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Rockford Boys Lacrosse Raises Hope for Cancer Research

By Beth Graalman, 05/12/19, 8:15AM EDT

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To date, Rockford Lacrosse is one of the Purple Community’s highest earning annual events in West Michigan, contributing over $100,000 since 2009. ~ Photo by "Papa" Razzi Sports Photography

To date, Rockford Lacrosse is one of the Purple Community’s highest earning annual events in West Michigan, contributing over $100,000 since 2009.

Rockford Boys Lacrosse continued a philanthropic tradition this season, hosting Grandville on May 4th for the annual “Lax vs. Cancer” Purple Game day of events.  Players and families from Rockford and Grandville came together at Rockford High School on a beautiful day filled with great lacrosse, as each program’s teams from third grade through varsity competed and raised thousands of dollars for the Van Andel Institute. 

Varsity athletes from both teams participated in the Purple Game in honor of a loved one affected by cancer, with each player’s jersey personalized with his honoree’s name.  The event included a pre-game ceremony and a presentation by a VAI research scientist Joel Hrit, who shared his personal story as well as the Institute’s innovative efforts to find a cure. Together, the Rockford and Grandville programs amassed dozens of local sponsorships and gift donations for the silent auction and players from both programs collected donations and sold raffle tickets for the event. Spectators purchased t-shirts, bid on valuable auction items and participated in a “chuck-a-duck” competition throughout the day, bringing in additional vital funding for the cause.  

Rockford Boys Lacrosse is a member of the Van Andel Institute’s Purple Community, a grassroots fundraising and awareness program that connects local groups, teams and communities in the fight against cancer. To date, Rockford Lacrosse is one of the Purple Community’s highest earning annual events in West Michigan, contributing over $100,000 since 2009.

Game day proved to be successful for the Rams’ records as well, with victories for both JV and varsity.  Junior Varsity earned a 7-5 victory with a standout performance by goalkeeper Aaron Hessler, who made 10 saves during the game. Varsity finished the day with a solid 15-9 win, with all 38 players contributing to the match.  A total of ten players scored in the Varsity game, led by senior captain Cam Henckel with three.  Freshman midfielder Sam Watts earned his first two goals of the season and the Rams tallied a total of 26 ground ball wins during the game.

After a road trip to Chicago over the weekend, the varsity Rams finish off the regular season at home next week, facing Detroit Catholic Central Tuesday, May 14, at 6 p.m., followed by Bloomfield Hills-Cranbrook on Saturday, May 18, at 2 p.m. Come cheer them on!


~ Photo by "Papa" Razzi Sports Photography


~ Photo by "Papa" Razzi Sports Photography


~ Photo by "Papa" Razzi Sports Photography


~ Photo by "Papa" Razzi Sports Photography


~ Photo by "Papa" Razzi Sports Photography


~ Photo by "Papa" Razzi Sports Photography


~ Photo by "Papa" Razzi Sports Photography