October 21 2010

West Ottawa outswims Rockford by nine points

October 21, 2010 // 0 Comments

Rockford parents were on the edge of their seats Thursday, Oct. 14, as they watched the girls swim team face conference strongman West Ottawa. The Rams only placed first in two of the 12 events—the 50-yard free by Jamie Van Portfliet and the 100-yard butterfly by Sarah Smith—but the team’s depth still earned enough points to keep the Rams in the game to the very last relay event. The Rams started off trailing West Ottawa by eight points after the initial 200-yard medley relay as the A relay squad of Morgan Longberg, Rachel Romain, S. Smith and Kennedy Cutler only placed second. The team fell further behind in the 200-yard free, with Adrianna Craft finishing third, Alaina Smith fourth, Lexy Caster sixth, and Emily Smith seventh. But in the 200-yard medley, the Rams were able to add more points to their column by S. Smith placing second, Morgan Lipe fourth, Romain fifth, and Kara Vandawater sixth. In the 50 free, they pulled even closer to West Ottawa, with Van Portfliet taking one of the two first-place finishes, as well as Casey Wolfer taking fourth, Cutler fifth, and Lauren Girard sixth. Rockford’s divers pulled the teams even by Macie Degraaf placing second, Katie DeHaan third, Erica Finlayson fourth, and Maggie Setterington fifth. S. Smith took first in the 100-yard butterfly. With teammates A. Smith (third), Madison Trimble (fourth) and Taylor Downs (fifth), she pulled the team to 11 points ahead of the Panthers. But the lead wasn’t enough to keep Rockford ahead, as the Rams came up with less points than the Panthers in the next five events. In the 100-yard free, VanPortfliet finished second, Wolfer took fifth, Longberg sixth and E. Smith seventh. In the 500-yard free, Caster took third, Girard fourth, Craft fifth and Kayla Kidder seventh. Rockford’s A relay (Cutler, S. Smith, Wolfer, Van Portfliet) and B relay (A. Smith, E. Smith, Craft, Caster) finished second and third in the 200-yard free. Longberg placed third in the 100-yard backstroke, supported by Vandawater (fourth), Downs (sixth) and Rachel Fredricks (seventh). Cutler took third in the 100-yard breaststroke, followed by Romain (fourth), Lipe (fifth) and Sloan Ouellette (seventh). By the final 400 relay, West Ottawa was back ahead by seven points. To win the meet, the […]

Ram cross-country 15-year dual meet winning streak comes to end

October 21, 2010 // 0 Comments

by Chris Cruickshank  Some of the participants in the Wednesday, Oct. 13 boys cross-country race weren’t even born in 1996 when the Rockford High School boys cross-county team lost their last dual meet. But something has to give when two unbeaten squads clash, and unfortunately, it was the Rams’ record. The Grand Haven Buccaneers took first, third and a tightly contested fourth place, which was enough for the team victory. Spencer Gerber led the way for the Rams, taking second place with a time of 16:27. He was followed by teammates Drew Woznick, Austin Benoit and Devon Liu, who took fifth, sixth and seventh place, respectively. The loss raises the stakes of the October 22 conference meet, where the Rams will try to maintain their 15-year strangle hold on the OK Red league title. The Rams quickly returned to their winning ways on Saturday, Oct. 16, taking team first place at the Kent County Invitational. Once again, Gerber was the first Ram across the finish line with a time of 16:06, which was good enough for second place. Six other Rams finished the 3.1-mile course under 16:47, including Woznick, Liu, Casey Aman, Chris Coles, Steven Ek and Benoit. In the junior varsity race, Rockford dominated by taking nine of the top 15 places. Evan Bruin took first place, followed by Grant Aman (second), Nate MacQueen (third), Tyler Harney (fourth), Marc Lehman (sixth), Andrew Pitcher (eighth), Cam Fasel, (11th), Mark Cruickshank (13th) and Mike Greko (15th). On Friday, Oct. 22, the Rams return to Grand Haven to defend their OK Red league championship at the conference meet.

North Rockford Middle School’s Tate Lewis an Example in Excellence

October 21, 2010 // 0 Comments

‘Every day Tate is here, North Rockford Middle School is a better place’ Tate is the son of Stephanie and John Bates and James Lewis. He is a person who never gives up or thinks he cannot accomplish something. This student follows his heart and always shows kindness. His peers and the staff at North Rockford Middle School appreciate his unique sense of humor. Tate is caring to others and asks people how they are. He is very concerned about the well-being of those around him. He is always willing to help other students who may be struggling. “Every day Tate is here, North Rockford Middle School is a better place,” his teachers say of him. Tate shows a positive attitude in all he does and has a “never say die” attitude. Tate is described as sensitive, inquisitive, considerate and kind. His cheerful attitude and optimism in thinking the best of others make him enjoyable to be around. Also a good student, Tate has earned the Principal’s Honor Roll every marking period and was selected to be a Northern Lights tutor and mentor. He enjoys football where he works hard to be his best and is a strong team player. He is also a tennis player, and he goes out of his way to help those less skilled. Tate is also involved in the activities of Rockford United Methodist Church. Tate is a student who works hard to achieve his best, but never hesitates to help others. He has an overwhelming love for his family and wants to please them with his success. Staff at North Rockford Middle School believe Tate’s strength of character and his belief in the goodness of others make him an Example in Excellence at North Rockford Middle School.

Soldier of War of 1812 honored with gravestone

October 20, 2010 // 0 Comments

Settler cemetery visible from road   One of Rockford’s—then Laphamville—earliest settlers, Joshua Briggs, rested in an unmarked grave for over 100 years before research determined that his grave must lie in the family plot on the grounds of Myrtle Park Crematorium at 9619 Northland Drive. Briggs was recognized in a ceremony on Saturday, Oct. 16, surrounded by the aging tombstones of three of his children and their spouses as well as grandchildren. No longer buried in an unmarked grave, the life and death of Briggs is engraved on a new granite marker, which was unveiled during the Saturday ceremony. Briggs was recognized by members of the Rockford Area Historical Society and members of the Daughters of the War of 1812 for his service as a soldier in the two-year war declared June 18, 1812. Without the fame of the Revolutionary War, the historic fight was also between the Americans and the British for our freedom as a country. Battles took place across the United States, off the Atlantic coast and as far away as the Indian Ocean and the coasts of Chili and Africa. Much of the fighting was right here in Michigan, in the Great Lakes and forts of Detroit and Mackinac/Michilimackinac. “Many people don’t know about the War of 1812,” said historian Claudette Darling, who discovered the location of Briggs’ remains through research. Darling said she and other members of the Daughters of the War of 1812 found Briggs and many other veterans buried in Michigan, whose graves were unknown or unmarked. She said a book published in the 1960s on soldiers buried in Michigan had many errors or omissions. In honor of the 200th anniversary of the beginning of the war, the Michigan chapter of the organization hopes to prepare and publish a more complete volume on Michigan’s veterans of the war. Over 3,500 soldiers just from Michigan alone fought in the war. Jim Kornoelji purchased property, which was part of the original Briggs homestead about 15 years ago. At that time the family burial plot was overgrown, although the stones could be glimpsed through the grass by drivers on Northland Drive. Darling said Kornoelji told her he had an archeologist examine the property to make sure the building foundation and parking […]

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