by RANDY GREGORY After last year, one could have been deemed reasonable to think that maybe, just maybe Muskegon may have been headed for a minor rebuilding project in 2012 following heavy graduation losses at the skill positions. But nothing could be further from the truth for this year’s version of Big Red football. Some odd circumstances instead delivered a whole new talent pool to a program laden with accomplishment after accomplishment over the last 100-plus years. The school with the most wins in the history of high school football in the state of Michigan will instead bring to the table what they have always brought: a team with great speed, size and power that is off to a 2-0 start after facing a pair of highly rated squads from Michigan and Ohio. Normally when a player transfers from one high school to another without moving, the Michigan High School Athletic Association (MHSAA) dictates that athlete must sit out the following semester at his new school. But with the decision of the Muskegon Heights district to go to a charter school system, that allowed a talented pool of athletes to go to another district with no restrictions. The talent influx has been noticeable and the Big Reds haven’t skipped a beat. Muskegon kicked off the year by downing last year’s MHSAA Division III state champs from Orchard Lake St. Mary’s by a score of 21-14. They followed that up by journeying to the Toledo, Ohio area to square off with a Sylvania Southview crew that features five Division I players. This time it was a slugfest, but the Big Reds scored late and held on for a 40-37 triumph. “I got to see their first game and all I can say is wow,” said Rockford coach Ralph Munger. “They are an incredibly athletic team that does everything at a fast pace. They are going to be an incredible challenge to prepare for because we just can’t duplicate that type of speed in practice.” Rockford and Muskegon met for the first time in 1996 and have met eight times total over the last 16 years. Rockford holds a 5-3 edge in a series of games that have featured one thriller after another. NFL films even did […]
September 6 2012
Over Labor Day weekend, the Soccer Club of Rockford (SCOR) U17 girls played in the Romeo Peachfest Soccer Tournament. The team went 4-0, winning the championship against a team from St. Clair Shores, 2-0. There were no goals scored against the team the entire tournament. Pictured are (front row, l–r) Maddie Butler (Rockford), Elise Ketelaar, Amanda Hume (Rockford), Rachel Seidel, Lauren Engelkes (Rockford), Alicia Dills, Jess Guillaume, Rylie Dalton (Rockford), Janelle Posthuma; (back row) Head Coach Alex Ludwig, Megan Fox, Kelsey Walters (Rockford), Bri Malstrom (Rockford), Sarah Rollins (Rockford), Kassidy LaLone, Haley Johnson, Kelly Graham, Megan Chrisman (Rockford), Rachel Neubecker (Rockford), and Assistant Coach Pat Dalton.
by RANDY GREGORY Coming out of high school after a solid football career at Rockford, Jeremy Jones was reasonably certain his playing days were at an end. Jones was part of two state championships for the Rams, but really wasn’t too keen on all of the conditioning and practices that accompany playing football collegiately. He had generated little interest from college programs anyway, so he had pretty well decided his future wouldn’t include the gridiron. But a surprise offer from Wayne State University in Detroit piqued his interest and the rest, as they say, is history. Following two years as an NCAA Division II All-American, and leading the Warriors to the national championship contest in 2011, Jones again probably felt his chances to play in the National Football League were minimal at best when he went undrafted in the 2012 NFL draft. But the Chicago Bears took what was perceived as a flyer by many football insiders when they signed Jones to a free agent contract in the days following the draft. Perusing the blogs of multiple sources, Jones was described as a “camp body filler” with little chance of making even the practice squad. But those same sources didn’t take into account the determination of Jones to beat the odds. He started the final preseason game Thursday night in Cleveland and finished with an impressive four tackles, an interception and a pass breakup in a 28-20 win against the Browns. Bears head coach Lovie Smith was effusive in his praise of Jones after the game. “Defensively, Jeremy Jones, that was a great pick by him early in the game,” Bears coach Smith told reporters in his opening remarks following the exhibition contest in which Jones picked off Browns backup quarterback Colt McCoy. “As much as anything, you just want to see guys playing hard, their last shot to prove they belong in the NFL. We were able to get that.” Smith continued in his praise of Jones’ effort in a starting role while the regulars rested. “I thought Jeremy Jones came in [and stood out],” Smith said. “Great interception, had a couple of good tackles. He showed up.” When the Bears released their 53-man roster on September 1, that list included a long shot […]
The Rockford Rams varsity soccer team traveled to Pontiac August 25 to compete in the Best of the Best tournament. The invitation-only tournament hosts top soccer schools from around the state. Rockford was matched up with strong powerhouse teams: Holt and University of Detroit Jesuit. The Rams played to a 2-0 win over Holt. Junior Eli Appleby and senior Dewey Lewis scored for Rockford. The second game ended in a 0-0 tie with University of Detroit Jesuit. The Rams moved on to the championship match against host Warren De La Salle. The game was close from kick-off to the end in a battle in the middle of the field. Rams midfielders worked hard the entire game. The Rams’ defense gave up its first and only goal of the season in the final match. Goalkeeper Bryce Page made several acrobatic saves in the air while the backline played hard-hitting defense. The backline is anchored by senior goalkeeper Page, center defender Jamie Staley, right defender Austin Crowell, juniors center defender/wing Shawn Bloch and center defender Jayden Heyer, and freshman left defender Mitchell Herried. Lewis, Appleby and Bloch were voted to the 11-member All-Star tournament team by the opposing teams’ coaches. The Rams added another shutout win to the season on August 28 at Forest Hills Central. The 4-0 result was a team effort with two goals scored by Lewis and one goal each scored by Michael Pontius and Reed Szumski. Page protected the shutout with a penalty kick save late in the second half.
HELP WANTED Weingartz is looking for a part-time service/set-up person at our Cedar Springs location. Responsibilities include maintenance, prep and light repair of various outdoor power equipment and various shop maintenance duties. Position could be seasonal or year-round with more hours available in the spring and summer. EOE. Please apply in person at: 11875 Northland Drive, Cedar Springs, MI 49319, (616) 696-2913. b37 ______________________ WORK WANTED Experienced Christian caregiver looking for a part-time or more position. Would be ideal to help care for an elderly parent or individual. Great references, Red Cross training, cooking, errands, etc. Please call Brenda at (505) 504-1617. f28 ______________________ CRAFTS Crafter/home business people needed for craft/home business show. St. Peter’s Lutheran, Rockford. October 20, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., $25/table. Register by October 10, (616) 866-2996. p36 ______________________ FOR SALE Bed—queen pillowtop mattress set. Still in plastic with warranty. Must sell! $150. (616) 805-9282. p38 ______________________ WANTED TO BUY Buying Cars!—Bel Air Auto Service is looking to buy running or non-running vehicles for repairable projects or parts. Please call us for a chance to buy your unwanted cars and trucks, (616) 647-8699. p46 ______________________ FREE Free J&J Recycling has now expanded to the Rockford area! We take all household appliances, cars, boats, snowmobiles, batteries, etc., any metal. We will be picking up on Wednesday and Saturday. Please call (616) 719-9742 to make an appointment. f35 ______________________ GARAGE SALES Rockford huge garage sale—household goods and decor. No kids stuff. Thursday and Friday, September 6-7, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., 7085 Belding Rd., just east of Myers Lake Road. p36 ______________________ Moving Sale—September 8-9, Saturday 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Sunday 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Household and furniture items. 23984 Hooker Dr., Sand Lake. p36 ______________________ HOMES FOR SALE Rockford—3-bedroom, 2-1/2-bath ranch on ten rolling wooded acres. Includes 40×60 heavy-duty former commercial welding shop. $259,900. 5480 Blakely. www.briggsrealtyonline.com, (616) 942-1071. p37 ______________________ PUBLISHER’S NOTICE: All real estate advertising in this newspaper is subject to the Fair Housing Act and the Michigan Civil Rights Act, which collectively make it illegal to advertise “any preference, limitation or discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status, national origin, age or marital status, or an intention to make any such preference, limitation […]