2017 May Athletes:
BASEBALL – Khale Showers
Junior catcher on our team. Khale is a two year starter and lead our team in hitting last season. Khale is a versatile player on the field and at the plate. Khale is one of our captains and is a leader both on and off the field.
BOYS CREW – James Anderson
James is a senior and has earned his varsity letter in each of his 4 years. After spending his first 3 years as one of the top lightweights (under 150 pounds) on the team (finishing 1st and 2nd at Scholastic Nationals the last 2 years, and capturing the team’s lightweight erg record), he made the jump up to the open-weight division this past season where he has continued to be a top performer. James is stroke seat (the boat follows him) of the V4 and V8. The V4 finished 2nd at first 2 regattas of the year. While the V8 finished 1st at the GR invite. I’m excited to see what he can do next year at the University of Michigan.
GIRLS CREW – Anastasia Motta
Anastasia is a sophmore in her second year of rowing. She is one of the hardest workers we have ever had come through our program. She has dropped over a minute on her 2000 meter time this spring already which is extremely impressive. She never complains or questions any of the workouts I make them do regardless of how hard it sounds to begin. She can hold whatever pace I tell her to go at on a workout regardless of how much faster it is than the piece she had done the week before. She has refined her technique this year to the point that she almost looks like a completely new rower! Her hard work and kindness are seen even by her teammates, and she helps inspire her team to work through the tough workouts when everyone is getting exhausted.
BOYS GOLF – Kevin Healy
Kevin Healy- Sophomore. Kevin has played a huge role on this years team. He is a hard-working, athletic and respectful young man that has a very bright future. His highlights so far this year include: first place finish at the Bedford Valley Open with a score of 3 under 69 and a second place finish at the Ranger Invite with a score of 76. Kevin’s work ethic and drive to become better continue to push everyone on our team.
BOYS LACROSSE – Conrad Hayes
During his senior year, Conrad has established himself as one of the best midfielders on the team. He plays great defense, is lethal in transition, and has expanded his offensive skill set to create off of a dodge and make the necessary play. Conrad is also a member of the man-down unit and is utilized on the wings on faceoffs. While Conrad is a strong player on the field, his senior leadership on and off the field makes him an indispensable asset to the team.
GIRLS LACROSSE – Madelyn Yakes
Maddy has been rock solid in goal for the Rams and made 22 saves on our trip to Illinois where we faced 2 of the top teams in the Midwest. She has had a very strong freshman season as she competed in try outs and early season and won the starting keeper role.
RUGY – Connor Robinson
Connor is a sophomore, plays prop, and is in his first season on the varsity team. Pre-season Connor was a hard worker but was looking to be on the JV squad, but due to an illness, Connor got called up to varsity in our first game and excelled against last year’s state champs Grandville. He was Man of the Match that day and since then has been a mainstay on varsity. His work rate during the games and at practice has earned him every minute of playing time he has seen so far. No doubt he will continue to make a huge impact on the success of this team for the remainder of the season and the future.
GIRLS SOCCER – Cesiley LaCourt
3 year varsity letter winner who leads by example and a great work ethic. She is true anchor on defense who is fast, tough, calming and confident. She never gives up and is a tremendous asset to the team. As a second year captain, Ces has an infectious positive attitude and goes beyond to push, encourage and help the team grow.
SOFTBALL – Jenna Davis – Sophomore
Jenna is an outstanding example of a student/athlete, she had a 3.67 non weighted GPA back in March. Jenna is a very talented softball player; and her knowledge and passion of the game is second to none. She has been our primary pitcher this year and has also played the shortstop positon when not pitching. Jenna has held down the number 3 spot in the batting lineup during the season. She has 33 total hits; 23 singles, 6 doubles, and 4 home runs. Her current batting average is .398 and has driven in 24 runs. Jenna has also scored 30 runs herself and has only struck out 5 times in 89 plate appearances. Jenna is 8 – 3 as a pitcher and has pitched over 67 innings this year. She also has a fielding percentage of .975. Jenna is also a very good student of the game, she is always looking at ways to improve herself and her team. It is a honor and privilege to nominate Jenna Davis for Athlete of the Month for May.
GIRLS TENNIS – Alayna Bowman
Alayna is one of the hardest working athletes on this tennis team. She always is bettering her craft and finding ways to improve her game. In doing so, this has helped Alayna achieve some of the fastest wins in Rockford history. Alayna loves to win and her attitude never changes regardless of the score. Not only does she have a great tennis game, her biggest asset is her mental game. Alayna always has a chip on her shoulder and opponents have come to fear playing her even before walking out onto the court.
BOYS TRACK & FIELD – Noah Mead
Noah Mead is a great example of someone who worked very hard in the off-season in order to reach his goals during his final season as a Rockford Ram track athlete. Noah consistently attended our off-season workouts which began way back in October. His work in the weight room is second to none. Noah will take on any challenge with a great attitude. You will never hear Noah complain about a difficult task that is placed in front of him. He will put his head down and knock it out with 100% effort. Noah understands how to train at the boiling point. Because of his hard work and determination, Noah has worked his way to earning a spot on our very successful 4 x 200 meter relay team and also running the 5th fastest 200 meter time in the conference. Noah is paving the way for younger sprinters who will continue on with our program over the years. Noah is also one of the most respectful young gentlemen that we have had the privilege to coach.
GIRLS TRACK & FIELD – Caleigh Dunn (Jr)
Caliegh is one of our leaders in our distance group of runners on the Rockford Girls Team this year. She has stepped up big and filled many roles this year. Caliegh is more of a mid – distance specialist in the 400M and 800M runs, but with injuries to other athletes this year she was also asked to step in and be a top 1600M runner also. Some meets she has been asked to compete in 4 events running in both the 4 x 800 M relay and then coming back to run in the open 1600M run and then the 800M run. While occasionally being asked to finish the meet running a 400 in the 4 x 400M relay. Caliegh is completing a solid junior year campaign. We are very fortunate to have someone with her talent and positive work ethic. It is her determination and work ethic, along with her God given talent which has propelled Caliegh to a great season.
GIRLS WATER POLO – Erin McDowell
Erin McDowell is a junior on the RHS water polo team, last year she was awarded Most Improved on our team and she has taken that to heart and continued to improve this year. She is becoming one of those players that other teams are taking notice of. This year Erin has taken over as our primary set defender which means she is often given the challenge of stopping our opponents best players. Not only does she get the job done on defense (leads team in steals with 41) she has become one of our main offensive threats, we often will run plays with Erin being our first option, she is currently our third leading scorer with 28 goals on the season. Erin’s work ethic and willingness to learn and improve makes her a coach’s dream. It is without a doubt she has earned the athlete of the month honor.
2017 April Athletes:
BASEBALL – Logan Lee
Logan is a junior pitcher and first baseman. He pitches the first game of our league games. Logan is a two year starter for us and has come on early offensively as well as keeping us in games.
BOYS CREW – Bryan Bigelow
Bryan is a senior and one of two captains on the team. He has shown great improvement over the last 4 years. After starting out as one of the slowest guys on the team his freshmen year, he developed into one of the top Starboard-side rowers this year. And was also a part of the national championship Lwt 4+ last year. Bryan is in the V8 and V4 this year. Bryan has been a great resource during my first season in making sure everyone is on the same page.
GIRLS CREW – Priscilla Brom
Priscilla is a junior in her third year of rowing. Priscilla came into this season not knowing how fast she would be recovering from a leg injury after running cross country this fall. She had to do a lot of alternative workouts by herself to get fast while her teammates were training together, but she never let it stop her. When her teammates were running or doing calisthenics she was putting meters on erg by herself, and when she was finally healthy she saw her hard work show at the spring sprints, winning the women’s lightweight race as a junior. Priscilla is an outstanding athlete when it comes to not only getting faster on the rowing machine but also in understanding the technical side of the stroke. Priscilla is the stroke (leader) of both our junior 8+ and our Varsity lightweight 8+.
BOYS GOLF – Andrew Barton
Andrew Barton- Senior. Andrew is that leader on a team that every coach would want. He strives to get better not only on the golf course but with his academics. Andrew will be attending MSU next year and plans to get his degree in engineering. On the course, his key round for us this year include: a 2 under 33 at our OK Red Jamboree at Grand Haven and a 74 at the OK Red Mid Season event. The round at the OK Red Mid Season was also part of our lowest round as a team this year at 295.
BOYS LACROSSE – Kyle Heeren
Kyle is a two-year starter on defense who excels playing on and off ball. While on ball, Kyle plays great position defense and can throw a flurry of checks without losing his position. While off ball, Kyle is a great communicator and knows his positions within the overall team defense. Kyle is also a staple to the man-down unit and acts as the “shark” during a 10-man ride. Kyle is a selfless player and person who is a steady and calming presence on and off the field.
GIRLS LACROSSE – Karrington Vandermolen
Karrington has been a force on the circle with the draw this season as a sophomore. She is one of the reasons we have dominated possession during the entire season. She also has become a very good weapon offensively and is a leader among caused turnovers.
RUGBY – Dominick Lamancusa
Dom is a senior and two year starter for the Rugby club. Dom plays outside center has been an instrumental part of our offense this season. Scoring many tries and setting up even more tries. He is a truly selfless player and is one of the major reason the rugby club has had an undefeated regular season and #1 ranking in state! The reason Dom is successful on the field is because of his high work rate during practice. His work rate and great attitude have no doubt made his teammates better and given them a great example of how to be an excellent teammate!
GIRLS SOCCER – Regan Dalton
Started soccer at age 4. Played with SCOR then Midwest United National level team. Has made Michigan ODP team for years, regional team last 2 years. She has also participated in US Soccer national team camp and regularly trains with the national team coaches in Grand Rapids. Regan continues to be a leader on and off the field, contributing to the offense day in and day out and promoting the new soccer culture of team
SOFTBALL – Mykayla Vallad – Junior
Mykayla is an outstanding example of a student/athlete, she had a 3.55 non weighted GPA back in March. Mykayla plays infield, but primarily third base. She is a fearless fielder and makes plays that other players can’t. Mykayla is able to do this because she has excellent reflexes and has a very strong arm. She is also developing into a patient hitter who can drive the ball to any part of the field or is capable of dropping down a bunt as well. Mykayla is also an excellent base runner; she has good speed and instincts on the base paths. She absolutely loves the game of softball; and it shows every time she steps on the field for a practice or a game. Mykayla has held down the number 1 spot in the batting lineup during the season. She has 31 total hits; 24 singles, 5 doubles, and 2 triples. Her current batting average is .419 and has driven in 3 runs. Mykayla has also scored 28 runs herself and has only struck out 5 times in 74 plate appearances. Mykayla also has a fielding percentage of .887. It is a honor and privilege to nominate Mykayla Vallad for Athlete of the Month for April.
GIRLS TENNIS – Kara Przybylski
Simply put, Kara is a gamer. The bigger the stage, the better Kara plays. She has known to be ruthless on the tennis court and most likely has the most tennis pegs of her opponents. She flat out loves to win. Along with competing, Kara also is known to be the socially wild one on the team and loves to make everyone laugh with her crazy antics and her trend setting ways.
BOYS TRACK & FIELD – Mel Moseley
Mel trains extremely hard and has earned the right to feel good about each and every one of his accomplishments. You will not find an individual that trains behind the scenes at a more intense and ferocious effort than Mel. Every rep in the weight room, every 10 yard sprint in practice, every warmup drill before each race, and even every stretch during our cool down is completed at 100% intensity by Mel. This kid knows one speed and that is championship speed. Mel has worked his way onto the school record holding 4 x 100 meter relay team. Mel serves as the lead leg in this relay and he does a great job in this role by getting us rolling at an extremely fast pace. Mel has earned the privilege to feel great about all of his accomplishments because he has worked extremely hard during the process to achieve these accomplishments.
GIRLS TRACK & FIELD – Grace Gohl (Fr)
Grace is one of the top Sprinters in West Michigan as well as the entire State of Michigan. She excels in the 100M and 200M dashes, where she has been a main stay all season. Along with running the two individual races (winning them) she is also part of our sprint 4 x 100 and 4 x 200 relay teams, both which have already recorded top 5 times in the State this year. Grace’s talent has played a major role in the Rockford Girls Track Team success. She is one of the best competitors we have on the team. She brings an attitude of “yup I can get this done”.
GIRLS WATER POLO – Aubrey Mitchel
Aubrey Mitchell is the example of intensity in the water at all times, she is a junior on the RHS water polo team. In the last month or so of season, Aubrey has really taken her game to the next level. She gives 100% in every aspect of the game. Aubrey is a very determined and reliable in and out of the water, she currently has contributed 15 goals and is the leader in drawn kick outs, which lead to many goals for the team. She is one of those teammates who often does the small things that don’t always get noticed by a stat sheet but is the reason for a successful team and season. On the team, she is a positive force that motivates other players to work hard and smile. Out of the water Aubrey spends a lot of her free time volunteering with the RHS Interact group. Aubrey is willing to do whatever it takes to make this team successful. We are thrilled that we get to have Aubrey back for her senior season next year!
2017 March Athletes:
BASEBALL – Jake Englekes
Sophomore pitcher and utility player. Jake has pitched very well for us this season. He pitches game two of our league games. Jake has hit the ball well for us this season and has filled in at first, second, and shortstop as well.
BASKETBALL – Jason Majerle
Jason averaged 13.4 ppg this season and finished 3rd all time in 3 pt shots made during a season with 64. Jason has been a tremendous captain and leader for our program. He is also a 3.9 gpa student.
CREW – Ethan Lehman
Ethan is one of only two juniors on the team this year. After spending his first 2 years in the lower to mid boats, his work ethic and intensity showed through in a big way this year. He leaned out losing over 30 pounds and has continued to get stronger. At the erg race in March, he dropped over 15″ (!!) off his PR and came within half a second of 3rd place. Ethan was also a part of the V8 that won at the GR invite. I’m excited to see what he can do with another year of experience and with taking more of a leadership role as one of only a couple seniors on next year’s team.
GIRLS CREW – Rose Sears
Rose is a junior in her third year of rowing. Rose is one of the team captains this year, voted by her teammates. She exemplifies the term size doesn’t matter, she is one of our smallest lightweights yet she has still managed to drop a lot of time on her personal record and be one of the fastest lightweight rowers on her 2k. She is always asking questions about the sport itself and how to get better, and she always reaching out to me and her teammates to help in any way that she can. Her teammates look up to her and can go to her with anything, rather they need advice or help with their rowing stroke. She isn’t afraid to tell her teammates when they need to work harder, or when they’re doing something wrong which is extremely hard for a high school girl to do. I can trust her to do a lot of the tough leadership tasks as well as be a great friend to her teammates.
BOYS GOLF – Adam Brayton
Senior. Adam has been “Mr. Consistent” for us this year. He is always able to keep his rounds going and provide scores that help us win. Adam has also had some low rounds that have allowed us to win throughout the year. Adam’s best round all year also came at the OK Red Mid Season with a score of 73. Adam plans to attend WMU next year.
GYMNASTICS – Nicole Curtis
Nicole Curtis – Although Nicole is only a freshman, she made an immediate impact on our team. Nicole is always smiling, encouraging her teammates, and pushing herself to do better. Unfortunately, Nicole’s season came to a sudden end in January when she dislocated the bones in her elbow. Even though her season was over, Nicole attended every practice and meet. She held mats, “coached” her teammates, and helped out in any and every way she could. Nicole was a great addition to our team this year, and we look forward to seeing what the next 3 years hold for her.
HOCKEY – Kevin Healy
Rookie Sophomore who led the team in scoring. Finished season with 50 points. Played on a top line all year. Played on first Power Play all year. Great talent and great vision for the game, excited to see what he can bring in the future. Also plays golf for Rockford.
BOYS LACROSSE – Cole Scheffler
Cole entered the season as the top faceoff man and has lived up to expectations by winning over 70 percent of his draws. On top of being a vital piece at the faceoff X, Cole is an integral part to the man-down unit. His combination of field awareness and skill make him an extremely valuable Swiss Army knife who can play all over the field. Cole is also a calming presence in the locker room who leads by example with his work ethic and selflessness for the team.
GIRLS LACROSSE – Samantha DeBoer
Sam is a Senior Captain who has helped solidify a very young defense for us. She leads her group and positions them well acting like a coach on the field among her position group. Sam is a leader of our off season work outs as well as leads by example with her work in the classroom and the lacrosse field. Sam will be continuing on after graduation at Alma College where she will play Varsity lacrosse.
RUGBY – Jacob Gent
Jacob is a sophomore and two year starter on the varsity team. He is one of the few players to start as freshman in the club’s history. Jacob plays scrum half for us and is a vocal leader on the field. He helps orchestrate the offense and direct players where they need to be. Jacob has had a big year for the club on the both sides of the ball but has been a leader on defense. Jacob is not exactly the biggest guy on the field but he plays big and has put in some big tackles that have sparked the team’s defense to step up and only allow 9.8 points per game.
GIRLS SOCCER – Raegan Radaz
Raegan plays left forward for the Rockford HS Soccer Team. She is very proud to be part of this soccer program as well as having a role on one of Rockford’s most successful teams in the conference thus far. Soccer has taught her many things like how to be a good teammate and build strong character. Although only a freshman her offensive goal output, defense in the midfield and leadership is invaluable to the team. Reagan leads not only with character, but by example.
SOFTBALL – Kylie Winkels
Kylie plays outfield, but primarily center field. She is a fearless fielder and runs down balls that other players can’t. Kylie is able to do this because she gets a great jump on the ball and takes excellent angles to the ball as well. She will be batting in the middle of the batting lineup because she has excellent power, but we would be comfortable placing her anywhere in the lineup. Kylie is developing into a patient hitter who can drive the ball to any part of the field. She is also an excellent base runner; she has good speed and instincts on the base paths. Kylie absolutely loves the game of softball; it shows every time she steps on the field for a practice or game. She is also a very good student of the game, always looking at ways to improve herself and her team.
SWIM/DIVE – Karsten Dixon
Sophomore – Karsten had a very good diving season for Rockford. He finished 1st in every duel meet except for two. Karsten won the Rockford Invitational, finished 2nd at the OK Red Conference meet, and was 12th at the Division 1 State meet at Oakland University last weekend.
TENNIS – Abby Ducharme
Abby is what you call an ultra-competitor. It doesn’t matter if it’s a match, practice, or playing ping pong on an off night; she wants to win. Even though she is a sophomore and this is only her second year on the team, she plays like a seasoned vet. She relishes the opportunity to prove people wrong and never backs down from a challenge. She continues to push herself and her teammates and would always be willing to do what’s best for the team.
BOYS TRACK & FIELD – Josh Patterson
The Boys Track and Field team proudly nominates Josh Patterson as its March athlete of the month.
Josh has grown to become the workhorse of our sprint group. Josh has been a successful four-year varsity sprinter. Over the four years he has demonstrated consistent improvement. During the winter months Josh took this to a whole new level by training extremely hard and competing in a few indoor track meets. His work ethic in the weight room has already been amped up. Now Josh is competing at a very high level in the 100 & 200 meter dashes this spring. He is a critical component to our sprint relays. He has developed the tough mindset to take on the 4 x 400 meter relay as well. Josh prepares for each and every race like a champion. He takes every race serious and prepares with the mindset to win every time. Josh serves as a great leader by example. It is great to see Josh take on this role within our sprint group. Even with his many successes, Josh is one of most humble, respectful, kind, and caring individuals that we have had the honor of coaching.
GIRLS TRACK & FIELD – Amanda Eslinger (Sr.)
Amanda is and has been our top high jumper for the past 4 seasons. Amanda understands the technical aspect of her event and does a great job of preparing for her event. She is the returning Conference Champion of the past 2 years. This week she is attempting to complete her version of the “3-peat” at the conference meet. Amanda has combined her natural talent with a great work ethic to master her event. Her talent has played a major role in our team’s success for this year as well as the past three. She is never satisfied and continues to grow as an athlete. Her will and determination are great assets for her.
GIRLS WATER POLO – Sara Fredricks
Sara is one of our senior captains this year. Sara has completely embraced her new leadership role both in and out of the water. She is currently our leading goal scorer as well as leading in minutes played. It is been especially significant during the beginning part of our season as she has been counted on to play entire games and even tournaments without ever letting up on her intensity and effort in the water. Sara is willing to do whatever it takes to help this year’s team succeed and improve. Out of the water she is consistently working to help develop the skills and knowledge of her younger teammates. We are excited for the rest of the season to play out and think this year could be a very special season. We will miss Sara when she graduates this spring.
WRESTLING – Brenden Wymer
Brenden Wymer’s has made a good career in wrestling by being willing to take on the hard assignment. Whenever called upon to bump up a weight class or to match up with a state ranked wrestler to provide the team with a desired outcome at another weight he did so with a smile. A two year varsity letter winner, Brenden, has had to overcome some nagging injuries to make onto the mat. He compiled a 19-6 record in the 2016-2017 season.
Brenden wrestles with power and agility and an infectious positive attitude. His smile is his calling card. His teammates follow his lead. Amiable sportsmanship is what he models for underclassmen and you will often see them copying Brenden’s handshake and hug method of congratulations and genuine gratitude for having the opportunity to compete. When the coaching staff receives compliments from opposing coaches and fans it is often regarding the positive sportsman like behavior of the RHS wrestlers. Brenden Wymer is the leader of the team in that regard.
2017 February Athletes:
GIRLS BASKETBALL – Makayla Seelye
Senior Makayla Seelye is a team captain and 2 sport Varsity athlete (basketball and volleyball). Coming off the bench, she provides a defensive spark and a solid, confident presence on offense. She has great defensive footwork and works well within our offense by attacking seams and making great passes. Her ability to do the little things correctly on offense and defense was key in a very tight game against conference rival Hudsonville. Makayla has a competitive mindset, a great attitude and truly exemplifies what it means to be a team first player.
BOYS BASKETBALL – Nate Anderson
Nate has started in all 13 games for us this season. Nate is averaging 7 ppg and 5 apg. Nate’s 2 to 1 assist to turnover ratio is tops on the team and he has really embraced the role of becoming our pg. Nate also often guards the other team’s best offensive player. However, it is not his numbers that are most important. Nate brings an element of toughness and leadership to our team that often go unnoticed. We feel very blessed to have Nate as one of our team leaders.
BOWLING GIRLS – Margarita Whyte
Margarita Whyte is the athlete of the month for February. She is a senior. She has been bowling on the team for four years. Throughout this season she has improved her spare shooting which has helped her score big games. She is co-captain on the team and She has good sportsmanship.
BOWLING BOYS –Adam Biermacher
Adam is the only senior on the team and his leadership is great to have. He never puts himself in front of the team and even though he isn’t having a good season he keeps the team together by doing the little things. When he is not at his best on the lanes he comes out and cheers the team on without complaining. He is a great young man that we have had the joy of coaching for four years.
COMPETITIVE CHEER –Ellie Sims
Ellie has been a two-year member of the Varsity squad. Ellie has been working hard all YEAR long to become a better athlete. From summer training sessions to putting in extra time in gymnastics, her dedication and growth has definitely not gone unnoticed! Ellie is a great teammate, always pushing herself and others to give more than what is expected. She is also extremely coachable, making her a great asset to our team.
COMPETITIVE CHEER –Nikki Dionne
Nikki is sophomore and is in her 2nd year on the Varsity team. Nikki is definitely one of our “utility players” as she competes in all three rounds. She is an incredible athlete with great abilities to adjust and try new things. Nikki never complains, and is always encouraging her teammates with her upbeat and positive attitude. She is a great role model for our younger girls and is sure to accomplish great things in her next two years with the program.
GYMNASTICS –Ally Faulkner
Ally is a hard-working, positive, and energetic leader. She is one of our captains this year. Ally earned the respect of her coaches and teammates through her work-ethic and constant support of her teammates – whether through a pep-talk, hug, or simply pushing them to believe in themselves as much as she believes in them. Ally comes to practice every day ready to give it her all. She leads by example and includes everyone. We have been so lucky to work with Ally the past two seasons – she is the type of athlete every coach hopes to have on their team.
DANCE –Ari Hyink
As a second year she has stepped up in dancing, attitude, and leadership. She embodies where I want the team to go and no matter what does not complain about anything. She tries as hard if not harder even if she does not have to. She is consistently asking for correction and ways to make herself a better dancer. She has a striving academic and personal life as well which shows how well she balance all aspects of her life.
ICE HOCKEY –Brandon Schwandt
Our Hockey Athlete of the Month is senior captain Brandon Schwandt.
Brandon has showed tremendous leadership for our group over the past month doing everything he can to help keep the team motivated and focused during a challenging part of our season. Brandon is our only returning all-state player and has been a force all over the ice. He has played both forward and defense of late in the spirit of trying to help the team in any way he can. He currently leads our team in scoring and is the voice in the locker room people look to for guidance. He has been our best performer all while constantly battling minor sickness. His toughness and resilience to perform for his team through all adversity makes him our athlete of the month.
SKI TEAM GIRLS –Gertie Venckus
Gertie Venckus, senior, 4 years on varsity, team captain.
Gertie is our fastest female racer on the team, and one of the fastest female racers in our conference and on the hill. She also competes in USSA, where she also does very well. Gertie loves racing GS, but she is great at both slalom and GS disciplines. In our past two conference races she finished in first place in both slalom and Giant slalom. She has been top 3 in all other races we have had so far this season. With her 4 years on varsity, Gertie brings the confidence of a seasoned racer, she can ski whatever set gets thrown her way. Gertie helps the other girls on the team inspect the course and prep for the race, she is very knowledgeable, which is helpful for me since I can’t always be in two places at once. Overall, Gertie is a very strong skier and helps the team with her consistency. The team and I will miss her next year!
SKI TEAM BOYS –Nick Rupert
Nick Rupert, sophomore, 2 years on varsity.
Nick is our fastest male racer on the team, and like Gertie, is also one of the fastest on the hill. He also competes in USSA, where he does very well. Nick is great at both disciplines, slalom and GS. Nick has taken second place in both disciplines at our past two conference races. What’s great about nick is that he really goes for it every run, however, this results in him laying down one of the fastest runs, or blowing out of the course. As a racer gets faster and faster there is an added level of difficulty to the course, so Nick and I are working on managing the course at these high speeds. The races that Nick has finished he has been in the top 2. Nick still has two more years of high school racing after this season, so I am excited to get to work with him more.
SWIM BOYS –Jacob Newberger
Jacob is a junior swimmer and is currently our overall swimmer. Jacob has been swimming for a long time, having come through the Riptide Program. Jacob performs very well when we need him most, providing key wins in meets this season. Jacob has qualified for the State Championships in all but the 100 Breast Stroke and 500 Free. His legs in the relays are key to having 2 of the 3 relays qualified as well. Jacob works hard in practice, but also balances a little bit of fun and perspective as one of our 5 Junior Captains. He works hard, leads when necessary, and accepts his role as a top athlete who is required to preform well for his team. We are proud to have this young man on our team.
WRESTLING –Connor White
Sophomore Connor White began his wrestling career early. Following his older brother Cam up through ranks of the Rockford system. Cam announced to the RHS coaching staff his younger brother is “A better wrestler than me” when Connor entered high school. And Connor has been living up to the praise ever since. Connor wrestles well on his feet and is a burgeoning master at controlling his opponent with dominant hand control leading to many pins.
This season Connor is 27-9 and is coming off a month where his come from behind pin win against a Grandville wrestler helped the Rams upset the ranked bulldogs in a key OK Red dual meet. He also wrestled to a third place finish at the OK Red conference tournament at 125lbs. As a member of the sophomore class that features four other starters in the Rams lineup Connor is poised to be a leader on the team now and for the next two years.
2017 January Athletes:
GIRLS BASKETBALL – Zoe Anderson
Zoe is an extremely talented 2 sport athlete (basketball and volleyball). What make Zoe such a tough match-up for other teams is she has the ability to play in the post and out at the perimeter. She’s got good ball-handling skills, a great jump shot, and is a very aggressive rebounder. She is also a very good defender and does a tremendous job guarding bigger post players. Zoe is an impact player on both ends of the floor. She is an intense and competitive leader who provides great energy and intensity on the court. She is continually pushing herself and her teammates to get better. Zoe is averaging 14.1 points per game, 6.1 rebounds per game and shooting 74% from the line. She had a double-double with 17 pts. and 12 rebounds
GIRLS BASKETBALL – Brooklyn Neumen
Brooklyn is a very talented 2 sport athlete (basketball and lacrosse). She is one of our toughest defenders and it is so fun watching her wreck havoc on the defensive end. Her job is to make it very difficult for the other team’s best player to get the ball and she does an incredible job of this. She never takes a play off when she is on the floor. Brooklyn comes off the bench and provides a tremendous spark as our 6th man. I love her positive attitude and relentless work ethic. She also went 4/4 from the free-throw line in the remaining minutes of our game against Hudsonville to help seal the win.
BOYS BASKETBALL – Ryan Gamm
Ryan is averaging 16 ppg, shooting 47% from the field, 74% from the FT line and averaging 8.8 rpg. He is a captain and done a great job of leading our team through the tough, early schedule.
GIRLS BOWLING – Heather Buck
December’s athlete of the month is Heather Buck. Heather is a sophomore. At the Wyoming Invitational she finished fourth in the individual metals. All around Heather shows great team spirit, sportsmanship, and is one of our stronger players in leading with spare shooting and high scores.
January’s athlete of the month is Leah Murray. Leah is a senior. At the Fruitport Invitational she finished first in the individual metals. Leah is a great example of team leadership, and sportsmanship. She is also one of our stronger players in leading with spare shooting and high scores.
BOYS BOWLING – Matthew Buck
Matt is just a Freshman this year but bowls well beyond that level and he show us why in the Wyoming invitational as he took first place. He has also been your anchor bowler much of the season and so far is carrying a 204 average. We look forward to the next four years with him.
BOYS BOWLING – Trey Laven
Trey is a wonderful young man who never has much to say and when he is bowling no matter what he shoots he always has a smile on his face. He can toss a strike or a gutter ball and his reaction is the same, a big smile, he never gets upset and if we tell him a move to make he makes its and just laughs if it works. He is so much fun to have on the team.
DANCE TEAM – Kristina Yachcik
Kristina has been a part of the Rockford Varsity Dance Team for the first time this year and has really been a positive addition to the team. Being an outstanding leader, constantly improving dance skills, and focusing in practice, Kristina is really the full package of an RVDT member.
COMPETITIVE CHEER – Katelyn Kennedy
Katelyn has been an incredible asset to our team this season. After being called up to Varsity for our district competition last year, Katelyn has really stepped up to be an even better athlete and teammate this season. Katelyn is extremely coachable – everything we ask her to do, she does with no complaints and with a smile and positive attitude. Her optimism is contagious and her teammates appreciate her work ethic and encouraging, positive attitude. Katelyn is only a sophomore, but has senior-level talent. We are excited to have her be a part of our cheer family and can’t want to see all of the great things she will accomplish this season, and in seasons to come!
GYMNASTICS – Chantel Lokers
Chantel is a sophomore. This is her second year on the team and she has already made a huge impact. Chantel is one of the hardest working athletes I have ever encountered. She doesn’t settle for anything less than her best and she is constantly pushing herself to improve. She is supportive of her teammates, kind, and inclusive. Chantel is a true leader. At our first meet, Chantel placed first on beam. We can always count on Chantel for her consistency, work-ethic, and positive attitude.
ICE HOCKEY – Steven Hazzard
Our Hockey Athlete of the Month is Senior Goaltender, Steven Hazzard. Steven’s work ethic is relentless in practices and games and is a great leader for our hockey team. We know that we can rely on Steven to perform in big games and give our team a chance to win. His athleticism is incredible and he never gives up on a save. So far this season Steven has led our team in the net and pushed us in to the top 10 rankings of Division 1 hockey.
WRESTLING – Andy Hansen
Andy Hansen has been wrestling for many years. Starting in elementary Andy has developed a reputation as a fine wrestling technician with a penchant for pinning his opponents quickly. During a late season surge in 2015-2016 Andy defeated higher ranked wrestlers from opposing schools at both the MHSAA Individual District and Regional. He continued the success by placing 6th at the MHSAA individual state meet. This season Andy has already pinned more than a dozen opponents and the last week of December he achieved his 100th career victory at Portage Central where he went 4-0 on the day with 4 pins. 100 or more career wins is an accomplishment only a little over two dozen RHS wrestlers have achieved in the last 30 seasons.
The RHS wrestling coaches are proud to recommend Ram wrestling team captain and returning state medalist Andy Hansen as the January 2017 RHS Athlete of the Month.