You wouldn’t know it by looking out your window, but this year’s high school alpine racing season is in high gear, despite the snow-deprived February landscape around us. After the late start, each week’s varsity race has managed to take place as scheduled. Rockford’s ski team continues to give it their all in a continued attempt to fine-tune their skills and techniques through the gates, and finish the season with a strong performance at regionals, to be held at Schuss on February 16. In a field of 65 girls and 65 boys, Rockford has had racers in the top half every week of this season. The Rockford High School (RHS) girls team did well on January 31, with the team’s top three times going to Emily Macauley (14th), Kaiti Bartholomy (21st) and Maia Meuser (27th). The girls team placed fifth overall in slalom. Rockford’s girls top three giant slalom (GS) finishes went to Macauley (16th), Ashley Rister (28th) and Emily Kommer (29th). The team came in sixth overall in GS. The boys team’s top three slalom finishes went to Ben Avink (second), Jake Lewis (11th) and Justin Meuser (16th). The boys team placed third overall in slalom. Their GS top three times went to Avink (fifth), Lewis (eighth) and Hank Wickering (25th), and the team placed fourth overall in that event. As unique as the lack of snow is to this year’s season, Rockford ski team’s lack of sophomores is unusual as well. The team has only two sophomores this year: Justin Meuser and Hank Wickering. “Justin and Hank are our two most consistent skiers,” commented Coach Terry Avink. “They not only excel in meets, but offer our team the added value of leadership!” Meuser and Wickering have been skiing together since sixth grade, both on and off the race course. They trained together for three years in Win Alpine’s Junior Development Training program before joining Rockford’s ski team as freshmen last year. Wickering says he actually finds racing “relaxing and peaceful,” an attitude that serves him well under pressure. About skiing on and off the course, Meuser likes “the time I get to spend hanging out with my family, friends and the team.” They can be proud of their consistency this season, with both […]
February 9 2012
For the first time this season, the large Rockford team was actually outnumbered by its OK Red opponent when it battled against East Kentwood on Thursday, Feb. 2. Despite the size of the East Kentwood team, the Rams had little trouble shutting down the Falcons, as they ended the meet with a 183-123 victory. As has been the case all season long, it was the total team effort of the entire Rockford squad that has made them such a tough opponent to beat in conference play. In the opening event, the 200-yard medley relay, the Rams showed off their tremendous depth and talent when they grabbed all top three relay spots. While the toughest training of the season is upon them, junior Trenton Babcock was still able to seize his third individual state cut, the 18th for the Rams, with his win in the 200-yard freestyle (1:47.76). Senior Harry Webb couldn’t have come any closer to a state cut with his 56.70 swim in the 100-yard backstroke, missing the qualifying time by only .01 seconds. With only two conference duals left, Rockford will be at Grandville on Thursday, Feb. 9. Then on Thursday, Feb. 16 (Senior Night), the Rams will host Hudsonville, the only other remaining undefeated team in the OK Red.
Most days at practice, the Rockford High School boys varsity bowling team is focused on improving their bowling scores. However, on January 19, they put their own practice aside to improve the lives of some very special kids by sponsoring a bowling clinic for the kids with special abilities. The experience of laughter, fun and newfound friendship was shared by all participating. After some bowling demonstration from the varsity players, it was time for the clinic participants to have a chance to show their bowling skills, with the varsity players there to help and support them all the way. The interaction amongst the players and kids was a wonderful sight to see. The smiles, high fives, hugs and even a little dancing on the floor showed the pure excitement of the day. All accomplishments big and small were celebrated. The Rockford Sports Clinics for kids with special abilities are sponsored by Rockford Special Education Parent Advisory Committee (SEPAC), Rockford Athletes with a Mission of Service (R.A.M.S.), and Special Treasures Parent Group. The mission of Special Treasures is to enrich the lives of children with special needs by providing education, resources and support while giving a hope for brighter tomorrows. Thanks to the generosity of Coach Bellgraph and the Rockford boys varsity bowling team, a brighter day was given to all. A thank-you also goes to Cory of Rockford Lanes for supporting the clinic. For more information regarding future sports clinics, please contact Amy Kelley at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Generous donations, bidding for YMCA youth campaign An ambitious goal of raising $50,000 toward the Wolverine World Wide YMCA was reached with the support of generous donors and bidders, and those who benefit will be children from local families struggling financially. The Wolverine World Wide YMCA Healthy Kids annual auction was held Friday, Feb. 3 from 6:30 to 9 p.m. at the Wolverine World Wide headquarters in Rockford. The gala event included a silent and live auction and a cash bar. All proceeds will go to the Strong Kids campaign, dollars which will stay in the community as they allow membership for youth to enjoy sports, aquatics, child care and other YMCA benefits. Dave Powers Sr., Wolverine World Wide Family YMCA Board member and owner of Cannonsburg Wood Products, chairs the auction committee. “We exceeded our goal of raising $50,000 for the Wolverine World Wide Family YMCA Strong Kids program and we are still counting donations that are coming in,” he stated. “We are thrilled with the results and grateful to all the generous donors for their contributions to the auction, the committee members, volunteers and staff who secured great auction items and managed this very fun event, and especially to those who purchased items or made a cash donation.” Annually the Belmont YMCA goal for the Strong Kids campaign is $115,000 and total sponsorship to the community is $136,000. The YMCA has the goal of improving the health and well-being of children and adults and offers resource and guidance to bring families closer together and foster connections through fitness, sports, fun and shared interests.