For the second year in the row, the Rockford High School marching band won the grand champion award at the 25th annual Otsego High School Invitational on Saturday, Sept. 25. Twenty-three high schools performed in this year’s competition with Rockford taking first overall with a score of 93.3 out of 100 possible points. Rockford also won best in class AA for music, color guard and drum major performances. This event was a scholastic marching band competition. Each band is judged on music performance, music effect, marching performance and visual effect. The following schools placed first in their respective classes: • Class A, Byron Center, 89.7 • Class BB, Gull Lake, 81.4 • Class B, Plainwell, 83.1 • Class C, Newaygo, 83.3 • Class D, Gobles, 74.0 “I thought the kids did a great job Saturday night,” said Brian Phillips, Rockford band director. “We have a strong base for our show. Our job now is to build—we have much to add—and refine—we have much to clean—as we finish the program!” The band now begins their competitive bid to qualify for the Michigan Competing Band Association (MCBA) state championship at Detroit’s Ford Field on November 6. In order to qualify, bands must compete in at least two MCBA-sanctioned contests and place among the 11 highest scoring bands in its flight. Rockford has made the state finals every year since joining the MCBA and placed third at last year’s championship. Rockford has three competitions remaining on their schedule, and all are MCBA-sanctioned events. To help with program costs for all age groups in the Rockford band program, including the high school’s upcoming performance at Walt Disney World over Christmas break, the Rockford band parents are selling raffle tickets for a chance to win a new 2011 Chevrolet Malibu. Tickets are $25 each or five for $100, and are available at any home football game, through any student in the Rockford band program, or at Kool Chevrolet on Plainfield Ave. in Grand Rapids. The drawing is scheduled for Rockford’s homecoming football game on October 15. For more information, visit the Rockford band’s website at www.rockfordbands.org.
Rams shock Muskegon with 52-44 upset by TIM COOPER From many people attempting, and few finishing, the gastronomical monstrosity that is the Fifth Third burger, to a rousing chorus of “Take Me Out to the Ball Game,” some traditions at Fifth Third Ballpark never change. On Friday, Oct. 1, the park renewed a tradition by inviting two local high school football teams to participate in its annual tradition at the ballpark. Instead of backstops and base paths, there were goal posts and sidelines. Instead of Tigers’ prospects and dreams of Major League careers, it was the Rockford Rams and the Muskegon Big Reds with hopes of OK Red supremacy. The opening kickoff set the tone for a night of surprises, as Muskegon caught the Rams off guard with an on-side kick, which the Big Reds recovered. Four plays later, Big Reds quarterback Kavonta Keyes sprinted 17 yards into the end zone, giving Muskegon an early 6-0 lead, after the Rams’ Brandon Lubenow blocked the extra point attempt. The Rams’ first possession ended in an interception, just three plays into the drive. They retained possession of the ball after just three more plays, however, when Zack Nelson recovered a fumble forced by teammate Colin Remtema. The fumble recovery set up Rockford’s first score of the night, a 38-yard field goal by Steve Mette, cutting the Big Reds’ lead in half. Muskegon ate up the remainder of the first quarter and the opening minute of the second quarter, driving the field, before Keyes found an open Darren Briggs for a 17-yard touchdown pass, extending the Big Reds’ advantage to 13-3. Rockford’s offense found its footing on its next possession, with Mark LaPrairie going a perfect eight-for-eight on passes before handing the ball to Zach Schmuck for the final yard, bringing the Rams within three points of Muskegon. The Rams then took advantage of a second Muskegon fumble on the kickoff, giving them the ball at the Muskegon 21. Four plays later, LaPrairie found Aaron Weston in the end zone, giving the Rams their first lead of the evening. Rockford took the 17-13 lead into halftime. Rockford’s first play of the second half saw LaPrairie passing to star receiver Neil VanderLaan for a 54-yard touchdown pass, allowing […]