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Archive | November, 2014

Jingle bell run/walk for arthritis 

HEA-Jingle-Bell-run_walk

Arthritis Foundation honors 7-year-old who has arthritis 

 

Named one of the nation’s “Most Incredible Themed Races,” the Jingle Bell Run/Walk for Arthritis will be held on Saturday, December 13, 2014, at 9 a.m. at the Grand Valley State University Eberhard Center, 301 West Fulton Street, EC210, in Grand Rapids . More than 1,000 participants are expected.

Jingle Bell Run/Walk for Arthritis raises funds to fight and cure arthritis, the nation’s leading cause of disability. Participants dress in holiday-themed costumes and tie jingle bells to their shoes creating a fun and festive atmosphere. This family-friendly event includes a competitively timed 5K run with walk option, 1K kids’ Snowman Shuffle, prizes for best costume and top fundraisers, and medals for the best run times in 13 age categories. Entry fees are $30 for the run/walk and $12 for the kid’s Snowman Shuffle. All proceeds support the Arthritis Foundation’s programs, services and research.

Register by going to www.Arthritis.org/Michigan or calling (855) 529-2728.

Arthritis is a serious disease that causes slow and painful deterioration of the body’s joints. Often mischaracterized as an “old person’s” disease, arthritis affects more than 50 million Americans, including 300,000 kids. In Michigan, more than 2.3 million adults and 10,300 children have arthritis—that’s 31 percent of the population!

Owen Barrett is a 7-year-old from Walker. When he was 3-years-old, he developed a recurring rash that was misdiagnosed several times. Owen was referred to a pediatric rheumatologist who accurately diagnosed him with juvenile idiopathic arthritis. The doctor said he had active inflammation in every joint he checked and that he probably had arthritis since birth.

“My husband and I were shocked,” said Aimee Barrett, Owen’s mom. “Owen never complained of pain. Not once. The doctor explained that most kids who have arthritis don’t know a life without pain, so they don’t know to complain about it. Pain is their norm. It broke my heart.”

“We hope for Owen, when he has his own children, that he can tell them, ‘I had arthritis as a child, but they found a cure,’” said Aimee. “And we hope to make so much noise about this disease that people aren’t shocked when I tell them, ‘My son has arthritis. He’s only 7-years-old.’”

For more info on the Jingle Bell Run/Walk or to register you can visit jinglebellrungrandrapids.kintera.org/faf/home/default.asp?ievent=1121965

 

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Wolves in Ecosystems Part 2

The gray wolf. Photo from the Encyclopedia Britannica online (Britannica.com)

The gray wolf. Photo from the Encyclopedia Britannica online (Britannica.com)

By Ranger Steve Mueller

 

Wolves’ presence and behavior increases wildlife populations despite their killing individual prey. Their predatory role in ecosystems has significant positive impacts on animal and plant communities. For thousands of years their presence in Michigan nature niches fluctuated in relation to plant and animal population abundance.

Canada lynx studies found plant populations control top predator populations. The Hudson Bay trapping records show snowshoe hare populations increased despite lynx, wolf, and other predators until the hares over browsed the plants causing hare starvation. When hares died the predators starved. Predation slowed hare population growth that helped maintained healthier communities.

When wolves were returned to Yellowstone National Park in 1995, they caused elk and other prey species to roam more. This saved shrubs and trees from being over browsed in valleys along rivers. Shrubs and trees regenerated habitat when protected by wolves.

Mice, rabbits, and other herbivores were able to find food where deer and elk had previously devastated wildlife communities by overgrazing. Songbirds moved into areas when vegetation recovered. Beavers found rapid growing aspens provided essential food that allowed their return to streams and rivers. They built dams creating rich floodplain habitat that had been lost and washed away in the absence of wolves. Wolves eat beavers when the opportunity arises but these rodents reproduce more rapidly than predators kill them. Large fires in the Yellowstone region also rejuvenated early succession communities but wolves caused elk and deer to move preventing overgrazing.

Beavers created wetland habitats, stabilized stream banks, and reduced soil erosion. Fish populations found healthier streambeds for egg laying. More oxygen in less silted rivers aided fish survival.

With increased landscape vegetation that resulted from wolf presence, plant-eating rodents increased and resulted in more predators like hawks, eagles, weasels, foxes, and badgers. Carrion left by wolves allowed bears, ravens, and other animals to provide more food and it improved their health and reproductive success. Increased shrubs provided more berries needed by bears, birds, and many other animals. What inferences can be applied to Michigan ecosystems? No one animal or plant is responsible for all positive or negative changes. It is a community effort but some animals like the wolf start what is called a positive “trophic cascade” in how they change animal movements and cull animal populations with selected animal predation.

The wolves even changed the course of rivers. Overgrazed landscape along rivers cut straighter channels when wolves were removed but with the wolf return stream meanders returned. Vegetation recovery along banks reduced erosion causing stream meandering. More pools developed with more fish hiding places. Waterfowl increased. Wolves transformed the landscape to healthier nature niches for plants, mammals, birds, amphibians, insects and a host of native wildlife that had diminished in wolf absence.

Human social and economic aspects of wolf presence have been beneficial in the Yellowstone ecosystem but not completely. Ranchers drive cattle into the national forest and leave them unattended to feed. In Michigan, farmers graze animals on their private property and care for their livestock. The national forests are public lands used for watershed flood management, timber harvest, grazing, hunting, hiking, camping, recreation, fishing, and mineral extraction. In short they are all things for all people.

This becomes a management challenge when people consider their interests more important than their neighbors and it results in Congressional gridlock. Maintaining healthy ecosystems to provide for future generations of our families requires decisions beyond one group’s personal self-centered interest.

There are times when wolf management is important for our neighbors. At present in Michigan, each case is addressed when a problem arises. Legal hunting might one day be appropriate in balance with the multiple uses of our National and State forests in the UP. Decisions should be ecosystem focused for maintaining society’s sustainable needs. Plants and animals have essential roles in ecosystem sustainability that we cannot duplicate. Future generations are as important as our own but decisions frequently place priority only on the present.

Natural history questions or topic suggestions can be directed to Ranger Steve (Mueller) at the odybrook@chartermi.net Ody Brook, 13010 Northland Dr, Cedar Springs, MI 49319-8433.

 

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Weekly Fishing Tip

Northern Pike

Northern Pike

Where to find northern pike in Michigan

 

Most places in the state are seeing pretty cold temperatures, but despite that fishing for northern pike will continue to pick up. Pike are extremely popular during the ice fishing season but are readily available throughout much of the year.

There are many notable northern pike fisheries located throughout Michigan, including on Muskegon, Portage and Manistee lakes and also Michigamme and Houghton lakes. But this species can be found in many lakes and virtually all larger rivers in the state.

Please note there are many regulations for northern pike regarding minimum size and possession limit. Be sure to read up on this species in the 2014 Michigan Fishing Guide. Access it online at http://www.eregulations.com/michigan/fishing/general-hook-line-regulations/

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Snow blower safety starts before you power up your equipment

 

Tips from OPEI 

Outdoor Power Equipment Institute (OPEI)

According to weather forecasters, the winter of 2014–15 will see below-normal temperatures for about three-quarters of the nation. That means snow blowers could be getting a workout this winter. The Outdoor Power Equipment Institute (OPEI) offers the following safety tips to assist homeowners, contractors and business owners as they power up their snow removal equipment.

Make sure your snow blower is in good working order, before the first flakes fall. Change the oil. Install a new spark plug and inspect the belts to be sure they are in good working order. If you forgot to drain the fuel last winter before storing your snow blower, drain the tank now. Check the auger (always in the “off” position) and adjust any cables. Make sure it starts.

Review your owner’s manual. Read your owner’s manual and review safe handling procedures from your manufacturer.

Before it snows, clear the pathways you intend to use. Snow can sometimes hide objects that might clog the chute of a snow blower, or cause damage to the machine or people nearby. Remove doormats, sleds, boards, wires, and other debris from the pathways you intend to clear.

Use the right fuel. It’s important to have the proper fuel on hand, as filling stations may be closed if there is a power outage after a snowstorm. Store fuel properly and buy the type of fuel recommended by your equipment’s manufacturer. It is illegal to use any fuel with more than 10 percent ethanol content in outdoor power equipment (for more information on fueling properly see www.LookBeforeYouPump.com).

Handle fuel carefully. Use non-spill containers with spouts. Fill up the fuel tank outside before you start the engine and while the engine is cold. Never add fuel to a running or hot engine. Store fuel in a clean, dry, ventilated area, and never near a pilot light, stove, or heat source. Never smoke around fuel.

Dress properly for the job. Wear adequate winter garments and footwear that can handle slippery surfaces. Put on safety glasses, and avoid loose fitting clothing that could get caught in moving parts. Tie back long hair.

Operate your snow blower in visible conditions. Never operate the snow blower without good visibility or light.

Aim carefully and avoid people and cars. Never throw snow toward people or cars. Do not allow anyone to stand in front of your snow blower. Keep children or pets away from your snow blower when it is operating.

Use extreme caution on slopes and hills. Do not clear snow across the face of slopes. Be cautious when changing directions on slopes. Do not attempt to clear steep slopes.

Turn OFF your snow blower if you need to clear a clog or repair it. If you have to repair your machine, remove debris or unclog built up snow, always turn off your snow blower. Wait for all moving parts to come to a complete stop. Disconnect the spark plug wire or power cord.

KEY SAFETY TIP: Never put your hands inside the auger or chute. Use a clean out tool (or stick) to unclog wet snow or debris from your snow blower. Your hands should never go inside the auger or chute.

 Know where your cord is. If you have an electric powered snow blower, be aware of where the power cord is at all times. Avoid tripping. Do not run over the power cord.

Fact Sheet: Safe Operation Practices for Snow Blowers:

http://opei.org/content/uploads/2014/11/Snowthrower_safety-sheet_FINAL.pdf

About OPEI

The Outdoor Power Equipment Institute (OPEI) is an international trade association representing more than 100 power equipment, engine and utility vehicle manufacturers and suppliers. For more information, visit www.OPEI.org

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Teenager danger: Five rules for young drivers

CAR-teenager-danger_driving_infographicCAR-Teenager-Danger(BPT) – If you’re feeling nervous about handing the car keys to your teenager for the first time, you’re not alone. It’s a common sentiment given some sobering statistics. According to teendriversource.org, 20 percent of all 16-year-old drivers will be involved in an accident during their first year behind the wheel. And studies show more teenage motor vehicle fatalities happen during the summer than any other time of year. But there are some things you can do to help keep your teenager from becoming a statistic. The National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) has some tips and tools to keep your teen safe.

Though auto accidents are a fact of life for most drivers, even a minor fender bender can impact insurance rates, costing parents and teens for years to come. The good news is research shows teen drivers who follow rules are half as likely to get in an accident. Before your teen hits the road, consider establishing some simple guidelines to protect his or her safety and your wallet:

1. Set a driving curfew. More than 40 percent of teen auto deaths occur between 9 p.m. and 6 a.m. Set a curfew to keep your teen off the road during these times.

2. Limit passengers. A teen’s relative risk of being involved in a fatal crash increases with each additional passenger. More passengers equal more potential distractions.

3. Make the cell phone off limits while driving. Talking and texting can double the likelihood of an accident. If your teen must use the phone, instruct him or her to pull over before doing so and be sure to set a good example when you are behind the wheel.

4. Empower your teen to exercise his or her rights as a passenger. Only 44 percent of teens say they would speak up if someone were driving in a way that scared them. Remind your teens they are just as vulnerable in an accident as the driver, so they should speak up if they feel unsafe.

5. Be Prepared. Arm your teens with the knowledge of what they should do if they do get into an accident. Mobile apps such as WreckCheck can help take the guesswork out of a tense situation, guiding users through a step-by-step process to create an accident report. WreckCheck uses your device’s location service, camera and audio recorder to document all pertinent information about the incident and provides tips on how to file and follow up on a claim.

A Teen Driver Contract is a simple way to keep your teen accountable. It establishes basic driving ground rules and clearly lays out the consequences associated with driving privileges. The NAIC has developed an online tool to guide parents through building a customized Teen Driver Contract. There’s also a downloadable sample contract to help get you started. Just visit www.insureuonline.org/insureu_special_teendriving.htm.

Educating yourself and your new driver about the risks and insurance implications of unsafe driving can save lives and money. As your teen begins his or her journey on the roadways, take time to speak openly and candidly about your expectations for behind-the-wheel behavior.

 

 

 

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Yes, we have no chocolate

 

 

A man goes into an ice cream parlor and says, “I’d like two scoops of chocolate ice cream, please.”

The girl behind the counter says, “I’m very sorry, sir, but our delivery truck broke down this morning. We’re out of chocolate.”

“In that case,” the man says, “I’ll have two scoops of the chocolate ice cream you have left.”

“You don’t understand, sir,” the girl says. “We have no chocolate.”

“Just give me some chocolate!” he says.

Getting angrier by the second, the girl says, “Sir, will you spell VAN, as in vanilla?”

The man says, “V-A-N.”

“Now spell STRAW, as in strawberry.”

“OK. S-T-R-A-W.”

“Now,” the girl says, “spell STINK, as in chocolate.”

The man hesitates. Then he says, “There is no stink in chocolate!”

The girl smiles. “Exactly.”

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Hometown Happenings

Hometown Happenings articles are a community service for non-profit agencies only. Due to popular demand for placement in this section, we can no longer run all articles. Deadline for articles is Monday at 5 p.m. This is not guaranteed space. Articles will run as space allows. Guaranteed placement is $10, certain restrictions may apply. You now can email your Hometown Happenings to happenings@cedarspringspost.com please include name and phone number for any questions we may have.

Enter to Win Cash for Christmas

Sand Lake Christmas Scavenger Hunt and Christmas Cookie Contest will award cash prizes. $50 to the Scavenger Hunt Drawing winners and $25 each for the Best Christmas Cookie in 3 categories: Drop, Bar, Rolled and Overall Best Christmas Cookie. For more information visit www.sandlakechamberofcommerce.com. #48p

 

5th Annual Rockford Turkey Trot

Nov. 27: The 5th Annual Rockford Turkey Trot, benefit for North Kent Community Services will be held on Thursday, November 27th at 9:30 am. Meet at the Rotary Pavillion, Squire Street, downtown Rockford. Walk/Run the White Pine Trail to 12 Mile Rd. (choose your own distance and pace). Work off the calories BEFORE your feast plus help provide for folks needing food. Please bring a donation of nonperishable foods or paper products for NKCS. Cash also accepted. Hot beverages and a light snack will be provided after the Trot. Door prizes! Hosted by the Courtland Oakfield United Methodist Church. #47,48p

 

Sand Lake Tree Lighting and Concert

Nov. 30: Enjoy the sights and sounds of Christmas performed by Resurrection Lutheran Preschool. Help us light our tree in Salisbury Park, Sand Lake. #48p

 

Dinner at the Legion

Dec. 1: American Legion, 80 Main St. Cedar Springs, is hosting a Pork Chop dinner on Monday, December 1st, from 5 – 7 pm. Included will be mashed potatoes and gravy, stuffing, veggies, salad, rolls, dessert and drink. The cost is $9 for adults, children (12 and younger) $4.00. Come and enjoy home cooking. Take out is available. 616-696-9160. #48p

 

TOPS weight loss support group

Dec. 2: Take off pounds sensibly (TOPS), a non-profit weight loss support group for men and women, meets every Tuesday at the Resurrection Lutheran Church in Sand Lake. Your first visit is free so come check out what TOPS can do to help you reach your weigh loss goals! Weigh-ins 8:15-9am, meeting starts at 9:15am. In case of inclement weather, meetings are cancelled if Tri-County or Cedar Springs schools are closed. Call Barb at 696-8049 for more information. #48

 

God’s Kitchen in Cedar Springs

Dec. 2,9,16,23,30: Join us for dinner every Tuesday. God’s Kitchen – Cedar Springs welcomes families from Northern Kent County and the surrounding area to a Tuesday Evening Meal. No charge – no registration required!  Served from 5:30 – 6:30 pm at the St. John Paul II Parish, 3110 – 17 Mile Rd., Cedar Springs. For more information, call the Church office at 616-696-3904. #48

 

Sand Lake Village Churches Progressive Advent

Dec. 5,6,14,21,24: Visit each of our churches on your journey to Christmas. “Live Indoor Nativity” at United Methodist Church, “Journey to Bethlehem” with Mary Queen of Apostles Catholic Church, Christmas program, “The Uniqueness of Jesus” at Church of the Full Gospel, and “Christmas Eve Candlelight Service” with Resurrection Lutheran church. See our ad on page 5 for times and locations. #48

 

Museum Open December 6th

Dec. 6: The Museum will be open after the lighting of the Christmas tree on Main St., Cedar Springs, the 6th of December for a candlelight tour of the museum and school house, from 5 to 7 pm. Inside the museum we have an antique sleigh set up in front of a wintery scene backdrop. Families are welcome to take pictures of their children in the old sleigh. This will be a great photo op for families! #48

 

Holiday Make & Take

Dec. 6: You will not want your kids to miss this one! We will help our child create a gift from their heart that can be cherished and passed down to their children for generations. They will make unique gifts and wrap them up with the assistance of our volunteer team. Voila! Your children’s holiday shopping is done. This event is more appropiate for K – 5th graders. A cherished gift from your child’s heart, what could be better! Saturday, December 6th from 10 am to 12:30 pm. A donation of $6 per child includes supplies. Howard Christensen Nature Center, 16160 Red Pine Dr., Kent City. #48

 

Craft Sale

Dec. 6: Resurrection Lutheran Church, 180 Northland Dr., Sand Lake, is having a craft sale on December 6th from 9 am to 3 pm. $48,49p

 

Casnovia Bazaar

Dec. 6: Old School Community Center, Annual Holiday Bazaar and Santa Day, on Saturday, December 6th, 142 N. Main St., Casnovia. Craft Show 8 am to 2 pm. All you can eat Lions Club breakfast 8 am to 11 am. Cookie decorating for the kids. Santa visits 11 am to 1 pm. Free horse drawn wagon rides 11 am to 1 pm. BBQ lunch served at noon. Come shop and enjoy the fun. For more information call Kelly at 616-675-9648. #48

 

A Christmas Night of Worship

Dec. 7: Solon Center Wesleyan Church presents: A Christmas Night of Worship… Coffee, Candles, Carols and Praise. Sunday, evening, December 7th at 6 pm. World class desserts and coffee will be served during the concert. The church is located on Algoma Ave., just north of 19 Mile Rd. Come join us for a great night of celebrating Christmas. All welcome! www.scwchurch.org. #48,49p

 

Winter Snow Party

Dec. 10: Celebrate winter wonderland indoors with crafts, games and activities! For ages 6 and younger. Wednesday, December 10th at 6:30 pm at the Sand Lake/ Nelson Township KDL Branch, 88 Eighth St. #48

 

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Early snowstorm slams West Michigan

Blowing snow, wind chills in the single digits and icy roads put the area in a deep freeze, Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, causing hundreds of schools to close and many drivers to slide off the road.

Heavy lake effect snow piled up across the area, with most areas getting somewhere around a foot. According to WOOD-TV8, Tuesday’s high temperature of 19 degrees was the coldest high temperature ever recorded for that date in Grand Rapids. That’s 27 degrees below average. At this same time last year, on November 17, we had severe weather that even spawned tornadoes across the state.

As of Wednesday afternoon, Kent County was under another winter weather advisory until early Friday morning, with another 6-8 inches of snow expected. By Saturday and Sunday, temps are expected to climb above freezing again.

Now that winter seems to be here, Kent County Emergency Management reminds everyone to pay attention to weather conditions before heading out the door. Give yourself a few extra minutes to arrive on time.

The cold can cause problems for many, especially people with pre-existing medical conditions, young children, and seniors. “Be a good friend or neighbor. Check on those who are elderly or have a medical condition,” says Jack Stewart, Kent County Emergency Management Coordinator. “Making a daily call or visit part of your routine could really help someone in need.”

If you haven’t shut off water to your outdoor spigots yet, do it now. Make sure you have emergency kits in your car and home this winter. The Michigan Committee for Severe Weather Awareness recommends you keep the following items in your home: Battery-powered flashlight, Batteries, Weather and/or portable radio, Extra food (canned or dried food is best) and a can opener, Bottled water (at least 3 gallons per person), First aid kit.

“If you lose power in your home and use a generator, be sure that you follow the manufacturer’s instructions to avoid carbon monoxide poisoning,” Stewart says. “Also know the hazards if you need an emergency heating source, like a space heater.” Keep emergency supplies in your car as well. A small battery powered radio and extra batteries, a cell phone, and a blanket should always be kept within reach.

This early in the season, pets may be more vulnerable to the cold. Keep pets indoors as much as possible. The smaller the pet, the quicker the cold impacts them. Puppies and kittens are especially sensitive to the cold, as are older pets. Watch out for community cats that might crawl under the hood of your car to keep warm. Bang loudly on the hood before starting the car, and never leave pets in a car during the winter. Temperatures can be just as cold inside the car as they are outdoors.

More tips on winter preparedness from the Michigan Committee for Severe Weather Awareness can be found at: www.mcswa.com/Winter-Hazards.html.

 

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Former city employee becomes Mayor

Jerry Hall is the new Mayor of Cedar Springs, and Pam Conley is Mayor Pro-tem. Post photo by J. Reed.

Jerry Hall is the new Mayor of Cedar Springs, and Pam Conley is Mayor Pro-tem. Post photo by J. Reed.

by Judy Reed

The Cedar Springs City Council, made up of four new members and three returning members, chose a new Mayor and Mayor Pro-tem at their meeting on Thursday, November 13.

Four new members were sworn in—Rose Powell, Molly Nixon, Perry Hopkins and Pam Conley. Conley, who previously served, lost her seat last year in a close election.

Three members of the Council were nominated to be Mayor: Jerry Hall, Pamela  Conley and Dan Clark. Conley declined the nomination. The Council first voted on Hall, and the motion passed 5-2, with only Hopkins and Bob Truesdale dissenting.

Nominations were then opened for Mayor Pro-tem. Both Clark and Conley were nominated. Clark was voted in 4-3, but then refused the nomination. The vote was then taken on Conley, and it was unanimous.

Hall is retired from the City of Cedar Springs, where he was formerly the Superintendent of Public Works. He also served on the City Planning Commission and six years on the Cedar Springs Board of Education.

“I appreciate the confidence put in me, and I hope I can do it justice,” said Hall. “I think we can all move forward. That’s the direction we need to go,” he added.

Conley also previously served on the Cedar Springs Board of Education before coming to City Council. She thanked everyone for electing her back to the Council. “You seem to want me here,” she said. She also urged people to come to her with concerns. “Please talk to me about what you want,” she said.

One thing that Hall made clear to the Council and the audience was that he was going to be strict about enforcing time limits for public speaking, as well as the content. “I will not tolerate personal attacks on Council members or city employees,” he remarked. Hall had told the audience early on that if they happened, he would adjourn the meeting.

 

 

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Red Hawk’s Alvesteffer voted WZZM13’s MVP of the season

Cedar Springs sophomore Collin Alvesteffer (center) receives the 2014 Season MVP award from WZZM13 and sponsor Mercy Health during last Friday’s edition of “On your sidelines.” Brent Ashcroft, left, and Dan Harland, right, are the show’s anchors. Photo by K. Alvesteffer

Cedar Springs sophomore Collin Alvesteffer (center) receives the 2014 Season MVP award from WZZM13 and sponsor Mercy Health during last Friday’s edition of “On your sidelines.” Brent Ashcroft, left, and Dan Harland, right, are the show’s anchors. Photo by K. Alvesteffer

By Judy Reed

The Cedar Springs Red Hawks Varsity Football team had a great season, going 9-2 and winning the OK-Bronze Conference Championship outright. They won their first playoff home game at Red Hawk Stadium, against Forest Hills Northern, and were defeated by Muskegon in the district regional the following week. They scored an average 35 points per game.

One of the sparkplugs that fired that success was sophomore quarterback Collin Alvesteffer, who was equally efficient on both offense and defense. He received a great honor last week when he was voted by fans as WZZM13’s 2014 Season MVP. WZZM listed 10 nominees for the award, and fan voting online narrowed it to three. Fans then voted again, and Collin came out on top. He was given the award on their final “On your sidelines” show of the season last Friday evening.

Collin was selected as a MVP of the week earlier in the season, and also voted to MLive’s defensive dream team. That’s a lot of attention for a 15-year-old. The Post asked how he was dealing with all the attention.

Collin Alvesteffer scored both touchdowns against the Muskegon Big Reds. Photo by K. Alvesteffer.

Collin Alvesteffer scored both touchdowns against the Muskegon Big Reds. Photo by K. Alvesteffer.

“It’s all exciting, but I just try to focus on the team’s success instead of my own,” said Collin. The attention was not something he was expecting. “I knew I was not the best football player that we had, so figured they would get all the attention,” he added.

Football is in Collin’s blood. He started playing flag football at ages 4-6, and then Rocket at age 7. He’s continued to play ever since.

The Post asked him if he did anything special to prepare for this season. “I just tried to become the best player and teammate that I could,” he remarked.

And it seems to have paid off, not just for him but the whole team. “We had excellent team work and effort in practice and during the offseason,” he explained, when asked why he thought the team did so well.

Collin knows his success was made possible by those around him.

“I want to thank my teammates and coaches for always pushing me and making me better,” said Collin. “But most importantly, I want to thank my Mom and Dad, because they support me no matter what and are my biggest fans.”

Collin’s Mom, Kelley Alvesteffer, won’t argue with that. “Collin has always excelled at football and I have always been proud of him for that. However, this year he learned that it is not about him. He learned to play for the team—not for himself. He learned good sportsmanship and learned to be truly humble.”

Congratulations to Collin, and we look forward to seeing what the Red Hawks can do in 2015!

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