May 31 2012

Rockford OM teams get creative at world finals

May 31, 2012 // 0 Comments

Odyssey of the Mind teams from eight schools across the district traveled to Ames, Iowa, armed with creativity and plenty of perseverance and sportsmanship. Some of the teams created vehicles that changed emotions and appearances before your eyes, some teams solved a community problem with their “odyssey angels,” and some filled in the blanks in “to ___ or not to ___.” They came to the world finals stage with actors dressed in costumes created from old ties, garbage bags, advertisement pages, converted sheets, cereal box trees with spoon branches, full-length skirts woven completely from plastic bags, a dress that changed to a wedding gown before your eyes, and so much more! The 55 students, led by their dedicated coaches, acted, created and pin-traded, making new friends and sharing a memory-making experience  never to be forgotten. World Finals 2012 was a creative extravaganza where more than 800 teams and 15 countries from all around the world shared their ideas and work. While only a few left with trophies, everyone came out a winner just by solving an Odyssey of the Mind problem and competing on the world stage. Results from Rockford schools are as follows: Rockford High School placed eighth in Problem 1 and 18th in Problem 5; Cannonsburg Elementary School placed 10th in Problem 2; East Rockford Middle School placed 13th in Problem 3 and 14th in Problem 5; North Rockford Middle School placed 18th in Problem 5, 10th in Problem 3 and seventh in Problem 2. The 2012-2013 problem synopsis are currently available online. Rockford Public Schools will begin the 2012-2013 year with information and a parent meeting in September. Look for more details online at, “Odyssey of the Mind.”

Celebrate fitness with Zumba

May 31, 2012 // 0 Comments

The Governor’s Council on Physical Fitness sponsors an annual National Employee Health and Fitness Day. Brian S. Nylaan, D.D.S. said, “We firmly believe health and fitness should be an everyday thing, and our office wants to do its part in making that happen.” Dr. Nylaan’s office is offering a complimentary Zumba class, held Tuesday evenings, May 29 through September 4 at 7 p.m., led by instructor Kate Rehmus of Live Dance Move. This class is free and open to the general public. A charity will be featured each week. Jingle skirts will be available for use with a $5 donation to the featured charity. Donations received during the May 29 class will benefit the Grand Rapids Jaycees. The June 5 class will benefit Crash’s Landing and the June 12 class will benefit the Northview Band Boosters. Dr. Nylaan’s office raised over $2,500 for local charities in 2011. Their goal for 2012 is to raise even more funds for local charities through the Zumba event. Zumba is an exhilarating, effective, easy-to-follow, Latin-inspired, calorie-burning, dance-fitness party that’s moving millions of people toward joy and health. “Best time I have ever had working out,” said Patty Sweetland of Gowen. “Who would of thought that a 60-year-old would have had so much fun tonight doing Zumba! I swear I smiled the whole time,” said Pat Smith of Rockford. Nylaan said, “Your dental office should not be a place for just pretty smiles, but where attention is paid to the relationship between a healthy mouth and a healthy body.” Classes are held in the front parking lot of Dr. Nylaan’s dental office at 5011 Plainfield Ave. NE, Grand Rapids. Join in for the fun and the health of it!

Girls tennis wins regional, heads to state

May 31, 2012 // 0 Comments

On May 17 the Rockford varsity girls tennis team went back to Jenison for the regionals competition. This team had two goals: try to win regionals and qualify to go to state. Once again, they all know what was expected from them personally and as a team. During the whole day, with every win or loss, parents and players kept on going to the scoreboard to see how many points they needed to go to state. During the day, the girls earned enough points to go to state, but also share second place at regionals with Hudsonville, which automatically qualifies them for state. The girls were all really very excited, as all their hard work seemed to pay off. “It was a total team effort. Everyone contributed points,” commented Coach Tom Huizing. “The girls played some very mental tennis today against some very tough competition in the OK Red. I’m so very proud of the girls and the way they played with class and focus. State finals here we come!” Alyssa Bowman (number four singles) was named regional champ. Marjeanne Bothma (number two singles) and Renee and Courtney Fedeson (number two doubles) were regional runners up. “After winning our conference title, we fought harder because we knew we had a target on our backs,” said senior Jenelle Miller. “We came together as a team and played our best. I’m proud of the girls.” The team left on May 31 to go to Midland to compete against the best of the best in Division I at the state finals.

Inaugural Rockford Special Olympic swim program ends first session

May 31, 2012 // 0 Comments

Special Olympic Aquatics of Rockford (SOAR) is wrapping up its first season with the Regional Summer Games at Calvin College, and the upcoming State Summer Games at Central Michigan University. Practices began in January and are now done in anticipation of the final State Games May 31-June 2. SOAR was represented at the Regional Games by seven athletes: Ashley Bennett, Jack Dykstra, Ian Hearn, Jacob Kipke, Adam Quinn, Kate Slagel, and Wyatt Utter. They were joined by SOAR Head Assistant Coach Courtney Uselton, along with assistant coaches Kayla Brower, Morgan Lipe and Dakota Noble. All of the swimmers placed in the top three and received multiple medals in all their events. This was quite accomplishment for the athletes, coaches and the team! Three SOAR swimmers will compete at the Summer Games:  Jack Dykstra, Jacob Kipke and Wyatt Utter, and are expected to do well at this competition as well. The next SOAR session will begin in January 2013. In order to give these swimmers an opportunity to stay involved in swimming over the summer, Rockford Riptide is offering an Adaptive Aquatics Swim Team. Most of the coaches for this team are the same ones who gave their time to SOAR all season. Practices are offered on Monday midday or Wednesday midday and the season will end with a team meet. The session is June 11 through July 18. This team is designed for children with special needs who wish to become part of a swim team. The focus is on water safety, competitive swimming, and being part of a team. More information about the Summer Adaptive Swim Team can be found at, or e-mailing Suelyn at

Boys track preps for state meet with runner-up showing

May 31, 2012 // 0 Comments

by RANDY GREGORY The boys track team from Rockford opted not to send their team to the Michigan Interscholastic Track Coaches Association (MITCA) team championships despite their first-place showing in the regional. They instead sent a limited number of athletes to the Metro Health Sports Medicine Scholarship Invitational held at Grand Rapids Christian on Thursday, May 24. Though their numbers were few, the results were excellent as the Rams amassed 91 points to claim second place behind the host school from G.R. Christian (105 points). “We really wanted to use this meet to stay on track for the state meet next week and to settle on our foursome for the 4×800-meter relay,” said Rockford Coach Andy Martin. “It helped us in both areas as some kids kind of set themselves apart and, by and large, we had some very solid performances. I think the highlight of the day was the 4×100 relay team that ran a 43.02. That was one of our best times of the year and we edged out an excellent team from Grand Rapids Christian. Chris Eggenberger had a good night as well.” Eggenberger took first in both the 100- and 200-meter dashes with times of 11.56 and 21.90 respectively. He was also a part of the winning 4×100 relay team and a member of the 4×200-meter relay squad that finished third. Tim Gilbert and Scott Kaule were a part of both quartets, while Jeremy Blauser ran a leg of the 4×100 and Nick Simms was part of the 4×200. Blauser was also the runner-up in the pole vault with a vault of 13 feet. Other notable performances were turned in by Austin Benoit and Drew Woznick, who went one and two in the 3,200-meter run with times of 9:52.82 and 10:11.49 respectively. Tyler Harney finished third in the 1,600 meters with a time of 4:41.57. Casey Aman and Chris Coles also finished in a dead heat for third place in the 800-meter run with a time of 2:02.55. The Rams will now bide their time and prepare for this Saturday’s state meet at East Kentwood on June 2. Rockford will not only have multiple athletes entered in multiple events, they will have several individuals and relay teams sitting in a seeded […]

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