The Rockford High School (RHS) wind ensemble was honored to open an evening of festivities at the 25th Annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. “Inherit The Dream” commemoration program at Grand Rapids Community College’s (GRCC) Gerald R. Ford Fieldhouse on January 17. The band performed during the prelude and the National Anthem. The evening celebration was highlighted by keynote speaker Judy Richardson, filmmaker and social activist since the 1960s. A veteran of the original Civil Rights Movement and founding member of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC), Richardson spoke on the social injustices still affecting our nation today and focused on the growing gap between the rich and poor in our country. She believes that by educating society on this disparity and using laws and the power of the voting population, we can work to close this gap. Richardson began her film work as co-producer of the Academy Award-nominated PBS series “Eyes on the Prize.” Throughout her life she has worked for social justice organizations, including director of information for the United Church of Christ Commission for Racial Justice in New York, working on police brutality issues. Her most recent documentary, “Scarred Justice,” examines the 1968 Orangeburg, S.C., student massacre—one of many overlooked events of the Civil Rights Movement. The evening program also featured additional pieces performed by the RHS band, a community-wide adult and youth choir, with participants from the GRCC, Grand Valley State University (GVSU), Kuyper College and Cornerstone University choirs, and various churches throughout the community. This free community event was sponsored by GRCC, GVSU and Davenport University.
February 3 2011
Bulldogs defeat Rams in wrestling for first time since 2003 The Rams wrestling team hosted the Grandville Bulldogs on their annual Parents’ Night on Wednesday, Jan. 26. The visiting Bulldogs jumped out to an early 19-0 lead by winning the first four matches, two by fall, one by major decision, and one by decision. The Rams began chipping away at the Bulldogs, with a 2-1 decision by Peter Nugent at 145 pounds over Dominic Barrenger. Austin Scogg added six to the Ram total by pinning Davon Rivera in 28 seconds. Danny Apkarian continued the Ram momentum in the 160-pound match, defeating Trever Sously 8-3, pulling Rockford to within seven points. Grandville took some of that momentum away in the 171-pound match when the Bulldogs’ Ryan Cox pinned Brady Gent in 5:07. In the 189-pound match, Grandville’s Coach Ryan Gritter opted to bump around Rockford’s Robby Gorton, giving the Ram wrestler a void to make the team score 25-18. In the 215-pound match, freshman phenom Brent Showers proved to be too much for the Bulldogs’ Colton Hunt, winning a 6-2 decision, and putting the Rams four points behind Grandville. Again the Bulldogs stole the Rams’ momentum with a major decision at 285 pounds, and a victory-sealing fall at the 103-pound match. Rockford managed to close the gap with a major decision by Nate Rojas over Dakota Torralva at 112 pounds, and a fall by Tyler VanRooyen over Jake Parks. The final score of the dual was, Grandville 35, Rockford 31, giving the Bulldogs their first victory over the Rams since 2003. Following the match, Rockford’s Coach Brian Richardson said, “Grandville is a well-coached team. They wrestled a great meet tonight. They moved some guys around to get favorable match-ups, and it worked. We knew it was about bonus points. Grandville took bonus points with every match they won.” Richardson also made special mention of Tony Apkarian. “We threw Tony into a tough situation, and he gave us a great effort tonight.” This weekend, on Saturday, Feb. 5, the Rams travel to Grand Haven for the OK Red conference tournament to decide the final positions for the 2010-11 OK Red wrestling season.
Rams battle past Eagles Wednesday night, Jan. 26, Rockford took on the Forest Hills Northern/Eastern (FHN) hockey team as they tried to avenge an earlier season loss. The first period of the game showed that these teams remembered well the battle that they had just six weeks earlier. Both teams came out hitting in what proved to be one of the more physical battles of the tier one season. Forest Hills was the first to get on the scoreboard as a shot from the high slot got through multiple players and, just before Rockford goaltender Jake Rekucki was able to get a pad on it, the puck was redirected into the net. Rockford had a couple golden opportunities on power plays with one of them giving them the two-man advantage, but the Forest Hills goaltender seemed to be there to stop anything on its way to the net. The first period ended with the score at 1-0 Forest Hills. The second period was a great defensive battle on both sides with minimal scoring opportunities for either side, but entertaining hockey to watch either way. Both squads played solid defense with minimal penalties to kill off, which was great to see as well. As the buzzer sounded at the end of the second period, the score remained at 1-0 FHN. The third period was filled with a lot of action but also plenty of trips to the penalty box as well. Less than two minutes into the period, FHN forward Sam Rennaker came out of the corner and put a blistering snap shot that went in just under the cross bar. After a flurry of penalties, including Rockford having to kill off a five-minute major, FHN put up what appeared to be the goal that would seal the deal with just 8:05 left in the third. The Rams knew that in a game like this, if you put enough pucks on net eventually one will find the back. Just 20 seconds later, on a breakaway, Zach Schwandt converted to put the Rams on the board. Senior defenseman Mike VanderVelde got the assist with a quick outlet pass that got the breakaway started that hit Schwandt right on the tape of his stick in stride. Both […]
It was only two years ago that the Rockford swim and dive team found themselves on the losing end of the conference dual meet, when they fell short to West Ottawa by only one point. However, this year was a different story, as the Rams took control from the beginning of the meet and never let up, sinking the Panthers 197-115. The Rams won eight of the 12 events on Thursday night, Jan. 27, and added another state cut to their season when sophomore Nick Willison touched in first in the 100-yard backstroke event with a state-qualifying time of 56.85. Other individual winners for the Rams included Craig Wasberg (200-yard free), Bryan Wasberg (200-yard IM), Ben Fredrickson (100-yard fly), Mike Arend (500-yard free), and Jeff Schmitt (100-yard breast). The 200-yard medley relay team of Trent Babcock, Jared Martella, Fredrickson, and Eric Chisholm also pulled in a first-place finish, in addition to the 200-yard free relay team of Fredrickson, C. Wasberg, B. Wasberg and Chisholm. Several of the Rams received a can of vegetables from Head Coach Tom Parks (for the annual “veggie awards”) for achieving an outstanding personal performance in an individual event at the West Ottawa meet. The veggie winners were freshman Reese Patino, freshman Kellen Martella, freshman Tyler VanderHoag, junior Chisholm, and junior Michael Staley. After touching the wall at the end of the 500-yard freestyle, Staley not only dropped six seconds off his personal best time in that event, but also pulled in a fifth-place scoring finish for the Rams. With only the top seven individual places and the top three relays able to score in an OK Red conference dual meet, the Rams are proving that their tremendous depth is paying off this season. Rockford swept the top four places in the 100-yard fly event, and the top three places in the 200-yard IM and the 100-yard backstroke events at West Ottawa’s home pool on Thursday night. The Ram divers also seized numerous points for the Rams with their second-, third-, fifth- and seventh-place dives from, respectively, LJ McCauley, Kurt Plaggemars, Noah Markel, and Shane Phillips. The Rams are counting on that depth and their talented bench to help them secure wins in their last two OK Red dual meets of […]
The varsity Ram competitive cheerleaders presented audiences their best performance of the season last Saturday, Jan. 29. During the Lake Michigan Competitive Cheer Officials Association Scholarship Meet at East Kentwood High School, the Rockford Rams placed fourth in one of the closest meets this season. With a final score of 759, the ladies were less than one point from a third-place victory. With over 20 teams competing in Divisions I through IV, the stands continue to be packed with cheering fans for some of the top teams in West Michigan. The Rams delivered a solid round one performance with a score of 220. The team stuck all 14 back tucks with a round two score of 237. The third round had the crowd cheering as the ladies’ confidence revealed some of the best stunting and tumbling on the mat this season. Coach Dengler commented, “Once again we had a great round three that was very exciting to watch! The girls put their hearts and souls into that round. We were the first to go in round three, so it was a bit nerve-racking waiting to see how the other teams would do. Finding out we missed a higher finishing place by .679 just proved this is a three-round sport. You have to have three amazing rounds in order to be a top team in the OK Red. This was a great meet for us. A lot of improvements were seen today out of the floor. I am very proud of my team and their effort they gave today.” The Rams’ next meet is at home on Wednesday, Feb. 2, followed by a Wednesday meet at Grandville on February 9 and at the Deltaplex on Saturday, Feb. 12.