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Archive | May, 2011

Silent auction at the library

The Sand Lake/Nelson Township Library will kick off its second “Awesome” Silent Auction June 1-8. Items will be available for bidding in the library until June 18 at 5 p.m. The silent auction is a side-shoot of the 7th annual plant sale and oral auction, sponsored by the Friends of the KDL Sand Lake Nelson/Township Library held on Saturday, June 11, at 9 a.m. with the auction at 2 p.m.

Silent auction items are from local businesses, patrons, authors and other generous companies. Some items include books by popular Michigan authors Jonathan Rand and Patricia Polacco, Griffins lower bowl tickets, blueberries, a trip on the SS Badger, horseback riding lessons, passes to local museums and more. Bids will be accepted at the library, 88 Eighth Street, Sand Lake, and all proceeds will be used to meet growing needs for increased information, resources, programs and technology in the community.
Items are still being accepted for the auction. To make a donation or for more info, call the library at (616) 636-4251 or volunteer Jennifer Sylvester at (616) 636-8151.

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Spring wildlfowers

Mary Scramlin, of Courtland Township, sent us photos she took of the lovely trillium and bluebells in Aman Park, west of Grand Rapids, in Ottawa County.

“I love nature. It speaks to me in ways nothing else can,” said Mary, “and taking photos helps me really pay attention to details I normally wouldn’t see. When I took the bluebell photos I also saw a family of owls—that was really special. But I didn’t have a long lens along to get good photos and the mother was very insistent I leave the area, so I did!”

Thanks, Mary, for the beautiful photos!

Do any of you have photos of the flowers in our area? Send the photos along with a brief explanations to news@cedarspringspost.com.

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Back to back champions

The Cedar Springs Boys Varsity track team captured the 2011 OK Blue Conference championship last Thursday and Friday nights by winning 10 of the 17 events and outpacing the field with 162 points. Entering the season, expectations were sky high for this team and to date has lived up to them and then some.

Hank Porter-Conference CHamp Long Jump.

Hank Porter-Conference CHamp Long Jump.

“These kids performed awesome the last two nights. What a special group,” Cedar Springs coach Jeff Myers said. “We had kids hit personal-best efforts in a lot of events. Plus, we picked up additional points from some of our second and third kids in events. It was fun to watch them perform the way they did. They remained calm and collected throughout the meet, even when faced with adversity.” The meet was stopped due to weather delays on each night.

The team was led by all-conference athletes Justin Balczak (who won the shot put, 110H, 300H), Alex Hemry (winner of the 100m, 200m, 400 relay), Connor Mora (won the 1600m, 3200m), Hank Porter(two wins in the long jump, 400 relay), AJ Olszewski (first in the pole vault), Ryan Austin and James Putnam (helped with the 400 relay), and Aaron Dault (accumulated points from finishing 2nd in long jump, 3rd in 110H, 6th in 300H, 3rd in 1600 relay).

Justin Balczak-Conference Champ Shot. Photo by Mark Balczak.

Justin Balczak-Conference Champ Shot. Photo by Mark Balczak.

Conference championships cannot be won without those who may not win but place to add to the point total. Those key contributors were Dan Sagorski (2nd discus), Derek Ash (5th discus), Nate Jones (4th high jump), Aaron Leal (6th high jump), Jake Rickner (5th long jump), Ron Fisk (6th 400m, 2nd 800m relay, 3rd 3200m and 1600m relays), and Aaron Brooks(6th 3200m). The relay teams were solid scorers as the 3200 relay of Mora, Ron Fisk, Alex Bray, and Ethan Menefee finished 3rd, the 800 relay of Fisk, Austin, Putnam, Hemry were 2nd, and the 1600 relay of Fisk, Dault, Porter, and Balczak placed 3rd.

Conner Mora leading and just behind him, Justin Harthorn, distance running. Photo taken by Julie Weiler.

Conner Mora leading and just behind him, Justin Harthorn, distance running. Photo taken by Julie Weiler.

“There were a lot of boys who set personal records these past two days. These are the meets that we expect athletes to perform at their best, and they did.  Plus, we had another school record fall. Balczak lowered the 110m hurdle record to 14.64.  Without doubt, this was a total team effort,” added Coach.

As mentioned, this teams lofty goals and expectations continue tomorrow as they participate in regional meet at Houseman Field in Grand Rapids. Entering as one of the favorites along with reigning state champion Byron Center, Grand Rapids Catholic Central, Grand Rapids Christian and Forest Hills Northern, the competition will be stout with individual and team state meet qualifications on the line.  Field events begin at 1:45; preliminary races begin at 2:00, while the running finals begin at 5:00.

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Tennis seniors lead team into the Rainbow

Mackenzie Frederick, #2 singles.

Mackenzie Frederick, #2 singles.

Brooke Gust, Mackenzie Frederick, Brittany Lenardson, Ellen Pike, Amber Dunham and Jessica Naffziger led the team to a 3rd place finish in the OK Rainbow Tourney. Among OK Blue schools the tennis girls are the runner-up.  Brooke, at #1 singles, finished 3rd, MacKenzie, at #2 singles finished 4th, Brittany, at #3 finished 2nd, and Ellen, at #4, finished 3rd. Amber and Jess, at #1 doubles, placed 4th. All of these seniors had winning records for the season and their leadership and competitiveness will be missed  next year.

The remaining members, #3 doubles Jess Blackmer and Kristen Bull, finished 3rd in their division, Paige Gebhardt and Samantha Alger at #2 doubles placed 7th, while #4 doubles Megan Brunett and Shannon Leal placed 5th.

The extra girls, beyond the top 12, were senior Amber Barnes, the #13 girl who filled in the varsity line-up when neeed; Samantha Durkee #14, and Molly VonSeggren #15. These girls were followed up by the rest of the JV players: Alexis Robinson, Seana Pursley, Monica West, Molly McCarthy, Beth Bullen, and Aiyana Plank. Most of these girls will be looking to fill the vacated varsity positions next season.
Varsity Coach Kennedy and JV Coach Russel attributed the successful season to the senior leadership, the whole team’s work ethic and great sportsmanship. The seniors may give way to a new group next year, but they carry with them this year’s great effort of being 3rd in the Rainbow, 2nd in the Blue conference, winning 6 duals in a row and finishing with a 7 win, 3 loss, 2 tie season.

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Tennis team finishes dual season

Number 3 singles player Brittany Lenardson has an 8-match winning streak.

Number 3 singles player Brittany Lenardson has an 8-match winning streak.

The Cedar Springs tennis team finished the year of regular season play by defeating Greenville and Big Rapids late last week. To defeat Greenville the team swept the singles with Brooke Gust, Mackenzie Frederick, Brittany Lenardson, and Ellen Pike posting wins at #1 through #4 singles. Jess Blackmer and Kristen Bull, #3 doubles, overcame injury and a slow start to defeat their opponents I 3 sets. Thursday the team swept the doubles and 2 of the singles to defeat Big Rapids 6-2.

The tennis team finishes the regular season with a dual record of 7 wins, 3 lossies and 2 ties. The finishes the season with 6 match wins in a row. Brittany Lenardson, the #3 player, has a winning streak of 8 in a row and a top team record of 10-1 at that spot. She is joined by many of her teammates that posted strong results this season.

Soon the girls travel to Ludington for the MHSAA regionals.

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Red Hawk girls take third at invitational, fourth at conference

Katie Weiler in the 1600 meter run.

Katie Weiler in the 1600 meter run.

On Monday May 9, the Cedar Springs Track Teams traveled to Lakeview for the Wildcat JV Invite.  The Lady Red Hawks placed third in the seven-team meet with Greenville taking first and Sparta second. The Red Hawks took two first places in the meet. Maddie Pekrul won the 1600 meter run and the 3200 meter relay team of Caitlin McClurken, Christina Dean,  Allie Veltkamp and Maddie Pekrul also placed first.

Also placing for the Red Hawks was:

Amber TerHaar in the discus.

Amber TerHaar in the discus.

Second Place: Jeanette Sukstas shot put; 400 meter relay team of Abby VanDusen, Sayge Wight, Olivia Finch, and Aly Hamilton.

Third Place: Aly Hamilton High Jump, 100 and 200 meter dash; Caitlin McClurken 1600 meter run; Megan Gratten 800 meter runs.

Fourth Place: Christina Dean 1600 meter run; and Abby VanDusen long jump.

Fifth Place: Allie Veltkamp 400 meter dash; Abby VanDusen pole vault.

Sixth Place: Megan Gratten 400 meter dash; Jeanette Sukstas Discus; Briana Pierson High jump and Pole Vault.

Lady Red Hawk track takes 4th in conference

Maddie Pekrul in the 3200 meter relay.

Maddie Pekrul in the 3200 meter relay.

The varsity girl’s track team competed in the OK Blue Conference track meet on Friday May 13, at Forest Hills Northern.  The team scored 77.5 points to place fourth in the seven team meet and finished in 4th place overall in the conference.  Forest Hills Northern scored 145 points to win the meet and to win the overall conference championship.

Sophomore Katie Weiler was the only team member to win a conference championship.  Katie took first place in the 1600 and 3200-meter runs and earned all conference honors. Senior Amber TerHaar also earned all conference honors by placing second in the shot put and discus. Sophomore Sommer VanDyke earned all conference honors with the points she scored with her third place in the 800 run, fourth place in the 1600 meter run and as a member of the placing 3200 and 1600 meter relay teams.

The team travels to Houseman Field in Grand Rapids on Friday May 20, to compete in the MHSAA Regional track meet.  Field events start at 1:45 with running prelims at 2:15.  Final running events start at 5:00.

Also placing for the Red Hawks was:

eanette Sukstas in the shot put.

Jeanette Sukstas in the shot put.

Second Place: 3200 Meter Relay team of Sommer VanDyke, Maddie Pekrul, Caitlin McCkurken and Katie Weiler.

Third Place: Maddie Pekrul 3200 meter run.

Fourth Place: Jeanette Sukstas Shot Put; 800 and 400 Relay teams of Rieley Hondalus, Abby VanDusen, Olivia Finch, and Aly Hamilton.

Fifth Place: Aly Hamilton 100 and 200 meter dashes.

Sixth Place: Rieley Hondalus High Jump; 1600 Meter Relay team of Allie Veltkamp, Katie Weiler, Christina Dean, and Sommer VanDyke.

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Middle school boys track team finishes undefeated season!

The Cedar Springs boys track team completed their 2011 dual meet schedule with a sixth consecutive undefeated season at 7 wins and 0 losses. In the last 17 years, the boys have posted undefeated seasons in 15 of those years.
The team ended their season by splitting into separate grade level teams to compete in two separate conference championship invitationals. The 7th grade team placed second in their first year of conference competition, with only 13 athletes participating in the meet. After finishing first in last year’s conference invitational, the 8th grade boys defended their title by easily outdistancing second place Kenowa Hills by 34 points.
Two school records were broken this year. Austin Sargent eclipsed Dan Cramer’s record in the 3200 meter run by running a time of 10:45.8. Sargent also teamed up with Justin Jones, Gabe Zwinger and Alex Jacobs to break the 3200 meter relay record with a time of  9:28.3.
The track team enjoyed a great this season this year due to their hard work, dedication and commitment to individually do what is necessary to make the team a success. Coach Martens and Coach Banagis would like to congratulate all team members on a fantastic season.  And a special thank you to all parents, staff members, high school coaches and athletes for always cheering our team on and for running great home meets!

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DNR director tables campground closure order

Department of Natural Resources Director Rodney Stokes on Thursday tabled a director’s order to close 23 state forest campgrounds until the June 9 Natural Resources Commission (NRC) meeting. The order was eligible for Stokes’ signature at Thursday’s NRC meeting in Flint.

Stokes said he was tabling the order to give DNR staff more time to work on two plans to keep more of the campgrounds open. First, he wants to give DNR staff more time to discuss leasing agreements with local units of government that have expressed an interest in some of the campgrounds targeted for closure.

Stokes also wants to give the DNR’s Forest Management Division staff time to work with the DNR’s Parks and Recreation Division staff on a joint management agreement for some of the campgrounds. He also announced that the Lime Island State Forest Campground in the St. Marys River near Sault Ste. Marie, on the list for closure, would be transferred to the DNR Parks and Recreation Division to manage.

“It is always unfortunate when we have to close campgrounds due to budget cuts and low revenues,” Stokes said. “However, by tabling this order until the June NRC meeting, we buy some time to keep discussing options with local units of government and within the Department to keep some of these campgrounds operating this year.”

In May, the DNR announced it would be closing 23 of the 133 state forest campgrounds in the northern Lower Peninsula and Upper Peninsula. State forest campgrounds are rustic camping sites located within state forest land – they are not state parks. Reasons cited for the closures are a 63 percent reduction in General Fund support for the State Forest Recreation Program over the last three years and declining use and revenues.

The June 9 NRC meeting is scheduled for the Diagnostic Center for Population and Animal Health in Lansing near the Michigan State University campus.

For more information on the NRC, including agendas, past meeting minutes and informational memos, go to http://www.michigan.gov/nrcwww.michigan.gov/nrc.

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2011 Commencement

Timothy Hubbard – 2011 Salutatorian

Timothy Hubbard – 2011 Salutatorian

Creative Technologies Academy will hold its 13th Annual Commencement on Thursday, May 19, in the campus auditorium.  Thirty-one seniors are expected to receive diplomas as members of the Class of 2011. Speakers include Valedictorian Trisha Davies, Salutatorian Timothy Hubbard, and Guest Speaker, Gary Bailey, Men’s Head Basketball Coach at Grace Bible College in Grand Rapids.

Trisha Davies – 2011 Valedictorian

Trisha Davies – 2011 Valedictorian

Ms. Davies is the daughter of Michael and LeAnn Davies of Trufant.  She will continue her education next year at Grace Bible College in Grand Rapids.  Trisha will be a member of the Lady Tigers basketball team at Grace.

Mr. Hubbard is the son of Todd and Tonya Hubbard of Trufant.  He will continue his education at Grace next year, also, and Tim will be a member of the Tiger basketball team at Grace.

Coach Gary Bailey – 2011 Commencement Speake

Coach Gary Bailey – 2011 Commencement Speaker

Mr. Gary Bailey is a former administrator at Creative Technologies Academy, a current member of the CTA Board of Directors, and the Head Men’s Basketball Coach at Grace Bible College in Grand Rapids, Michigan.  In only six seasons as the Head Coach at Grace, Gary has turned the basketball program into one of the most respected programs inside and outside of the NCCAA.  He stands as the all-time leader at Grace with 148 victories.  With five Midwest Regional titles, two Elite Eight appearances and four National Championships (2006, 2009, 2010, 2011), Grace has been re-writing the record books.  With a school win mark of 21 that lasted for 46 years, the Tigers have posted season win totals of 28, 30, and 31 the last three years.  This past season the Tigers won their third straight national championship, and fourth in Coach Bailey’s six years, finishing the season at a school record 31-7. Grace plays a schedule of NCCAA, NCAA I, II, III, and NAIA teams.  Grace is currently sitting at a record 59 straight wins in the NCCAA II.  The Tigers have been ranked #1 in the country since January of 2009.  Bailey has been named the NCCAA Midwest Region Coach of the Year for four seasons in a row.  He picked up his second NCCAA National Coach of the Year award this season and was also selected as the CCSN (Christian College Sports Network) National Coach of the Year in 2011.  Most recently, Coach Bailey was selected by the Michigan Basketball Coaches Association as their College Coach of the Year for 2011, joining notable past winners Tom Izzo-MSU-twice, Jud Heathcote-MSU, Glen VanWieren-Hope College; Jay Smith-CMU; Ric Wesley-GVSU and several other coaching legends.  Gary will be honored at the BCAM Hall of Fame Banquet in Lansing on Friday, September 30th.

Mr. Bailey will challenge the Class of 2011 to “Get Out of the Boat.”

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2011 Prom

Prom 2011 Queen Danielle Davies and King Tim Hubbard

Prom 2011 Queen Danielle Davies and King Tim Hubbard

The 2011 Prom was held at Boulder Creek Golf Club on Friday, May 6, with the theme “Safari Adventure.”  Congratulations to Danielle Davies who was crowned Queen, and Tim Hubbard who was crowned King.  The participants enjoyed a night of fun, games, food, and dancing surrounded by a display of African safari scenery.  A huge “thank you” goes out to Mrs. Sue Vicari for planning the theme and making all the logistics come together!

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