The Rockford varsity lacrosse team won its first regional playoff game at the Ted Carlson Memorial Stadium with a 15-3 victory over Hartland. This was the last home game of the season. The Rams finished 8-3 at home. The Rams started out fast and furious and never looked back. The score stood 8-1 at the half. The second half added seven more goals to the scoreboard. Leading the attack was Kento Nakano with five goals and one assist to his credit. Blake McDonald added four goals and an assist, and Mitch Newton put in three goals. Adding one goal each were Spencer Sims, Kane Wolfer and Dallas VanBelkum. Assisting the goals were seniors Jordan Shiparski and Jesse Siegel. Also assisting in his first varsity appearance was freshman Landon Howard. Highlights of the game included Newton scoring his 201st goal of his high school career. This is a school record at Rockford High School. Shiparski had his first assist playing as a long stick defenseman, and Nakano scored a sweet “behind the back” goal. Defense was led by Connor Flynn and Tyler Wolpert in goal. Shiparski picked up 12 ground balls in this game alone—this season’s record for a defenseman. The Rams traveled to Holt on Tuesday, May 29, in pursuit of the regional championship. Watch next week’s issue of The Rockford Squire for results.
Ted Carlson Memorial Stadium
Sixth win puts Rockford in playoffs for 17th straight season When East Kentwood’s Braden Miller streaked past the Ram kickoff team to start the game, it appeared Rockford may have been coming out flat after their big win over Muskegon the week before. A minute and a half later, Ram running back Zach Schmuck raced past the Falcon defense for a 71 yard touchdown run, and all looked well again. On Rockford’s second possession, Schmuck again broke through the Kentwood defense, this time from nine yards. The following two point conversion made the score 15-7, not even five minutes into the game. After his first three carries, Schmuck had 106 yards. He went on to finish the night with 145 yards, with seven attempts. Following another Rockford touchdown, the Falcons seemed to have a breath of life in them. Trailing 22-7, they marched 70 yards to the Ram 25 yard line, when linebacker Colin Remtema knocked the wind out of the Kentwood offense by returning and interception 85 yards for a touchdown that put the Rams ahead 29-7. Rockford would score again before the end of the half as backup quarterback Kyle Short threw a 76 yard touchdown pass to Neil VanderLaan, extending the lead to 29 points. The Rams defeated the Falcons 53-7 after second half touchdowns from Solomon Gant and Trevor Alferink, and a 3rd quarter field goal from Steve Mette. Rockford’s defense, forced to play with all-state linebacker Brett Egnatuk on the sidelines, put together their best effort of the year. East Kentwood was held to just 125 yards offensively. It was the first time since 1999 the Ram defense shut out the Falcon offense. Every Ram in uniform saw the playing field. Following the game, Coach Ralph Munger said, “It was nice to play so many kids tonight. The reserves practice just as hard as the starters every day. Getting into a game helps to motivate them in practice.” “We were missing thirteen kids from practice on Tuesday because of illness. With that, and the big win over Muskegon, I was concerned about a letdown, but that’s our sixth win. We’re in the playoffs.” Rockford returns to Ted Carlson Memorial Stadium this Friday, where they will celebrate Homecoming. The Rams will renew […]
Rockford downs Davison 27-10 by TIM COOPER After three weeks of practice under the hot August sun, the Rockford Rams walked onto the field in front of a large crowd for their opening game August 27, at the Ted Carlson Memorial Stadium. Rockford has opened each of the last three seasons against the Davison Cardinals, and this year was the same. Davison, having won the coin toss, elected to receive the opening kickoff. Steve Mette’s kick would go through the end zone, forcing Davison to start their first drive on their own 20 yard line. Four plays later, Davison would be forced to punt the ball to the Rams, who would start their first drive just inside Davison’s territory, at the 46 yard line. The Cardinals’ defense would limit Rockford to 16 yards on their first possession, forcing a 46 yard field goal attempt by Steve Mette. Mette split the uprights, giving the Rams an early 3-0 lead. The Rams second possession started from their own 20, after a Davison punt went into the end zone. On the first of play of the possession, Rockford quarterback Mark LaPrairie, hit wide receiver Neil VanderLaan with a perfect pass down the left sideline. 75 yards later, VanderLaan was standing alone in the end zone. Davison, trailing by ten, retaliated with a 30 yard field goal to complete their following drive. Rockford countered with a 40 yard field goal by Mette after Davison turned the ball over on their own 17, giving the Rams a 13-3 lead midway through the second quarter. Again, the Rockford defense shut Davison down, forcing them to punt. The Rams’ final possession of the first half ended with a 12 yard LaPrairie pass to Zach Schmuck, putting Rockford ahead by 17 with just over three minutes remaining in the half. Davison’s final drive saw quarterback Jake Thompson connect with Jacob Jacobs, for an 80 yard gain, placing the ball inside the Rockford five. Four plays later, Brandon Cooper plunged into the end zone with seconds left in the half, making the score 20-10. Rockford’s final score of the evening came when Nate Sanders broke off tackle for seven yards into over the goal line, making the final score 27-10. Following the game, […]
The Lady Rams began their season with a convincing victory against Grand Haven. In their inaugural game on the new turf in the Ted Carlson Memorial Stadium—and their new uniforms purchased with the girls’ fundraising efforts—the Lady Rams lit up the scoreboard, winning 22-0. The Rams were shorthanded due to an injury to senior captain Andi Raymond and a disciplinary action against two additional players, but the Rams outshot their visitors 40-5. Seniors Taylor Hiner and captain Meagan Emery led the Ram scoring attack with seven goals each. Hiner also chipped in four assists. Also scoring for the Rams were Alyssa Neumen with three goals, Kelsei Streeter with two, and Abbey Neerken, Erica Neumen, and Morgan Stage each tallying one goal apiece. The story of the night was the Ram defense shutting down the Buccaneer attack, only allowing those five shots on goal. Jenna Chaffee had a good night between the pipes in her first varsity action. Defensively, the Rams were led by senior captain Neerken from her center defensive position. She was flanked by two newcomers to the varsity freshman Kelli Raymond, and sophomore Hannah Maroe. All three were instrumental in limiting Grand Haven’s opportunities. Emery and A. Neumen were also instrumental in the mid-field defense working together to cause six Buccaneer turnovers. Co-coaches Mike Emery and Jeff Neerken were happy with the effort level, but saw many areas where the girls can improve as they move in to conference play after spring break. Coach Neerken stated, “We have really worked on our defense. We were most proud of the shutout, which came about because of the teamwork on defense. We should get better as the season moves along.” The Rams will be busy when they return, as they have an away game against Lansing Waverly April 14, their conference opener away at Forest Hills Eastern April 16, and a home contest April 17 against Grosse Point South. • • •