November 18 2010

Rockford named No. 1 in marching at state finals

November 18, 2010 // 0 Comments

The Rockford High School (RHS) marching band earned top honors for marching in Flight I competition at the Michigan Competing Band Association (MCBA) state finals held at Ford Field on Saturday, Nov. 6. Overall, the band earned third place with a score of 86.18 out of 11 bands competing in their flight. Walled Lake Central earned first with a score of 88.45, followed by Plymouth-Canton with 87.12. “We had an unbelievable performance! The students did a wonderful job and we had a clean, focused show,” said RHS band director, Brian Phillips. “Flight I is the most competitive flight at state finals, with each competing band presenting a solid performance.” In Flight I, the span between the top five bands was just over three points, with the average span for the other flights at seven points. Since joining the MCBA in 2005, RHS has qualified for state finals every year and has moved up in rank from seventh place the first year to third in 2009 and 2010. “We have proved that our third-place finish last year was not a fluke. Rockford is someone to contend with in the years ahead!” added seniors Andrew Christianson and Alex Quinn. Rockford’s marching program is unique compared to the bands they face at state finals. “For many of the schools, band is an extracurricular program. Students try out for a spot in the ensemble and they rehearse several hours a day. For our program, all kids who desire to be in band are part of the program. We meet for one class hour a day and typically rehearse just one evening a week, which is about three times less than our competitors,” according to Phillips. The biggest point of pride for Phillips is how the students rehearse. “The students are prepared and rehearse in an efficient manner,” explained Phillips. “The show constantly evolves and each member has a desire for growth that brings a level of sophistication to our ensemble.” And that is not an easy task with over 200 teenagers in the program this year to keep organized and focused. Looking ahead, Phillips sees only an “exciting and bright future” for the marching band. The band now moves into concert season with the wind ensemble’s brass section performing at the […]

Rams regional football champs

November 18, 2010 // 0 Comments

Highlanders’ late surge gives Rockford scare by TIM COOPER A cool, cloudy day greeted the spectators at the Ted for the regional final football game on Saturday, Nov. 13. For the first three quarters of Rockford’s match-up with the Howell Highlanders, it appeared to be business as usual, with the Rams scoring consistently and their defense keeping the Howell offense at bay. The Rockford offense struck first, driving 80 yards on 11 plays, with Mark LaPrairie throwing three consecutive passes to his primary receiver, Neil VanderLaan. The two combined for 61 yards on the drive, including a 39-yard pass. LaPrairie later found Brandon Lubenow for an eight-yard touchdown pass to complete the drive to give the Rams a 7-0 lead. Rockford’s defense proved tough, keeping the Howell offense out of the end zone for its first three possessions, while the offense, in workmanlike fashion moved the ball down the field, building a 17-point lead. Howell finally got on the board when Derrick Palma broke through the Ram defense for six yards, capping off a 77-yard drive. Rockford closed out the first half by again showing off the “LaPrairie-VanderLaan Connection.” LaPrairie found VanderLaan four times on the nine-yard drive, gaining 73 of the 75 yards on the drive, including a four-yard touchdown pass. The Rams took a 24-7 lead into halftime. Rockford’s only score of the second half came when “The Connection” struck again, with LaPrairie finding VanderLaan wide open. VanderLaan raced 70 yards to give the Rams a 31-7 lead early in the third quarter. Howell’s offense then found its footing, attempting to mount a comeback as they scored 20 unanswered points. A touchdown with 1:31 left on the clock brought the Highlanders within four points of the Rams. To no one’s surprise, Howell attempted an on-side kick, which was recovered by Rockford’s Zach Schmuck, beginning the mad minute of football. With the Rams looking to ice the game by gaining one final first down, the Highlanders found new life when the Rams’ Brady Gent fumbled the ball on second down with 45 seconds left. Howell recovered the fumble, and took possession at their own 44. A questionable holding penalty moved the ball to the Ram 46, where Highlander quarterback Greg Cauley threw the ball […]

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