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Year in Red Hawk sports

It was another great year for high school sports in Cedar Springs.

Ryan Ringler and Sage Serbenta were Division 2 state champions.

Wrestling had a phenomenal season, including two individuals who finished as state champions in Division 2.

The team as a whole had a great season, winning the district title for the first time in over a decade, and the regional championship for the first time in 23 years. The team went on to state, but lost to state champs Lowell in the quarterfinals. 

“The team was able to pull together and rise up at the right time to capitalize on one of the most memorable post season runs in Cedar Springs Sports history,” said head coach Nicholas Emery, a former Red Hawk wrestler and graduate of the class of 2001.

As far as individuals at state, senior Ryan Ringler Ringler to his second straight MHSAA Division 2 wrestling championship in the 171lb division with an unblemished record of 50-0. Ryan graduated as the most decorated high school wrestler in school history with two state championships, four state medals, four conference championships and 207 victories.

Junior Sage Serbenta captured his first MHSAA wrestling championship at the 189lb weight class. Sage finished the season at 48-1 and will look to repeat in 2020. 

Senior Lucus Pienton once again took home the consolation championship for an unprecedented third time. Over four years, Lucus compiled three state medals, qualified for the state tournament as a freshman, claimed two conference championships and won nearly 160 bouts for the Red Hawks.

Trevor “Pee Wee” Marsman scraped his way to the podium with three solid victories and a seventh place All-State finish. Marsman entered his junior season with 81 Cedar Springs victories. 

Senior Aaron Smith concluded his wrestling days with a top 12 finish and over 120 victories.

Varsity Cheer team

Competitive Cheer also had an outstanding season. The Cedar Springs Varsity Cheer team won the OK White Conference Championship for the third year in a row; placed third at regionals; then went on to make history by placing fifth in Div. 2 at the state finals. “It’s hard to explain how much hard work and dedication it takes to be good in competitive cheer. It’s even harder to comprehend how much time and effort it takes to be excellent at it” said Coach Anne Olszewski last spring. “This team embraced all the goals we set at the beginning of the season and we went for it. I am just so glad we took this team to state finals! A new goal was to compete at the elite level, not just show up and be happy we had advanced that far. The girls worked hard, took instruction and fought through sore muscles, tired bodies and frazzled nerves to finish 5th. Top 5 in the state!”

Omani Morales took the girls state bowling championship in Division 2.

Red Hawk bowlers also had a great season. The girls team was undefeated during the regular season and won the OK White Conference championship two years in a row. They finished fourth at regionals, so were unable to advance to state as a team, but junior Omani Morales advanced to state as an individual. It was the second year in a row that Morales made it to the girls individual state bowling tournament. In 2018 she didn’t make it out of the qualifying rounds, but in 2019 she made it count. Out of 60 bowlers vying for a chance to compete, Morales seeded in 10th place, with the top 16 advancing to the state final competition on March 2. She won the final two-game series 416-328 to claim the first ever Division 2 girls state bowling championship for Cedar Springs!

Boys Bowling won Regionals. 

The boys bowling team also had a good year, winning their first ever regional title and a trip to the state finals, where they placed 14th in Div. 2. Senior Jonah Drake also earned a chance to compete at state as an individual, where he placed 50th.

The Equestrian team also made it to state competition this past fall for the first time in over a decade. The team competed at three district meets at the beginning of September, which earned them the title of Reserve District Champions and advanced the team to regionals. At regionals, they came from behind and were able to claim the reserve regional champions in Division B and advanced the team to the state finals. 

Equestrian team

“It had been 12 years since Cedar had qualified for state,” remarked Coach Katie VanDyke.

The state competition was spread out over four days with multiple events each day. “We had a few factors that made our trip to state difficult,” explained VanDyke. “Two of our team members’ horses were hurt and unable to compete. The weather was rainy and cold but the girls didn’t let that get in their way!” 

Instead the team ended their season with an 8th place finish in Division B.

Cross Country boys didn’t let a move up to Division 1 hinder their season. Instead, it seemed to spur them on. They ran a great season, taking the OK White Conference Championship for the second season in a row, placing third at regionals on Div. 1, and earning a trip to the state championship, where they placed a respectable 17th in Division 1. 

Cross Country boys took OK White Conference Championship. 

“This was a strong finish to a historic season for our team,” said Coach Justin Jones. “Our senior group leaves our program with countless accolades and all-time great performances under their belt. Their presence on the team and performances on the scoreboard will be missed in the coming years, but the bar has been set for our future. I look forward to seeing our younger runners follow in their footsteps and achieve some of the same things that these four boys have.” 

Red Hawk football was another exciting experience this past fall. For the second year in a row, the Cedar Springs Varsity Football team landed atop the OK-White as conference champions! They went 6-0 in conference, and were 8-1 overall in the regular season. Their only loss was to Caledonia. They then won the pre-district game against Mount Pleasant and got ready for the District Championship game. They ended an amazing football season on the field at Grand Haven, where they took on not only the top-rated high school team in Michigan but one of the top rated teams in the nation—Muskegon. And lost 48-10.

OK White football conference champions Photo by J. Harnden

“I’m extremely proud of this senior class, and in my 25 years of coaching, it’s one of my favorite groups. They were unselfish, hard working, and fun to be around everyday,” remarked Coach Gus Kapolka.

“I’m appreciative of their contributions to the program, and they have left their mark on our program in a positive manner. They leave with a 26-8 record and 2 OK White Championships in the last two years, and a 17-1 record in the OK White during that time.”

Next year Cedar Springs will move to the OK Gold conference for competition.

The Cedar Springs High School Marching Band also performed in state competition this fall, in the Michigan Competing Band Association, at Ford Field on Saturday, November 2, 2019. The band placed 10th in Flight III with a score of 83.075.  

Note: If another Red Hawk varsity sports team claimed a conference, regional or state title and we did not mention it, we apologize for the omission. We are reporting on stories that appeared in our paper. Each season we email the coaches and let them know there is an opportunity to get stories about their games in our paper by having someone write about their team. Some choose not to participate, so we wouldn’t have information about those teams. 

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Ray Winnie
Intandem Credit Union


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