Rockford 'Dynasty' Continues to Reign

June 8, 2019

By Perry A. Farrell
Special for Second Half

NOVI – Rockford ran its Division 1 girls lacrosse championship streak to seven straight titles Saturday.

The Rams got past Brighton 21-6, following up a similarly dominant 25-5 win over the Bulldogs in the Final a year ago.

Rockford finished 15-5-1, with four of the losses and the tie coming against teams from Illinois and Ohio.

“It’s a ton of fun, and we have great leadership from our seniors,’’ said Rams coach Mike Emery. “We have great youth coming up through the program, and we’ve really built a culture over the last 10 years. That’s eight championships in the last 12 years. We’ve been in the Semifinal game every year, in all 12 years that I’ve coached. We just have way too much fun.’’

The reigning champs wasted no time scoring as Isabelle Holmes found the net 50 seconds into the game to give the Rams a 1-0 lead.

Exactly 60 seconds later, Holmes added her second to get Rockford off to a good start.

Brighton’s first offensive attack led to a score by Sophie Mondro, but seconds later the Rams scored again on a goal by Katie Rodriguez to make it 3-1.

Rodriguez tacked on another at 20:49 to give Rockford a 4-1 advantage.

With Rockford a player short, Cat Kophcia scored to cut the lead to 4-2. But Sydney Zimmerman emerged from the penalty box and scored to make it 5-2 after running down an errant pass.

Holmes scored her third goal of the half to increase Rockford’s lead to 6-2 at the 12:34 mark. Chloe Dunham then took a feed from Mackenzie Delacher and found the net to give Rockford a 7-2 lead, and Rodriguez picked up a loose ball and scored her third of the game.

Mondro scored her second and third goals of the game for Brighton to trim the deficit to five.

Brighton (16-8-1) mounted a rally as Kophcia scored her second to make it 8-4. But with Brighton a player short, Dunham scored her second goal to extend the lead to 9-4. Zimmerman scored her second as the eventual champs moved ahead 10-4.

Mondro then scored her fourth goal for Brighton, but senior standout Karrington Vander Molen finally got on the board for Rockford as the advantage swelled to 11-5. She finished with three goals.

Dunham scored with 10 seconds left in the half to give the Rams a 12-5 lead.

Rodriguez opened the second half with a goal, her fourth, to make it 13-5.

“It’s so fun,’’ said Rodriguez. “The team aspect of it never gets old. We have so much energy. It’s so fun to win it still.”

Vander Molen added her second goal, and the Rams were rolling, 14-5.

McKenna Rinehart gave the Rams a 10-goal lead, which meant a running clock. Delacher added her second goal to put Rockford up 16-5. Zimmerman added her third to make it 17-5.

“I was happy because we didn’t get beat by as many as last year,’’ said Brighton coach Ashton Peters. “We knew it was going to be a tough game. Rockford is a dynasty.”

Click for the full scoring summary.

PHOTOS: (Top) Rockford raises its latest Division 1 championship trophy Saturday. (Middle) The Rams' Anna Glynn (15) and Brighton's Maddie Mince work to pick up a loose ball.

Representative Council Approves Limited Regional Seeding in Girls Lacrosse at Fall Meeting

By Geoff Kimmerly senior editor

December 9, 2022

The addition of limited seeding at the Regional level of the Girls Lacrosse Tournament headlined actions taken by the Representative Council of the Michigan High School Athletic Association during its Fall Meeting on Dec. 2 in East Lansing.

Generally, the Council takes only a few actions during its Fall Meeting, with topics often introduced for additional consideration and action during its meetings in winter and spring. This Fall Meeting saw the Council take only three actions, with additional discussion centered on topics expected to receive more specific consideration at MHSAA sport committee meetings this winter and the Council’s meetings in March and May.

The Council approved a Girls Lacrosse Committee proposal to seed the top two teams in every Regional, and place those top seeds on opposite sides of the bracket beginning with the 2023 season. The two teams to be seeded will be determined by using the MHSAA’s Michigan Power Ratings (MPR) formula, which takes into account success and strength of schedule and is used currently to provide seeding information in boys lacrosse, girls and boys basketball, girls and boys soccer, and ice hockey. Only the top two teams in girls lacrosse will be seeded and separated; the other teams in each Regional will be placed on their brackets by random draw.

The Council also approved a Boys Lacrosse Committee recommendation that will allow athletes to participate in up to five quarters per day between teams at multiple levels – for example, varsity and junior varsity – also beginning with the 2023 season. For boys lacrosse multi-team tournaments, if two school teams (for example, the varsity and junior varsity) are at the same event, athletes may play in no more halves or quarters than what is being played by the school’s highest-level team that day. (Example: if the varsity team is playing three 30-minute half games for a total of six halves, a player playing both varsity and JV on the same day can play in six total halves that day.) The “fifth quarter” rule, by allowing athletes to compete on two levels on the same day, is intended to help programs that are otherwise lacking enough participants to field teams at multiple levels.

Taking into account the wintery weather conditions experienced by athletes during the MHSAA alpine ski season, the Council approved a Sports Medicine Advisory Committee recommendation to adopt the “MHSAA Competition and Practice Guidelines for Cold Weather,” which are specific to alpine skiing. The guidelines include a windchill chart and cold standards for ambient temperature. This proposal also was supported by the Ski Committee and will go into effect for the 2022-23 season.

Remaining discussions focused on results from this fall’s Update Meeting survey completed by administrators during the MHSAA’s annual presentations across the state. The Council considered survey data including on questions related to the out-of-season travel rule. The Council also discussed results of a fall survey completed by member school athletic directors and head varsity football coaches concerning ongoing conversations about scheduling and playoff format. Following the Football Committee meeting in January 2023, an ad hoc committee comprised of members of the MHSAA staff, Representative Council, Michigan Interscholastic Athletic Administrators Association (MIAAA) and Michigan High School Football Coaches Association (MHSFCA) will be convened for further discussion on these topics, with their report to be provided to the Council during its March 2023 meeting.

The Fall Meeting saw the appointment of Westland John Glenn athletic director Jason Malloy for a first-two-year term to the 19-person Council, and the re-appointment of Bay City Western principal Judy Cox for a second two-year term. Malloy previously was appointed to finish a partial term as one of the two representatives of member junior high/middle schools.

The Council reelected Scott Grimes, superintendent for Grand Haven Area Public Schools, as its president; and Vic Michaels, director of physical education and athletics for the Archdiocese of Detroit, as secretary-treasurer. Brighton High School athletic director John Thompson was elected Council vice president.

The Representative Council is the legislative body of the MHSAA. All but five members are elected by member schools. Four members are appointed by the Council to facilitate representation of females and minorities, and the 19th position is occupied by the Superintendent of Public Instruction or designee.

The MHSAA is a private, not-for-profit corporation of voluntary membership by more than 1,500 public and private senior high schools and junior high/middle schools which exists to develop common rules for athletic eligibility and competition. No government funds or tax dollars support the MHSAA, which was the first such association nationally to not accept membership dues or tournament entry fees from schools. Member schools which enforce these rules are permitted to participate in MHSAA tournaments, which attract more than 1.3 million spectators each year.