Prior to the Monday, May 3 match-up against Grand Haven, the Bucs presented the Rams with a card signed by their entire team expressing their condolences for the unexpected loss of classmate Stephen May. The kind gesture from the Grand Haven team was very much appreciated by the Ram team, coach and parents. A memorial service that afternoon made the match an emotional one for everyone. The Rockford Rams dug in, played hard and won the match 6-2. Highlights included victories by MJ Bothma (second singles, 7-6, 6-2), Alex Stembaugh (third singles, 6-3, 6-1), and Jenelle Miller (fourth singles, 7-6, 6-2). Second doubles Mackenzie Young and Lindsay Gauger won their flight 6-3, 6-0. Third doubles Tara Murray and Nicole Strobel won their flight in third set action 3-6, 7-5, 6-1. Fourth doubles Megan Zawacki and Julie Daukss also played an exciting third set, winning their flight 7-6, 4-6, 6-4. Rockford hosted Holland West Ottawa on Wednesday, May 5, losing in this tough conference match 6-2. Winning their flights and posting strong performances were Rams Lauren Korlewitz (first singles, 6-1, 6-3) and Bothma (second singles, 6-0, 6-4). Commenting on the team performance so far this season, Coach Tom Huizing stated, “We have had some gutsy wins over Grandville and Grand Haven, that have given me and I’m sure the parents a few gray hairs.” When asked what the team needs to do moving forward, Coach Huizing added, “We need to play tough matches. Win or lose, those matches will make us stronger as we enter into the conference and regional tournaments. The teams that move on to the state tournament are the teams that can handle the pressure in the toughest of matches. I think that our team has made strides over the last couple weeks in dealing with those tough pressure-filled matches. Winning in tennis is such a mental game and when you throw in a pressure-filled scenario, your mind must be in the right place if you plan on being successful. Our team is getting to that point. We’ve done an excellent job making progress, but our season is far from done and we need to continue to make growth in all facets of our game.” The season is half over and Rockford is […]
by JACKIE HOLLAND-DECKER “Shots don’t win games; goals do.” That apropos comment, made last week by an observant parent at a Rockford varsity girls soccer game, is one lesson Coach Amira Ponne will be reinforcing in practice and competition this week. If the team doesn’t get the ball into the back of the net, the Rams won’t win. “If we would take shots, the goals could happen,” said Ponne, as she reflected on last week’s 1-1 tie to Reeths Puffer Wednesday and a 1-0 loss to West Ottawa Friday night. “How do we constantly keep possession of the ball and not win? The forwards must score. Everyone else is doing their part. The forwards have to do their job. All they have to do is score goals.” The Rams have been outshooting their opponents all season, and they maintain possession of the ball the majority of the time. Finding the back of the net has been hard, however. “No one is scoring even though we have the best scoring capability,” said Ponne. “They must find it within themselves to get over this.” In the game at Reeths Puffer, the Rams outshot the Rockets 18-6, but their only goal came from a penalty kick scored by Syd Benda early in the second half. Tripped in the box, she stepped up and took the shot, putting it into the right corner to tie the game. Co-captain Kate Huyser, who leads the team in scoring this year, took the first shot of the game for the Rams seven minutes into the match, but her shot, like many others, hit the crossbar and bounced away. The Rams had several corner kicks that they didn’t finish either, and more than one direct kick didn’t find its way into the net. “We were a better team, but we hit the crossbar I don’t know how many times,” said Huyser. The loss was not all negative, however. The Rams walked off the field without any injuries, which led the girls and their parents to sighs of relief after playing the dangerously aggressive Rockets. “I was just happy no one got hurt,” said Huyser. “They were a rough team and we only had two refs and they couldn’t see everything.” On Friday, West […]
Team secures first ever regional championship victory Coach Jessica Yonkers and the Lady Rams have taken Rockford High School athletics to new heights this week. For the first time in the history of Rockford High School, the girls basketball team has advanced into and won a state regional final game. Only eight schools remain standing in Class A, on their way to one winning the state championship. Rockford has advanced into the state quarterfinals Tuesday, March 16. The regional final game found the Lady Rams playing Marquette (21-2), who had averaged 65 points per game. Marquette had scored over 90 points while limiting opponents to well under 40 several times this season. In fact, the Redettes from the Upper Peninsula, had been winning games by a margin of 25 points all season long, were on a 17-game winning streak, and not lost a game since December 29, 2009. The Region II championship game started with a furious pace, Marquette defending with full court pressure. Marquette drew first blood on a steal and a drive to the basket for a quick two points. Rockford, steadying themselves and employing their smothering defense, went to work. Marquette’s center, Daina Grazulis at 6’ 4”, should have been an offensive weapon, but she was unable to post up low against the tough inside Ram defense. Unable to go low, the Redettes were forced to rely on outside scoring. The first quarter ended with Marquette on top 13-12. The Rams’ offense opened up throughout the second quarter with Kimberly Weston hitting two three-pointers, Rachel Henry scoring two big buckets from inside, Megan Kelly hitting two buckets from mid range, Caitlyn Patterson pounding points in from close range, Allison Huyser scoring inside with her usual strong game, and Halle Peterson hitting a 15-footer from the base line. Rockford’s defense held Marquette to only four second-quarter points. By halftime, Rockford had regained the lead 24-17. If offense was on display in the first half, the second half featured a defensive battle by both teams. Midway through the third stanza, foul trouble became an issue for the Rams. Coach Yonkers then went to her bench, substituting players at the right times during the last part of the third quarter and all of the fourth. […]
by Dan Harland from our news partners at www.wzzm13.com Even with first class sporting venues like Van Andel Arena and Fifth Third Ballpark, the West Michigan Sports Commission (WMSC) thinks there is something missing on the area’s sports scene. The WMSC hired an independent party that found West Michigan is the only community of its size without a tournament ready complex for baseball, softball, soccer or lacrosse. Last week the WMSC presented the Kent County Commission a plan to build a 12-field baseball and softball complex on a 90-acre piece of land on Ten Mile Road in Algoma Township, adjacent to the North Kent Transfer Recycling Center. “We believe that very conservatively over a ten year period, we could generate around $49 million worth of hotel revenue only,” said WMSC board member David Hoogendorn. Hoogendorn says the project would cost an estimated $5.6 million with the hopes of financing much of the complex privately. WMSC member Peter Secchia told our partners at the Grand Rapids Business Journal that he had a private donor willing to donate half of the $5.6 million needed, but that individual withdrew the offer due to economic circumstances. Hoogendorn hopes the complex will draw tournaments featuring between 60 and 72 teams during baseball and softball seasons.