As they prepare to defend their state water polo title on November 12, thirteen Rockford Rams took time out to receive Academic All State honors from the Michigan Water Polo Association (MWPA). Eight of the honorees are juniors: Cody Brown, Nick Dulak, Mac Finnie, Allyn Kinney, Alex Savage, Matt Vermeer, Josh Waldvogel and Bryan Wasberg. Five are sophomores: Mike Arend, Trenten Babcock, Grant Beach, Corey Fase, and Nick Willison. “We are proud of our student-athletes at Rockford High School,” said Athletic Director Tim Erickson. “Notice the word ‘student’ precedes the word ‘athlete.’ That is our philosophy: student first. Coach McWatters and the water polo team provide a perfect example of this philosophy.” MWPA Academic All State athletes must have a 3.75 cumulative grade-point average (GPA) after completing at least a full year of high school. All 13 boys meet that benchmark; several of them with a GPA higher than 4.0. “We are very proud of the student participation rate in our Rockford High School athletic program,” noted Principal Dan Zang. “More important than the scoreboard, conference standings, and pursuit of state championships, however, is our students’ performance in the classroom. We are fortunate to have student-athletes who truly understand that classroom performance is more important than what happens in the playing arena. Having our coaches appreciate and value this perspective is vitally important as well.” Coach Dave McWatters agreed, “Half of our team is Academic All State! This achievement represents our greatest hope for these young men: that their experience as part of Rockford water polo will enrich their lives long after they graduate. These young men and others are able to respond to the demands of the sport and also achieve academic excellence. That will serve them well for years to come.”
November 11 2010
Rockford places second Saturday, Nov. 6 was a tough day for the Rockford girls as they fought hard but couldn’t beat powerhouse West Ottawa in the OK Red conference meet at East Kentwood. Rockford placed first in only one event; the Panthers were able to hold on to top places in six of the 12 events, setting five conference records along the way. The Rams were still able to place a strong second, even leading West Ottawa at one point in the meet. Coach Tom Parks told the girls after the meet, “West Ottawa currently has a great alignment of talent. Our Rams gave them a run for their money without a lot of big name, Division I swimmers and divers. West Ottawa could be first or second in the state and, after seeing other conference results around the state, it looks like only Rockford and Saline would have come close to beating them in a conference format.” Friday night the Rams swam extremely well. Four swimmers placed in the top 16 of every event except the 500 free, where Kayla Kidder was first alternate being edged out by 0.65 of a second. State times were set by Alaina Smith and Lexy Caster in the 200 free and Kara Vandawater and Morgan Longberg in the 100 backstroke, as well as by the 200-yard medley and 200-yard free B relay teams of Longberg, Morgan Lipe, Madison Trimble and Lauren Girard, and Kristen Schnelle, Madison Levine, Emily Williams and Trimble. On Saturday, West Ottawa led the point totals from the beginning, taking first to the Rams’ second in the 200 medley relay (Casey Wolfer, Rachel Romain, Sarah Smith and Jamie Van Portfliet). The Rams were able to stay within striking distance until the 100 butterfly, when Rockford got their only first-place finish from junior Sarah Smith. That put the Rams in front, but was not enough to hold on to the lead. After the next event, West Ottawa regained and held the lead though the remainder of the meet, taking first with 479 points. The Rams finished second with 457.5, Hudsonville finished third with 321.5, and Jenison fourth with 284. In the 200-yard freestyle, Adrianna Craft, A. Smith and Emily Smith swam the consolation heat (places nine […]
Rockford High School Coach Dave McWatters, his assistants and some of his student-athletes will offer a winter age-group water polo program for boys in the eighth grade and under. The program begins the afternoon of December 4 from 3:00 to 5:00 p.m., and will continue on eight other Saturdays. Boys will be introduced to the great sport of water polo, work on the fundamentals of the game, and have fun! No prior water polo experience is necessary, though swimming experience is helpful. Contact Coach McWatters by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
In their last regular season competition, the Rockford High School (RHS) marching band swept top honors in Flight I competition at the West Shore Invitational on Saturday, Oct. 30 with a score of 83.53 and won all caption awards for music, marching and general effect. Twenty-one bands participated in the invitational, which was held at Rockford’s Ted Carlson Memorial Stadium and was sponsored by Reeths-Puffer High School. Brian Phillips, RHS band director, was happy with band’s evening performance. “It was our best performance yet, by far, and the students and staff are all very excited about where the show is going. They have so much to be proud of!” Following the West Shore Invitational, Rockford is seeded fifth in Flight I state standings—based on the average of each band’s top two scores—with the Michigan Competing Band Association (MCBA). The top 11 bands in each flight competed at the MCBA state championship on Saturday, Nov. 6 at Ford Field in Detroit. Newaygo swept the field in Flight IV taking all captions and a score of 75.18. In Flight III, Stevensville Lakeshore took the caption for marching with a score of 77.56 behind first-place winner Byron Center, 77.91, who took music and general effect awards. In Flight II, Jenison dominated the field with a score of 84.91 and won all captions. Rockford’s 2010 show, entitled “Steel, Steam and Speed,” based on Frank Sullivan’s “Fast Track,” is a high-energy show and centers on the aesthetic sounds and experiences of locomotion.