February 26 2009

Ram Wrestlers Crowned District Champs, Heading to Regionals

February 26, 2009 // 0 Comments

by TIM COOPER On Wednesday, Feb. 18 at Kentwood High School, the top-ranked Rockford Rams faced Grand Ledge in district dual competition. The district consisted of Rockford, Grand Ledge with the winner facing East Kentwood. Leading off for the Rams at 140 pounds was Zach Johnson facing Josh Vaillencourt. In a short and sweet match Johnson tidily disposed of Vaillencourt in 51 seconds with a fall. At 145 pounds Bruce Carlstrom took on Corey Knapp of the Comets. In a match that would go the full six minutes, Carlstrom came away victorious with an 11-4 decision, giving the Rams a 9-0 lead. CJ Scholl (152) was up next for the Rams, facing Ethan Schulert. Scholl jumped to a quick 2-1 lead in the first after taking Schulert to the mat and releasing him. Scholl carried the lead into the second and at the 2:41 mark turned his opponent to the mat, securing the fall. The win brought Rockford to a 15-0 lead. At 160 pounds, Jake Johnson carried a 7-1 lead through the first against Grand Ledge’s Wade Smith. In the second period Smith chose the down position, reversing Johnson only to have the tables turned as Johnson reversed Smith and turn Smith’s shoulders to the mat for the pin in 3:31. At 171 pounds Paul Crieghton came up from his usual B team spot to face the comets John Cosgrove. Creighton kept the mat close as the first period ended in a 3-3 tie. The second period saw Creighton in the up position and Cosgrove reversed for two points, giving him a 5-3 lead going into the third. In the third period Creighton scored one point on a technical violation for locking hands. Time expired with Creighton trailing 5-4, putting Grand Ledge on the board with a team score of 3 to Rockford’s 21. Rockford spent the next few matches racking up plenty of points. The Rams began their tear with a pin by Zach VanAzak (189) at 5:50. Voids by Grand Ledge at 215 pounds and 285 pounds Tyler VanRooyen used just 17 seconds to pin his Comet opponent in the 103 pound weight class. The match was followed by a void in the 112-pound weight class, bringing the team score to 51-3 […]

Rams Skate Away from Reeths Puffer on Seniors Night

February 26, 2009 // 0 Comments

The Rockford varsity hockey team completed a two-game season sweep of the Muskegon Reeths Puffer Rockets on Wednesday, Feb. 18, winning by a score of 3-2. The Rams had easily won the teams’first meeting by a score of 6-2, but this game was much closer, requiring an overtime period to settle the matter. In the first period, it was all Rockford, as the Rams took a 2-0 lead. Mason McGillicuddy scored the first goal with the assistance of some tick-tack-toe passes by Adam Hoard and Travis Whitfield. The Rams’ second goal came when Cody Cantu passed the puck up to Mike Bieke, who split two Rocket defenders and swooped in on the net to score. In the second period, the Rockets derailed the Rams’ scoring machine by ratcheting up their physical play. The period witnessed some heavy hitting, including memorable collisions orchestrated by senior Ram defenders Tyler Carlson and Dan Cruickshank. But the physical play cost the Rams four penalties compared to the Rockets’ two and kept both teams off the scoreboard. The third period saw a continuation of the heavy hitting, except that the Rockets scored twice, including a power play goal to leave the game tied at the end of regulation. The overtime period was spectacular with end-to-end action and huge saves by the Rockets’ goaltender and the Rams’ net-minder Forrest Andrus. Then as the Ram faithful were contemplating adding one to the tie column, defenseman Andy Shira head-manned the puck to Jake Chaffee, who raced down the ice, shielding the puck from the pursuing Rocket defenders, and fired a wicked backhander into the net for the 3-2 victory. Andrus earned his 10th win of the season and raised the Rams’ overall record to 17-4-2-1 (W-L-T-OTL). Prior to the game, the Rams recognized the following seniors and their parents: Forrest Andrus, Mike Bieke, Tyler Carlson, Dan Cruickshank, Travis Guest, Adam Hoard, Phil Piirala, Mason McGillicuddy, Shea Mills, Brandon Ryfiak, Andy Shira and Travis Whitfield. The bittersweet Senior Night festivities were emceed by radio personality Chuck LaTour and featured a moving rendition of the “Star Spangled Banner” by trumpet soloist and hockey dad, Jerry Piirala. The Rams return to action against Muskegon Catholic Central at 5:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 25 at the Southside […]

Competitive Cheer Teams Battle Head-to-Head in OK Red

February 26, 2009 // 0 Comments

by JACKIE HOLLAND-DECKER The slogan emblazoned on the back of the competitive cheer t-shirts couldn’t have been more appropriate. The message “Head to Head in the OK Red” clearly set the stage for an all-out battle in both the OK Red post-conference cheer finals and the Division I district championships held last week at Rockford High School. Although sold at only the conference competition on Wednesday, the t-shirts’ implication rang true for the district competition as well. Even though 14 teams competed Saturday for the chance to move on to the regional at Brighton, everyone knew that the top four spots, as well as the next two, would be secured by teams from the OK Red. With five of the top 10-ranked teams in Division I coming from the conference, no one can argue that the Red is the most competitive league in the state. In the Michigan High School Athletic Association’s (MHSAA) most recent postings, East Kentwood was ranked second behind Rochester, and West Ottawa was ranked third, followed by Grandville (fourth), Jenison (eighth), and Rockford (10th). In addition, Grandville has won the state title four times since 1997 and placed in the runner-up spot five times. West Ottawa has been runner-up twice, and East Kentwood has been second once. In both the conference and district competitions, those three, along with the host Rams, Jenison and Hudsonville, fought for the top spots. For Rockford coach Kathy Jo Resseguie – whose Rams finished third at the post-conference meet and fourth at districts – placing in the top four was significant. “[On Wednesday], I was hoping to move up from fourth at the pre-conference ” she said. “Rockford has kind of settled into that fourth-place spot. It gave us a confidence booster going into the weekend to finish third. That was awesome! To finish fourth at districts is amazing. I don’t think the girls realize how good fourth in this area is. This area sets the bar for everybody. To finish second, third, fourth, fifth or sixth in this area is unbelievable.” The district competitions are new. In previous years, teams competed in regional competitions with only two teams advancing to the state meet. With four of the five regions contested on the east side of […]

Changes Announce in Rockford Coaching Staff

February 26, 2009 // 0 Comments

Rockford High School Athletic Department recently announced retirement and coaching changes of four high school sports. After 35 years as head varsity coach of the Rams wrestling team, Don Rinehart has announced that he will retire at the end of the current season. Coach Rinehart’s accomplishments include 11 OK Red conference team championships, 14 district team titles, 10 regional team titles, and the 2007 Division I state MHSAA team championship. Rinehart has also coached numerous individual state champions, and has also coached baseball, softball and football in Rockford Public Schools. Amira Ponne has been named the head girls soccer coach. Ponne has coached at the junior varsity level for the past three seasons and teaches at the Rockford Freshman Center. She replaces Heidi Greenland, who retired to spend more time with her family. Tim Jacobs and Greg Hobart have been named to lead the varsity men’s and women’s crew teams. Jacobs is a teacher at the Rockford Freshman Center. Hobart is a long-time assistant coach in wrestling. Andrew Martin has been named the head boys track coach. He is also the men’s cross country coach and has served as a track assistant the past several years. Martin teaches in the social studies department at Rockford High School. Last year’s head coach, Brent Cummings, will remain with the staff as an assistant coach.

Main Street – February 26, 2009

February 26, 2009 // 0 Comments

I got a call from a Postmaster Fred Farage about last week’s column. He said I was wrong when I said the Forever stamp was going out of business on May 11. Sorry about that. The Post Office will continue to sell them. The stamp IS forever but the price isn’t. Beginning May 12 your purchase of a Forever stamp will cost you the new higher price of 44¢. You can still use them forever, whenever you buy them, but the price could keep going up. Meanwhile, until May 12, if you stock up on Forever stamps at the old price of 42¢ it will be a good deal, sort of. Bipartisanship needed The President says he wants bipartisanship in the government’s efforts to fix our critical economic problems. He’s trying. Republicans in Congress claim he’s not. What they really mean is, 1) he’s not doing what they want, or 2) they’re grumpy because he won the Presidential election and he’s not a Republican. Look at where it got us when one party during the last administration had total control over all branches of government. A two-party system keeps things in balance IF lawmakers put country, not party, first. One down The Anti-Planet League has managed to get rid of our farthest planet, Pluto. They say it’s not a planet but just a ball of ice. What’s next? Will they zero in on Uranus? How long before they get to Earth? Are we doomed to be demoted? (I’m trying to worry about things like that. It takes my mind off the economy and Congress’s partisan behavior.) Safety The young mother was driving with her three children one warm summer evening when a woman in the convertible ahead of them stood up and waved. She was stark naked! As the mother reeled from the shock, she heard her 5-year-old shout from the back seat, “Mom, that lady isn’t wearing a seat belt!” New experience A little boy got lost at the YMCA and found himself in the women’s locker room. When he was spotted the room burst into shrieks, with ladies grabbing towels and running for cover. The little boy watched in amazement and then asked, “What’s the matter, haven’t you ever seen a little boy […]

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