April 22 2010

Secretary of State visits Rockford Boy Scouts

April 22, 2010 // 0 Comments

Michigan’s Secretary of State, Terri Lynn Land, was the guest speaker recently at the weekly meeting of Rockford Boy Scout Troop 264. After congratulating the Scouts on their upcoming 100th anniversary, Land informed the Scouts that her office sends out the official congratulatory letter from the state of Michigan for Scouts achieving the rank of Eagle. Land then spoke about her start in politics which included working on Gerald R. Ford’s presidential campaign. She described the dual aspects of her job, including vehicle/boat registration and licensing, and elections supervision. She also discussed the improvements she has made to streamline her office so it will function more efficiently and cost-effectively. Land also addressed how serving as Michigan’s Chief Election Official is important in maintaining that fair and free elections are conducted. She emphasized how the Scouts can participate in the election process, even if they are not old enough to vote or are not running for office, by helping at the precincts on election days.             Following a question-and-answer period, the Scouts presented Land with an autographed troop photograph, including Land, as a thank-you gift.

Dinner celebrates culture, diversity

April 22, 2010 // 0 Comments

About 100 people gathered at the Wolverine World Wide Family YMCA for the Rockford Diversity Committee’s annual Bridges Dinner to share great food and to learn about different cultures. While Michele Lussky showed the kids some fun games that celebrated diversity, the adults listened to Martha Gonzalez-Cortes, CEO of the Hispanic Center of Western Michigan, describe her experiences as a child of migrant farm workers. Cortes talked about how one person can make a very positive or a very negative impact on another person’s life. Although she often had been terrified of racist graffiti directed toward her family, she had also been encouraged to continue her education right up to the present day as Superintendent of Schools Dr. Michael Shibler strengthened her resolve to complete her PhD. Cortes left the audience to ponder some very important questions, such as, “What have you done to make people from other cultures feel welcome in your neighborhood?”  The next best way to learn about different cultures is to read about them. That is why Janet Weston of The Reading Tree was also on hand to provide books that will be discussed at later times and locations. “Elijah Buxton” by Greg Schmidt, a winner of the Coretta Scott King Award, will be discussed May 4 at 7 p.m. at The Reading Tree, 5300 Northland Drive, Grand Rapids. This book is primarily for fourth- through eighth-graders. “The Help” by Kathryn Stockett, currently on the New York Time’s Bestseller List, will be discussed May 7 at 11 a.m. at the home of Diana Koslowske. For directions, please e-mail to dikoslowske@juno.com. “Stealing Buddha’s Dinner” by Bich Minh Nguyen, a Vietnamese refugee who grew up in Grand Rapids, will be discussed June 7 at 6 p.m. at the Plainfield Library. Everyone is welcome to join in these book discussions.

Rockford girls soccer wins league opener

April 22, 2010 // 0 Comments

by JACKIE HOLLAND-DECKER The Rockford girls soccer team opened the league season with a formidable win against Hudsonville Friday night, April 16, but against non-league opposition last week, they faltered. The Rams, now 2-2 overall, beat the visiting Eagles 4-1, taking advantage of four different scorers on the blustery, cold night at Rams Stadium. On Tuesday night and Saturday, April 13 and 17, however, their visitors from Cedar Springs and Petoskey took home the wins. Rockford began the week with the neighboring Red Hawks, who always put up a fight. The Rams out-shot Cedar Springs 17-5, but never truly managed to get a goal, despite the final 2-1 score. Senior goalkeeper Sarah Sowerwine seemed to be at the top of her game for the Red Hawks, and the Rams just couldn’t get the ball past her and her defenders. Although junior offensive center midfielder Syd Benda kicked the ball last for Rockford and was credited with the goal with 14:37 remaining in the game, Red Hawks’ defender Ashley Fisher actually kicked the ball in as she sought to keep it out of the goal. Rockford coach Amira Ponne credited Sowerwine and the Red Hawks’ back line with the win. “I don’t think they controlled the game, but their defense was all over the field,” commented Ponne. Against Hudsonville, the Rams were unstoppable. Benda began the scoring frenzy just five minutes into the game when she shot the ball into the right corner, hitting the inside of the post to secure the goal. Freshman Erika Bradfield had the assist, passing to Benda out in front of the goal. Bradfield scored the second goal 28 minutes into the second half. Senior Kate Huyser passed the ball to her about midfield, and Bradfield charged toward the goal from the left, got past the defense, and shot the ball past freshman keeper Kayla Pouliot. Huyser followed suit four minutes later when she took the pass from junior Lanie Esch and kicked the ball into the left corner. Senior Sondra Weaver added one more, taking a cross from freshman Katie Hartnett and running it in for a full volley against the keeper eight minutes later. Hudsonville, which had four shots on goal compared to Rockford’s 10, got on the scoreboard […]

Rams JV water polo wins Jenison tournament

April 22, 2010 // 0 Comments

Grueling six straight days of games intense When the Rockford women’s water polo teams returned from spring break, they had their work cut out for them, as in six consecutive days of games. For those familiar with this grueling sport, this means something, especially since Friday and Saturday consisted of multiple games as part of the Jenison round robin tournament. To the Lady Rams, they took the schedule in stride. Head Coach Scott Voltz noted, “It has been a crazy week! To come back from spring break and have only one practice prior to this week’s games, it can be quite a challenge. The girls have responded well. We also have learned from a lot of game situations and come out of this week stronger than we came in.” The junior varsity team hit its stride on Friday and Saturday at the Jenison Invitational, winning all four of their games to earn first place. Freshman Ellie Raymond was particularly strong in the final game against host team Jenison, stopping 12 attempts to beat Jenison 9-4. Freshman Adrianna Kraft had five goals, Sarah Smith had two, and Abby Finlayson and Alyssa Rollins each had one. To get to the finals on Saturday, April 17, the JV squad defeated Ann Arbor Pioneer 9-2, East Kentwood 11-0, and Hudsonville 13-3. The varsity team faced very tough opponents at the Jenison Invitational, starting out with top seed Naperville from the Chicago area. Besides the Early Bird Tournament in Ann Arbor, the Rams’ varsity team had not experienced play at this level this season. They fell to Naperville 3-8, then lost a close game in overtime to East Kentwood 4-5. The score flip-flopped throughout the game, with many of the Rams’ opportunities just hitting the cross bar. The Lady Rams will seek a rematch on Tuesday, April 20 at East Kentwood. Following this tough loss, the Rams faced powerhouse Hudsonville and hung with them until the fourth quarter, which began tied at 3-3. The Rams lost 4-7, but now know what to look for during the playoffs. The Lady Rams wrapped up the tournament with a 13-3 victory over Grandville, with five saves from junior goalie Tiffany Elenbaas, three goals from Casey Wolfer, two from Emily Williams, Lauren Hulsebus and […]

Rams rule Rockford softball invitational

April 22, 2010 // 0 Comments

On a blustery Saturday, April 17, that saw the wind chills remain in the 20s and 30s all day long, the Rockford Rams varsity softball team saw their bats heat up as they blew away the competition with three consecutive wins, each shortened by the mercy rule. The Rams defeated Kenowa Hills 12-1 in the opening game of the tournament, as Peyton Wells’ two-run homer ended it in the bottom of the fifth. In game two, the Rams defeated Grand Rapids Christian 11-1 in six innings, and then they crushed Byron Center 16-0 in three innings in the finale to win the championship trophy. The day was full of highlights, beginning with the ceremonial first pitch by long-time Rockford varsity softball coach, Terry Konkle, who began the program in 1978 and guided the team for its first 22 years. A member of the first class inducted into the Rockford High School Athletic Hall of Fame, Konkle coached a total of 60 sport seasons over a span of 41 years and was gracious enough to visit on his birthday to honor this year’s team. True to form, Coach Konkle’s drop ball still looks pretty effective! The rest of the day featured timely hits, solid defense, and yet another tremendous pitching performance by Tricia Graham, the junior hurler headed for Central Michigan University. In the three games, Graham allowed a total of just five hits, and she struck out 30 batters in 14 innings pitched. Though she battled a stretch of inconsistency in game two—when she uncharacteristically fell behind a number of hitters and walked a season-high four batters and hit another—she seemed to always wriggle out of trouble by making huge pitches at the most important times, keeping the Eagles at bay. Hitting stars were plentiful. Leadoff hitter Lauren Pasciak scored seven runs on the day. Morgan Ruchty reached base every time she batted except once, collecting five hits, scoring  six times and driving in two. Graham helped her own cause with some big hits and totaled five RBIs on the day, while Wells drove in seven. Huge contributions in the championship game also came from a pair of freshmen. Isabelle Mudgett had two hits, including a triple to the gap in right-center, and scored twice. […]

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