Wanted: Rockford girls with the desire to play tennis. More opportunities than ever are available in Rockford to play tennis. With seven seniors leaving the varsity squad, Head Coach Tom Huizing will be looking at the JV-A and JV-B teams to fill these positions next spring. Practice and more practice during the summer and winter months are encouraged. If you are interested in going out for the junior varsity teams, watch the schedule in the spring and come prepared to show your skills you learned during the off season. Younger players are encouraged to keep honing their skills, take lessons if possible and keep playing! Come to the home games in the spring and introduce yourself to the coaches. Let them know who you are and ask their advice. Rockford is fortunate to have JV-B Coach Matt Drolett providing additional opportunities for all new players, as well. Coach Huizing, JV-A Coach Val Wallace and Coach Drolett have a winning program and are gaining momentum. The JV team went undefeated for the second year in a row, and for the third year in a row the varsity team has qualified for state finals. The squad posted their best state performance so far, earning six points at the event held in Midland. All four singles players—Lauren Korlewitz, MJ Bothma, Alex Stembaugh and Jenelle Miller—along with number four doubles Megan Zawacki and Julie Daukss won their first-round flights. Senior Katie Rachon became the first Lady Ram to play in the state tennis finals three years in a row. The Rams, along with Hudsonville and West Ottawa, showed great West Michigan comradery as they cheered each other on.
Oops, they did it again! Rockford girls varsity tennis qualified for the state finals after accumulating the necessary 18 points to earn the honor. The stage was set back on May 15 when the Rams hosted the OK Red conference tournament. Rockford earned 45 points, finishing third and providing the positioning needed for preferred seeding at the regional tournament this past Saturday, May 22 in Jenison. Each of the eight flights won their first round in the single elimination regional event. As the day progressed, it started to become a possibility that Rockford would be a contender. All four doubles teams won their second round as two, three and four singles did as well. It happened to be the hottest day of the season, with temperatures reaching over 80 degrees on the courts. All the players were getting anxious to see if their dream would become a reality. As each flight advanced, it became evident the dream was possible. By late afternoon, after each flight contributed points toward the required 18, it was realized that Rockford had 17 points with one match still to play. Junior Alex Stembaugh, playing three singles, had advanced all the way into the final round. Playing as cool as she did all year, Stembaugh beat her worthy opponent from Hudsonville in straight sets. “I expected tough competition going into the match,” said Stembaugh. “I knew I would have to step up my game.” Coach Tom Huizing stated, “This was a hard-fought season. In the OK Red anything can happen on any day. The same holds true in the regionals. Everyone knew what to do and everyone contributed. Alex was amazing at handling the pressure like a veteran player. I’m extremely proud of the entire team. They did it as a team. They got it done.” It looks like spring tennis is blossoming nicely in Rockford. This will be the third year in a row that the team will be going to state finals under the coaching of Huizing. The entire team is thankful for Coach Huizing, all the community for their support, the parents, the press for covering the action each week, their teachers and friends that came out to see them play, JV coach Val Wallace and their number […]
The Rockford Rams hosted the OK Red conference meet on Saturday, May 15. North Rockford Middle School hosted the singles teams and the doubles teams played at the high school. The competition was fierce with Rockford posting a strong third place overall for the event, behind first-place Hudsonville and second-place West Ottawa. Earlier in the week, Rockford traveled to Muskegon and won 8-0 in that conference match-up. Other activity last week included a Relay for Life fundraiser and a team dinner the underclassmen hosted for the seniors on the squad.