by RANDY GREGORY Brandon Lubenow, a 2012 Rockford graduate, became the latest Ram football player to finalize his plans for the upcoming season. After traveling to Big Rapids to meet with new Bulldog Coach Tony Annese recently, Lubenow strutted his stuff and left with an invitation to become a member of this year’s Ferris State University (FSU) squad. “Coach Annese was a very personable and funny guy, and he felt I had the talent to compete at that level after watching me go through some drills,” said Lubenow. “I have put on about twenty pounds since last season at Rockford and have been able to maintain my speed. Coach Annese said they will line me up as a slot receiver and see what I can bring to the table.” Lubenow played primarily as a wide receiver for the Rams, but also saw some time as a defensive back. He saved his best game of the year for the final game of the 2011 season. In that contest the Rams lost in overtime to Detroit Catholic Central (DCC) in the Michigan High School Athletic Association Division I semifinals. The stout Shamrock defense and several untimely injuries to Rockford running backs forced the Rams to the air. Lubenow and Ram quarterback Mark LaPrairie repeatedly torched the DCC defense with a deft passing attack and, despite coming up three points short in the extra session, the duo left all in attendance marveling at their exploits. Rockford Coach Ralph Munger said that the difference in Lubenow physically is striking and feels he has a chance to be a difference maker for the Bulldogs. “Brandon came out to our quarterback clinic and really looked good catching some passes from the QBs that were there,” said Munger. “He is a lot thicker and looked at least as quick as he was last season for us. He has always had the potential and I think that Ferris State is getting a highly motivated young man who can make some plays for them.” Lubenow will have a couple of familiar faces in Big Rapids when he arrives there on August 7. Former Ram quarterbacks Robert Banaszak and Taylor Masiewicz are both members of the team this year as well. He is also no […]
Student’s positive joy for life has great impact on classmates, teachers Mavis Johnson is the daughter of Chuck and Sheryl Johnson and sister to Cailie, Clifton and Madelyne. Mavis is an exemplary leader who sets the bar high by her example. She continually uses the life skills of patience, respect, perseverance, flexibility, friendship and effort on a daily basis. Her spark and smile never falter, even when the going gets tough. Teachers and staff at Valley View Elementary can always count on Mavis to volunteer when help is needed or one of her peers need assistance. She also contributes in class where her positive approach becomes contagious. It is not long before her fellow classmates catch some of her spirit and “can-do” attitude. Described as a delightful student, Mavis displays a positive joy for life and has a great impact on her classmates and teachers. At Valley View, Mavis is a servant leader for the school store as she assists the other students with a smile once again. As a Safety for her school, Mavis takes her role very seriously. As with her studies, she is punctual and responsible in that role as well. Mavis is especially nurturing with younger students. Mavis’ leadership transcends the classroom and school setting as well. She participates in many activities, including soccer and volleyball. Mavis is her brother and sister’s biggest fan as they pursue their own athletic careers. Mavis loves animals, as is evidenced by having two dogs and three cats that she independently cares for. Finally, Mavis wants to be a mom and a teacher when she grows up—more evidence of her servant leadership attitude. Mavis helps to make Valley View the special school family that it is. For all her fine qualities, Mavis Johnson is clearly an Example in Excellence at Valley View Elementary School.
Maria appreciates life, always gives 100 percent in all she does Maria Bomer, 11, is the daughter of Heather and Michael Bomer and sister to Kathleen, 19, Christian, 17, and John, 14. Maria’s teachers describe her as a compassionate student with a permanent positive attitude who always tries to do her best, is honest, and is a person who genuinely cares for others. Maria serves as a volunteer ASD helper and member of the Safety Patrol at Roguewood. “She loves to make others happy, sometimes anonymously,” her teachers report. Maria is known for her polite manner and her determination to maintain a positive attitude, even when faced with a task that is challenging. Maria suffered a stroke before she was born, resulting in a weakness in her right arm and leg. Since birth she has had to work very hard at therapy and at home to learn everyday things that come naturally to most people. Throughout her eleven years, Maria has learned to give 100 percent in all she does. She appreciates life and holds a place in her heart for those less fortunate or with special needs. Her teachers believe she has a very bright future in this area. Maria loves to try anything! She has taken dance lessons, skied with the Cannonsburg Challenged Ski Association and also loves to ride horses at the Equest Center for Therapeutic Riding. Among Maria’s other favorite pastimes she includes a love of reading and to ride roller coasters. Maria is a Girl Scout and also has signed up for the area’s Special Olympics Swim Team. With her determination, compassion and strength of spirit, Maria was a natural choice as an Example in Excellence for Roguewood Spanish Immersion.
What’s in a name? Every year since 1979, a group of golfers (all named Bob Jones!) have gathered for an annual charitable golf tournament called the Bobby Jones Open. This year, the 34th annual tournament returns to Michigan from 2001’s event in California. It is being played in Grand Rapids on June 11-13 at Thousand Oaks Golf Club, with participants traveling from near and afar to experience West Michigan. This is a wonderful way to support local businesses and introduce Grand Rapids to individuals from all over the United States. The group will stay at the Amway Grand Plaza Hotel, golf at Thousand Oaks Golf Club, enjoy a Tuesday night event at Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park, and Douglas Photography in Rockford was hired to take the official group picture. The tournament’s roots are in Michigan, where the annual tradition began and has been played a number of times throughout the years. This year is the first time the event will be played in West Michigan. Hosting this year’s event from Rockford are Bob and Diane Jones. Bob (known as “Arjay” amongst the group of many Bobs, each of whom must choose a nickname to eliminate confusion) and Diane will welcome the group to their Rockford home the Sunday evening before the tournament for a kick-off barbecue, with the able assistance of son John (10) who has become an unofficial mascot for the annual tournament. John’s claim to fame is that this year will be his 11th tournament in his 10 years, given that his first year of attendance was four months before he was born. The tournament is played in tribute to Robert Tyre “Bobby” Jones, who is considered the greatest amateur golfer ever. In 1930 at the age of 28, Bobby Jones won the U.S. Open and British Open and the U.S. and British amateur championships. To date, no one has duplicated that record. He continues to hold a number of other unbroken amateur records to this date. Sadly, he was stricken with Syringomyelia, a disorder of the spinal system, which eventually led to his death in 1971. The Bobby Jones Open is committed to providing continuing support for Syringomyelia research, rehabilitation or related subjects in a relentless search for a cure […]
Natural-born leader is a gem at Cannonsburg Elementary Lauren Crandle is the daughter of Chris and Darren and sister to Evan, 12, Hannah, 7, and Emma, 5. Lauren is known among her teachers and classmates as helpful, compassionate and responsible. She is described as responsible and mature beyond her age. Always willing to help, Lauren is eager to do what is asked of her and always goes above and beyond the request. Lauren has been a member of Student Council and was vice president in fourth grade and president currently. An energetic achiever, Lauren is involved with the Ragazze girls club where she works with other girls on how to make good choices, physically and emotionally. She is a talented mentor who is described as an “awesome” RAM Buddy. Lauren’s teachers describe her as “wise beyond her years” and a student who demonstrates poise and confidence. “She never fails to give her personal best while working independently and with others.” This “natural-born leader” is a gem at Cannonsburg Elementary,” staff there report. Her teachers love working with her and say she will always have a special place in their memory. They cannot wait to see what great things she will accomplish in her life. Kindhearted, friendly and quick to put others before herself, Lauren is motivated by her love of Jesus and desire to serve Him. Talented in many ways, Lauren created the winning bookmark in the Grand Rapids Public Library contest. She took all the initiative in that project on herself, an example of her enthusiasm and energy. An excellent student, Lauren is a regular on the Honor Roll. Among Lauren’s hobbies are participating in soccer, volleyball, gymnastics, kayaking and dance (hip hop and ballet). She also loves art, crafts, reading and playing the piano. She is a member of the FLIPS at Blythefield Hills Baptist Church where she incorporates dance into worship. She is in Nature Club and Brownies. Leaving a legacy of fond memories and a belief in her bright future and continued good works, Lauren is recognized by both her teachers and her fellow students as an Example in Excellence at Cannonsburg Elementary School.