February 19 2009

Second Place, 23 Medals earned by Rockford 9/10 Swimmers, Divers

February 19, 2009 // 0 Comments

Very pleased with the outcome of the Saturday, Feb. 7, Freshman/Sophomore Swim/Dive Invitational, Rockford’s coaching staff couldn’t voice enough praises about their team. Rockford placed second behind powerhouse Zeeland, out of eight West Michigan schools (Byron Center, East Kentwood, Grand Haven, Grandville, Jenison and West Ottawa) competing in this event hosted by Grandville. “I couldn’t be more proud of the guys,” said head coach Tom Parks. “Many of them swam their personal bests.” The results of this invitational exhibit Rockford’s extreme competitiveness for several years to come. Of the 12 events, the Rams placed at least once, and sometimes twice or three times, in 10 of them and brought home 23 medals. Many of the events had more than 35 participants vying for a top spot, but only the first eight winners in individual events and the leading three teams in relays won medals. The Rams who brought home “hardware” were sophomores Ben Fredrickson (first, second and two fifth places), Jared Martella (one eighth place), LJ McCauley (one fifth place), Tim Newberger (two seventh places), Kurt Plaggemars (one eighth place) and Jeff Schmitt (first, second, fifth and seventh), and freshmen Eric Chisholm (one first place), Josh Travis (two second places and one fourth), Bryan Wasberg (three first places and one second) and Harrison Webb (fourth and sixth). Other swimmers who earned points for the team were sophomore Dominick Sheridan and freshmen Ben Pitts, Cam Cross, Daniel Newberger and Alex Savage. “Everybody worked really hard. It was a good meet. But look out next year Zeeland!” said freshman Allyn Kinney. Medal winners are as follows: 200-yard medley relay – Ben Fredrickson, Jeff Schmitt, Josh Travis, Bryan Wasberg (second place) 200-yard IM – Bryan Wasberg (first place); Josh Travis (fourth); Jeff Schmitt (seventh) 50-yard freestyle – Ben Fredrickson (fifth) 1-meter diving – LJ McCauley (fifth); Kurt Plaggemars (eighth) 100-yard butterfly – Ben Fredrickson (fifth) 100-yard freestyle – Harrison Webb (sixth); Tim Newberger (seventh) 500-yard freestyle – Jeff Schmitt (fifth) 200-yard freestyle relay – Eric Chisholm, Ben Fredrickson, Jeff Schmitt, Bryan Wasberg (first) 100-yard backstroke – Josh Travis (second); Harrison Webb (fourth); Tim Newberger (seventh) 100-yard breaststroke – Bryan Wasberg (first); Jared Martella (eighth)

Competitive Cheer Squad Endures Ups and Downs

February 19, 2009 // 0 Comments

by JACKIE HOLLAND-DECKER Competitive cheerleading is a sport of highs and lows. One minute or round or competition, the athletes and fans are relishing a best-ever score. The next they are wondering what happened. The sport’s subjectivity, like that in figure skating and gymnastics, is often confusing, with fans wondering how a flawless routine can net the same score as another team’s mistake-laden performance. Such was the case in the last two competitions for the Rockford varsity competitive cheer team. On Thursday, Feb. 12, the Rams were riding a high with a best-ever third round routine at the East Kentwood Invitational. On Saturday, Feb. 14, the Rams had some struggles in the same round and finished ninth out of 12 teams at the prestigious PR Cheer Tournament at the Delta Plex. The Rams’ 790.54-point total on Thursday was a school record. The Rams’ 755.02 Saturday was their lowest since before Christmas. “A lot of it is the judging and [which teams are] there,” said Rockford assistant coach Mary Hurt, who also judges. Team dynamics and the atmosphere of the venue make a difference, too. “It’s hit and miss with the atmosphere,” Hurt said. “The girls were so geeked on Thursday, but Saturday they were somber. They felt the warm-up area was too loud. The Delta Plex takes a lot out of you.” She added that many of the teams did not perform their best on Saturday. The East Kentwood meet showcased the Rams’ abilities and what they can achieve this coming week with the post-conference meet Wednesday, Feb. 18 at home at 6 p.m. and the district competition at home on Saturday, Feb. 21. “Thursday we had three fabulous rounds,” said Hurt. “It was the most remarkable, beautiful, incredible thing I’ve ever seen. I expect the girls to do that again. If the girls want it [at the post-conference meet], they can do it. We can be top three. Everyone in our conference has beaten everyone else at least once, and we’ve beaten everyone except East Kentwood.” At East Kentwood, Rockford scored 225.8 points in round one, 243.64 in round two, and 321.1 in round three to finish second behind the host Falcons (808.17). The Rams’ third round looked perfect to the fans, but fell […]

Rockford’s Daukss and Dix Qualify for State Ski Competition

February 19, 2009 // 0 Comments

Rockford’s regular ski season concluded on Tuesday, Feb. 3 with the final conference race at Cannonsburg Ski Area, followed by the regional competition on Friday, Feb. 13. In the end, Rockford girls and boys teams each finished in third place in the Greater Grand Rapids High School Ski Conference (GGRHSSC), behind Grand Haven and Forest Hills Central on the girls side and East Grand Rapids and Grand Haven on the boys side. Rockford’s girls and the conference were led all season by Julie Daukss who earned an All Conference spot and consistently placed in the top ten finishers, usually in first or second place. Carly Funk also achieved the conference giant slalom (GS) list for the girls. Team leaders for the boys were Michael Dix, John Milewski and Taylor Noakes, who all achieved All Conference status due to consistently strong top finishes in both GS and slalom events. Eleven Division I teams gathered at Cannonsburg on Friday, Feb. 13 for regional competition, following a postponement due to rain and warm conditions. Race day arrived with meticulously groomed slopes and temperatures right at freezing. After perfect conditions all season long, the snow conditions were disappointing, but there was plenty of snow to complete the event. Each racer took two runs in slalom and in GS, with their combined times determining their finish places in each event. Marquette, Traverse City and Grand Haven were the top three teams, earning the right to compete as teams at the state competition. Rockford’s boys team placed fifth. Although Rockford’s teams did not finish in the top three positions, two individual racers earned the right to compete at the state level due to top finishes. Daukss placed third in slalom and 12th in GS, and will compete in both events. Dix placed 14th in slalom and will also compete at the state competition. Rockford’s other team members’ finish places were Kristyn Macqueen (27th slalom, 40th GS), Bethany Hicks (39th slalom, 57th GS), Aly Schneiter (44th GS), Merry Buelken (45th slalom), Funk (54th slalom, 50th GS), Ashley Richter (56th GS), Tyler Manikowski (27th GS), Milewski (26th slalom, 31st GS), Noakes (24th slalom, 37th GS), Travis Fleming (39th GS, 24th slalom), and Dan O’Connor (41st GS, 49th slalom). Rockford’s varsity team loses two […]

Lady Rams Bowlers Reclaim OK Red Lead

February 19, 2009 // 0 Comments

The Rockford girls needed a sweep of this week’s matches against Hudsonville, Jenison and Grandville to reclaim the lead in the OK Red conference, and that is just what they did. The girls got by Hudsonville and Jenison (24-6 and 28-2), but undefeated Grandville was much tougher. Grandville got off to a good start by taking the first baker game and holding on for total baker pins and a 6-4 lead heading into match play. Again, Grandville bowled well, taking the first match game 813-795 and expanding their lead to 12-7. Rockford then got a great game from senior Hannah Pribble with her career high 255 game, securing total pins, and a thin 15.5-14.5 win over a very good Grandville team. “Grandville is a great team,” commented Coach Lynn Farrance. “They took us by two pins in our first meeting, and without Hannah’s big game and sophomore Megan Wood coming in the eighth frame as a sub in the first match and throwing four strikes in a row, reclaiming that position’s point, we would be looking at a 1.5-point deficit instead of having a half-point lead going into the final week of conference play. My hat goes off to those two bowlers, bowling like that under extreme pressure. Great job!” The boys had a successful week also defeating Hudsonville and Grandville at home and having those matches decided by the end of the first match game. However, the match with Jenison went the other way. Jenison had a very hot day and defeated the Rams at Jenison’s home house. The Jenison loss puts the boys two games behind Hudsonville with just two match games with Grand Haven left. The boys are still in the running for the OK Red championship, but they need to win the rest of their matches and take a first at the OK Red post-season tournament. The bowling teams go up against Grand Haven their last two matches. The first match was Monday, Feb. 16, at Grand Haven and then at home, with the post-season tournament on Saturday, Feb. 21 at Hudsonville.

RHS Crew Teams Appointed New Coaches

February 19, 2009 // 0 Comments

Rockford High School Athletic Director Tim Erickson has recently appointed Tim Jacobs as the head coach for the women’s high school crew team and Greg Hobart as head coach for the men’s high school crew team. Jacobs has coached in various capacities within the communities of Rockford and Ravenna. He teaches physical education and wood tech at Rockford Freshman Center. Hobart has coached the varsity B wrestling team for over 20 years and became interested in crew last year when asked to photograph the team at the Grand Rapids Regatta. He works at Rockford High School, assisting in the wood tech classes.

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