December 15 2011

MacGregor coordinates Cyber Safety presentations in Rockford middle schools

December 15, 2011 // 0 Comments

State Rep. Peter MacGregor, R-Rockford, recently coordinated presentations on cyber safety for sixth- through eighth-grade students at East and North Rockford middle schools. The presentations, customized through the Michigan Cyber Safety Initiative (CSI), inform students about common Internet predator techniques and appropriate responses to cyber bullying. Students are cautioned about revealing personal information on social networking sites. They also are taught not to share inappropriate material via cell phones, while learning about the long-term consequences that can result. The presentation incorporates several videos to drive home the importance of being responsible online. “It’s important that our children understand the dangers of the Internet,” MacGregor said. “When I learned of the CSI program, I knew Rockford students could benefit from the important information, and I’m pleased that we were able to coordinate this great opportunity for them. Thanks to the Michigan CSI, Rockford students will be safer on the Internet this year.” The Michigan CSI program was piloted in 2007 by the Michigan Attorney General’s Office. Since the program’s launch, it has been presented to more than 640,000 students in Michigan. For additional information, along with handouts and resources, visit the Michigan CSI website at

Rams blank Grandville 4-0 in conference tilt

December 15, 2011 // 0 Comments

by GORDIE ANGUS Studying your opponent is a significant role of a coach to prepare the team going into every game. “We knew we have better depth than Grandville and we knew we could wear them down with our attack,” said Rockford Head Coach Ed Van Portfliet. Wear them down, they did. Just over three minutes from the start of the game on Saturday, Dec. 10, Rockford junior Stephen Shira lifted junior Austin Cantu’s rebounded shot to the top shelf of the net over the Bulldog net-minder to start the scoring. The assist went to senior Keegan Knight. The Rams continued the attack and set the pace of the game. Less than two minutes later, a heavy pressure forecheck by junior Blake Erhart and senior Justin Ullrey put the puck into position for junior Nate Hill to beat the goalie and score his team-leading third goal of the season. Assists on the goal went to Erhart and Ullrey. With 6:10 left in the opening frame, junior Hunter Angus forced a turnover in the Rockford zone. He took the puck just inside Grandville’s zone and fired a quick shot to beat the Bulldog goaltender over the right shoulder. Rockford outshot Grandville in the opening period 15-5. Rams junior goaltender Jake Rekucki thwarted all Bulldog scoring chances, turning away all shots and not giving up rebounds. The Rams went to the locker room with a solid 3-0 lead. A scoreless second period would be considered a success for Rockford. “During the intermission, we reminded the guys that we have recently been in this position with a two- or three-goal lead, only to give it up in the following period,” said Van Portfliet. “Our goal for the period was not to protect the lead, but to keep the pressure on and extend the lead.” Rockford continued their dominant play, outshooting Grandville 8-2 in the period. Back in the locker room before the start of the third period, the message was similar to the last. “Keep the pressure on and continue to do the little things right,” noted Van Portfliet. “Our line changes in the second period were a bit sloppy and needed to be better in the third.” The Rams continued their pressure against a much more determined […]

Rams come out strong in first boys swim/dive contest of season

December 15, 2011 // 0 Comments

Under Head Coach Tom Parks, the Rockford boys swim and dive team wasted no time getting down to business on Tuesday, Dec. 6, when they matched up against Byron Center in their first non-conference meet of the season, defeating them 114-72. In the first event of the night, the 200-yard medley relay, this year’s senior captains Eric Chisholm, Josh Travis and Bryan Wasberg along with sophomore Craig Wasberg, slammed the wall in first place with a state-qualifying time of 1:40.51 seconds, almost five seconds ahead of the Dawgs’ second-place relay team. With the majority of the Division I state cuts even tougher this year, the Rams swam with great perseverance as they captured five additional individual state-qualifying times after having only two weeks of practices under their belts. Chisholm seized first place in both the 50-yard and 100-yard free with Division I swims of 21.54 and 49.04 seconds. Junior Nick Willison also qualified for state with his first-place finish in the 100-yard backstroke (56.34). Brothers Bryan and Craig Wasberg claimed one apiece with their respective swims in the 100-yard breaststroke (1:02.01) and the 500-yard freestyle (4:54.44). Both the top end speed and the depth of the Rams proved to be too much for the Dawgs as the night went on. The Rockford boys grabbed first in every event except one and swept the top three spots in the 100-yard fly (Travis, Timmer Hoffmeister, David Newberger), the 100-yard backstroke (Willison, Travis, Hoffmeister), and the 100-yard breaststroke (B. Wasberg, Trenten Babcock, and Dan Newberger). Under the new head diving coach, Evan Betts, a former Grand Valley State University diver himself, the Ram divers dominated the Dawgs with their performances on Tuesday night. Returning sophomore diver Shane Phillips claimed first place with a final score of 201.15 points. Senior Devin Rittenhouse, a new student to Rockford High School this year, came in second with 188.50 points, while freshman Sam Lewis pulled in fourth with a score of 136.20. The Rams’ next competition, the West Michigan Relays, takes place on Saturday, Dec. 17 at East Kentwood.

Rockford grad helps GVSU to national championship game

December 15, 2011 // 0 Comments

Rockford native Samantha Decker was part of the No. 2 Grand Valley State University (GVSU) women’s soccer team’s third straight appearance in the NCAA Division II national championship game. Decker helped the Lakers to an overall record of 20-1-4. GVSU finished the year ranked fourth in goals-against average (0.384), posted 16 shutouts and outscored their opponents 64-10. Decker played in eight games this season as a sophomore taking four shots as a defender.

Rockford Rams cheer season a time for change

December 15, 2011 // 0 Comments

by MARY JO HILLS With a newfound confidence and in true Rockford spirit, the Lady Rams brought their “Time for Change” to the mat in the Competitive Cheer Coaches Association of Michigan Scholarship Invitational at Comstock Park this past weekend. A strong showing from 22 teams throughout Michigan kicked off the 2011-2012 competitive cheer season. The Rams finished fourth with a total score of 741. Less than a month into the new cheer season, the team received a round one score of 217, round two score of 223, and finished with a round three score of 300—scores typically not seen till the end of season for Rockford. Grandville placed first with a final score of 773, followed by Hudsonville and East Kentwood. Coach Dengler commented, “This team is ready to make a name for Rockford Competitive Cheer. The OK Red is stacked with amazing talent. Our goal this season is to break through and be one of the top contending teams in the Red. Our first meet went really well for us. I felt we were scored fairly and the girls were ready to compete. We had fantastic warm-ups for all three rounds and we were able to bring that to the performance mat as well. Yesterday was a great way for teams to perform their new material and give the athletes a chance to shake any nerves off before the pre-conference in a few weeks.” “The crowd favorite seemed to be our round three,” added Dengler. “I received many complements on it after the competition was done, from other spectators that were there and also other coaches. I was so proud of my team when they left the mat after third round. I loved seeing the sense of accomplishment on their faces. We have worked really hard these past few weeks putting three rounds together, meeting all of the requirements needed for each round and making them performance ready! The team also got a chance yesterday to see what kind of competition we are up against this season. We have a lot of work ahead of us, but this team is willing and ready to finish the dream!” With 14 cheerleaders returning to the Ram roster this season, the Lady Rams are bringing a […]

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