February 4 2010

Jr. Griffins win international hockey title

February 4, 2010 // 0 Comments

Three Rockford boys help team to win by DAVID BRAYTON The 51st annual International Silver Stick Tournament in Sarnia, Ontario, ended recently with a dramatic 3-2 overtime victory for the Grand Rapids Junior Griffins over the Valley East Rebels, the number-one-ranked team in Ontario Atom AA Hockey. The Junior Griffins, made up of 10- and 11-year-olds throughout the greater Grand Rapids area, began this journey by winning the Midland Regional Silver Stick Tournament on December 20. That victory earned them an invitation to compete in the International Silver Stick Final, where 16 teams from throughout North America compete for the title. In the preliminary round, the Junior Griffins defeated the Nashville Junior Predators and Dallas Penguins, losing one game to the Mississauga North Stars. Their record and goal differential had them seeded third where the top four teams advanced to the semifinals. Once again they were matched up against Mississauga, but this time the results were different. Will Kortz of Grand Rapids opened up the scoring for the Junior Griffins in the first period with a beautiful wrap-around goal. Shortly thereafter, Mississauga tied the game. The score was 1-1 until midway through the third period when the Junior Griffins’ Adam Brayton of Rockford drove home a rebound to make it 2-1. Brad Baysore of Grand Rapids continued the scoring for the Junior Griffins by rifling home a shot from the left face-off circle, making it a 3-1 game. Reed Lebster of Cascade finished it off, scoring with one second left in the game to lift the Junior Griffins to a 4-1 victory that put them into the championship game. The finals matched the Junior Griffins up against the two-time defending champion Valley East Rebels from Northern Ontario. Just 16 seconds in, the Rebels scored and the mood throughout the arena was that the Rebels were on their way to another title. Three minutes later, the Rebels made it 2-0 and things were looking bleak for the Junior Griffins. That changed late in the first period when Lebster fired home a shot from just over the blue line for the Junior Griffins’ first goal. In the second period, Kortz maneuvered around two Valley East defenders and buried a shot over the goalie’s glove to tie the […]

Sparta’s Jake Plite receives nomination to play at 2010 McDonald’s All American High School Basketball games

February 4, 2010 // 0 Comments

With his nomination to the McDonald’s All American High School Boys Basketball Team, Jake Plite of Sparta High School is being recognized as one of the top prep standouts in the nation, becoming one of just a select number of male players nominated for the honor in Michigan. Plite is among just more than 2,100 nominees competing nationwide to fill one of 24 positions on the Boys Team, and play for the honor of raising proceeds for Ronald McDonald House Charities (RMHC) of Central Ohio. The final team roster will be announced on ESPNU on February 11 at 5:30 p.m. ET. Plite was nominated by the McDonald’s All American Basketball Team Boys Selection Committee, a group of 32 prominent basketball experts, including nationally renowned coaches and top high school sports journalists. The 33rd annual Boys Game will tip off at 8 p.m. ET on Wednesday, March 31, at Value City Arena in Columbus, Ohio, and will air live on ESPN. The Girls Game will precede the Boys Game at 5:30 p.m. ET and will broadcast live on ESPNU. Proceeds from ticket sales of both games will benefit RMHC of Central Ohio. To date, millions of dollars have been donated to RMHC chapters from proceeds generated at the McDonald’s All American Games. RMHC’s core three programs include the Ronald McDonald House, Ronald McDonald Family Room and the Ronald McDonald Care Mobile—extending the reach of the charity to directly improve the health and well-being of children around the world. Since 1977, more than 750 male players have competed in the McDonald’s All American Games, forming an elite list that reads like a “who’s who” in basketball history. McDonald’s All American athletes include basketball greats Alonzo Mourning, Magic Johnson, Kevin Garnett, LeBron James, Carmelo Anthony and Kevin Durant.

Rockford swim/dive repeats history

February 4, 2010 // 0 Comments

Score: Rockford 193, Grand Haven 115 After defeating Grand Haven by more than 60 points in a non-conference meet before the holidays, the Rams saw history repeat itself on January 28 as they once again overwhelmed the Buccaneers, 193-115. From the first event to the last, Rockford out-swam Grand Haven. A prime example came in the 200-yard IM when Bryan Wasberg (2:03.93), Derik Bothma (2:09.35), Trenten Babcock (2:09.36) and Jeff Schmitt (2:09.52) placed first, second, third and fourth, respectively. Another example was the 500-yard freestyle in which Schmitt (5:16.62, a personal best), Brian Ginebaugh (5:18.75), and Nick Willison (5:20.08) placed first, second and third. “Now our sites are set on the West Ottawa meet,” said senior Andrew Denhof. Don’t miss the Thursday, Feb. 4 meet, as Rockford and West Ottawa will swim/dive in an anticipated close meet.

School Beat — February 4, 2010

February 3, 2010 // 0 Comments

How important is play and recess for your student? by MICHAEL J. HIBBELN Principal, Roguewood Elementary School With increased pressure from the federal and state government to improve achievement, increase test scores, and cover an increasingly demanding curriculum, we should never lose sight of the importance of play and recess for our children. Our playgrounds are also classrooms, and recess at school serves an important role in the social, emotional, physical and cognitive development of our students. Social development begins at birth and continues rapidly throughout the early childhood years. Recess is that period of time during the school day that allows children the opportunity to interact with peers in ways not usually possible in the typical classroom. A wide range of social competencies such as cooperation, sharing, language, and conflict resolution can be actively practiced, interpreted and learned in a meaningful context during recess. Recess acts as an outlet for reducing anxiety, too. During recess, children have the opportunity to express themselves to others, and begin rehearsing behaviors and practicing skills. Children learn about their own abilities, perseverance, self-direction, responsibility and self-acceptance. They begin to understand which behaviors result in approval or disapproval from their peers. Recess also provides our students with opportunities to move and participate in physical activities. In October 1999, the Agriculture Department released a report that revealed a record 10 million American children—or one in five—are overweight, and that a record eight percent of the children are already overweight by preschool age. Through active play on the playground, our students learn about their bodies’ capabilities and how to control their bodies. One of the most apparent benefits of recess is the opportunity for sheer physical activity and the practice of physical skills, such as running, climbing, jumping, chasing, batting, kicking, catching, balancing, hanging, swinging, stretching, pushing and pulling. Additionally, physical activity fuels the brain with a better supply of blood and provides brain cells with a healthier supply of natural substances. These substances enhance brain growth and help the brain make a greater number of connections between neurons (Healy, 1998). The connections make the brain better able to process a variety of information, thus leading to improved retention of facts, a greater understanding of concepts, and subsequently higher achievement. There […]

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