In a large school district like Rockford, earning top 10 academic honors is an incredible achievement. Rockford’s top 10 students are an example of excellence for our district. If you see any of these students in the future, congratulate them on their hard work and wish them well in their future endeavors. Rockford will be proudly represented in these students as they work toward their next accomplishments. Ryan Romain Rockford’s top graduating student and valedictorian for the RHS class of 2010 is Ryan Romain, son of Mike and Sheryl and brother to Rachael and Kylie. His graduating GPA is 4.620. Romain said his favorite class is English. Romain is Social Studies Student of the Month, National Honor Society member, and National Jack London Short Story Competition honorable mention. He participated in track and field for four years, cross country one year and bowling two years. He was cross country Athlete of the Month, most improved track athlete his junior year, All-State 4×400-meter relay, and senior All-Conference track athlete. He was in marching band for three years with 1st Division State Solo and Ensemble rating for a saxophone solo his sophomore and junior years. Inspired by other people who set high goals, and either achieve them or exhaust every effort in trying to achieve them, Romain’s advice to freshmen is to “develop strong relationships with your teachers. The teachers at Rockford are amazing, and will do anything they can to help you.” His favorite memory is “during the track and field regional meet last year, our 4×400-meter relay surprised all the competition by dropping several seconds off our previous best time, which qualified us for the state meet—the first 4×400-meter relay team to do so in several years.” Next year, Romain will attend Harvard because “it is an amazing school with limitless opportunities,” where he will major in English and minor in either government or history, and eventually become an attorney. Brian Ginebaugh Rockford’s second-highest graduate in academic achievement is Brian Ginebaugh, son of Charles and Sarah and brother to Scott. He graduates with a GPA of 4.58. Among his favorite classes are anything math and science related. Ginebaugh is a four-year academic letter winner, a member of the National Honor Society, and this year’s salutatorian. […]
The Rockford Chamber of Commerce (RCC) is proud to announce that Rockford High School (RHS) senior Brian Ginebaugh is the recipient of its $1,000 college scholarship. A panel of 12 board members had the difficult task of poring over submitted applications and whittling down the list to the eventual winner. The applicants answered the timely question, “If you were the governor of Michigan, what steps would you take to help keep Michigan’s talent from leaving the state?” Ginebaugh impressed the judges with his answers to the essay and his involvement in the community. He is a member of the National Honor Society, a four-year member of the RHS swim team and current captain, member of the Youth Initiative, a volunteer at St. John’s Home and has participated in a church mission trip to Toronto. He is planning on attending Stevens Institute of Technology in Hoboken, N.J. in the fall and pursuing a career in engineering. While attending Stevens Institute, Ginebaugh is planning to pursue a co-op with a large company located in New York City. “Thank you for awarding me with the chamber’s annual scholarship,” Ginebaugh said. “I appreciate the support as I head off to college next year. They have a program there called Technogenesis, which focuses on the entrepreneurial aspects of engineering. I am very interested in this and am looking forward to the next stage of my educational career.” The scholarship was announced during the RCC’s Rockford Community EXPO event on Saturday, March 20, and Ginebaugh will be honored again at the RHS Honors Convocation Ceremony on May 27.
by DENISE WEBB At state finals for any sport, the realization of how refined and talented Rockford’s athletes are becomes evident. The March 12 and 13 swimming and diving Division I state preliminaries and finals were no exception. Fifty-four Michigan high schools qualified this year to compete at this event, where only the best of the best participate. On Friday afternoon at the preliminaries, Rockford Head Coach Tom Parks escorted 12 of his finest athletes onto the pool deck of the Holland Aquatic Center. They were seniors Derik Bothma, Alex Devries, Brian Ginebaugh and Tyler Johnson (diver); juniors Ben Fredrickson, Jared Martella, LJ McCauley (diver), Kurt Plaggemars (diver) and Jeff Schmitt; and sophomores Eric Chisholm, Josh Travis and Bryan Wasberg. At the conclusion of the preliminaries, only the top 16 in each event would advance to the finals on Saturday, earning points and medals for the team. Rockford had eight swimmers and one diver advance to Saturday. Throughout the state finals on Saturday, Saline High School held the lead, followed by Ann Arbor Pioneer. Rockford and its OK Red conference foes, Grandville and West Ottawa, were separated from each other by only one or two points until event nine. After event nine, neither Rockford nor West Ottawa could match Grandville’s speed and depth. Grandville ended the day in fourth place, Rockford in seventh (one point from sixth-place Livonia Stevenson), and West Ottawa eighth. Third and fifth places went to Northville and Zeeland, respectively. At the conclusion of the state finals, the Rams earned 18 medals (received after a 1-16 finish). Four swimmers were named All American (after swimming a specific time), and two individuals and one relay team of four were awarded All State (finishing first through eighth in a state final event). “After countless hours of diving and lifting and after many miles of swimming, it was a pleasure to see their hard work pay off,” said Parks. The 200-yard medley relay team of Bothma, Fredrickson, Ginebaugh and Travis not only placed second in the state, but also was awarded All State and All American for the exact-time-needed finish of 1:37.02. First place in the state went to the Holland West Ottawa team, with a time of 1:36.33. Johnson was the only Rockford diver […]
by DENISE WEBB “It was one of the best nights of my life,” said a smiling senior Andrew Murray, as he exited Rockford’s natatorium February 18 after swimming his last high school dual meet. Murray had much to smile about that evening. The Rams swamped East Kentwood 192-116 in their final dual meet of the season, which landed the Rams in a three-way tie for the dual-meet season with West Ottawa and Grandville (5-1 record each). Also, Murray and nine other senior swimmers and one senior diver were recognized and honored for their combined 35 seasons of dedication to the sport. Of these 11 seniors, eight have been on the team since their freshman year, when Tom Parks became head swim coach for the men’s team. “It’s been a fast four years,” said Parks. During the past four years, several of these young men have won medals, swum state-qualifying times, placed at the state level, been added to the Grand Rapids Press top swimmers/divers of West Michigan list, and helped mold the team into a group of dedicated athletes. The seniors honored that night were Kevin Bors, Derik Bothma, Andrew Denhof, Alex Devries, Rob Fugate, Brian Ginebaugh, Tyler Johnson, Andrew Murray, Kyle Peterson, Ian Rosloniec and Connor Thelen. While some of these seniors will be hanging up their Speedos after graduation, others are continuing with the sport during their college years, including Bothma, Devries and Ginebaugh. Bothma plans to swim in college, but has not yet “signed on the dotted line.” He has had many successes during his time at Rockford High School. During his sophomore year, he received Most Improved Swimmer. For his junior year, he was awarded All Conference and was a state qualifier in the 50-, 100- and 500-yard freestyle, and was a member of the team that placed third in state in the 400-yard freestyle relay. Not quite through his senior season, he has already qualified for state in the 50- and 100- yard freestyle. The advice he leaves his teammates is, “Enjoy it, even though it’s hard. Commit and always give your best.” When asked to share a fond memory, Bothma quickly responded with Parks’ infamous saying, “Jump and unleash the rockets.” Devries plans to swim for Ramapo College of […]
by DENISE WEBB How sweet it is to taste victory as the underdog! As West Michigan media favored Grandville as the next winner of the OK Red swimming and diving conference title, Rockford had much to prove as it entered the waters of the Jenison Aquatic Center during preliminaries on Friday, Feb. 27, followed by the final heats on Saturday, Feb. 28. After a two-day battle filled with nonstop excitement against some of West Michigan’s top swimmers and divers from East Kentwood, Grand Haven, Grandville, Hudsonville, Jenison and West Ottawa, the Rams won by 56.5 points. Even though the Rams eventually won by a respectable margin, the score of the 12-event meet was always fluctuating, keeping Rams fans on the edge of their seats. A prime example was when Rockford was down 11 points after the eighth event, and then fought back only to tie Grandville after the ninth and tenth events. The moment of the meet that “sealed the deal” came when junior Brian Ginebaugh, freshman Bryan Wasberg and seniors Andrew Sakala and Guy Gordon placed 1-2-3-7, respectively, in the 100-yard breaststroke, the 11th event, earning the Rams enough points to enter the 12th, and final, event with an untouchable lead. As Gordon touched the wall and quickly looked at the scoreboard, he said he was “ecstatic” to learn that his teammates placed 1-2-3, and his time qualified him to compete at the state level in two weeks. “All the hard work paid off!” he expressed. The competition overall was extremely fierce at the conference meet. Several swimmers from all seven schools secured state qualifying times. Throughout the two-day meet, approximately 80 percent of Rockford’s extraordinary team swam or dove personal bests, resulting in 27 individual conference medals. The Rockford medal holders are: seniors Tyler Augustine (four medals), Gordon (one), diver Quinton Rodriguez (one) and Sakala (four); juniors Derik Bothma (four), Alex Devries (three), Ginebaugh (four), diver Tyler Johnson (one) and Connor Thelen (one); and freshmen Josh Travis (two) and Wasberg (four). “This team’s seniors have come a long way since their freshman year,” said Assistant Coach Don Seifert. “Their progress has been exceptional, and their win has been an incredible achievement.” “This year’s team is one of the most aggressive I have ever […]