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Archive | May, 2012

Short-term host families needed to help fund soccer trip

By Judy Reed


If you’ve been thinking about hosting an exchange student, and would like to try it out on a short-term basis (four weeks), this summer might be the time to try it. If you do, you will not only get to help a teen from another culture, you will also be helping some members of the Cedar Springs boys soccer team fund a trip to Brazil.

According to the Red Hawk boys soccer coach Kyle Avink, he and JV coach Josh Hause are taking the three Varsity captains, Robert Klein, Aaron Dault, and Trevor Rose, who will be seniors next year, to Niteroi, Brazil. They are leaving on June 15, and they will stay for two weeks. While there they will train for 30 hours per week with a semi-professional soccer club, attend a game, and do some sightseeing.

“Every year I take the captains somewhere for leadership training,” explained Avink. “This year I wanted it to be big, because this is the first group I’ve had all four years. I joked about taking them to Brazil, and somehow it worked out.”

Avink hopes that the boys will bring back something they can share with the whole team about what they’ve learned—whether it’s another way of playing or something else. He also said that in the future he’d like to take all the seniors.

Avink partnered with the Counsel for Educational Travel, USA (CETUSA), who is looking for host families for a four-week commitment during July 21-August 18.  For every Cedar Springs area family that hosts an exchange student during that time, CETUSA will fund the soccer trip $200. “We are looking for a bout 25 host families,” said Avink. “We want to keep costs down as much as possible.”

They are also looking at doing some other fundraising also, such as a 50/50 raffle at the girls soccer game on May 21, a popcorn drive, and other things. But they will also accept direct donations.

If you are interested in hosting an exchange student to help the soccer team, or would like to make a direct donation, you can contact Coach Avink at kyleavink@gmail.com.

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Solon man sentenced on ethnic intimidation charge

Eric Pierson

A Solon Township man has been sentenced to 9 months in prison for pulling a knife on a man and using a racial slur during the confrontation.

Eric Scott Pierson, 50, reportedly approached a black male inside Huck’s Corners, at the corner of 17 Mile and White Creek in Solon Township, on December 30, called him “dark chocolate” and asked him how he was doing. The man ignored Pierson, which police said upset the suspect. He then pulled out a knife and threatened the victim with it. The store owner separated the men, and the victim left. But when the victim returned to finish his shopping, Pierson approached him again with a knife and used a racial slur, saying “This (slur) isn’t supposed to be here. This is our town.”

The victim, who had a permit for a concealed weapon, then pulled out a handgun and pointed it at Pierson and told him to get away.

Pierson pleaded no contest in March to charges of assault with a dangerous weapon (felony assault), ethnic intimidation, being a habitual offender-3rd offense.

Pierson was sentenced by Judge Johnston, in 17th Circuit Court, on Tuesday, May 15, to nine months in jail with one day credit, 60 months probation, and court costs and fines.


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Two arrested for rolling meth lab

Jacob Ringler

Michael Woroniecki

A Sand Lake man wanted by Cedar Springs Police and a Cedar Springs man are facing more charges after being arrested during a traffic stop by the Kent Area Narcotics Enforcement Team (KANET).

Sgt. Rick Coxon, of the Kent County Sheriff Department, and a patrol unit made a traffic stop at US131 and Post Drive at 3:48 a.m. May 11. Inside was Jacob Allen Ringler, 22, of Cedar Springs, and Michael Adam Woroniecki, 29, of Sand Lake. Police found outstanding warrants on the pair, along with evidence of a rolling meth lab.

Ringler was arrested by Cedar Springs Police in March for possession of meth and marijuana. They had also investigated a domestic assault involving Ringler. During the domestic incident, he punched a teen in the head who tried to intervene. Assault charges stemming from that incident are pending.

Ringler was arraigned in 63rd District Court on the maintaining a meth lab charge on Tuesday, May 15. Bond was set at $25,000, and he bonded out.

The Kent County Prosecutor’s office had issued a warrant for Woroniecki earlier this year, on charges of operating a laboratory involving methamphetamine and being a habitual offender-4th offense, after a traffic stop by Cedar Springs Police on February 16. Woroniecki had agreed to turn himself in, but never did. He was arraigned Monday, May 14 on eight different charges, split between 63rd District Court and 61st District Court—two charges of delivering/manufacturing methamphetamine, two charges of maintaining/operating a lab involving methamphetamine, one charge of fleeing a police officer, and 3 charges of being a habitual offender-fourth offense.

Both suspects have a preliminary hearing set for May 24, at 2:30 p.m.

Cedar Springs Police Chief Roger Parent was glad to see the two were picked up. “We appreciate when the special narcotics unit patrols the northeast Kent County area,” he said.

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Gary L. Robinson

Gary L. Robinson, DC, age 71 of Cedar Springs, died Tuesday, May 14, 2012 at his home. Dr. Robinson was born November 23, 1940 in Ludington, MI the son of Kenneth and Kathryn (Rohrmoser) Robinson. He was a chiropractor in Cedar Springs since 1963 and very dedicated to his patients. He was a loving father and grandfather. Surviving are two daughters, Michelle Lamb and Jodi Robinson; grandchildren and great grandchildren; fiance, Monet Martin. There will be no services. Arrangements by Bliss-Witters & Pike Funeral Home, Cedar Springs.


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Gordon Rector

Gordon Wayne Rector, of Zephyrhills, Florida, was born May 29, 1927, in Rockford, Michigan, and passed away February 5, 2012 in Hospice House, Dade City, Florida, surrounded by family. He had three sisters and one brother who preceded him in death. He married Marjorie June Ritchie September 25, 1947, in Cedar Springs. Together they raised four children, Nancy (Scott) Martin, Scott (Jo) Rector, Tom (Paula) Rector, and Sandy (Robert) Rieckman, 12 grandchildren and 10 great grandchildren. Gordon and Margie were married 64 years. He was a member of the United Methodist Church in Cedar Springs. He retired from Essroc Cement Company in 1991 after 28 years. His large family and many friends will miss him. A graveside service will be held Saturday, May 26, 2012 at 1:00 pm at Elmwood Cemetery, Cedar Springs. Pastor Mary Ivanov officiating. Arrangements by Bliss-Witters & Pike Funeral Home, Cedar Springs.


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More than conquerors!

Pastor Craig Carter

North Kent Community Church

1480 Indian Lakes Rd., Sparta, 

Church Phone #: 550-6398

“Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? As it is written: ‘For your sake we face death all day long; we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.’ No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 8:35-39 NIV).

The Apostle Paul wrote these amazing words to the church in Rome. It was a group of people, whom the apostle Paul had never even met. Yet, he loved them so much, he wanted to remind them of God’s love for them. We see from this verse that he asks them a very simple, yet profound question. “Who or what can separate you from the love of God?” So, precious people of North Kent County, who or what can separate you from the love of God? I, like the apostle, have never met the majority of you reading this article, yet I am compelled to remind you of God’s love for you.

An amazing truth! I have found that it is easier for people to believe that God exists, than it is for them to truly believe that He loves them—that He is crazy, head over heels in love with them and concerned about every detail of their lives. If our understanding of God does not go any deeper than His existence, we will continue to believe that the things of this life have somehow separated us from His love. God’s amazing love convinced the apostle Paul that there was nothing that could separate him from it. Do you believe this? Or are you like many of us who struggle to believe it? If you struggle with believing or accepting the love of God, then I encourage you to simply say, “Lord, convince me!” Then sit back and watch Him show you that His love for you is not tied to your behavior, good or bad, but in His nature alone. The nature of God is love. That is why I am continually convinced myself that God enjoys convincing us of His love. Are you convinced yet?

Why the hoopla over convincing us of His love? Because it makes us more than a conqueror! Notice what the apostle Paul said in verse 37, “No, in all things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us.” We learn from this verse that his love reaches all things. There is not one area or circumstance of our lives that God’s love does not touch. Secondly, it makes us more than conquerors. The love of God not only gets us over circumstances but can keep us there. His love cannot only provide a job for the unemployed, but can pay every bill. His love cannot only save your marriage, but can make your love for one another thrive and flourish again. His love cannot only get you over depression but also can renew your hope and restore your joy for the future.  Now that’s being “more than a conqueror.” What made it possible? The love of God! Will you receive it today? Will you quit believing that God simply exists and start believing that he exists to reveal His love to you? If have never received God’s love, then open your heart and acknowledge this priceless truth, “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him (John 3:16-17).” Enjoy the Love of God!

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Girls track team OK Blue Conference champions

Aly Hamilton in the 100-meter dash

The Red Hawk girls track team won its first conference championship in school history at Belding, on Friday May 11. The team scored 128 points to finish ahead of West Catholic, who scored 112. The victory in the conference meet, combined with an undefeated league dual record, gives the team the outright OK Blue Championship. Congratulations to all the athletes and coaches on an excellent season!

The team won 6 events and 8 girls earned all conference honors. On Thursday, the 3200-meter relay team, of Sommer VanDyke, Maddie Pekrul, Katie Weiler and Kenzie Weiler, earned the first winning performance of the meet with a new school record time of 9:42.68. Senior Rieley Hondalus then won the long jump with personal best of 16 feet 1 inch. On Friday night, the 400-meter relay team of Rieley Hondalus, Marissa Oakes, Abby VanDusen and Aly Hamilton took the next first place and set a new school record with a time of 51.67. Freshman Kenzie Weiler earned three first places Friday night by  winning the 800, 1600, and 3200-meter runs.

Earning all conference honors was Kenzie Weiler, Katie Weiler, Sommer VanDyke, Maddie Pekrul, Rieley Hondalus, Marissa Oakes, Abby VanDusen and Aly Hamilton. The team next competes in the MHSAA Regional meet at Houseman Field on Friday May 18. Field events and prelims start at 1:30 with running finals starting at 5:00.

Others placing for the team included:

Second Place: Aly Hamilton in the 100-meter dash; Katie Weiler in the 800, 1600, and 3200 meter runs.

Third Place: Abby VanDusen long jump; Aly Hamilton 200-meter dash.

Fourth Place: Marissa Oakes long jump; Abby VanDusen pole vault; Sommer VanDyke 800-meter run; 800-meter relay team of Emily Shaft, Sayge Wight, Samantha Robinson, and Olivia Finch.

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Cedar Springs Varsity Softball wins Fruitport invite

The Lady Red Hawks Varsity softball team went three for three on Saturday, May 12, 2012 at the Larry Cantu Invitational in Fruitport. They posted wins over Kent City, Fruitport, and Orchard View to wrap up another very successful weekend.

In the first game of the day, the Red Hawks faced Kent City and were down early. After the top of the first inning they trailed 4-0. Cedar Springs came back firing, quickly extinguishing Kent City’s lead and posting 4 runs of their own. The Red Hawks controlled the rest of the game until the 6th inning, when Kent City took the 9-8 lead. Cedar Springs entered the bottom of the 6th inning down by one run. The winning rally started when junior Abby Olszewski got a base hit with already 2 outs. Freshman Aubree Mouthaan came to the plate next, for Cedar Springs, with Olszewski on first, and hit a double. With runners on second and third for Cedar Springs, sophomore Brittany Robinson hit a line drive to score the two runs, which put Cedar Springs in the winning column on this walk off hit. Senior pitcher Taylor Nielsen picked up the win for the Red Hawks and also went 3 for 4 with a double, plus scoring three times. Abby Olszewski went 2 for 3 scoring twice. Aubree Mouthaan went 3 for 3 with 2 doubles, 3 RBIs, and scoring 3 times, while Brittany Robinson went 3 for 3 with 1 RBI. The Red Hawks beat Kent City in game one, 10-9.

Game 2 was a great team effort for Cedar Springs as multiple players got on base against a very strong Fruitport team. Taylor Nielsen was the winning pitcher and also went 2 for 2 with a double and RBI. Junior Nicki Luevano went 2 for 3 in this game as well. Cedar Springs defeated Fruitport in game two, 7-2.

For game 3, Cedar Springs was back in the championship game for the third straight year. Standing in the Red Hawks’ way was one of Muskegon County’s most dominant teams, the Cardinals of Orchard View. Cedar Springs jumped out to a quick 4-0 lead and led most of the game. In the 6th inning, Orchard View rallied to tie the game at 4 apiece. In the bottom of the 7th, Nielsen started out with a single and Olszewski moved her to second on a SAC hit. With one out, the Cardinals now elected to load the bases. Mouthaan and Robinson were both walked and bases remained loaded. Sophomore Brittany Todd had the winning hit to centerfield for Cedar Springs and Nielsen scored the winning run on another walk off hit. Nielsen went 2 for 2 and scored 3 runs while Mouthaan went 2 for 3 with 2 RBI’s. Freshman Allison Arnold pitched her way to the victory for Cedar Springs.

Congrats to the Cedar Springs Varsity Softball team, the 2012 Larry Cantu Invitational Champions.

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Boys track finishes second in league

After being conference champions the past two years, the Hawks had to settle for runners-up this season. After a great start on day one (led by 10 points), Sparta out-performed Cedar for the conference title. Along the way, the boys posted personal bests in twelve of the seventeen events.

“All we wanted the boys to do was to be focused on setting personal bests. If they could do that, then we could walk away knowing we gave it our best shot,” said Coach Myers. “We knew coming into the season that we would have a difficult time defending the conference title. We performed better than expected at the conference meet. We have a tough group of athletes that expect to be better each time they compete.”

Earning all conference honors this season were Derek Ash, Connor Mora, Aaron Brooks, Alex Bray, Aaron Dault and Austin Sargent.

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Middle school boys track team finishes undefeated season

The Cedar Springs Middle School boys track team continued their strong tradition with a seventh consecutive undefeated season at 7 wins and 0 losses. In the past 18 years, the boys have posted 15 undefeated seasons.

The team ended their season by splitting into separate grade level teams to compete in two conference championship invitationals. The 7th grade team placed first at their conference meet, earning championship honors with 177 points. The teams’ nearest competitor was Sparta, who finished second with 108 points.

The 8th grade team avenged a second place conference finish from last year by outscoring the defending champion Kenowa Hills Knights 149 to 124. The team also combined with the seventh graders to defeat the previously undefeated Knights in dual meet competition by a score of 76 to 60.

One school record was broken this year. Cameron Umphrey eclipsed Austin Sargent’s record in the 3200-meter run by running a time of 10:37.3.

The track team enjoyed a great season due to their hard work, dedication and commitment to individually do what was necessary to make the team a success. Coach Martens and Coach Banagis would like to congratulate all team members on a fantastic season. 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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