Nationally renowned archer, Marie DeRegnaucourt, may have been the first Rockford archer to reach the heights of Member National Junior World Team, competing in the Czech Republic, National U.S. Open Gold Medalist 2004 and All American 2006, but she will be far from the last. Rockford has the RSC Wolverines Junior Olympic Archery Development Club, which was formed just a few years ago at Rockford Sportsman’s Club. There are 12 certified coaches with over 50 young athletes with four national champion titles held by Mikayla Venoms, Katerina Scrivener and Alice Billen. Their head coach is Glenn Meyers, who was on the 1984 USA Olympic team.
An interesting tidbit: Did you know that DeRegnaucourt, her dad Jeff, and Meyers were in the movie “The Weatherman” with Nicholas Cage?
Recently Josh Zuiderveen, Gordon Pickerd and Jeff DeRegnaucourt met with officials from the West Michigan Sports Commission. Their goal was to include archery in the 2011 Meijer State Games of Michigan. This year there are 26 different sports events at venues all over the state with over 2,000 athletes and several thousand visitors. Last year was the first year of the Meijer State Games of Michigan and it was a huge success. This year should be spectacular.
Opening ceremonies will take place at Fifth Third Ball Park on Friday, June 24 at 7 p.m. There will be a parade of athletes from all sports along with opening ceremony celebrities Tom Izzo and Mark D’antonio , basketball and football coaches at Michigan State University. Ceremony will include lighting of the Olympic Caldron and a fireworks display to set the tone. The public is invited to view this spectacle for a small fee. Bring binoculars.
Rockford will host the archery venue. In cooperation with Rockford Public Schools, the RSC Wolverines JOAD will hold their Michigan Cup Archery Tournament at the soccer field located at Rockford High School, 4100 Kroes. Food will be available for purchase through the local boosters.
A special thanks goes to Lisa Jacobs and Kris Wolpert of Rockford Community Education for their help in coordinating the resources of Rockford Public Schools. The event will be a Star FITA tournament, which is a certified event complete with registered judges. If a new national or world record is shot, it can be formally recorded for the books. Competition concludes each day at around 2 p.m. to permit participants time to visit downtown Rockford and use the discount coupons provided by members of the Rockford Chamber of Commerce. The competition includes youth and adults. Public is invited to view this tournament for free.
Day one will be the National Archery in the Schools Program (NASP) tournament. NASP is administered by the Michigan Department of Natural Resources (DNR) through public schools throughout Michigan. Mary Emmons is the state coordinator for the DNR.
Days two and three (Saturday and Sunday) will be the Star FITA. The first day will be the opening ceremony officiated by the City of Rockford and Rockford Public Schools. There will be an emotional opening complete with color guard by local Boy Scouts, flags and the national anthem. Then the long distances as far out as 90 meters (basically a football field) will be shot Saturday, then Sunday the short distances and medal ceremony will take place.
Rockford is expected to be the host for the archery venue for years to come, and it is hoped that Rockford will host some of the other sports of the Meijer State Games of Michgian in the future as well.