The Great Lakes Storm of 2010 by CRAIG JAMES The major storm that affected much of the United States the last week of October was certainly one for the record books, but given its intensity, I think it produced far less damage than was expected. The storm first impacted the West Coast with very heavy rain and high winds, and this may be a prevalent pattern over the upcoming winter for that area of the country. Coastal areas received four to eight inches of rain from the system and a lot of 40-50 mph winds. Waves reached 22 feet off the Washington Coast, none of which is all that uncommon for a strong Pacific system. The strong jet stream did help produce wind gusts to 132 mph at Squaw Peak northwest of Lake Tahoe, but that was at an elevation of 8,700 feet. The weather computer models did a very good job of forecasting how the storm would reorganize over the central plains and become a huge and very intense system as it headed toward the western Great Lakes. Barometer readings were forecast to fall to record low levels in the center of the system and that is exactly what happened. On Tuesday afternoon, Oct. 27, a barometer reading of 28.21 inches was reported in north central Minnesota, making it the lowest pressure reading on record for any storm in the interior of the country. Hurricanes and nor’easters have had lower pressure readings, but no storms over land in the center of the country have had readings this low. The blizzard of 1978 had a slightly lower reading of 28.05 inches when it was over Lake Huron but not when it was over land. Since a barometer reading this low is usually associated with a category three hurricane capable of steady winds of 111 to 130 mph with gusts to 150 mph, it was surprising the winds were not stronger with this system. Peak winds throughout the Plains and Great Lakes were generally around 40 mph with gusts to 50-60 mph. There were a few gusts between 70 and 80 mph but not many. In Michigan, a gust to 71 mph was reported near Ludington, a gust to 74 just northwest of Traverse City and […]
November 4 2010
by CLIFF and NANCY HILL Lions Clubs International (LCI) is the world’s largest community service organization with 1.3 million members. There are more than 45,000 Lions Clubs in approximately 200 countries and geographic areas. All Lions Clubs and their members share a common dedication to helping people in need. Integral parts of the LCI network are more than 5,700 Leo Clubs in approximately 140 nations. Leo Clubs are open to young people between 12 and 18 years of age with good character and an interest in serving their communities. The Leo name is also their motto, standing for Leadership, Experience and Opportunity. The Leo Club has been an official program of LCI for the past 43 years and locally the Rockford Lions Club has decided to climb on board and sponsor their own Leo Club(s). Rockford Lion Larry Lindsley, co-chairman of Rockford’s Leo Club(s), said, “Rockford Schools Superintendent Michael Shibler has enthusiastically and whole-heartedly endorsed school-affiliated Leos Clubs.” Grand Rapids Lions Club member Dr. Gary Anderson, who is also an international director of LCI, said, “I’m excited to see one of our most successful Lions Clubs sponsor a Leos Club program. Lions know how to get things done and I’m positive the Rockford Leo Clubs will be a huge success.” By next spring, plans are in the works to have Leo Clubs at each middle school along with one at both the Rockford Freshman Center and the high school. Each club will have a faculty advisor who is also a certified Lions Club member. The Leo Clubs will be subject to the same rules established by school authorities for all school organizations and extracurricular activities. The Rockford Leo Clubs are open to all students enrolled in the public and parochial schools of the Rockford school district, who meet age and character requirements. Each of the Leo Clubs will develop their own service projects with an emphasis on filling needs locally. Already having 180 Leo candidates signed up to become charter members in the about-to-be formed new clubs, the Rockford Lions have already found a way to test their “mettle.” On recent Saturday mornings, you may have seen some of these young ladies and gentlemen enthusiastically assisting the Lions in one of their current community service […]
Rockford takes on Traverse City West in pre-districts by TIM COOPER On Friday, Oct. 29, 256 teams throughout the state, divided into eight divisions, began the run to the state championship, which will be held at Ford Field in Detroit on Thanksgiving weekend. This year’s playoff opener marked the fifth time the Rockford Rams and the Traverse City West Titans have met, with Rockford having won each of the previous four games. Behind the strong running of Zach Schmuck, Rockford jumped out to a 7-0 lead. Schmuck’s one-yard plunge into the end zone capped off a nine-play, 52-yard drive. It was the first of three touchdowns Schmuck scored in the first quarter. Two plays later and 23 seconds later, Schmuck scored again. Schmuck’s second touchdown was set up by the first of KC Zenner’s two interceptions. Zenner returned the interception 15 yards to the Titan 13. On the following play, Schmuck carried the ball into the end zone to give Rockford a 14-0 lead. After the Ram defense forced Traverse City West to punt, Rockford took possession of the ball again, mounting an eight-play drive that was finished by Scmuck’s third touchdown with 28 seconds remaining in the first quarter. The Rams went into the locker rooms with a 28-0 lead at halftime after Kyle Short threw an 11-yard pass to Aaron Weston with 29 seconds left in the second quarter. Early in the third quarter, Traverse City West saw a ray of hope as they stopped the Rams in the first possession of the half. The Titan offense followed up their defense’s effort by driving 86 yards into the Rockford end zone to narrow the score by seven. West’s efforts were stifled, however, as the Ram defense, continuing to hit hard, stopped the Titans on a critical fourth-down-and-one-yard-to-go situation with 2:54 left in the third. Rockford’s offense brought the lead back to 28 as Kyle Short threw his second touchdown pass, this time to Matt Boonstra. Traverse City West scored one more touchdown in the fourth, to make the final score 35-14. Following the game, Coach Ralph Munger said of his Rams, “Our boys came out ready to play, scoring on our first three possessions, but then I think our kids let up some […]
Rockford moves on to defend state title The Rockford boys water polo team claimed second place in the Michigan Water Polo Association (MWPA) West Regional championship held at East Kentwood High School last weekend. The Rams now move on to the MWPA state tournament, where they will need three wins against top opponents to repeat as state champions. Four Rams received All Region honors. Junior Bryan Wasberg received honorable mention, while junior Eric Chisholm, senior Jeff Schmitt and senior Pat Fase were named First Team All Region. Rockford opened the tournament Friday afternoon, Oct. 29, by trouncing an overmatched West Ottawa club 18-4. Ten different Rams scored goals, led by freshman Craig Wasberg with three. Rockford’s team defense, with junior Allyn Kinney leading the way, smothered the Panthers. Saturday morning, Oct. 30, the Rams faced Jenison in the semifinals. In a game eerily similar to their district match from a week earlier, the Rams once again found themselves up 4-3 in the waning moments of the first half. The Wildcats lined up for a penalty shot with just 35 seconds left in the half, but Ram goalie Pat Fase made the stop to preserve Rockford’s lead. Jenison didn’t threaten again. The Rams added two third-period goals and rode their defensive strength to a 6-3 victory. B. Wasberg and Jeff Schmitt led the scoring with two goals apiece. Wasberg and Chisholm each made three steals on defense. “Stopping a penalty shot involves a little luck,” admitted Fase after the game. “As the shooter wound up, I sensed he was aiming to my right. I just dove that way and was able to get a hand on the ball. If they had scored there, they would have had a lot of momentum going into the half, and it probably would have been a different game.” The regional finals provided a rematch of the district finals, with the Rams facing familiar foe East Kentwood, but this time in the Falcons’ pool. After a few tense, scoreless minutes, Chisholm took a pass from junior Alex Savage and found the back of the net to give the Rams a 1-0 lead. The Falcons answered immediately, however, setting the tone for a see-saw first half that ended with Rockford clinging to […]
The Rockford girls swim team easily trounced conference opponent East Kentwood 184-120 Thursday night, Oct. 28. The Rams traveled to Kentwood for the season finale and a new team record by Sarah Smith in the 500 free. Rockford’s A relay team of Casey Wolfer, Rachel Romain, Emily Smith and Jamie Van Porfliet and B relay team of Kara Vandawater, Morgan Lipe, Alaina Smith and Lauren Girard took first and second in the 200 medley. The Falcons’ Sara Bolt finally showed up to the block for the second event, the 200 freestyle, and must have been in a hurry, because she easily beat Rockford’s next four place finishers: Adrianna Craft, Morgan Longberg, Lexy Caster and E. Smith. But Rockford came back in the third event, the 200-yard individual medley, by taking all four top places: Kennedy Cutler was first, Romain second, Vandawater third and Lipe fourth. Van Portfliet took first in the 50 freestyle, supported by Kristen Schnelle (fifth), Wolfer (sixth) and Emily Williams (seventh). The divers took the top three places: Katie DeHaan, Erica Finlayson and Maggie Setterington, with Sarah McCabe taking fifth. Craft and Caster came in first and second in the 100 butterfly, with Taylor Downs and Madison Trimble only one place further back in fourth and fifth. And in the 100 free, Rockford placed first, second, third and fifth: Cutler, A. Smith, Girard and Schnelle. A. Smith took first place in the 500 free, with sister Emily taking third, Kayla Kidder in fourth and Kara Loux in fifth. Rockford’s A relay team of Cutler, Van Portfliet, A. Smith and Craft and B relay team of Schnelle, Williams, Kelsey Carlson and Madison Levine took first and second again in the 200 free. Vandawater and Girard took first and second in the 100 backstroke with the reminder of Rockford’s swimmers in that event and the last two events swimming exhibition. The Rams will travel back to Kentwood for the OK Red conference meet taking place November 4-6. Preliminary diving will take place Thursday evening, preliminary swimming is Friday night, and finals for all are on Saturday.