This fall, Rockford Senior Zach Meeks committed to play lacrosse at the next level out in Colorado at Adams State University. After being pulled up to Varsity his Freshman year, Meeks has become a vital part to the Rockford program, playing both midfield and attack depending on the team’s needs. Zach is being recruited to play as a midfielder at the next level. Adams State Head Coach Jason Levesque commented on Zach’s athleticism and his intangibles on and off the field, “One of the first things that we saw when watching Zach play was his athleticism. He was great between the lines and we found he had a lot of those hustle stats you don’t see in the box score.” Levesque continued, “He’s definitely a well put together young man from what we’ve seen so far, both physically and mentally from a maturity standpoint. We’re very much looking forward to working with Zach both on and off the field here at Adams State for the next four years” While playing in college has always been a dream for Meeks, it’s what Adams State offered in the classroom that finalized his decision to commit. “Academically the class sizes are 18-22 students. Getting to know my teachers is a big part of me excelling as a student and I know I can excel in the environment at Adams State.” said Meeks, “Coach Levesque runs a great program with guys that want to succeed and that’s what I want to be part of.” “He [Meeks] is a very talented player who will be a great offensive threat for the Rams during his senior season,” said former Rockford Coach Pete Sims, “He’s had the desire to play at the collegiate level since his freshman year. Adams State is getting a solid player and a great young man.”
The Rockford Rams Varsity Hockey team closed out 2014 with an impressive Big Rapids Holiday Tournament championship the weekend of December 19 and 20 on the campus of Ferris State Univesity. On Friday, December 19 the Rams took the ice against Jackson Lumen Christi. After a scoreless first period, Lumen Christi opened the scoring early in the second period. It would be their only goal of the game. The Rams responded a few moments later with the first of five unanswered goals. Tanner Vesche (assisted by Damon Harvey) and Jacob McNamara (assisted by Connor Foss and Vesche) notched second period goals. In the third period Braden King (assisted by Vesche), Vesche (assisted by McNamara and Jarret Ullrey) and John Filipiak (assisted by Harvey) all registered goals. The final score: Rockford 5, Jackson Lumen Christi 1. Goalies Brendan Coolbaugh and Holly Ensley combined for the win. In the tournament championship game on Saturday, December 20, the Rams squared off against the Soo Blue Devils. After spotting the Devils a two-goal lead early in the second period, the Rams got down to business. Foss netted the Rams first goal midway through the middle period (assisted by King and Brock Johnson). A few moments later the Blue Devils got whistled for a 5-minute major penalty, and the Rams capitalized scoring 3 goals during that span. McNamara (assisted by Vesche and Ullrey), Brandon Perry (assisted by McNamara and Jeff Benda) and Matt Baker (assisted by Johnson) each scored on the power play. Late in the second period McNamara notched his second goal of the game (assisted by Vesche) to conclude the scoring. In the end Rockford defeated the Blue Devils 5-2. Coolbaugh recorded the win in this contest. The Rockford coaches were pleased with the performance. “This is only our second championship in the past 10 years in this event,” said Head Coach Ed VanPortFliet. “So it’s a very nice accomplishment. We are proud of the players and the way they battled.” Rockford jumps back on the ice the weekend of January 9 and 10 at the Walker Classic Tournament at Walker Ice & Fitness Center. Rockford squares off in a league game against East Grand Rapids at 6pm Friday night. On Saturday, the Rams will face either Kenowa […]
by Cindy M. Cranmer A Rockford man is one of the co-creators of an ArtPrize entry being discussed locally and internationally after thousands and thousands of participants and spectators gathered Friday night to help Mark Carpenter and Dan Johnson realize their vision for ArtPrize and landing their entry in the top 10. Dan Johnson, of Rockford, and Mark Carpenter, of Grand Rapids, both felt the event was an extreme success with more than 50,000 people in attendance. Round two of ArtPrize voting opened on Sunday, Sept. 30 and runs through Thursday, Oct. 4. ArtPrize attendees can vote for one of the top 10 entries with the code to vote for Lights in the Night being 52910. See related story on the top 10 ArtPrize entries. The theme of Lights in the Night is to symbolize where hope takes flight in the form of sky lanterns representing individual hopes, dreams and wishes. More than 15,000 Chinese sky lanterns were launched from coordinated key points in the downtown Grand Rapids area on Friday, Sept. 28. “You offer up your dreams and hopes for the future or even reconcile events of your past in a symbolic lantern launch,” the entry described. Being at this event Friday night, this reporter was able to experience Lights in the Night firsthand. The sense of community, the emotional outpouring of feelings and the awe of seeing the lanterns in the sky was amazing. While words such as “magical,” “beautiful,” “wonderful,” “amazing,” “enchanting” and “inspiring” were used to describe the launch, it is much harder to put in words the sense of community and the overflowing of emotions at the event. The event made a last impression, which was the goal, Johnson said. Some have criticized Lights in the Night as the event skyrocketed in a 24-hour period through the ratings bypassing the top 100 and the top 50 on its climb to the top 25 and then to the top 10. Johnson told The Rockford Squire the key components of ArtPrize are to “get out of the box” and find something that is art but is not as traditional, to involve the community and to leave a lasting impression. “It was super successful on all three of those accounts,” Johnson said. “Our […]
By Beth Altena “I’m excited to be back,” said Tracy McKay, the former and now again current owner of Pinstripes and Polka Dots. McKay was a fixture in Rockford with her cheerfully-named shop which was open for business in another location in downtown Rockford from 2004 to 2008. She is now re-opened in the space vacated by Gumballs & Overalls,which closed its doors in May of this year. The business is a consignment shop which also carries an assortment of furnishings, room décor and some home-made items. It caters to customers buying for infants/newborns through young adult as well as maternity clothes. “Customers can bring in their children’s clothes and they get a profit,” McKay said. She noted that consigners have the option of 40 percent of the sale of the clothes, or can choose an in-store credit for 50-percent of the sale price. The contract for sale is a 90 day timeframe. Customers can have McKay price their items while they wait or drop off consignment and come back later. The hand-made items include fun capes ranging from Michigan or Michigan State, superman, the classic Rockford R on an orange cape and a variety of other super hero selections. Pinstripes is also a vendor for hand-made doll clothes that fit the American Girl dolls, jewelry, newborn knitted and crocheted hats, frames and prints for kids rooms and lots of décor featuring owls, which are very popular. McKay said the first four years of Pinstripes was “a good run” but the decision to close doors came as personal lives were busy with her sister starting her family and needing more time for that. “Now my kids are older and it’s the right time to be back,” McKay said. Consignment and resale stores have become very popular as American consumers are more interested in shopping locally and making better use of goods. Kids clothing are a perfect example of a second use for a product, since kids grow so quickly. Anyone with children will likely remember the frustration of purchasing clothing or back to school outfits only to see their child rapidly outgrown the size. Consignment is also popular because inventory changes constantly, so high-quality, brand name items are always coming in and selling for a […]
by CLIFF AND NANCY HILL With air quality monitors surrounding the property and an onsite representative from The Michigan Occupational Safety and Health Administration (MIOSHA) present, Pitsch Companies, last Thursday, began demolition of the old manufacturing facility of Burch Body Works. Located in the heart of Rockford, on the southeast corner of Monroe St. and Rum Creek, the structure had recently been deemed by the City of Rockford to be a threat to life, limb, and property and was ordered torn down. Demolition began at the rear east side of the building and will finish street side, on the west, at the front of the building facing Monroe Street. Pitsch reports all is moving smoothly without a hitch and expects the tear down to be complete by the end of this week (Friday, Oct. 5).