Rockford finished a storybook season with a thrilling 11-10 victory over East Kentwood to capture the 2009 Michigan Water Polo Association (MWPA) boys state championship. The Rams (30-12) won their sixth state championship in seven years with an exceptional display of teamwork. From the beginning of the season to the last goal of the title game, the 2009 Rams were an unselfish unit, each player doing whatever was needed to help the team win. The team’s five captains, seniors Derik Bothma, Tyler Manikowski, Kyle Peterson and Connor Thelen, and junior Pat Fase were overjoyed after the game. They spoke with one voice about the team’s success: “This weekend was about teamwork and about heart. We came determined to give everything we had. And every time we needed something to happen, a different teammate stepped up.” Teams and fans from around the state gathered at Birmingham’s Seaholm High School as the tournament opened Friday afternoon, Nov. 13. Rockford faced preseason MWPA favorite Birmingham Groves in a defensive struggle punctuated with timely scoring. The Rams held on for a 6-4 victory. Rugged team defense and junior Jeff Schmitt’s game-high four goals moved Rockford on to the semifinals. The Rams’ semifinal opponent was last year’s state champ, Ann Arbor Huron. Huron’s high-powered offense found a way to score against Rockford’s defense. But the Rams showed some firepower of their own, finishing with a 13-9 victory, led by five goals from Bothma and four from sophomore Eric Chisholm. Fase’s 21 saves in the goal sealed the victory. The final game Saturday evening, Nov. 14, pitted Rockford against rival East Kentwood. For the third game in a row, Schmitt and sophomore Bryan Wasberg jumpstarted the offense, giving the Rams the early lead. But the high-scoring Falcons fought back. They tied the score in the third period and took a two-goal lead in the fourth period. That’s when the Rams showed the character of champions. They tightened up their defense while Schmitt scored three quick goals at the other end to give Rockford the lead. Kentwood answered again, knotting the score at 10-10. With less than a minute remaining in the game, Rockford’s top scorer Bothma rose up high out of the water with ball in hand. Everyone in the natatorium […]
by TONY ANDERSON The Rockford Rams hosted the Holt Rams on Saturday, Nov. 14, for the regional football championship. The game was a rematch of week two, which was dominated by Rockford. Playing a team two times in one season and getting a victory is an extremely hard thing to do, and Rockford was asked to do it three times in three weeks. Holt won the coin toss and deferred to the second half. Rockford took the opening kick to the 39-yard line. The Rams of Rockford found themselves unable to get a first down and had to punt. Holt took possession on the 29-yard line and picked two first downs before finding themselves in a fourth-down-and-long. The punt team came in from the sidelines, but they faked the punt and picked up the first down. Shortly after, Holt scored a touchdown, but the point after was no good. Rockford started their next possession on the 38-yard line. Then the Rockford quarterback was intercepted on the third play. Holt started at midfield and scored on the first play—a 50-yard pass play. Holt was flagged with an off-sides on the kickoff. The next kick ended up in the end zone after the 5-yard penalty. Rockford returned the kick to the 36-yard line. They seemed to find a rhythm and picked up a couple first downs before finding themselves in a third-and-six. Holt seemed to have them stopped, but used the face mask to make the tackle, which was surprisingly only a 5-yard penalty. This left Rockford in third-and-one. Rockford picked up the first down. Trying to continue the drive, Rockford quarterback Taylor Masiewicz was sacked for a 6-yard loss. Following the sack, Masiewicz’s throw was intercepted, and Holt returned it to the Rockford 49-yard line. Holt picked up two first downs—one helped by a questionable pass interference penalty. The first quarter came to an end with the score at Rockford 0, Holt 13. The second quarter opened with Holt in a third-and-15 on the 23-yard line. But the second quarter was the Rockford defense’s quarter, forcing Holt into a 34-yard field attempt, which was no good. Rockford took over on the 20-yard line. Rockford’s offense was forced to punt after three plays, and Holt took over […]
Wednesday, Nov. 18 Downtown Rockford Holiday Lighting Ceremony—Enjoy carolers and a band at 5:45 p.m. at Peppler Park (near the dam) prior to the lighting at 6:00 p.m., presented by Rockford Chamber of Commerce and City of Rockford. Messages of peace from Mayor Chi Chi Rogers and Mayor Pro-Tem Steve Jazwiec will be presented, and the traditional lighting countdown will be by Gene Parker of 100.5 The River. Downtown Rockford merchants present their holiday open houses all day and through Thursday, Nov. 19. Dickens Carolers—6:30 to 8:30 p.m., strolling throughout downtown Rockford, sponsored by Rockford Chamber of Commerce. Friday, November 20 Family Movie Night—6 p.m. at Grattan Academy Elementary School. Enjoy the movie “Monsters vs. Aliens” in 3-D! Free admission. Concessions will be available. All proceeds will help purchase school supplies. Saturday, Nov. 21 Holiday Bazaar—9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Courtland Oakfield United Methodist Church, 10295 Myers Lake Ave., Rockford (between 12 Mile and 13 Mile roads). Enjoy many crafters, Grandma’s Attic, a bake sale, silent auction, cookies by the pound, and lunch from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. For more information, call Dawna Ames at (616) 866-0648 for more information. Cathy Schmitt Benefit Fund “Event”—4 to 11 p.m. at Knights of Columbus Hall, 1140 Muskegon NW, Grand Rapids. Enjoy fun, food, music, games, raffles, and silent and live auctions! Free pictures with Santa and games for kids from 4 to 6 p.m. For more information, call Susan Dunning at (616) 669-6359. Tuesday, Nov. 24 Country Music—9:30 to 11:30 a.m. every Tuesday at Rockford Ambulance Community Center, corner of 10 Mile Road and Shaner Avenue in Rockford. Music by the Rogue River Band. Enjoy free coffee, tea and snacks. “The Dirt on Dirt” Lecture—6 to 8 p.m. at Kent Conservation District office, 3260 Eagle Park Dr., Grand Rapids. Understanding your soils is the first step for gardeners and landowners of all types. Pre-registration required; space is limited. A suggested donation of $5 per person is requested. To register, call (616) 942-4111 ext. 100. Wednesday, Nov. 25 Community Thanksgiving Eve Worship—7 p.m. at North Kent Bible Church, 7210 Courtland Dr., Rockford. All are invited to attend this ecumenical worship service organized by the Rockford Area Ministerial Association. Join brothers and sisters in Christ, of many congregations and traditions. […]
Look for the silver lining by JACQUIE FASE Director of Transportation “How did it get so late so soon? Its night before its afternoon. December is here before its June. My goodness how the time has flewn. How did it get so late so soon?” —Dr. Seuss. Generally speaking, I’m a fairly positive person. I look for the silver lining, sport my rose-colored glasses, and believe that my coffee mug is always half full. As the scholarly Dr. Seuss once said, “Today is your day! Your mountain is waiting. So… get on your way!” I see this mantra embedded in the “Rockford Ram Culture” through its inspiring teachers, motivational administrators, and through all the great staff members, parents, coaches and volunteers. The transportation department believes in obtaining this level of positivity and enthusiasm as well, because each department is an essential aspect of the greater Rockford Public Schools (RPS) family. We believe that character-building goes far beyond the classroom, so just as the teachers uphold an expectation of behavior and safety, the bus drivers do as well. As the leaves fall and the bus garage prepares for yet another Michigan winter, I can’t help but reflect on how quickly the past 15 years have gone. Just like you, I have climbed several mountains with my children, whether it be the frantic, last-minute poster board presentation, the issue of affordable prom dresses and cool jeans, or the bully on the bus. However, I was never alone with my goal to instill positive character traits within my kids, and I’m thankful for the support of the RPS community. As a member of the transportation department, I want to encourage you to seize the moment, “climb the mountain,” seek out support, and get involved as well. For over a decade I have been a member of the extended Rockford High School family. In 2011 my youngest son will graduate, and my years as a band, choir, theatre, swim, and polo parent will come to an end. I’m not sure what I’ll do with all my spare time! Who will I make cupcakes for? Will I miss the countless hours spent behind the concession stand? Will I not have the opportunity to buy yet another Rams sweatshirt or sell […]
The Kent District Library will again offer its “Let It Snow” adult book club beginning December 1. The program offers prizes and more for readers and runs through March 31, 2010. Sign up at your local branch to receive a bingo card with squares representing various kinds of books. Play bingo while you read, and enter to win prizes such as gift cards. Winners of two bingos receive an ice scraper and all completed bingo cards will be entered into the final drawing Wednesday, March 31 for a $50 gift card to the Gilmore Group restaurants. For more info call (616) 784-2007 or online at www.kdl.org.