Sun shines bright on Rockford crew, captures first place

April 23, 2009 // 0 Comments

In a regatta dominated entirely by Ann Arbor Pioneer over the past several years, Rockford’s crew team pulled out all the stops to narrowly claim a first-place finish, just one point ahead of rival Ann Arbor Pioneer and two points ahead of another strong East Michigan team, Ann Arbor Huron. East Michigan teams have dominated this sport for many years, primarily due to the fact that they have established programs going back 20 years or more. Rockford crew is a relatively young sport, only claiming varsity status within the past eight years. The Rockford women’s team captured the first-place trophy, with the men’s additional points helping to catapult the Rams to first place overall. Over 700 competitors converged on Riverside Park in Grand Rapids, coming from 14 teams located in Michigan, Indiana and Illinois. Rockford crew, 92 members strong, had the largest showing among the eight area teams located in West Michigan. “It helps to have that many bodies,” stated Rockford Coach Tim Jacobs. “They have trained hard and they have transferred that work ethic to the water.” Of the more than 20 boats entered by Rockford, 16 boats made it past the heats and into the finals. There, Rockford quickly rose to the challenge and captured four first-, four second-, and three third-place finishes. Bringing home the gold for Rockford were:             women’s novice eight:  Amy Fedeson, Kendra Bilardella, Julia Fraser, Kate Fraser, Lena Kleinoeder, Kara Korson, Sarah Lemanski, Kendall McConnohie, and coxswain Becca DeKorne             men’s junior four:  Austin Burris, TJ Jacobs, Zach Haugen, Zach Troyer, and coxswain Andrew Saelens             women’s lightweight eight:  Raechel Wrona, Clara Harding, Shelby Jacobs, Chris Scoffield, Richelle Huizina, Molly Guthrie, Jane Vandervelde, Katina Goad, and coxswain Dani Teft             women’s lightweight four:  Wrona, Harding, Jacobs, Scoffield, and coxswain Lauren Fey             Capturing second place for Rockford were:             women’s junior eight:  Camille Pulver, Angelina Lipzinski, Erin Fedeson, Megan Korson, Kaitlin Champion, Lemanski, Becca Markham, Maddie Anderson, and coxswain Danielle Frick             women’s senior four:  Olivia Kacsits, Christine Kasper, Darcy Peck, Michelle Kuhn, and coxswain Jennifer Denike             women’s senior eight dash:  Olivia Nielsen, Peck, Marie Albano, Alicia Dickinson, Kasper, Kacsits, Kuhn, Shannon Schmutz, and coxswain Denike             men’s senior eight dash: Burris, Haugen, Jacobs, Nate Harrison, Ian […]

Rockford baseball off to tremendous start

April 23, 2009 // 0 Comments

Last week was a busy one for Rockford varsity baseball. On Monday, April 13, the Rams hosted Greenville for a double-header and won both games. Later in the week, the boys split games with West Ottawa-away on Wednesday, April 15, and at home on Friday, April 17.   The Rams hosted their first tournament of the season on Saturday, April 18, and came away with the win. The first game was against Bay City Western, with the championship game victory against Grand Rapids Christian.   Overall, the Rams are 8-2 for the start of their season. Their next game was at home against Jenison on Tuesday, April 21. On Thursday, April 23, the Rams travel to Jenison for a game at 4:30 p.m., and the Rogers Wooden Bat Tournament begins at 10 a.m. on Saturday, April 25. Rockford splits games with Greenville, away on Monday, April 27, and at home on Wednesday, April 29. You can also see the results of these games in upcoming issues of The Rockford Squire, and online at  

616 wins water polo tournament

April 23, 2009 // 0 Comments

Water polo has been one of the success stories of Rockford High School athletics over the past decade or more. The state championships and winning seasons have been well-documented. Yet it seems the story does not end there. Several Rockford water polo alumni have teamed up with players from other West Michigan programs to form the 616 water polo team. They practice and play now for the sheer joy of placing the ball in the back of the net. April 11-12, the team traveled roughly 13.5 hours one way to participate in the Tar Heel Water Polo Invitational at the University of North Carolina. Rockford is well-known for its outstanding water polo program, and numerous Rockford alumni are on the team. Traveling to North Carolina were Pat Clarin, Adam Keith, Andy Schuiling, Brent Augustine, Dave Vanlier and JR VanderWall. The tournament began for the 616 team with a match against a fine team from Virginia Tech, with 616 winning 9-1. Next, the Charlotte Sharks fell to defeat by a score of 12-8. The following day, the 616 team continued their winning ways by defeating Duke 11-4 and then handed Florida State University a 12-5 loss. The championship game against the Boone County Outlaws was a thriller. After being down 4-1 at the half, the 616 team tied the score in the last minute and clinched the win with a goal by Augustine in the final seconds for a 7-6 victory, earning them first place in the tournament. The 616 team welcomes all interested water polo alumni to open practices that are held at the Zeeland pool on Wednesdays from 7 to 9 p.m. and at the Jenison pool on Sundays from 6:15 to 8:15 p.m. The team will have a home tournament hosted by Grand Haven High School June 19-21. For additional information, please contact Matt Skavnak at (309) 453-3435.

Rockford soccer team’s strength begins to show

April 23, 2009 // 0 Comments

  by IAN PURVIS and JACKIE HOLLAND-DECKER  The Rockford girls varsity soccer team may be one of the area’s best kept secrets, but the word is going to get out. After a dismal 1-0 loss to Grandville on Wednesday, April 15, the Rams came back with impressive shutouts against Hudsonville Friday night, April 17, and the area’s top-ranked team, East Grand Rapids, on Saturday, April 18. The victories over the weekend excited coach Amira Ponne and should be a wake-up call to the Rams’ future foes. “It was great! They needed that,” said Ponne of the unranked Rams. “This team doesn’t know how good it is. We have made so much progress. We are going to peak at the right time. We definitely are not the same team as we were on Wednesday.”   In the home game against Grandville, the Rams were out of sync. After only two days of practice after the week-and-a-half spring break, the Rams struggled in all aspects of the game. Grandville outran Rockford, won the 50/50 balls, communicated better, and maintained better control to set up shooting opportunities. Grandville senior Tricia Bajema scored the lone goal of the contest, sending the ball just over Rockford goalkeeper Kristin Darby’s head with 1:55 left in the first half.”It wasn’t that they were so fast,” noted Ponne after the loss. “It’s just that we were so out of our game. We looked tired compared to them.”   After losing to Grandville, the Rams felt like they needed to redeem themselves. A day of practice made all the difference when Friday night rolled around. The Rams came away with a 1-0 win thanks to some strong offense, gutsy defense, and great saves by Darby in the closing minutes as the Eagles pressed hard. It was a tight game throughout, with the Rams building the attack better and looking much more confident than in their previous game. But the Eagles’ back four repeatedly picked off the through-ball and their keeper came very quickly off her line to clean up anything chipped over the top. Rockford’s sophomore center midfielder Sydney Benda had a busy game, earning a free kick just outside the penalty area when she was taken down on an attacking run. Sam Decker […]

RHS to host charity volleyball tournament

April 23, 2009 // 0 Comments

The Rockford High School (RHS) volleyball team is hosting a charity co-ed 4-on-4 volleyball tournament benefiting the American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life at Rockford High School on Saturday, May 9. Tournament play begins at 10 a.m.             The tournament contains the following divisions:             Middle School (grades 6-8)             High School (grades 9-12)             Adult             Each team must contain at least one female player. Games will be played in the high school gym.             Entry forms can be obtained in person at the RHS athletic office. If you would like to request a form online, please send an e-mail to Deadline for entry is Thursday, May 7. The entry fee is $40, and all teams must be registered in advance. No walk-up teams will be accepted. All proceeds will go to Relay for Life. Checks may be made payable to American Cancer Society. Prizes will be awarded to the winning teams in each division.

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