Monthly Archives: September 2012

2012 Homecoming Parade in Pictures

One of the things so many people love about Allendale Public Schools is the way we work to connect students across the district around one common focus. This past March we came together to get healthy at our annual Fitness Frenzy. In the spring our community supported the middle school science department’s work on Project BudburstLast Friday our focus was Homecoming, and despite the cool temperatures, our students were ready to celebrate!

Members of the 2012 Homecoming Court prepare for the parade.

Sophomore reps brave the wind together.

Beginning at 1:30 in the afternoon, the  Homecoming Court, Allendale Marching Band, cheer squad, sports teams, and all members of each class from the high school assembled and prepared to make the trek from the senior high to the K-8 campus. Learning Lane ballooned with the grinning faces of elementary and middle school students as the parade wrapped its way around buildings and through the heart of our campus.

Under the shelter of changing leaves, our elementary students clapped and thumped out cheers as the Homecoming Court neared. Members of the football team high-fived young fans while proudly sporting their Wounded Warrior jerseys in anticipation for the evening’s fundraising game.

This Homecoming was filled with connections: upperclassmen connecting with underclassmen, football players connecting with veterans, community members connecting with our school, and graduates coming home. We are proud of our young people, our teachers, and each of the schools that make up our district.

What were some of your Homecoming memories? We’d love to hear about them! Please leave a comment below to share.

Categories: APS Celebrations, Athletics | Tags: , , , | 6 Comments

Allendale Partners With “Wounded Warrior” Project

All photos this week courtesy of Ms. Jennifer Hodges (2011 game)

Listening to the National Anthem slice through a crisp autumn night reminds us that there were thousands who went before us to preserve our freedoms. It’s hard to remain unmoved by the sight of veterans saluting the flag they risked their lives to protect … while many of us sat comfortably in our living rooms watching history unfold on our flat screen televisions.

Have you ever wished there was something you could do? Some small way you could give back? An avenue for your family to get involved to say thank you?

This week, Allendale High School is giving you that chance!

For the past few years APS has partnered with the nationwide WoundedWarriorProject.orga non-profit organization dedicated to the mission of fostering “the most successful, well-adjusted generation of wounded service members in our nation’s history.”

By providing wounded vets with a backpack filled with basic needs, the welcome they receive from Wounded Warrior Project [WWP] is the first some of our servicemen and women receive upon their return home. Providing relief and counsel for those struggling to re-adjust to life, hosting family support and restoration retreats, and helping vets secure jobs via Warriors to Work are just a few of the things this organization spearheads.

Allendale is using this Friday’s Homecoming football game to raise money to support the Wounded Warrior Project. We are welcoming veterans from the Allendale community to join us and be recognized for serving our country (see sign up information below). Community veterans will receive a goodie bag, a Wounded Warrior Project t-shirt, and food at the game.  Last year over forty-five veterans participated and proceeds from the evening totaled $10,000! This year we’ve set our sights on raising $15,000!

Will you help us reach that goal? Here’s how you can get involved:

>>Come to the football game and participate in our silent auction. This year we are auctioning off a custom-painted bike!

>>For just $10 you can purchase a WWP T-shirt. Wearing your shirt = free admission into four athletic contests:

  • This Friday’s Homecoming Football Game (Sept. 21)
  • Sept. 25 Volleyball vs. Belding
  • Jan. 25 Boys & Girls Basketball vs. Coopersville
  • Jan. 30 Wrestling vs. Coopersville

>>For $15 you can sponsor a veteran.

>>Donate money to grow the work that Wounded Warrior is already doing. Consider doing this as a family. Discuss the project with your children over dinner and make this Homecoming about more than a parade or a coronation–make it a teachable moment!

>>Thank our community sponsors: Tolman Auto, Mainstreet Pub, Master’s Financial, Solid Rock Debt Services, Allendale True Value, Allendale Pack and Mail.

We look forward to a special night where we can recognize the athletes on the field and the service people who braved the battlefield. We are honored to participate in the 2012 Wounded Warrior Project on campus. Please come and help us fill our stadium with much-deserved applause!

If you are a veteran interested in participating, please contact Ms. Jennifer Hodges:

Football game tailgating begins at 5 pm; Veterans should plan to arrive at 6:30

Categories: Athletics, Community News, Special Projects at APS | Tags: , , , , | 3 Comments

Fall Sports Focus: Soccer

With fields preened and freshly striped, the Allendale Varsity Soccer team slides on shin guards and laces their cleats with poise and positivity. This group of young men brings fresh heart and determination to a young program still growing and learning together.

Having worked together since mid-August, Coach Payton and Coach White have been most impressed with the way this group listens and shows an eagerness to learn, stating, “We have gotten better every day in practice! We had a tough start to the season, but the players are working hard and not giving up.”

It seems these men realize that “not giving up” is a life skill that will serve them well throughout life. It is a message that they’ve grasped with heart and hand, leaning on both their coaches and the student-leaders on the team to keep improving.  This year’s team captain, Quent Rauch is a senior who models the tireless work ethic and game mastery his teammates seek to emulate. He is quick to help teach the game and clarify confusion on the field, and does so with the kind of humility that makes him a servant leader in the truest sense.

Quent is supported by several other natural leaders that model excellence in their own way: Josh Longo (senior), Luke Hamlin (junior), and Cameron Ham (freshman) display a work ethic indicative of their varsity standing, spurring others to keep going — to not give up. Additionally, Abe Juarez (sophomore) and Hondo Ibanez (freshman) bring knowledge of the game and years of experience to the field.

Coach Payton notes that the Allendale community and team parents have done much to bolster the program and support our student-athletes. Julie Smoes has spearheaded fundraisers and has also partnered with Touka Kelly to help with the sorting and distributing of team shirt orders. Touka and many other parents have additionally gone out of their way to apply for grants or sponsorships from local businesses, bringing support to the program while creating a valuable partnership with our community.

Of course these moms also realize that a group of growing boys demands food, and they are ready to lend a hand — or a spoon full of casserole. Sonya Archer has offered to coordinate snacks for both the JV and Varsity teams, and is working with an army of others to provide upcoming team dinners. “I have been very thankful and impressed with the support from our parents. They are making the experience of playing soccer at Allendale a good one,” said Coach Payton.

“The players on this team have been really fun to work with. Not only are they good listeners and they come with a good attitude every day to practice, but they are good kids as well. I look forward to working with them more and more. I like just being around the kids. They work hard and they never give up.”

>>Consider coming out to show your support TODAY as the Falcons take on the Sparta High School Spartans!

The game will be held in Sparta at 6:45.

Go Falcon Soccer!!

For a complete list of contests, CLICK HERE.

Categories: Athletics/Fitness | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Fall Sports Focus: Girls Volleyball

AHS girls practicing together prior to the start of the school year.

This summer while many of us were still packing picnics for the beach, the girls of Allendale High School’s volleyball team were setting and spiking in the early morning hours, sending balls flying and shouts echoing through an otherwise empty gym.

Their hard work and diligence has already paid off: this August they won 2nd place in the Godwin Heights Volleyball Tournament! While this and their other two tournaments were non-conference match-ups, the preparation has set them on track for a great season. Mrs. Audra Murphy, head coach of the team, says that this group of girls is constantly working on something — whether it’s concentrating efforts on functioning as a team or on a specific skill, she sees the spark that comes from wanting to reach personal bests and achieve as a team.

“Everyday I’m in the gym I love seeing girls being successful by working hard. I love seeing them take joy in giving their best effort; take joy in hard work; take joy in being part of a team. I know what that felt like as a player, and now as a coach, I love helping to provide that opportunity for other young women.”

To promote an environment of growth and positivity, Mrs. Murphy has her players work on daily goals together. Each young woman uses large group stretch or warm-up time to share a personal goal with the group for accountability. Those goals might sound something like “not missing any serves” or “to get more kills than errors.”

But what the team enjoys more than the accountability with one another, perhaps, is the accountability, the trust, and the camaraderie they share with Mrs. Murphy. Each week or so during drills, Mrs. Murphy calls girls out one by one for a brief, private conference where she offers feedback on one individual skill and thoughts on how that student is contributing to being a team player. She reports that her players often site this conference time as being integral—and special—because they know they can ask questions and hear an honest answer — without an audience.

” I try to run a volleyball program that focuses on the positive strides I see rather than constantly correcting errors. I tell the girls that focusing on the little things each day can make a big difference in the long run.”

Now in her 4th season of coaching some of these girls, Mrs. Murphy says that the six seniors on the team certainly hold a special place in her heart. Of those six, three were voted as team captains by their teammates: Emily Patten, Paige Wells, and Kristin Doornbos.

“The fact that we have three captions says a lot, too,” Mrs. Murphy noted. “Typically we only select two captains, but this year there was a tie, so we kept all three in that role. These young women are natural leaders who have the drive to out-do themselves — to perform at their personal best. They want to be better. They’re not just there to socialize, they take the competition very seriously. “

Mrs. Murphy said that one of the great things about being a coach is that you have the unique opportunity to work with kids who want to be there and who want to play the sport. We hope that the Allendale community will share that desire and come out to support them this week for their league-opener against Wyoming!


Varsity: 6 pm

JV: 5 pm

Go Falcons!

Categories: Athletics/Fitness | Tags: , , , | 1 Comment

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