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September 15, 2018
By: John Raffel

Rockford Hall of Fame to induct new members





Tickets for the induction banquet are on sale in the Rockford High School Athletic Office (4100 Kroes Road) through October 2.  The office is open daily from 8:00 AM to 3:00 PM. The cost of the banquet ticket is $25.00 per person.




Prior to our homecoming football contest with Grandville on October 12, inductees will be introduced to the homecoming crowd. Approximately 6:40 PM.



Bibliographical Information:



During his high school career, Ben posted an overall wrestling mark of 213 victories versus three losses. He was a four-time OK Red Champion, four-time district and regional champ, four-time state placer, and three-time state champ. He was also a member of the 2007 Rockford wrestling state championship team. In 2008, he was a junior freestyle national champion and a NHSCA Senior National Champ, along with being selected the outstanding wrestler. Ben continued his wrestling success at Central Michigan University, where he posted a 121-24 overall record while winning the MAC Championship four times. He was also a four-time Division I All-American. Presently he is still associated with the sport as the assistant head wrestling coach at his alma mater, CMU.



Before graduating from Rockford in 1994, Erin was outstanding in track and cross country. As a freshman, she broke the school record for the mile and was a part of a record-setting 3200 relay team. In her sophomore year, she placed second in the conference and regionals in the 1600 and was again part of a record breaking 3200 relay squad. As a junior, she helped set another 3200 relay mark while also being crowned the conference champion in the 800 and 1600 races. Her senior year saw Erin again excel in her events at the conference, regional, and state levels. In cross country, she was all-conference for three years and all-state for two. She broke the Rockford 5K record, set numerous records in several invitational meets, finished second in the regional meet, and helped the girls get to the state meet as a team for the first time in school history. While at Rockford High School, Erin was voted Homecoming Queen, was active in Student Council, and was voted “Most Admired” by her senior classmates. After receiving a scholarship from the GR Track Club and Western Michigan University, she competed at Western as a valuable member of the track and cross country teams.  After college graduation, she returned to live and work in Rockford with her husband, Scott, and their three children, Camden, Kiah, and Cade.



Becky came to Rockford as a sophomore and was a varsity softball player from 1996 to 1998. She was the team MVP all three years. She batted .610 her first year and made the all-conference squad, despite missing seven league games due to injury.  She did not play against three conference foes. As a junior shortstop, she again made all-conference, along with all-district, all-region and all-state. Her .688 batting average helped the team to a 21-7 record. As a senior, Becky again led the squad with a .643 mark and captained the team through a 26-5 season. She made all-conference again along with state honors.  She was also chosen as the Midwest Gatorade Player of the Year. Her career three-year batting average of .654 is still the second highest in MHSAA softball history. Becky also played tennis in high school. Becky went on to play softball at Central Michigan University as a scholarship recipient and played for the Chippewas’ coach Margo Jonker for four years (1999-2003) as their shortstop and leadoff hitter.  She was on the All-M.A.C. team four times, three years as a first team choice. The CMU softball web site contains many of Becky’s accomplishments, which were so outstanding that she was honored in 2013 by being made a member of the CMU Athletic Hall of Fame. Twice she tried out for the US Olympic team, both times making it to the final stage without being chosen. After college she played in Sweden for three years (2003-2006). Then, returning to Michigan, she continued to play with a team in Midland. Today she is an electrician in Midland, still plays some slow and fast pitch softball, and resides in Bay City with her wife and two very active children.



Laurie participated all four years in cheerleading while attending Rockford High School. She graduated in 1978. Ten years later, she started her coaching career as Rockford’s freshman cheer coach. She then worked her way up to becoming the varsity cheer mentor before moving to Wisconsin for a year. When she returned to Rockford, she became a coach at the middle school level, which gave her more family time. In 1997, she founded READY-SET-CHEER with the help of some special high school cheerleaders. This program ran three times per year through 2016. During this time Laurie also followed her own children’s activities in football, baseball, cheer, and tennis, while also coaching more than one level of cheer per season and becoming a certified competitive cheer judge.  Her coaching time ended in 2016 after 28 years of service. When Laurie’s children were all in school, she started working full time at Rockford High School, where she ended up as the secretary in the Athletic Office. She was named the “Outstanding Employee of the Year” and was included in the first edition of “Rams To Remember.” In 2018, she left the athletic office but continues to work at the school. She commented, “I left my position in athletics in 2018 but am thankful every day for the athletes, coaches, and athletic directors that I have had the opportunity to work with and mentor through the years. I hope I made as much of an impact on them as they have made on me! GO RAMS!!”



As a 1965 Rockford graduate, Jim participated for four years in football, basketball, and track. He was the varsity football quarterback three years, making all-conference as a senior. In basketball, he was a varsity starter for three seasons. Jim was the leading scorer his senior year with 325 points, posting double figure totals in 14 of 17 games in an era when there was not a three point shot. He was all-conference and all-state honorable mention as a senior, along with being the team captain and MVP. He won the conference high hurdles title as a senior and also was a top pole vaulter. Jim was homecoming king and a member of the honor society. After high school, he attended Grand Rapids Junior College for two years, participating in football and track. After a year of studying landscape architecture at the University of Arizona, Jim volunteered in the American Peace Corps in Punjab, India for two years (1970-1972). Then he returned to Arizona, where he graduated in 1978 with a degree in landscape architecture. He became a licensed landscape architect in Florida and owned his own business, Jim Warner & Associates, Inc. He was a Rotary International member for 22 years, serving in different club offices and being elected a Paul Harris fellow by the club in Kissimmee. He is now semi-retired, and he and his wife live part of the year in Florida and the other part in Canada.