‘Tis the season to give by REV. LAURIE TENHAVE-CHAPMAN First Congregational Church, Rockford Recently I had time to kill between meetings so I went to a small, upscale mall to bide my time. I thought I would be joining throngs of shoppers, bustling around with packages. I was wrong. It appeared that I had missed a PR campaign that unveiled a new purpose for this public space: Geriatric Walking Center! Older couples with varied degrees of mobility looped around me as I tried to get some work done. Every now and then I’m struck with the reality of our depressed economy. As sneaker-clad septuagenarians circled me in this once-vibrant mall, entering nary a store, I was reminded that it’s not business as usual. When we start to write “November” on our checks, we begin to move mentally toward Thanksgiving. With whom shall we share this special holiday? Who will host? What foods do we wish to have on the table? Are there travel arrangements to be made, a dog to be boarded, table linens to buy? In the past few years, perhaps financial restraint has led us to answer those questions somewhat differently. Much that we used to take for granted now feels like a gift. There is a tremendous opportunity for us in these financially lean times to embrace all that is good about our lives. Affluence has seldom led to a more grateful people. Hard times call us to greater creativity about how to use our gifts. A resilient resourcefulness, that has perhaps lain dormant, brings us into new places with new people that we wouldn’t have otherwise encountered. We are also discovering that our lives are more than our work. If we are having to “settle” for underemployment, unemployment or less-than-optimal jobs, we need to recognize that the greatest blessings have to do with human relationships. Family, friends, a warm house and grateful hearts gathered around a Thanksgiving table are what matter most. Whatever your circumstances I invite you to give thanks to God for the bounty in your own life. Look for ways you can be of service to others, even if your own means are limited. Items may be “repurposed”; spaces may be used for different functions. But giving God […]
November 10 2011
Rockford defense shines as offense explodes by TIM COOPER and MATT WEAVER According to Head Coach Ralph Munger, when the Rams have a good week in practice, things go well in the game. The Rams had a good week in practice last week. Rockford took little time asserting their dominance over Grand Ledge in the district final on Friday, Nov. 4. Prior to Friday night’s contest, no team had scored more than 17 points against the Comets. Rockford put up 21 in the first quarter. Ram quarterback Mark LaPrairie had a hand in two of the three touchdowns, the first a 19-yard bootleg around the right end to put the Rams up 7-0 just 1:39 into the game. His second touchdown came with 33 seconds remaining in the quarter, when he found tight end Aaron Weston wide open in the Comets’ secondary. Sandwiched between the two LaPrairie touchdowns was a 3-yard drive by Brady Gent. The Ram defense did their part by limiting Grand Ledge to one first down in the first half, while preventing the Comets from crossing the 50-yard line. This allowed the offense to work with a short field for the majority of the half. LaPrairie added two more touchdowns in the second quarter, both of them through the air, as LaPrairie connected twice with Justin Wustman, once for 52 yards and again for 54 yards. Wustman showed great focus on the second reception, making a circus-catch off of a Grand Ledge defender’s helmet before turning around to carry the ball into the end zone. The second half started with the Rams up by 35. Under MHSAA rule, when one team leads by 35 or more in the second half, the clock only stops for scoring plays, timeouts, penalties or an injury. On incomplete passes or plays where the ball is taken out of bounds, the clock doesn’t stop like it normally does. Since Rockford maintained that gap for the majority of the second half, the running clock aided in speeding the game to an early finish. LaPrairie’s fifth touchdown on the night came on an 11-yard pass to Connor Darby. The Rams’ quarterback went 8-11 on the night, with 220 yards, and four passing touchdowns to go with his one rushing […]
The Rockford varsity volleyball team, fueled by the support of the Ram Nation student body, stormed through district play last week earning the 2011 district title. The Rams, who hosted district play at Rockford High School, cruised to three victories, capping off wins versus Greenville, Forest Hills Northern, and a championship victory over Lowell on Saturday. The Rams earned the right to move on to regional play at Jenison High School this week, joining Grandville, Grand Haven and Traverse City West. The two teams earning first-game regional wins are scheduled to play Thursday at Jenison High School for the regional crown. The Rams, 55-8, played gritty and focused, never relenting a loss throughout the district round. The championship match against the Red Arrows of Lowell found the Rams leading two games to zero in game three, but within a point of dropping the third set, Lowell up 24-23. After a strategic time out by Coach Delacher and a Ram re-grouping, the Lady Rams settled down and turned back Lowell’s push. Rockford won the game 26-24 and along with it a district title.
The Lady Rams swim and dive team won the OK Red conference title this past weekend for the first time since 2008. Over the three-day meet, the depth and team speed were evident as Rockford dominated on their way to an impressive win. Rockford scored 490 points, West Ottawa had 428, followed by Hudsonville in third place with 418. The conference meet is scored differently than the ordinary dual meets, with the top 16 places scoring instead of just the top eight. Rockford showed their depth by being the only team to place the maximum number of four girls in each event and were seeded no lower than 12th in any race. Although they did not win any race, they dominated in spots three through ten, earning enough points to win the conference title easily. In the 200-yard medley relay, the team of Kara Vandawater, Kennedy Cutler, Sarah Smith and Casey Wolfer placed second. In the 200-yard freestyle, Megan Schremp was seventh, Emily Smith was eighth, Marissa Marion was ninth and Adrianna Craft was 11th. In the 200-yard IM, Vandawater was third, S. Smith was fifth, Morgan Lipe was ninth and Rachael Romain was 10th. In the 50-yard freestyle, Cutler was third, Wolfer fifth, Madison Levine was eighth and Dakota Noble was 10th. In diving, Rockford again placed four in the top 16 with Katie DeHaan in third, Maggie Setterington was eighth, Macie DeGraaf was 12th and Sarah MaCabe was 14th. As the second half of the meet began with the 100-yard butterfly, S. Smith was third, Alaina Smith was sixth, Erin Hudson was 10th and Madison Trimble was 11th. The 100-yard freestyle was where the championship was put to rest when Wolfer took fourth, Levine fifth, Emilie Hahne sixth, and A. Smith eighth. In the 500-yard freestyle, Schremp was fifth, Craft seventh, E. Smith eighth and Kayla Kidder 10th. The team of Noble, Levine, Cutler and Wolfer placed third in the 200-yard freestyle relay. In the 100-yard backstroke, Vandawater was third, Morgan Longberg sixth, Delayni Kornak-Kotarba eighth, and Rachael Fredricks 11th. In the 100-yard breaststroke, Lipe was fourth, Cutler fifth, Marion ninth and Romain 11th. In the final event of the day, the 400 freestyle relay, Rockford placed third with a team of Hahne, […]