Fans of high school water polo enjoyed two days of fast-paced action at the Rockford Invitational, August 28-29. Eight varsity boys teams, including seven of the state’s top 10, came to Rockford High School to test themselves in this early-season competition. The Rockford Rams, a perennial polo powerhouse, entered the event with some questions. They graduated seven seniors (including six starters) from the 2008 team. And the 2009 varsity squad includes seven sophomores and two freshmen. Will this be the year that Rockford falls from the ranks of elite Michigan teams? After finishing the weekend with four convincing wins and one close loss, the 2009 Rams are clearly a force to be reckoned with. According to Coach Dave McWatters, teams around the state now know that “whenever they play Rockford, it will be a battle. That’s what we accomplished this weekend. We’ll now build on that and keep getting better each week.” The Rams opened the invitational with a 9-6 victory over Jenison. The game showcased the Rams’ depth and balance—seven different Rockford players scored goals, five had assists, and six made steals. Rockford’s second game pitted them against Michigan’s top-ranked team, Birmingham Groves. Thanks to a suffocating defense, the Rams eventually pulled away to a 10-5 victory. Senior Derik Bothma led the team with four goals and five steals. Junior Jeff Schmitt added three assists. In Rockford’s 9-6 win over Hudsonville, senior Kyle Peterson jumpstarted the offense with three goals. The Ram defense was stellar once again with six steals by Bothma and 14 saves by the goalie, junior Pat Fase. Saturday brought another challenge as Rockford faced cross-state rival Ann Arbor Pioneer, the state’s second-ranked team. These two talented and well-coached teams played a brilliant game that ended in a 7-5 Pioneer victory. The last game of the weekend featured Rockford against the high-scoring Chieftains from Okemos, who jumped out to a quick 2-0 lead. How would the young Rams respond following their heartbreaking loss to Pioneer? Rockford found the answer in its senior leadership. First, the team tightened the defensive screws, allowing only two more goals the rest of the game. Then seniors Connor Thelen, Bothma, and Tyler Manikowski scored two goals each, leading to a 7-4 Ram victory. “We had a […]
September 3 2009
On an unseasonably cool and gray day, the Rockford boys cross-country team opened their 2009 season with a dominant performance in winning the Third Annual Rockford Cross Country Invitational. Although the team acted as gracious hosts to the seven schools attending the meet, on the scoreboard the Ram harriers were anything but kind, as Rockford won the meet with a score of 23 points. Second-place Forest Hills Central scored 67 points. Scoring at the Rockford Invitational is unique to this meet. Five boys run in the 11/12 varsity upperclassman race and five boys run in the 9/10 varsity underclassman race, with the top three boys from each school scoring in each race. The final scores are determined by adding together the six scoring runners from each school. Rockford runners were second, third and fifth in the upperclassman race and first, third and ninth in the underclassman race. Rockford established dominance from the opening gun in the upperclassman race as senior co-captain Grant Gunneson and junior Spencer Gerber pushed the pace. They were joined in the small lead pack by a single runner, Jeff Sattler of Byron Center. Senior co-captains Nick Shear and Drake Veitenheimer were in the trailing pack but close behind. Gunneson held the lead for most of the first two miles. However, on a long uphill with about 1,200 meters to go, Sattler made a bold move and captured the lead. Sattler did not relinquish the lead, as Gunneson finished second at 16:53 to Sattler’s 16:37. Gerber was third at 17:02, with Veitenheimer completing the scoring for the Rams in this race, finishing fifth in 17:10. In the underclassman race, freshman Drew Woznick easily outdistanced the field, running 17:23, as he pulled away from a very determined Middleville runner at the two-mile mark. Rounding out the scoring in the underclassman race for the Rams was third-place finisher sophomore Connor Jewell at 18:15, followed by ninth-place freshman Austin Benoit, who ran 18:57. The Rams later swarmed the field as 37 Ram runners lined up for the start of the junior varsity race. In the JV race, which wrapped up the competition, the Rams placed the most runners in the top 10 with the fastest time being turned in by second-place finisher, senior Ryan Romain. […]
Hope Community Church is celebrating the canine-human bond with a day of celebration on Sunday, Sept. 13, from 1 to 4 p.m. Over a dozen events are aimed at families with sociable dogs up-to-date on shots and on a leash held by an adult. Prizes and trophies valued over $150 will be awarded in the Pet Costume Contest and the Pet/Person Kinda-Look-Alike Contest. Enter to win a year’s supply of dog food provided by Chow Hound. This fundraiser for Hope Community Church’s build-a-parking-lot fund includes a need-not-be-present-to-win raffle for stunning pet items every half hour, nail trims, ear cleaning, brush-a-pet station, and homemade pet and people baked goods. Mackenzie’s Animal Sanctuary, Paws with a Cause, and the Humane Society of Kent County will be present with events and information. AKC will also provide information for pet parents. Pastor Scott will preside over the Blessing of the Dogs Ceremony, which will be offered several times during the event. Hyer Luv Kennel and Groomers is creating and coordinating this event with Hope Community Church members, Plainfield Pet Hospital, Wise Photography, Iams Corporation, Rockford Animal Hospital, Ada Hospital for Animals, Rogue Valley Vet Hospital, Ric’s and those businesses still coming on board to support the community and Hope Community Church.
Enjoy the sights Visit Stacy Niedzwiecki, Rockford photographer, at Art in the Park on Saturday, September 12 at Rockford’s Art tn the Park at Garden Club Park (behind Arnie’s) in downtown Rockford from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Multi-media artworks—sculpture, jewelry, weaving and no crafts—will be available for viewing or purchase.
Cannon Township to close portion of trail Cannon Township will soon be closing a section of the trail while repair work is performed, hoping that the repairs will be completed in a two-week period. During that time, no traffic will be allowed on the section of the trail running west from Sunfish Lake Avenue to Dix Farms. Please do not try to go around this area by walking on the private drive or through the woods. These repairs should solve the township’s water problems. Wolverine World Wide Inc. announces new appointments Wolverine World Wide Inc. (NYSE: WWW) recently announced the appointment of Bill Dodge as vice president of product development for the Outdoor Group, and Mark Sandquist as president of Global Apparel. These senior leadership roles will help accelerate several of the company’s key growth initiatives for the Merrell, Patagonia Footwear and Chaco businesses. Both Dodge and Sandquist will report to Jim Zwiers, president of the Outdoor Group. Commenting on the appointments, Zwiers stated, “Wolverine remains focused on executing its global growth initiatives, which includes growing Merrell into our first billion dollar brand and capitalizing on the potential of the Chaco brand. We are privileged to have Mark Sandquist and Bill Dodge enhance our already strong senior leadership team, and look forward to their contributions to drive innovative product creation and future growth. Mark’s experience and past success in outdoor apparel will be instrumental in helping us grow our apparel platform. At the same time, the alignment of all Outdoor Group footwear product development under Bill’s leadership will provide synergies and help us realize the potential of the Merrell, Patagonia Footwear and Chaco brands.” For additional information, please visit www.wolverineworldwide.com.