point takedown, Dorulla quickly turned Lucas for a three-point near fall. Lucas was able to scramble away from a pinning situation only to have Dorulla turn him again for a two-point near fall as time ran out. In the second, Dorulla started on the bottom, escaping from Lucas and building an 8-0 lead. Dorulla took […]

Rams Wrap up Regular Hockey Season in Style

March 5, 2009 // 0 Comments

by CHRIS CRUICKSHANK The Rockford varsity hockey team went on a pre-playoff rampage last week, defeating Muskegon Catholic Central by a score of 5-2 and Grand Rapids Catholic Central by a score of 6-1. With victories in these last two games of the regular season, the Rams are riding a six-game winning streak into this week’s playoffs. On Wednesday, Feb. 25, the Rams faced off against the Muskegon Catholic Central Crusaders, who entered the game on a nine-game winning streak. Rockford took command of the game early thanks to two first-period goals by co-captain Mason McGillicuddy. Travis Guest assisted on both goals and Tyler Carlson provided an assist on McGillicuddy’s second tally. In the second period, the Rams found the back of the Crusader’s net three more times on goals by Cody Cantu, Mike Bieke (assisted by Phil Piiralla) and Andy Shira (assisted by co-captain Adam Hoard, and Guest – his third of the game). The Crusaders scored once in each of the second and third periods to post the final score at 5-2. Forrest Andrus split goal-tending duties with Christian VanPortfliet, and was credited with the victory, his 11th of the season. On Saturday night, Feb. 28, the Rams finished off their league play for the year against the Grand Rapids Catholic Central Cougars. Cantu opened the scoring for the Rams when he fired in a rebound from linemate Bieke’s initial shot. Co-captain Dan Cruickshank notched Rockford’s second goal when he fired in a slap shot from the defensive point. The Cougars took advantage of a Ram penalty to score a power play goal to cut the lead to 2-1 heading into the first intermission. In the second period, the Rams fine-tuned their precision passing game, resulting in goals by McGillicuddy (assisted by Hoard and Guest) and Hoard (assisted by McGillicuddy and Guest). Then Cantu scored his second goal of the game, assisted by Cruickshank. The goal was one for the highlight reel, as Cruickshank attempted to stuff the puck into the left side of the net, regained his rebound, and cut behind the net while being tripped by a Cougar defender. As he was falling, he scooped the puck in front of the net where the charging Cantu slammed it home, raising the […]

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