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Red Hawks compete at Portage Invitational

Cedar Springs junior Molly Bentley. Courtesy photo.

The Girls Cross Country team competed in the Portage Invitational on Saturday, October 9.  This is the biggest meet of the season next to regionals and state finals. Some of the best teams in the state competed there in all divisions. 

The varsity ladies finished 28th out of 35 teams. The team was in the Division 1 section, which is the toughest and most competitive. Larissa McGrath (76th) was the first lady to come in for us.  Annalise Elliot (125th) was second for our team, trying to keep Larissa in her sights to tighten gaps.  Ally Ladd (134th) was third for our team, moving up and having one of her best races of the season.  Izzy VanDusen (203rd)  was our fourth girl in.  Madison Golliver (218th) was our fifth girl to cross the line.  Molly Bentley (226th) finished sixth for our Lady Hawks.  Kaitlynn Brown (229th) finished out our varsity squad for the day.  

In the JV race, we had two ladies competing. Kaisa Maki (156th) ran a pretty strong race trying to beat as many packs of runners as she could.  Emily Hoort (184th) looked very strong as well. 

Coach Melinda Stressman said, “I really thought we ran pretty well.  This is the toughest race they will run all season.  It’s good to get them in the mix to see how we stack up and compete against some teams we will see at regionals and other invites in the season. I’m very proud of these girls. They work hard and lead strong all season long!”

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Volleyball wins Red Flannel Day triangular

Varsity team celebrates 1st place finish at home Red Flannel Day triangular. Courtesy photo.

The Cedar Springs Varsity volleyball squad notched a first place finish at their home Red Flannel Day triangular on Saturday, October 2. The Lady Red Hawks defeated Northpointe Christian in a thrilling opening match, coming from behind in the final set to win 2-1. The second match against Kelloggsville resulted in a 2-set victory. 

Varsity suffered conference losses earlier in the week, falling to top seeded Catholic Central at home on Tuesday, September 28 (11-25; 20-25; and 23-25) . On Wednesday, September 29, the team lost in their final home match against Forest Hills Eastern(19-25; 22-25; 25-21; 12-25), where parents and seniors were honored. Varsity record is 7-12 overall and 1-5 in OK Gold.

“Our girls really showed their mental toughness in going head-to-head with Northpointe and pulling out a come from behind win against them in the 3rd set. We brought great energy and look forward to building on that for this week,” said Varsity head coach Ashley Lowing.

Junior Varsity split the week, losing to Catholic Central 17-25; 19-25 before beating Forest Hills Eastern 25-23; 25-18 on Wednesday. The Freshman team played an exciting match against Catholic Central on Tuesday, coming back from a first set loss to take the match in three (15-25; 25-21; 15-13) followed by a decisive win over Forest Hills Eastern (25-15; 25-6).

All levels returned to action on Tuesday, October 5, when they traveled for the final conference match at South Christian. See results next week. 

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Cedar Springs over Thornapple Kellogg 44-10

Red Hawk Ryan West breaks up a pass to Tyler Gavette. Photo by Brandon Kramer Photography.

By Judy Reed

The Cedar Springs Red Hawks Varsity football team remains in a tie with Grand Rapids Catholic Central for first place in the OK-Gold after a 44-10 win over Middleville Thornapple Kellogg last Friday, October 1.

The team scored fast and often, racking up six touchdowns in the four quarters of play. Seven different players rushed for 20 yards or more, for a team total of 411 yards on the ground.

“We took a long road trip, which is a situation we have struggled with in past seasons and we got off to a fast start,” remarked Coach Gus Kapolka. “That makes me proud as a coach. Our guys were focused and executed well.”

The Red Hawks hit the score board first, with 8:36 left in the first quarter, when Ryan Mitchell ran to the left for a 13-yard touchdown. Quarterback Aiden Brunin the passed to Mitchell to add two more points.

Thornapple Kellogg scored next with 7:01 left in the second quarter on a 23-yard field goal by Alex Herrington. The score was now CS 8, TK 3.

Cedar Springs came back and scored three more times in the second quarter. With 5:15 left in the half, Mitchell ran in a 1-yard touchdown, and Ryan West ran in two more points. 

The Red Hawks kicked off to TK, and it was 1st and 10 on TK’s 27-yard line. TK quarterback Carsen Burbridge threw two incomplete passes, with the second one broke up by Aiden Brunin. On his third attempt to pass, it was intercepted by Ryan West at the Cedar Springs 42 and returned to the 38. Two plays later, Red Hawk Ryan Mitchell ran left for a 59-yard touchdown. The extra point was no good.

CS scored once more in the second, with 59 seconds left, when Alex Ream ran left for a 24-yard touchdown. Extra points were no good.

At halftime the score was CS 28, TK 3.

Cedar Springs scored twice more, on a seven-yard run by Carter Falan with 2:04 left in the third quarter, and a 42-yard run by Logan Troupe with 8:14 left in the fourth. Falan ran in extra points on both.

Thornapple Kellogg scored once more with 47 seconds left in the game, when Drake Snyder ran right a 10-yard touchdown. The extra point kick by Alex Herrington was good. Final score was Cedar Springs 44, TK 10.

Red Hawk Ryan Mitchell had 142 yards rushing against TK, including three touchdowns. Photo by Brandon Kramer Photography.

Ryan Mitchell led in rushing for Cedar Springs, with 142 yards on 10 attempts. He was followed by Antwuan Nicholls with 82 yards on 8 carries; Aiden Brunin with 54 yards on 4; Carter Falan with 44 yards on 6 carries; Logan Troupe had 42 yards; Alex Ream 24; and Ryan West 23, each with one carry. Together they had 411 yards.

TK had a total of 139 yards on the ground, and 136 in the air. Carsen Burbridge completed 10 of 18 passes for 120 yards, and Grant Middleton added another 16 yards with his one pass.

On Red Hawk defense, Kyle Hoort led in tackles with 10; Alex Ream had 8; Aiden Brunin had 6; Connor Diemond had 4; and Ryan West, Cashius Heiss, Brennen Porter, Carter Bayink, and Blake Scheer all had 3. The rest of the team had 2 or less, for 60 tackles.

This Friday night is homecoming, and Cedar Springs will host Wayland at Red Hawk Stadium. The Post asked Coach Kapolka what might be challenging for the team might face this week.

“Homecoming week can be distracting, so we need to keep our focus against Wayland and keep executing at a high level,” he said. 

Game time is 7 p.m.

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Girls cross country place 5th at invite

Varsity cross country girls who earned medals in the Shepherd Blue Jay invitational. From L to R: Allyson Ladd, Annalise Elliot, and Larissa McGrath.

The Cedar Springs girls’ varsity cross country team finished a very respectable 5th in the annual Shepherd Blue Jay Invitational on Saturday, October 2, with some great performances throughout the day. 

Three girls earned medals after placing in the top 20. Larissa McGrath crossed the finish line first for the Red Hawks, placing 9th overall. Teammate Annalise Elliot ran a strong race as well, finishing 11th.  Finishing next for the Red Hawks was Ally Ladd earning the 17th spot. Running as a strong group and finishing well were Isabel VanDusen (42nd), Madison Golliver (68th), Molly Bentley (75th), and Raegan Viau (85th).    

JV girls who earned medals in the Shepherd Blue Jay invitational. From L to R:  Addyson Brown, Hannah Reed, Emily Hoort, Kaitlynn Brown.

The girls JV team also placed 5th and had some very strong performances, with four girls earning medals: Kaitlynn Brown (11th), followed closely by Hannah Reed (12th), Addyson Brown (26th), and Emily Hoort (30th).  Running strong and finishing together were Allie Teuscheur (36th) and  Addison Wood (37th).  

“I thought our girls ran pretty strong out there,” said Coach Melinda Stressman. “We went out pretty aggressive on both the varsity and JV races to try and get in a good position to finish as high as we could. It was warmer than normal at this meet so I think our girls felt that a little bit as the race went on. We did everything we had to do out there and managed ourselves very well from start to finish. I’m so proud of them and looking forward to our next meet on Saturday, October 9th, at the Portage Invitational.”

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Boys cross country completes competitive week

Many high school cross country coaches would say that the “real” running begins once October hits. The Cedar Springs boys team caught a glimpse of that this past week. 

The action started on Tuesday, September 28, with the second OK Gold Jamboree hosted at Gracewil Country Club, where the Red Hawks would again try to solidify their spot in the conference title race. 

On a very fast-running course, Espen Wood dipped under the 17-minute barrier, crossing in 16:44 and 6th overall. Gabe White trailed in 13th, also running a personal best of 17:07. Carter Moleski, Gabe Minnich, and Jack Sherburn rounded out scoring for the Hawks. 

The second jamboree, similar to the first, proved that the team conference race will be a nail-biter. While Forest Hills Eastern won the race by seven points, second through fifth place were separated by two points each. Cedar Springs found themselves fourth, yet still in striking position. 

“The ball is in our court now going forward,” said head coach Justin Jones. “And if we race like these boys have shown in practice and in races, we have a great shot at a conference championship.”

Focus then shifted to the always-competitive Shepherd Invite on Saturday, October 2. 

In the varsity race, the aforementioned top five from Tuesday’s race battled to a 6th place finish amongst many other larger schools. Sophomore Jack Sherburn and freshman Quinton Bell put together some of the best efforts of the season thus far, while Espen Wood continued to gain confidence towards the front of the race pack. 

Jones was pleased with the team’s efforts after a long week. 

“Coming away 6th in the large school division shows we are exactly where we need to be,” he said. “I thought Jack and Quinton particularly put the team on their backs this weekend, proving they are more mature than their underclassman status would indicate.”

Next up for the Red Hawks is the Portage Invitational on October 9.

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Women’s football recruiting new players

Open tryouts October 16 at 11:30. a.m

Grand Rapids, MI, October 4, 2021 –The Grand Rapids Tidal Waves Women’s Tackle Football Team (The Tidal Waves) is seeking new players for their 2022 season and will be holding open tryouts on October 16 from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at MSA Fieldhouse. There is no cost to attend tryouts and no prior experience is required. All positions are available and open to any female athlete that will be at least 18 years old by April 2022. 

Football is a unique sport in that it requires all body shapes and sizes for a team to be successful. “Life is short and full of regrets,” says Head Coach Stacey Davis. “All we ask is you demonstrate your skills to us. We will help you find the right spot for the team, so you don’t need to feel intimidated by ‘trying out.’ Don’t look back on your life and wonder what could have been.”

The Tidal Waves are excited to announce a partnership with D1 Training – Grand Rapids to hold the tryouts at MSA Fieldhouse and within the D1 facilities. Agility and speed drills will be held outside while strength items will be held inside D1. All players should check in at 11 a.m. on Field #2. D1 Training is the premiere athletic-based training facility in Grand Rapids. Located inside the MSA Fieldhouse, D1 Training is dedicated to helping athletes reach their fitness goals. “We offer both scholastic and adult training including 1 on 1, team training, and group fitness classes,” stated Dave Nykerk, General Manager. “Try us out for free today!”

Interested athletes that are new to the sport of football are encouraged, but not required, to attend the free mini-camp on October 10 from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. at Douglas Walker Park (1195 84th Street SW, Bryon Center, MI 49315). Participants will run through passing, catching, running back and lineman drills as well as agility drills. The mini-camp will allow athletes to learn more about football, meet the coaches, and run through drills with current players in a fun, pressure-free, atmosphere. Attendance at the mini-camp does not commit an athlete to joining. The Tidal Waves encourage any women interested in learning more about football, even if they do not have a desire to play, to attend the free mini-camp.

The Tidal Waves are requesting interested athletes pre-register for the free mini-camp and tryouts through the registration link on their website at www.tidalwavesfootball.com/join or by emailing the team at tidalwavesfootball@gmail.com.

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Red Hawks take win over FHE

The Red Hawks honor Coach Kapolks on hid 100th career win. Photo by Brandon Kramer Photography.
Coach Gus Kapolka’s response to being honored on his 100th win. Photo by Brandon Kramer Photography.
Red Hawk Kyle Hoort is tackled by FHE’s Emilio Jazwinski on a kickoff return. Photo by Brandon Kramer Photography.

Coach Gus Kapolka gets 100th career win

By Judy Reed

It was a roller coaster of emotions for the Cedar Springs Red Hawks varsity football team and fans last Friday night—from it being their first home game without assistant coach Kevin Martens, who died last week, and was honored before the game, to a milestone win for head coach Gus Kapolka.

The team donned their striking new “brotherhood” jerseys in honor of the kickoff of Red Flannel in Cedar Springs. They went on to pick up another conference win, beating Forest Hills Eastern 54-23, to keep them tied for first in the OK Gold with Catholic Central (3-0, 4-1 overall). But the icing on the cake was Coach Gus Kapolka picking up his 100th career win.

As soon as the game was over, the team honored the coach with a poster and balloons commemorating his accomplishment. 

“I was surprised that anybody even knew and even more surprised that there was recognition of this after the game.  I’m very appreciative of that,” said Kapolka.

The majority of his wins (58) have come from his time at Cedar Springs (2013-2021) and 42 from his time at Manistee High School (2004-2012).

Forest Hills Eastern hit the scoreboard first, when Clune Van Andel kicked a 27-yard field goal with 5:40 left in the first quarter. Cedar Springs scored just a few minutes later, with 2:11 left in the first, on a 3-yard run by Ryan Mitchell. A pass by Aiden Brunin to Josh Kriekaard was good for the two-point conversion, making the score CS 8, FHE 3. FHE came right back to score with 1:55 left in the first, on a pass up the middle to Ashton Thompson, for a 70-yard touchdown. The extra point kick by Van Andel was good. The score at the end of the first quarter was CS 8, FHE 10.

Cedar Springs really took off in the second quarter. With 11:24 on the clock, Ryan West ran left for a 63-yard touchdown. The extra point run was no good. FHE scored with 6:06 left in the second, when Bryson Kudzel ran right for a two-yard touchdown. The kick by Van Andel was good.

The Red Hawks scored twice more in the second quarter. With 4:34 left, Carter Falan ran for a two-yard touchdown, and then ran in the extra points. They scored again, when, just as time ran out, Brunin passed to Falan for a 29-yard touchdown. Brunin’s run in for extra points was good. This made the score CS 30, FHE 17 at half.

FHE only scored once during the second half, when, with 7:53 left in the fourth, quarterback Brayden Stratbucker passed to Max Ferrick for a 16-yard touchdown. The extra point run was no good.

Cedar Springs scored three more times—once in the third on a two-yard run by Alex Ream (extra points were good); and then twice in the fourth. With 9:09 left to play, Ryan Mitchell ran for a 49-yard touchdown, and Brunin’s extra point run was good. Ryan West then put the final nail in the coffin with 17 seconds to go, on a 21-yard run up the middle for the touchdown. Nate Slager’s run in for extra points was good. 

Cedar Springs gained 469 yards rushing. Leading the way was Ryan Mitchell with 134 yards; Ryan West with 119; Antwuan Nicholls 80; Aiden Brunin with 68; Carter Falan with 62.

The FHE Hawks racked up 112 yards on the ground, and 167 in the air.

Coach Kapolka was pleased with the way his team played. “We executed our offense extremely well, and played good enough defense to win,” he said.

This week, Cedar Springs will travel to Middleville Thornapple Kellogg, who is 1-2 in conference, and 1-4 overall. But that doesn’t mean it will be an easy win.

“TK will be a physical test for us,” said Kapolka. “They will line up with multiple tight ends and try to pound the ball right at us. We have to be ready for that.”

Make the trip to Thornapple Kellogg this week and support your Red Hawks! 

OK Gold Standings Football

Team Conference Overall

Catholic Central 3-0 5-0

Cedar Springs 3-0 4-1

South Christian 2-1 3-2

Kenowa Hills 1-2 2-3

Forest Hills Eastern 1-2 2-3

Ottawa Hills 1-2 2-3

Thornapple-Kellogg 1-2 1-4

Wayland 0-3 0-5

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Red Hawk runners take a step forward

From L to R: Senior boy runners Cayden Steinebach, Gabe White, Gabe Minnich, Carter Moleski, and senior girl runners Izzy VanDusen, Ally Ladd (sign), and Maddie Golliver.

The Cedar Springs boys country team was met with cooler temperatures and familiar territory at September 27th’s Red Hawk Invite on the grounds of Cedar View elementary. After a string of difficult races the previous weekend, the runners aimed to better their times with more efficient race strategies. 

Those strategies resulted in one huge step forward, with personal bests from many and a second-place team finish. Head coach Justin Jones was encouraged by what he saw on the course. 

“We took huge strides forward from top to bottom,” said Jones. “Our boys were aggressive from the gun and made big improvements minimizing any inconsistent mile splits.”

At the front of the pack, again, was Espen Wood. The junior established himself early in the lead pack and battled hard for third place overall. His time of 17:22 also marked a personal record. 

Senior Gabe White followed in fourth place, finishing 20 seconds behind Wood. Carter Moleski and Jack Sherburn each turned in top 10 performances as well, as Sherburn also joined the PR club for the day. 

Freshman Quinton Bell and sophomore Brady Morrow both provided excitement for the day as well. Bell achieved a nearly-30 second PR, continuing a very impressive first-year campaign. Morrow, a newcomer to Cedar Springs this year, broke through to run 19:14, obliterating his previous best time of 21:12.

After the races, the Cedar Springs cross country community took time to honor the program’s seniors. Gabe White, Gabe Minnich, Cayden Steinebach, and Carter Moleski all took the ceremonial walk across the finish line, their last time as athletes. 

Wayland Union won the meet, just three points ahead of the Red Hawks. The team will face them again Tuesday, September 28th at the second OK Gold Jamboree hosted at Gracewil Country Club. 

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Volleyball loses to Middleville, Wayland

Varsity volleyball seniors pictured from left to right (Courtesy of Kayla Ann Photography LLC) Makenna Outwin, Brandy Singleton, Aaliyah Calkins and Alyssa Detweiler.

The Cedar Springs Varsity volleyball team dropped two conference matches last week taking their conference record to 1-3 and overall record to 5-10. 

 The Red Hawks travelled to Middleville Thornapple Kellogg on Tuesday, September 21, and fell to the Trojans in an exciting 5 set match (26-28; 25-19; 21-25; 26-24; 11-15).  Leaders in the match included senior middle hitter Alyssa Detweiler with 12 kills and 3 blocks; Aspen Haywood with 8 kills, 8 service points and a block; and Aaliyah Calkins tallied 8 kills and a team high 33 serve receptions. Setter Makenna Outwin put up 133 sets, resulting in 27 assists. Jessa Patin recorded 6 kills, 1 ace and 9 service points, while Brandy Singleton had 19 digs.

The second home conference match on Thursday, September 23, resulted in a 0-3 loss to Wayland (19-25; 11-25; 18-25).  The Lady Red Hawks team had a total 18 kills and 23 digs against the powerful Wildcats. Libero Brandy Singleton defended Wayland’s multiple weapons with 8 digs and 12 serve receptions. Aaliyah Calkins added 16 receptions, 5 digs and 3 kills. Senior setter Makenna Outwin led service points with 9, including 3 aces while also adding 11 assists and a block. Alyssa Detweiler had 8 kills, while Aspen Haywood recorded 4 kills and a team high 2 blocks. Defensive specialist Josie Kenyon tallied 4 digs and 3 serve receptions.

Junior Varsity split the weeks conference matches losing 18-25; 25-14; and 13-15 at Thornapple Kellogg and beating Wayland 16-25; 25-16; 15-11.  Freshman tallied victories for the week beating Trojans 25-8 and 25-15, and taking Wayland to three sets for the 25-27; 25-20; 15-4 win.

The teams were back in action for two home conference matches this week beginning with a Tuesday, September 28 home match against top conference seed Catholic Central, then hosted Forest Hills Eastern on Wednesday September 29, where parents and Lady Red Hawk seniors were recognized and honored.  The Varsity team then hosts a triangular on Saturday, October 2, with Kelloggsville and South Christian. Play begins at 9 a.m.  

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Women’s adult tackle football team recruiting new players

Open tryouts scheduled for October

Grand Rapids, MI, September 22, 2021 –The Grand Rapids Tidal Waves Women’s Tackle Football Team (The Tidal Waves) is seeking new players for their 2022 season. There is no cost to attend mini-camps or tryouts and no prior experience is required. Mini-camps have been scheduled for October 2 from 10:30 a.m to 12:30 p.m. and October 10 from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. at Douglas Walker Park (1195 84th Street SW, Bryon Center, MI 49315). Participants will run through passing, catching, running back and lineman drills as well as agility drills. Anyone who has ever wanted to learn more about football and has a desire to join the Tidal Waves are encouraged to attend the free mini-camps.  

Open tryouts are scheduled for October 16; visit the Tidal Waves website for more information. All positions are available and open to any female athlete that will be at least 18 years old by April 2022. Football is a unique sport in that it requires all body shapes and sizes for a team to be successful. “Life is short and full of regrets” says head coach Stacey Davis. “All we ask is you demonstrate your skills to us. We will help you find the right spot for the team, so you don’t need to feel intimidated by ‘trying out’. Don’t look back on your life and wonder what could have been.”

The Tidal Waves are requesting interested athletes pre-register for the free mini-camps and tryouts through the registration link on their website at www.tidalwavesfootball.com/how-to-join or by emailing the team at tidalwavesfootball@gmail.com. 

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