The first week of clues lead to a family search for the Cannon Coin on Thursday, September 17. Hunting for the third year are Luke and Leslie LeDoux (center), joined by family members Bob and Lisa Zabavski (left) and Bob and Kathy Abplanalp (right), holding 14-month-old Zoe. Luke LeDoux said it took him three hours on his day off to track down the completed clues in participating Cannon businesses. He appreciates the added challenge for the hunt. “People who are willing to really work at it have an advantage,” he said. See this week’s partial clues on the front page of the Squire, as well as last week’s complete clues.
by TONY ANDERSON The Rockford Rams traveled to Jenison on Friday, Sept. 18, to play the upstart Wildcats. The Rams came in averaging 36 points a game, with the other three victories coming with wide margins of victory. The Wildcats came into the contest with a upset victory over Grandville, and feeling chippy. Jenison won the coin toss and deferred to the second half. Rockford took possession on the 20-yard line after a touchback. The Rams stumbled and, after three plays, were forced to punt. The Wildcats returned the punt to the 37 and then had 10 yards tacked on by a penalty. Jenison seemed to have a drive going, but the Ram defense stepped up even after a very questionable face mask penalty, and forced a field goal. Rockford returned the kick to the 31-yard line, but was forced to punt after three plays. The Wildcats took over on the 22-yard line, and once again seemed to have a drive mounting. However, the Rams’ defense rose up and forced a punt, which didn’t go very far, and the Rams took over on the 44-yard line. The first quarter came to an end with Jenison ahead by 3. The second quarter opened with the Rams seeing second down and six yards to go. One play after picking it up, Rockford fumbled the ball. The Wildcats took over on the 36-yard line. After a six-yard pick-up on first down, the wheels seemed to fall off, and after three straight penalties, the Wildcats went from second down and four to second down and 36. The Wildcats—though making some plays and picking up a chunk of yards—were forced to punt. Rockford took over on the 44-yard line, but stumbled once more and were forced to punt after three runs, netting two yards. Jenison took over on the 12-yard line after a first down. The Rams defense forced them to punt, and the Rams took over on the 43-yard line. Zach Haugen grabbed a pass from Taylor Masiewicz, and then Joey Johnson scampered 28 yards for a touchdown, with Paul Mudgett adding the point after. The Rams’ drive of 43 yards in four plays took 47 seconds. The Wildcats took over on the 20-yard line […]
by BECKY ERSTE-HOLMBERG The Rockford equestrian team is working hard competing in districts, which has one more week to go at the Red Flannel Saddle Club in Cedar Springs. The top two teams in each division will move on to regionals. Rockford has gone to state competition the last three years, and hopes to make this year their fourth. There are four divisions which are determined by size: “A” being the largest and “D” being the smallest. Rockford has two teams this year, one in Division A and one in Division B. Coach Sabrina Nyenhuis is assisted by Nicole Hammer, Erin Weaver, Kristina Pothoven and Cathy Nitschke. There are many events the athletes compete in, such as jumping, showmanship and speed, to name a few. There are both western and English riding. The participating schools that competed last weekend in districts were Allendale, Belding, Catholic Central, Cedar Springs, Creative Technology Academy, Forest Hills, Grant, Jenison, Lowell, Rockford, Sparta and Tri-County. Last year, the final standings from district competition found Lowell and Cedar Springs being the top two teams in Division A, with Rockford and Lowell being the top two teams in Division B. Come cheer on your favorite team on Saturday, Sept. 26 at the Red Flannel Saddle Club in Cedar Springs. See who goes on to regionals at the Barry County fairgrounds in Hastings on October 3-4, and finally to the state competition in Midland for a four-day competition October 15-18.
Senior Tyler Manikowski overpowers an opponent. Photo by GORDON PETERSON Rockford topped Okemos in the finals of the East Kentwood Invitational on Sept. 19, capping an impressive five-win-one-loss week of polo action. The Rams pushed their season record to 12-5 with solid play at both ends of the pool. The week began with the Rams’ first two conference wins: a 10-3 victory at West Ottawa and a 16-7 win at Jenison. Senior Derik Bothma had seven goals and senior Kyle Peterson had four steals against West Ottawa. Seven Rams scored against Jenison, with sophomore Alex Savage and Bothma each providing four assists. The Rams opened the East Kentwood Invitational Friday night, Sept. 18, against the host Falcons. This evenly matched contest featured rugged defense and some spectacular shooting. Regulation ended in a 7-7 tie, and the tie-breaker shootout ended 10-10. East Kentwood then prevailed in the first round of the sudden death shootout for a final score of 11-10. After another disheartening one-goal loss (their fourth in two weeks), Rockford coach Dave McWatters spent a restless Friday night wondering whether his team had “the character of a champion.” He found out Saturday morning when his Rams faced the talented and experienced Grand Haven Buccaneers. Rockford’s trademark defense and the scoring of seniors Connor Thelen and Bothma kept the game close. But regulation ended in another 7-7 tie! The Rams’ character was now tested under extreme conditions. All five shooters responded by scoring—a perfect shootout, and a 12-10 victory. The Rams then overpowered Zeeland 17-3. Eleven different Rams scored goals. Kyle Peterson and sophomore Josh Travis each contributed three assists. The final game of the tourney pitted the high-powered Okemos offense against Rockford’s swarming defense. The Rams proved to be too much, topping Okemos 8-4. Bothma concluded a week of prolific scoring with five goals to lead the Rams. Bothma is quick to note, however, that water polo is a team sport. “We need everyone to play well if we’re going to be successful. This weekend everyone played their best and gave it their all. We really came together as a team.”
by DAN LEESA The Rams’ varsity soccer players kicked off their season in August loving Saturdays. After losing a core of 12 strong seniors and grueling weeks of pre-season conditioning, Rockford’s newly formed varsity team came out of the gate on Saturday, Aug. 22 without time for small talk during the Portage Central Invitational. The field catered to no one during the first match against a highly ranked Okemos crew. Though rough ground conditions coughed up a havoc of bad bounces, creating scoring opportunities for Okemos’ skilled strikers, Rockford senior goalie Sean Lewis and a motivated defense kept them off the board. Rockford won the first match 1-0 courtesy of Okemos and a misguided ball in the first half. Strongly favored to win, Stoney Creek faced off against a Rams team ignited. Rockford scored on a streamlined ball from freshman Dewey Lewis to senior Andrew Wyles, who drilled an upper 90 blast past the keeper 20 yards off the net. Stellar play from sophomore Cam Jensen and senior Kyle Cook kept Stoney Creek Academy player Jordan Tyler trapped in the midfield. Meanwhile, senior defenders Joe Weber and Michael Bertsch, backed by junior Dylan Bronkema, held Tyler’s teammates in check to close the game 1-0. Though exhilaration traded places with fatigue during the heated tourney’s third match against South Lyon, a precision touch shot over the keeper’s head by Wyles sealed the deal 1-0 yet again and sent home inspired players. And then Monday, Aug. 24’s home opener against Lowell rolled around. While starters Dewey Lewis and Jensen sat out with injuries, a Rams team—still rebounding from the Portage tourney’s unfaltering physical action—struggled to connect passes. Several turnovers on the defensive end, despite Rockford’s refueled attempts to find the net, led to Lowell’s 1-0 win. On Wednesday, Aug. 26, the Rams journeyed to Fruitport. The rivals finally scored on a cross to an open striker, sending Rockford home without a post for the scoreboard, 0-1. Heading into Saturday, Aug. 29’s high noon match against Michigan’s number-one-ranked Class B team, Forest Hills Eastern, Rockford stepped up their game. While Eastern controlled possession and pleased home bleachers with a goal in the first half, Rams’ […]