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Red Hawks clinch sole possession of OK Bronze title

Zach Wamser dives for extra yardage.

Zach Wamser dives for extra yardage.

 

On Friday, October 24, the Cedar Springs Red Hawks went to battle on their home turf, against the Forest Hills Eastern Hawks. This game for the Red Hawks was a chance to take sole possession of the 2014 OK Bronze Conference title.

In the first quarter, Red Hawk quarterback, Colin Alvesteffer found the end zone twice for the home team. One run was from 69 yards out and one from the three-yard line. The Forest Hills Eastern Hawks were able to answer once during the quarter, with a sixty yard pass play to put them on the score board, with an extra point being added by their kicker. This left the Red Hawks up 12 to 7 going into the second quarter.

The first half ended with the Red Hawks leading 18 to 7, after a 15-yard run by MavRick Cotton.

Kaden Myers knocks down a pass.

Kaden Myers knocks down a pass.

This game proved to be another pairing of opposite football philosophies, with the Red Hawk offense pounding the ground for 444 yards, averaging almost eight yards per carry, and the Forest Hills Eastern Hawks passing for 260 yards and running for nearly 100 yards. Their passing attack tested the Red Hawks’ secondary, but the defense held up by getting pressure on the quarterback and making plays in the secondary when it mattered most.

In the second half, the fog rolled in and things got spooky for the FHE Hawks as MavRick Cotton scored on a 20-yard run and Zach Wamser added two more touch downs, one from three yards out and the second from 71 yards. The final score was, Red Hawks 38 and the Eastern Hawks 14.

While this season marks the fifth time that the Red Hawks have made it to the playoffs since 2000, this is the first time since 1978 that the Red Hawks have earned a conference title. That year they shared it with Sparta, in the Tri River Conference.

This Friday, October 31, the Red Hawks will play at home against Forest Hills Northern to begin their playoff run in the Division 3 pre-district game. Tickets go on sale this Wednesday at noon and can be purchased in the High School Main office. Tickets are $5. No passes will be allowed at this game. Please come out and cheer on your Conference Champs!

 

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Girls Cross Country takes first at regionals

2014 Cross Country Regional Champions. L to R: Kenzie Weiler, Myla Umphrey, Tara Tepin, Ellie Ovokaitys, Shayne Mann, Hannah Heintzelman and Allyson Marvel. Coached by Marie Covey.

2014 Cross Country Regional Champions. L to R: Kenzie Weiler, Myla Umphrey, Tara Tepin, Ellie Ovokaitys, Shayne Mann, Hannah Heintzelman and Allyson Marvel. Coached by Marie Covey.

The Red Hawk runners decided to follow the local gridiron heroes by extending their season. The boys and girls teams competed in the regional cross country meet in Traverse City last weekend.

The Cedar Springs Girls Cross Country Team placed first at regionals and will compete at the state finals November 1. Senior Kenzie Weiler led the pack of 100 girl competitors racing on the course at Grand Traverse Resort, with a finishing time of 18 minutes 15 seconds, 53 seconds ahead of the second place finisher. Kenzie has held the title of Regional Champion all four years of high school. Senior Shayne Mann and junior Ellie Ovokaitys ran their personal best records finishing 8th and 9th with times of 19:46 and 19:50, respectfully. Teammates Hannah Heintzelman (sophomore) finished 22nd in 21:00, Tara Tepin (sophomore) 34th in 21:27, Allyson Marvel (junior) 56th in 22:44 and Myla Umphrey (freshman) 66th in 23:12.

Coach Covey said they were seeded to place third in the meet behind Whitehall and Sparta, but with the performance her team ran on Saturday they were able to take home the trophy by overcoming second place Whitehall by 8 points, 74-82. Gaylord is the third place team that will also be traveling to the State Finals.

“I am so excited to have this team win a big meet. We were very close to winning the conference title but we fell short of Forest Hills Northern at every conference meet. These girls deserved it!” Covey exclaimed. This is Covey’s first regional championship.

The boy’s team placed fifth and did not qualify for the state meet. However, senior Austin Sargent won the boys race and will represent Cedar this weekend at Michigan International Speedway in Brooklyn.

 

 

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Be the referee

 

By Mark Uyl, Asst. Director, MHSAA

 

Be the Referee is a weekly message from the Michigan High School Athletics Association that is designed to help educate people on the rules in different sports, to help them better understand the art of officiating, and to recruit officials.

Uncatchable Pass 

Today we’re going to talk about one of the most misunderstood rules at the high school level, and that deals with the uncatchable pass.

All of us have sat in front of our televisions on Saturday or Sunday and seen the long pass get thrown, followed immediately by the throwing of the flag. As the officials discuss what happened, the referee invariably clicks on the microphone and announces that there is no foul for pass interference because the pass was uncatchable.

At the high school level, that is not a factor in deciding whether or not pass interference has occurred. The ball does not have to be catchable, and if the contact is ruled as pass interference, that foul stands, regardless of the quality of the pass.

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Red Hawks improve to 7 and 1 with a win over Greenville

 

The stingy Red Hawk defense kept the Greenville offense at bay last Friday night. Photo by K. Alvesteffer.

The stingy Red Hawk defense kept the Greenville offense at bay last Friday night. Photo by K. Alvesteffer.

The varsity football team wins 48-16

 

On Friday, October 17, the rain began as the national anthem was sung and just after the Cedar Springs Red Hawks honored so many brave people that have been affected by cancer in the third annual Hawks against Cancer pink game.

Greenville kicked off in the steady rain to start the first quarter, which ended with the Red Hawks leading 14 to 0. Collin Alvesteffer ran the ball for one touchdown and passed 34 yards to Kaden Myers for the second score. Zach Wamser added the two-point conversion on the second touchdown.

Red Hawks celebrate in the endzone after a touchdown by MavRick Cotten.

Red Hawks celebrate in the endzone after a touchdown by MavRick Cotten.

In the second quarter, the Red Hawks continued to pound on the Yellow Jacket defense by adding another touchdown to the first half tally, when Red Hawk fullback MavRick Cotton busted through the middle of the Greenville defense and scored on an 18-yard run. The Red Hawks did not capitalize on the two-point conversion, which left the score at 20 to 0, going into a rainy and windy half time.

After an excellent performance by the Red Hawk Marching Band, the third quarter began the way the second quarter ended, with MavRick Cotten breaking through the heart of the Yellow Jacket defense to score a 34-yard touchdown. The beginning of the end came when the Greenville offense fumbled the ball at midfield and Red Hawk Kaden Myers recovered the ball and ran it 52 yards for the score!

The Yellow Jackets continued to challenge the stingy, run-stopping and quarterback-sacking Red Hawk defense, with a score in the third quarter and one in the fourth, but the Red Hawks answered both times. Zach Wamser scored on a 41-yard dash with 48 seconds left in the third quarter, and Collin Alvesteffer answered again in the middle of the fourth.

In the end, it was second year head Coach Gus Kapolka’s Red Hawks that prevailed, 48-16.

This Friday, October 25, the Red Hawks will finish the regular season with a homecoming match up against conference foe Forest Hills Eastern, at 7 p.m. in Red Hawk Stadium. Get your Red Flannel on, load up the car and come out to support your 7 and 1 Red Hawks! Don’t forget the cowbell.

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Dan George inducted into GBC athletic hall of fame

Dan George was inducted into the Grace Bible College athletic hall of fame last weekend. Courtesy photo.

Dan George was inducted into the Grace Bible College athletic hall of fame last weekend. Courtesy photo.

Grace Bible College announces the selection of Dan George, Associate Head Coach for Men’s Basketball, to the Grace Bible College Athletic Hall of Fame. Induction ceremonies took place on Saturday, October 18, in the Aldrich Center on campus.

“I am humbled and extremely appreciative of this honor,” said Coach George.

George, a Cedar Springs resident, begins his 10th season with the Tigers in 2014-15. Coach George has a unique connection to the program as he was head coach at Jordan College, and recruited, signed, and coached the Tigers’ Head Coach Gary Bailey in 1978-82. The two have remained friends over the years and Bailey knew who to turn to for assistance, when he took over the helm of the Tigers in 2005. In the nine years the two have been together at Grace, the Tigers have won seven regional championships and five national championships.

“When Gary took the head coaching position at Grace in 2005, I was flattered that he asked me to come help him,” said Coach George. “I said, ‘OK, I’ll do it for a year.’ And then we won a regional and national championship that first year, and I was hooked on working with this team and being a part of the Grace atmosphere. I told Coach Bailey I would stay as long as he wanted me.”

Coach George has served in several capacities over the last nine years. He assisted Coach Bailey with game management and he has always had a passion for teaching and developing defensive skills. He has also teamed with supporting Coach Kent Karnemaat in the team’s “Champions to the Core” initiative. He will continue to assist in all those areas but his focus this year is to pursue a long time passion and team need to develop and implement a new program for game preparation and analysis.

“Dan brings strong leadership skills and great basketball knowledge to our program,” said Coach Bailey, “but it is his passion for assisting young men in the development of character and life skills that we value most.”

Dan played high school ball at Walton Central School (class of 1970) in Walton, New York and college basketball at Hartwick College, Oneonta, New York. He served as athletic director and head basketball coach at Jordan College where his teams were nationally ranked. An avid sportsman and conservationist, Dan enjoys hunting, fishing, and camping and he owns an outdoor adventure consulting/booking business, Quest Expeditions, offering worldwide hunting and fishing adventures. Dan received a B.A. in History from Hartwick College in 1974 and a M.A. in Education from Michigan State University in 1980. He currently serves as the Superintendent/School Leader at Creative Technologies Academy in Cedar Springs, where he lives with his wife, Debi, and son, Hunter, a senior at Creative Technologies Academy. Daughter Dani, is in her freshman year at Indiana Wesleyan University.

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Charger Cross Country team goes to state 

*S-Cross Country CTA Les Miner State ChampionIt may have been a cold, damp Saturday morning, but it did not slow down the Chargers of Creative Technologies Academy at their Cross Country Class D State Championship meet. Head Coach Gerry Verwey challenged every one of his runners to set a new lifetime personal record during the race, and many of them did just that.

The boys’ team finished in an overall place of 14th out of 34 teams, which was quite an accomplishment. They were once again led by freshman Les Miner (17:10), who received all state honors. Not far behind was Sophomore Ethan Lehman, who finished with a lifetime PR of 18:31. Freshman James Hofstra (19:40) finished third for the Chargers, while Sophomore Logan Colter (20:24) and Freshman Dawson Armstrong (lifetime PR 21:28) rounded out the top five.

While the girls team did not have enough participants required to be scored in the team results, two Charger ladies still had great meets. Senior Olivia Wortz finished with a lifetime PR of 27:56, and Junior Kaleigh Keech continued her impressive improvement by posting a time of 36:22.

The Chargers have one week left of practice, followed by the Michigan Independent High School Championships next Saturday in Allendale. It is the final race of the season, and the Chargers will look to close out the season strong.

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Tennis ends with conference tournament and regionals

The Cedar Springs varsity boy’s tennis team completed their season the week of October 5th with an OK Bronze conference tournament at Forest Hills Northern and a Division 3 Regional tournament at Gainey Athletic Complex. The OK Bronze tournament was successfully completed on Tuesday evening, October 7th after several postponements and delays due to the weather. When all the matches were complete, the Cedar Springs Red Hawks ended up with a 4th place finish. The Red Hawk players awarded at the end of the tournament were Drew French, who took a second place finish in #3 singles, and Blake Fisk was named all conference for being #1 singles on the Cedar Springs team.

On Thursday, October 9, the team headed to their Regional tournament at Gainey Athletic Complex. The Red Hawks boys did their best to stay alive in the tough single elimination tournament. #2 singles Nick Fennessey, the only senior on the team, was the last to be eliminated in the tournament, which seemed very fitting, since it would be his last tennis match as a Red Hawk.

The Red Hawks finished their season with 8 wins and 6 losses.

Coach Katie Unsworth remarked, “2014 was a fantastic year for our team and I only see us becoming stronger and even more competitive! We are a young team and I am very excited about the next few years!

 

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Playoff bound!

Red Hawk quarterback Collin Alvesteffer dives into the endzone with the game-winning touchdown. Photo by K. Alvesteffer.

Red Hawk quarterback Collin Alvesteffer dives into the endzone with the game-winning touchdown. Photo by K. Alvesteffer.

 

Red Hawk MavRick Cotten brings down the ball carrier. Photo by K. Alvesteffer.

Red Hawk MavRick Cotten brings down the ball carrier. Photo by K. Alvesteffer.

The Cedar Springs Red Hawks varsity football team pulled off a double coup Friday night, October 10, when they not only clinched a playoff berth with their sixth win, but also took over sole possession of first place in the OK Bronze.

The Cedar Springs Red Hawks brought a fearless work ethic to their match up with the Huskies of Forest Hills Northern. This game was anticipated to be an offensive brawl, with both teams averaging 40-plus points a game for the season. But things turned out to be completely different when both teams’ defenses showed up to spoil the offensive festivities.

The game began with a scoreless first quarter and an indication of how the entire game would play out. Both teams exposed their true identities, with the Huskies showing their spread offense air attack, and the Red Hawks bringing their red flannel, relentless, full house wing T.

By the end of the first half, the Red Hawks’ team determination established an 8-point lead that the Huskies players had to sit on through the course of their extended homecoming halftime show that was filled with corvettes and BMWs.

Lane Gott on the tackle for the Red Hawks. Photo by K. Alvesteffer.

Lane Gott on the tackle for the Red Hawks. Photo by K. Alvesteffer.

To start the second half, the Huskies tied the game up through the air at the end of the third quarter leaving the score at 8 to 8 going into the fourth. This had every fan in the stadium, including our infamous 12th man—the camo-clad, Cedar Springs student section—on the edge of their seats and screaming for a win.

In the end, it came down to a fourth and inches play, after the Husky defense stopped the Red Hawks on the goal line on second and third down. Red Hawk quarterback Collin Alvesteffer beat the Huskies’ defense to the end zone pylon to make the score 14 to 8, with just a few minutes to go in the game.

The Huskies then pulled out all the stops through the air and on the ground, in an attempt to keep their grip on the OK Bronze Conference title. Then came the final play for the Huskies, when the pass by Forest Hills Northern quarterback, Jake Martin, found the hands of Red Hawk defender, Collin Alvesteffer, which sealed the game for the Red Hawks!

Please join us for our 3rd Annual Pink game this Friday, October 17, when the Red Hawks face the Greenville Yellow Jackets at Red Hawk stadium at 7:00 p.m. Please come out and support your Red Hawks!

 

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Be the referee

 

By Mark Uyl, Asst. Director, MHSAA

 

Automatic first downs 

 

Today we are going to talk about one of the biggest rule difference areas in high school football, from those rules used in college and pro games, and that deals with automatic first downs.

When watching that college game on Saturday or the pro game on Sunday, all of us know there are several defensive fouls that give the offense an automatic first down. However, under high school rules, the opposite is true most of the time.

The only high school fouls that result in an automatic first down for the offense are the roughing fouls—roughing the passer, the kicker, the holder and the long snapper. Fouls such as defensive pass interference or any other personal foul do not bring an automatic first down under high school rules.

Be the Referee is a weekly message from the Michigan High School Athletics Association that is designed to help educate people on the rules in different sports, to help them better understand the art of officiating, and to recruit officials.

 

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Red Hawks triumph over Wolves 

S-Football-vs-Wyoming-web

Improve record to 5 and 1

On Friday, October 3, many faithful Red Hawk fans made the trip to cheer on the hometown team when the Red Hawks traveled to Wyoming to meet the Wolves for a first time conference meeting. The Red Hawks proved to be too much for Wyoming by putting up 60 points to the Wolves 28, which put a damper on Wyoming’s homecoming celebration.

Cloudy skies, steady rain and gusting west winds made their presence known as the Red Hawks began their ground assault on the unwilling Wolves defense. But in the end, Wyoming had no answers for Cedar’s offensive grind, which gained 478 yards on the ground and led to six Red Hawks—Kaden Myers, MavRick Cotton, Zach Wamser, Collin Alvesteffer, Anthony Topolski  and Taylor Van Dyke—all finding the end zone throughout the four quarters of the game.

Wyoming quarterback Brendan Berg was 10 for 16 on pass attempts, for a total of 157 yards through the air. The Wolves answered back three times, with scores from the passing attack, and a total offensive effort of 160 yards, which was not enough as the Red Hawk’s defense held steady through the night.

The Red Hawk defense was led in tackles by Cameron Umphrey with six, Anthony Topolski with five tackles, along with Damarcus Barnett, MavRick Cotton, Collin Alvesteffer, Nate Sorensen, Caden Burrows and Lane Gott all adding four take downs for the Red Hawks.

Next week the Red Hawks will journey back to Forest Hills Northern for a 7:00 p.m. contest with the Forest Hills Northern Huskies. This will be a showdown of the top two teams in the OK Bronze Conference. Please come out and make some noise for your Red Hawk Football team!

 

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