by PATRICK KEELEY The West Ottawa Panthers water polo girls celebrated senior night at their pool when they hosted the Rockford Rams on Thursday, April 30. Rockford quickly took control with two goals and it looked like a Ram party instead. Then West Ottawa stopped the Rams’ next scoring try and scored themselves, and the battle was on. Then, both teams each scored three more goals, and Rockford led at the half, 5-4. Kelsey Vermeer scored her third goal of the day to make it 6-4, but West Ottawa defense clicked and the Panthers came back with one goal in the third. Then the Panthers tied the score at six apiece with five minutes to play in the fourth quarter. Molly Wooldridge got the ball in the hole and, with a player drowning her, managed to get a shot off and beat the goalie to give the Rams a one-goal lead. A minute later, Christina Weston looked right and zinged one left into the left side of the net for the final goal to give the Rams a hard-fought 8-6 victory. With the win, the Rams need only one more win-against East Kentwood on May 5, which is also senior night for Rockford-and they will be undefeated in league play. Rockford’s water polo girls have been incredibly busy for the last two weeks, with the varsity and junior varsity teams playing almost 20 games each. The varsity team managed to beat Grand Haven, Hudsonville and Zeeland twice each, plus Grandville, Forest Hills and East Grand Rapids once each. But a tournament final loss to Ann Arbor Pioneer, and losses to Chicago area teams from Stevenson, Fenwick and McCauley, followed by additional losses to Ann Arbor Pioneer and Fenwick May 2 give the Rams more losses than Rockford has had in years. Coach Reickard was philosophical, saying, “In Chicago, we got off to a slow start and made too many mistakes. Then we picked up the pace and our last game was our best. We moved the ball. Fenwick hasn’t been held under eight goals all year, and we had them until the last quarter when they beat us 4-3. It was a successful tournament and it taught us what we need to do to make […]
Rockford’s Lady Rams began the OK Red portion of their season in impressive fashion last week, starting with an 11-0 victory in Grand Haven on April 22. Tricia Graham completely shut down the Buc offense by allowing 0 hits, striking out 14 batters, and allowing just one walk on the day. Offensively, Graham and junior centerfielder Lauren Pasciak led the way with two hits and three runs batted in apiece. On Friday, April 24, the Rams hosted the Muskegon Big Reds in a doubleheader. Both games ended with identical 15-0 scores in favor of the Rams. Game one featured strong hitting from junior second baseman Nicole Beemer, who went two-for-two and scored three runs, and senior shortstop Carly Shutich, who had two hits while scoring two and knocking in two more. On the mound, Graham won game one, allowing just one hit, and sophomore Peyton Wells won game two, allowing just one hit and one walk. In game two, senior outfielder Sadie Jensen homered and drove in three runs, while Graham had a pair of doubles and scored twice. Senior Taylor Sargent and junior Kristin Phillips also scored two runs in the win. On Saturday, April 25, the Rams traveled to Frankenmuth to compete in the Swing Into Spring Tournament. The Rams won their first game of the day against Hartland 10-0 behind yet another gem by Graham, as she and her battery-mate Karli Showers combined for their fourth no-hitter of the young season, striking out 17. Offensively, senior third baseman Alex Fulbright scored three times and Pasciak belted a home run and drove in three runs. In game two on Saturday, Rockford defeated Holly 12-4 behind a balanced offensive attack which featured home runs by Graham and Wells, who drove in three more runs to run her season RBI total to 20. Scoring two runs apiece were juniors Halley Pattok, who is batting 0.429 on the season, and speedy right fielder Morgan Ruchty, who already has 11 stolen bases in as many attempts. In the final game of the day, the Rams were defeated for the first time this season, falling to host Frankenmuth in a rain-shortened five-inning game by a score of 7-0. The Eagles’ senior pitcher Heather […]
After being soundly beaten by Grandville High School’s women’s rugby team in their first-ever scrimmage a few weeks ago, the Rockford Women’s Rugby Club (RWRC) took their revenge in a match on Tuesday afternoon, April 21. The match was on Grandville’s home turf and took place in a freezing mixture of snow and rain. Led by two scores from Mallorie Webber and a two-point conversion kick from Jill Nelson, the final score was Rockford 12, Grandville 0. “It was a total team effort and we’re very proud of our young women” said Head Coach Kaileigh Russo. Rockford was solid in all phases of the match, displaying tenacious tackling, aggressive running, superb scrummaging, well-executed line-outs, and overall intensity. This all resulted in Rockford usually having the better field position of the two teams, which contributed greatly to the win. The outcome of the game is especially sweet for the Rockford players, being that this is the first year for RWRC and only the club’s third game played ever. Russo’s assistant coaches-namely Taru Nieminen, Jim Nelson, Mike (Kiwi) Taylor, Molly Schmidt and Rockford Rugby Football Club’s Tony Martinez and Zack Nelson-all contribute their time and knowledge about rugby to help the club. RWRC’s next game is Saturday, May 2, at the home pitch at Roguewood Elementary School against Redford. Come out to support Rockford’s newest full-contact sensation, Rockford Women’s Rugby Club.
Rams go 1-1 at Rogers’ annual Wooden Bat Tournament Brian Baldwin pitches against Rogers High School. Photo by KANDI JEZAK by JON STREET Catholic Central (CC) beat Rockford High School 6-2 in the first game of the Rogers Ninth Annual Wooden Bat Tournament at Lamar Park on Saturday, April 25. Sophomore Brendan Penny went the distance and earned the victory. Rockford’s Taylor Masiewicz took the mound and the loss for Rockford while pitching five and two-thirds innings. Zach Martinek pitched the final one and one-third innings in relief. Rockford helped CC early in the game by walking the bases loaded in the first inning. A two-run errant pick-off throw and a hit by Jordan Milanowski put CC up 3-0. CC returned the favor in the bottom of the fifth inning. With two outs, the Rams’ Shane Street reached first on an error by the third baseman. John Vietengruber stroked a single, and a walk to Ryan Darby loaded the bases. A ground ball by Bryan Baldwin to the third baseman produced a two-run error. At the end of five innings, the score was 3-2. CC was not done for the day however. In the top of the seventh inning, a pitch hit the leadoff batter. A bunt by Nathan Lowe, a walk to Michael Penny, followed by a balk put CC up 4-2. A sacrifice fly by Seth Holt put CC up 5-2. An error by the Rams allowed another run and produced the final score of 6-2. Although Rockford’s bats were silent in the first game of the tournament, they came to life against Wyoming Rogers in the consolation game. Rockford defeated Rogers 13-3 and pounded out 13 hits. Kyle Lieckfelt took the loss for Rogers, while Baldwin pitched three and one-third innings for the victory. Keebs Erhart pitched the final one and two-thirds innings in a non-save situation. Rogers had four hits on the day. Paul Thull drove Rogers’ first run in on a double in the first inning. Will Sheick drove a run in with a single in the second inning and Mason Fogler drove Rogers’ final run in the fourth inning with a single, too. All of the runs were unearned. Rockford countered in the bottom […]
Steve Majerle, Rockford’s varsity boys basketball coach, was recently named Regional Coach of the Year by the Basketball Coaches Association of Michigan. Majerle guided the Rockford Rams to an undefeated OK Red conference championship, district championship and regional championship. The Rams finished the season with a 22-3 record. Majerle completed his 12th year as the boys basketball coach at Rockford High School with an overall record of 211-76. He will receive his award in Lansing on October 2, 2009.