The Michigan Interscholastic Track Coaches Association has held a state championship event almost annually since 1999. This event differs from the Michigan High School Athletic Association state tourney in that it uses the entire team as a measuring stick in each of the 17 events rather than the MHSAA meet where a few standouts can and sometimes do lead their team to a state title. There have historically been two almost givens when some of the finest track teams in the state convene for the annual MITCA event. The first is that the Rams claim the title on a regular basis. The second is that it is a reprise of the showdowns between Rockford and East Kentwood in both a regular season dual meet and the OK Red conference meet. When both schools attend the MITCA event one can almost rest assured that they will end up in the top two spots. For the third time in 2015 in the event held at Macomb Dakota High School on Saturday, May 23rd, it was once again Rockford’s turn to revel in the winner’s circle in the heated rivalry with EK. The Rams amassed 1558 points to top the second-place Falcons from East Kentwood who ended the meet with 1503.5 points. Rockford came home in first place in five of the seventeen events led by the efforts of senior thrower Maegan McCarthy’ McCarthy swept both the shot put and discus events with tosses of 43′ 1.25″ and 138′ 2″ respectively. The other individual winner for Rockford was sophomore Olivia Rademacher who took the 100-meter hurdle race with a time of 15.78. Rademacher was also second in the 300-meter hurdles with a time of 46.21 (a PR for the talented hurdler). They were joined in the winner’s circle by a pair of Ram relay teams. The 4×200 squad of Doofan Nyamor, Casey Lenon, Makayla Clum and Sammy Cuneo finished in 1:42.03 and the 4×800 quartet of Molly Weir, Maja Hill, Jessica Barnhardt and Kerianne Schoff crossed first with a mark of 9:32.95. Cuneo had a pair of second-place showings in the 100 and 200-meter dashes with times of 12.25 and 24.89 respectively. Tensey Gavalis joined Cuneo, Nyamor and Lenon as a part of the second-place 100-meter relay team […]
By John Raffel An extremely busy May comes to an end this weekend at Art Van Sports Complex with the Great Lakes Major NIT baseball tournament on Saturday and Sunday. The tournament will be sponsored by United States Specialty Sports Association (USSSA). The divisions for the tournament are 14U, 13U, 12U and 10U. The USSSA was coming off a tournament at Art Van over the Memorial Day weekend, featuring a win by the Fenton Tigers 3-2 in the 13U title game. There were four separate divisions in the tournament with 25 different teams. It was originally intended to be a three-day tournament, ending on Memorial Day. But tournament officials decided to end it on Sunday. Trent DeGayner was the winning pitcher for Fenton in the title game. A USSSA official, representing tournament chairman Bob Wilkerson said there was some rain that fell, but no rain delays. All teams are from Michigan. “We had a really good turnout and a good group,” the USSSA official said. “It was very well played baseball.” The May schedule at Art Van will be followed by a busy slate of tournaments in June. USSA is also hosting the Lakeside Challenge Open NIT on June 6-7. Then it’s the Majestic Prospects Games June 12-14 with eight different age groups, starting from 8U and going through 15U. That will be followed by the Blue Chip Softball Rockford Rumble June 18-21. The Meijer State Games are scheduled for June 25-26 with eight different age groups, starting from 8U and going through 15U.
by John Raffel The Macomb Bombers were among the champions crowned over the weekend during the Memorial Day NIT Tournament at Art Van Sports Complex. The Bombers defeated Walled Legends 9-6 in the title game on Sunday for the 12U division and ended the tournament at 4-0. In previous action and Sunday, the Bombers defeated the Kalamazoo Bulldogs 11-6 and topped the West Michigan Maroons 7-5. Matthew Burns was the winning pitcher in the championship game. Nolan Sutcliffe had a home run and double that bounced over the fence. Other winning pitchers were Ashton Potts for the first game and Matthew Fennell for the second. The Bombers used various pitchers in another game. Bruce Burns was the coach of the team, assisted by statistician Brian Burns. “It’s the first time we played here,” Brian Burns said. “I’m sure we’ll register here again for next year. It’s beautiful. We stayed at the Comfort Inn. We went to the Whitecaps game (Saturday night).” It rained during periodically on Sunday. “There were no delays, everything went off on time,” Burns said. ‘”The competition was good. Across the board, it was a good tournament.” It was a single elimination tournament split into two divisions. Teams were guaranteed a minimum of three games.
It was a week of preparation and warmup for the Rockford boy’s track team. They used it on a very limited scale as they sent only a few members of the team to the MetroHealth Michiana Scholarship held Tuesday, May 19th at Comstock Park High School. The team totaled 23 points with a skeleton crew of performers while participating in only a select few events. That was good for 11th place in the 32-team field. The 800-meter run was the focal point for Rockford as they finished in second, third and fifth-place while entering only three runners. Cole Johnson highlighted the efforts of Ram runners as he finished in the second-place spot with a time of 1:57.56. He was joined in third and fifth-place by the Harding brothers, Isaac and Grayson respectively with times of 1:59.02 and 2:01.62. Mitchell Switzer finished sixth in the 1600-meter run with a time of 4:32.34. He was joined by Paul Burke who finished tenth with a time of 4:42.39. And the final two finishers for the Rams were both competitors in the pole vault. Nathan Isley and Jonny DeHaan both cleared 11 feet in the event. Isley finished sixth and DeHaan was credited with 11th place based on misses.
Last Wednesday the Rockford girls lacrosse team started its playoff run with the goal of earning an eighth consecutive regional championship and a third consecutive state championship. In this opening playoff game, the Rams faced a team from Portage Northern. A win in this game was a must in order for the Rams to achieve these goals. As a result, the Rams were motivated and got off to a quick start scoring their first goal after only 28 seconds had ticked off the clock. The Rams continued to put the pressure on and extended their lead to 5-1 after six minutes of play and took a 12-3 lead into halftime. When the second half began, Rockford continued to play hard and put points up on the scoreboard. When the buzzer sounded to signal the end of the game, Rockford came out on top by a 19-5 margin. Seven different Rams contributed to the goal total with Alex Vander Molen leading the charge with 6. Mekenzie Vander Molen added 4 goals, and Brooklyn Neumen also had 3. Also making valuable contributions in the win were Maggie Hammer with 2 assists, and Ashley Laura and Grace Gunneson each with important assists and goals. Defender Kelly Spehar scooped up 2 ground balls, while Emily Byers and Zoe Newmann tallied draw controls for the Rams. In goal, Katie Elwell and Bri Houle prevented Portage from closing the gap in the score with the saves that each made. When asked about the game, senior goalie Katie Elwell said, “We were all excited and a bit nervous. A lot of us hadn’t had a lot of playoff experience, but it definitely wasn’t noticeable. We all stepped up and played like we needed to. We battled through aggressive situations and came out with a great win!” According to Head Coach Mike Emery, “This was a good win for us as we have a lot of players with no playoff experience. It’s a different game with much more intensity. We saw some things for us to work on as we move through the regional tournament. It’s important to improve every game at this stage.” The Rams continue their playoff run this week with a regional semi-final game against Grand Haven. A victory in […]