31 medals, one state-qualifying time by DENISE WEBB At the beginning of the season, Rockford Head Coach Tom Parks commented that it was going to be a tough OK Red conference season for Rockford’s swim/dive team. The truth of this statement became evident on December 19 at the West Michigan Relays held at the Holland Aquatic Center. Of the 14 participating high school teams, the top three were from the OK Red conference, and the final scores revealed the intense competitiveness between these teams. Grandville won with 318 points, followed by Rockford (314) and West Ottawa (306). “Even though we lost by four points,” said Rockford senior co-captain Brian Ginebaugh, “we are happy with the results. Several teammates swam personal bests. Also, the entire team was exhausted, coming off of several weeks of tough training, so we actually performed better than we thought we would.” The tough training Ginebaugh mentioned includes one-hour practices before school and intense two-and-a-half-hour practices after school. All this water time equates to more than 6,000 miles swam collectively by the team within the first 20 days of practice. The meet provided ongoing excitement with more than 400 swimmers and divers performing in front of packed bleachers and a two-deep standing crowd. Rockford placed first in three of the 11 events: the 200-yard breaststroke (Derik Bothma, Ginebaugh, Jared Martella and Brian Wasberg; 1:56.56), the 200-yard butterfly (Alex Devries, Ben Fredrickson, Josh Travis and Wasberg; 1:40.47), and the 200-yard medley relay (Bothma, Devries, Ginebaugh and Connor Thelen; 1:42.45). The 200-yard medley relay team swam an impressive state-qualifying time, which was more than two seconds faster than the required 1:45.19. This event was the second state-qualifying time for Devries and the third for Bothma. During the diving portion of the meet, Rockford’s team of senior Tyler Johnson and juniors LJ McCauley and Kurt Plaggemars placed second with a combined score of 311.20 points. Once the meet ended, Rockford had earned 31 medals and one state-qualifying time. The medals earned include: • 200-yard breaststroke—first place, 1:56.56, seniors Bothma and Ginebaugh, junior Martella, sophomore Wasberg. • 200-yard butterfly—first place, 1:40.47, senior Devries, junior Fredrickson, and sophomores Travis and Wasberg. • 200-yard medley relay—first place, 1:42.45 (state-qualifying), seniors Bothma, Devries, Ginebaugh and Thelen. • Diving—second […]
After graduating eight seniors over the last two seasons and rebuilding their team, the Lady Rams bowling team got off to a strong start in December by taking fourth place at the Lowell Invitational, second at the Traverse City Invitational, and being 2-0 in the OK Red conference. While not bowling very well at Lowell, the girls did manage to qualify and make it to the second round of the semifinals, where they lost to eventual winner Kellogsville by just 14 pins. “We held our own on a very tough shot and stuck with Kellogsville through to the final baker frames of the second baker game of the roll-offs, where we missed a couple of spares,” said Coach Lynn Farrance. “I was very encouraged overall by how well the girls handled themselves.” The next weekend had the Rams going to Traverse City and the girls capturing second place. “The girls are really surprising me on how fast they are learning,” said Coach Farrance. Senior Katie Schmock and junior Megan Wood made the All-Tournament team with 474 and 473 series. The girls started the beginning of conference play 2-0 by defeating East Kentwood 20-10 and winning a nail-biter over Grandville 16-14. “What a great match. We came in missing senior starter Christina Miller and pulled off a huge victory,” said Coach Farrance. Senior bowler and anchor Katie Schmock was key to the victory. The boys team qualified in the Lowell invitational, but lost in the first round, and took fourth in Traverse City behind senior Nick VanDrunen, who also made the All-Tournament team. The boys are also starting off the OK Red conference season 2-0 with victories over East Kentwood and Grandville 29-1 and 23-7.
This year, the Assumption School’s Advent Outreach Project was the collection and delivery of approximately 175 care packages to the children at Metro Health Breton Clinic. The Assumption students tied fleece blankets for the project and used the blankets to wrap up a pair of pajamas and a children’s book as Christmas gifts for the patients at the clinic. On Friday, Dec. 18, the student council representatives were able to visit the clinic (as shown in the photograph) and personally present some of the gifts to children there.
With the thought of giving instead of receiving, Mrs. Osborn’s third-grade class at Valley View Elementary School collected supplies for the Kent County Animal Shelter. They loved the idea of bringing in dog food, cat litter, blankets and bleach for the shelter. During their class Christmas party—which they themselves decorated for with dog decor—the animal shelter visited with a dog. The students learned the safety in approaching a stray dog. The animal shelter was very thankful for their cart full of donations.
Obedience training for your pets by SAM HYER When your “fur child” is about six months old, it is time to begin a program of more advanced obedience training. You need to put aside some time for training each and every day. Plan on spending half an hour each day to work with your dog—15 minutes in the morning and 15 minutes in the evening is the normal routine. You will need a collar for your dog for training and obedience work. There are many schools of thought on which collar to use, almost as many as there are trainers. I am going to discuss the choke collar in this article. Ask your trainer—and (or) with the assistance of your veterinarian—which collar is correct for your “paw-ticular” pet. Each breed is as varied as the products the pet store sells. Some cannot tolerate metal “choke”-type training collars, as they can be easily injured internally. Before following this or any potentially harmful task with your pet, contact a professional that knows your pet. Never leave a metal choke collar on your pet. It can snag on something and choke your dog. Always have a nylon or leather collar for regular wear with a “ticket home” attached (a name tag). Many well-meaning people hesitate to use a choke collar for fear it will hurt their pet. But used correctly, a choke collar is a safe and humane training aid. Choke collars are designed to tighten quickly and then release, acting as a correction to the dog. This will not hurt your pet, but it will momentarily throw him off balance and get his attention so you can redirect to appropriate behaviors or teach new ones. The correct method to put on a choke collar is to stand on his right side and slip the collar over his head, making sure that the ring you will attach to the leash is at the top of his neck. When used correctly, the choke collar will release itself the instant you relieve pressure on the leash. Another item you need is a leash. Buy a narrow leash about five feet in length. Finally, you will need lots of patience. Remember, a dog learning the basics of obedience is a lot […]