The Rockford Education Foundation will be conducting its annual Phone-a-thon on February 24, 25 and 26, between the hours of 5:00 p.m. and 9:00 p.m. Volunteers will be calling parents in the Rockford School District to ask for donations. The foundation funds educational opportunities for learners in the Rockford area. “We typically give back around $60,000 per year to the Rockford community in grants,” says Phone-a-thon co-chairpersons, Gail Vanderlaan and Theresa Webb. “The Phone-a-thon is one of our largest fund-raisers of the year. Our goal is to raise at least $20,000.” “The state budget cuts in education have made our work even more important,” says Sue Arend, REF Administrator. “We really appreciate the support we have received from the community in the past, and hope people will consider helping us out in any way that you can, again this year.” Anyone interested in volunteering to help with the Phone-a-thon may call the REF at 863-6317.
Articles by Squire News
Four North Rockford Middle School art students – Olivia Guswiler, Taylor Ramirez, Elliana Raymond, and Katrina Rousakova – have artwork on display in the Michigan Art Education Association Region 9 Show. Each art teacher in the region, which makes up much of West Michigan, was able to bring five pieces for the regional show from the submitted works. The regional show will be on display in Calvin College’s Fine Arts Center for the month of February. The pieces created by Olivia Guswiler and Taylor Ramirez will go on to the state competition in March. Olivia Guswiler Taylor Ramirez Elliana Raymond Katrina Rousakova
Rockford 157, West Ottawa 158 by DENISE WEBB There wasn’t a shortage of excitement on Thursday, Feb. 12, as the Rockford and West Ottawa swim and dive teams walked onto the natatorium deck, both undefeated. As bodies, arms, legs and water flew for more than two hours, the winner of the evening remained a mystery until the very last seconds of the meet. The concluding results, unfortunately, didn’t favor Rockford. The Rams lost to West Ottawa by the smallest of margins, 157-158. “It was anyone’s meet,” said Coach Tom Parks. “Like Rockford, West Ottawa’s team has depth and a very talented bench. We upset West Ottawa in some key events, but they surprised us with major wins in others. Bottom line: it was a great effort by both teams.” Throughout the meet, the overall score remained uncomfortably close. Many events ended with only a few hundredths of a second separating first and second place, such as the match-up between Max Olson of West Ottawa (49.92) and Tyler Augustine of Rockford (49.98) in the 100-yard freestyle. During the first three events, the Rams held a slight advantage of 12 points, but following the fourth event (50-yard freestyle), the score had dropped to Rockford 54, West Ottawa 51. From that point on, the score remained intensely consistent with only a slight difference. Throughout the last four events, West Ottawa and Rockford flip-flopped for the lead. Going into the final event, the 400-freestyle relay, Rockford was down by three points, 147-150. To win, the Rams had to place either first and second or first and third. The relay team of Augustine, Alex Devries, Andrew Sakala and Bryan Wasberg placed first, but West Ottawa’s deep bench of energized freestylers unfortunately out-swam Rockford for second and third places. When reviewing the stats, it becomes clear that many swimmers from both teams swam personal bests, and several swimmers finished in state-qualifying times. Of the 12 events, eight had the first-place winner swimming a state-qualifying time, and of these eight, five had the second-place finisher also securing a state cut. “Yes, there was a lot of speed demonstrated at this meet,” said Sakala. “West Ottawa’s team has gained a tremendous amount of depth, after losing only a few key seniors from last […]
Very pleased with the outcome of the Saturday, Feb. 7, Freshman/Sophomore Swim/Dive Invitational, Rockford’s coaching staff couldn’t voice enough praises about their team. Rockford placed second behind powerhouse Zeeland, out of eight West Michigan schools (Byron Center, East Kentwood, Grand Haven, Grandville, Jenison and West Ottawa) competing in this event hosted by Grandville. “I couldn’t be more proud of the guys,” said head coach Tom Parks. “Many of them swam their personal bests.” The results of this invitational exhibit Rockford’s extreme competitiveness for several years to come. Of the 12 events, the Rams placed at least once, and sometimes twice or three times, in 10 of them and brought home 23 medals. Many of the events had more than 35 participants vying for a top spot, but only the first eight winners in individual events and the leading three teams in relays won medals. The Rams who brought home “hardware” were sophomores Ben Fredrickson (first, second and two fifth places), Jared Martella (one eighth place), LJ McCauley (one fifth place), Tim Newberger (two seventh places), Kurt Plaggemars (one eighth place) and Jeff Schmitt (first, second, fifth and seventh), and freshmen Eric Chisholm (one first place), Josh Travis (two second places and one fourth), Bryan Wasberg (three first places and one second) and Harrison Webb (fourth and sixth). Other swimmers who earned points for the team were sophomore Dominick Sheridan and freshmen Ben Pitts, Cam Cross, Daniel Newberger and Alex Savage. “Everybody worked really hard. It was a good meet. But look out next year Zeeland!” said freshman Allyn Kinney. Medal winners are as follows: 200-yard medley relay – Ben Fredrickson, Jeff Schmitt, Josh Travis, Bryan Wasberg (second place) 200-yard IM – Bryan Wasberg (first place); Josh Travis (fourth); Jeff Schmitt (seventh) 50-yard freestyle – Ben Fredrickson (fifth) 1-meter diving – LJ McCauley (fifth); Kurt Plaggemars (eighth) 100-yard butterfly – Ben Fredrickson (fifth) 100-yard freestyle – Harrison Webb (sixth); Tim Newberger (seventh) 500-yard freestyle – Jeff Schmitt (fifth) 200-yard freestyle relay – Eric Chisholm, Ben Fredrickson, Jeff Schmitt, Bryan Wasberg (first) 100-yard backstroke – Josh Travis (second); Harrison Webb (fourth); Tim Newberger (seventh) 100-yard breaststroke – Bryan Wasberg (first); Jared Martella (eighth)
by JACKIE HOLLAND-DECKER Competitive cheerleading is a sport of highs and lows. One minute or round or competition, the athletes and fans are relishing a best-ever score. The next they are wondering what happened. The sport’s subjectivity, like that in figure skating and gymnastics, is often confusing, with fans wondering how a flawless routine can net the same score as another team’s mistake-laden performance. Such was the case in the last two competitions for the Rockford varsity competitive cheer team. On Thursday, Feb. 12, the Rams were riding a high with a best-ever third round routine at the East Kentwood Invitational. On Saturday, Feb. 14, the Rams had some struggles in the same round and finished ninth out of 12 teams at the prestigious PR Cheer Tournament at the Delta Plex. The Rams’ 790.54-point total on Thursday was a school record. The Rams’ 755.02 Saturday was their lowest since before Christmas. “A lot of it is the judging and [which teams are] there,” said Rockford assistant coach Mary Hurt, who also judges. Team dynamics and the atmosphere of the venue make a difference, too. “It’s hit and miss with the atmosphere,” Hurt said. “The girls were so geeked on Thursday, but Saturday they were somber. They felt the warm-up area was too loud. The Delta Plex takes a lot out of you.” She added that many of the teams did not perform their best on Saturday. The East Kentwood meet showcased the Rams’ abilities and what they can achieve this coming week with the post-conference meet Wednesday, Feb. 18 at home at 6 p.m. and the district competition at home on Saturday, Feb. 21. “Thursday we had three fabulous rounds,” said Hurt. “It was the most remarkable, beautiful, incredible thing I’ve ever seen. I expect the girls to do that again. If the girls want it [at the post-conference meet], they can do it. We can be top three. Everyone in our conference has beaten everyone else at least once, and we’ve beaten everyone except East Kentwood.” At East Kentwood, Rockford scored 225.8 points in round one, 243.64 in round two, and 321.1 in round three to finish second behind the host Falcons (808.17). The Rams’ third round looked perfect to the fans, but fell […]