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WMP wrestlers earn All American status at Nationals

Two West Michigan Pursuit wrestlers became NUWAY National Champions last weekend. Courtesy photo.

By Barbra Chong

West Michigan Pursuit traveled to Lansing for the 2018 NUWAY Nationals. WMP entered 12 grapplers to compete and 8 earned All American Status.

Tatianna Castillo entered the All Girls event in the 9U, 52 lb wt class. Castillo battled her way into the Championship but came up short taking the runner up spot. She ended her season with a 37-22 record.

65 lb Hunter Eeck, D3 division finished 8th. Eck finished his season with a record of 30-24. 

59 lb Kellen Weckesser, D3 division finished 6th. Weckesser finished his season with a 38-21 record. 

58 lb Tanner Cowles, D2 division finished 4th. Cowles finished his season with a 40-15 record. 

86 lb Blake Peasley, D3 division and 66 lb Josh Vasquez, D4 division both finished 3rd. Peasley finished his season with a 53-8 record and Vasquez ended his season with a 50-10 record. 

2018 NUWAY National Champions are 65 lb Quinten Cassiday, D3 division and 64 lb Drew Moro, D2 division. Cassiday finished his season with a 57-11 record and Moro ended his season with a 62-5 record. 

“From the beginning of season, my expectations were set high,” said head coach Dave Andrus. “I was very pleased they were met and some were exceeded. I’m so very proud of all my kids. It’s the greatest feeling as a coach to have your athletes jump into your arms after they accomplish what they work so hard for.” 

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JV baseball takes win over Newaygo

Freshman Trenton Snoeyink earned the save for the JV Red Hawks baseball team over Newaygo.

The JV baseball team improved to 3-1 with a nail-biting victory over Newaygo on Wednesday, March 28.  

Once again sophomore Caden Vandenberg led the team in hitting with two singles and three RBI.  Trenton Snoeyink, Dylan Greenland, Jeremy Campione, Willy Zain and Connor Ellison each added a hit as well.  

The Red Hawks were tied 3-3 going into the 5th inning. After an Ellison single to start the inning, Clyde Dykhouse hit a rocket at the third baseman, causing him to misplay the play, leaving runners at first and third. The Hawks proceeded to score 4 runs with timely hits by Greenland and Vandenberg to take a 7-3 lead.  

In the sixth, Newaygo managed to put together a collection of hits. Those, accompanied by a pair of Red Hawk errors, got them to within 7-6.  

In the seventh inning, freshman lefty Trenton Snoeyink went out to the mound to try closing the game out. He walked the first hitter, then proceeded to catch him stealing second with a well-timed pick off move. Trenton then struck out the final two hitters to end the game and earn the save.  

The JV will play next after spring break at home on Wednesday, April 11 against Forest Hills Northern and will play Northern again on the 13th on the road.

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The truth about sports scholarships  


By Bob Gardner, Executive Director, National Federation of State High School Associations  

Many parents are trying to live the dream through their sons and daughters—the dream of landing a college athletic scholarship by specializing in a sport year-round. Unfortunately, most of these dreams are never realized.  

The odds of a sports scholarship paying for even a portion of a student’s college education are miniscule.  The College Board, a not-for-profit organization comprised of 6,000 of the world’s leading educational institutions, reports that a moderate cost for college students who attend a public university in their state of residence is $25,290 per year. The annual cost at a private college averages $50,900.  Meanwhile, the most recent data from the NCAA reveals that the average Division I athletic scholarship is worth only $10,400.  

More significantly, the same study shows that fewer than two percent of all high school athletes (1 in 54) ever wear the uniform of an NCAA Division I school.  Even if the dream is realized, parents likely will spend more money for club sports than they ever regain through college athletic scholarships. 

Thanks to the costs of club fees, equipment, summer camps, playing in out-of-state tournaments and private coaching, youth sports has become a $15 billion-per-year industry.  There is an option, and it’s a financially viable one: Encourage your sons and daughters to play sports at their high school. 

In education-based high school sports, student-athletes are taught, as the term implies, that grades come first. The real-life lessons that students experientially learn offer insights into leadership, overcoming adversity and mutual respect that cannot be learned anywhere else. Unlike club sports, coaches in an education-based school setting are held accountable by the guiding principles and goals of their school district. And the cost of participating in high school sports is minimal in most cases.  

While there is a belief that the only way to get noticed by college coaches is to play on non-school travel teams year-round, many Division I football and basketball coaches recently have stated that they are committed to recruiting students who have played multiple sports within the high school setting. In addition, by focusing on academics while playing sports within the school setting, students can earn scholarships for academics and other talents—skill sets oftentimes nurtured while participating in high school activities. 

These scholarships are more accessible and worth more money than athletic scholarships.  While $3 billion per year is available for athletic scholarships, more than $11 billion is awarded for academic scholarships and other financial assistance.  Without a doubt, your sons and daughters will have more fun, make more friends and be better prepared for life beyond sport by participating in multiple sports and activities offered by the high school in your community

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JV Baseball opens season with wins

Sophomore pitchers Connor Ellison and Kyle Wise both pitched winning games for the JV Red Hawks last week.

Under new coaches Justin Glyshaw and Matt Greenland, the Cedar Springs Boys JV baseball team is off to a 2-1 start.  

They opened their season last Thursday, March 22, at home by taking two games from rival Tri County. Connor Ellison got the win in the first game. He pitched a complete game, striking out 5 and walking only 2. In the 12-5 victory, the Red Hawks were led at the plate by Jeremy Campioine, who had 2 hits and 3 RBI. The frigid temperatures led to several Tri County errors and our Hawks were able to play aggressively and get the win.

In game two, sophomore Kyle Wise took the mound in the 3-inning shortened game as the Red Hawks rolled to a 15-0 victory. Caden Markey-Vandenberg led the team with 2 hits, while Jeremy Campione, Dylan Knauf and Clyde Dykhouse each added a hit. The boys played with a great deal of energy, despite the weather.

On Friday, freshman Dylan Knauf got the start on the mound against Sparta.  They managed to score 6 runs in the first inning. The Red Hawks fought back, closing the gap, but were unable to overtake the Spartans, losing 8-4. Colton Moore saw some time on the mound, while leading the team with two hits. Trenton Snoeyink came in to close out the game, also adding two hits himself. Jerome Patin, Jeremy Campione, Caden Vandenberg, Willy Zain, Clyde Dykhouse and Dylan Greenland each had hits as well. Overall, the Red Hawks hit the ball well, but just weren’t able to bring base runners around to score.  

This week the JV home game against Forest Hills Eastern on Tuesday was cancelled, but they did play Newaygo at home on Wednesday. Watch for those results next week!

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WMP wrestlers earn all-state

By Barbra Chong

West Michigan Pursuit traveled to Kalamazoo for the 2018 State Finals this past weekend. WMP entered 25 grapplers to compete and 16 earned All State Recognition. We also had 2 enter the All Girls division, Tatianna Castillo and Hannah Pienton. 52 lb Castillo earned her first State Title in the 7/8 age group and 139 lb Pienton finished 6th in the high school division. 

With over 280 teams competing, WMP is currently ranked as follows: #16 for Most Pins/Least Time with 28 pins in 53.21; #53 for most Tech Falls/Least Time with 2 tech falls in 8.09; #18 for most Pins/Tech Falls/Least Time with 30 in 61.30; #14 for Most total match points with 482 points; and #34 for Winning Percentage—73 wins/34 Losses, 69 percent win ratio.

Individual results are as follows: 63 lb Hunter Eek and 55 lb Kaleb Pautke, 7/8 age group finished in 8th. Pautke has a season record of 43-10. 49 lb Blake Werkema, 7/8 age group finished in 7th. Werkema has a season record of 26-10. 75 lb Ian Cook and 59 lb Kellen Weckesser finished in 6th. Weckesser has a season record of 35-18. 70 lb Xavier Carpentier and 64 lb Aaiden Vasquez finished in 5th. Carpentier has a season record of 21-15 and Vasquez has a season record of 38-11. 63 lb Quinten Cassiday, 138 lb Aaron Smith and 65 lb Josh Vasquez finished 3rd. Cassiday has a season record of 52-11 and Vasquez has a season record of 48-9. 67 lb Luke Egan and 75 lb Tyler Parmeter are both a State Runner Up. Egan has a season record of 50-14 and Parmeter has a season record of 33-25. 2018 State Champions are 43 lb Brody Compau, 75 lb Ayden McClurken, 64 lb Drew Moro and 85 lb Blake Peasley. Compau has a season record of 28-11, McClurken has a season record of 41-1, Moro has a season record of 59-5 and Peasley has a season record of 50-8. 

WMP also recognizes Drew Moro and Blake Peasley on earning their 3rd State Title. MYWAY also recognized and awarded Quinten Cassiday, Luke Egan, Ayden McClurken and Blake Peasley a gift for placing in the top four at all of the Greights tournaments for their dedication to the sport. 

“A wrestling season is built on preparation, determination and heart. It is difficult to achieve personal success without the support of each wrestler’s family. Every wrestling family knows you give it your all. A season is not defined on wins and losses but rather watching your athletes move in a positive direction. For a coach, it is the greatest joy to have an athlete run off the mat and into your arms after achieving their goal,” said Head Coach Dave Andrus.

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Youth wrestlers shine at state

By Jacquie Troupe

Last weekend 309 teams and 3,335 wrestlers from every region in the state competed for the top placings at the 2018 MYWAY State Championship, March 23-25, at Wings Event Center in Kalamazoo. Cedar Springs Youth Wrestlers took 26 competitors. 

“We were very pleased with all of the kids that went to Kalamazoo this weekend, said Coach Scott Marsman. “They wrestled some of their best matches of the year over the past three days. We’re all so very proud of them. They certainly finished the year on a positive note and are already looking forward to picking up right where they left off next year.” 

The team had 27 pins in 50:58 (19th over all), 347 Team Match Points (34th) and went 58-52 for the weekend (181st). 

Nolan Averill had the fastest pin for the team and tied for 9th over all with :09! He had 2 pins in :31 and scored 23 TMP. Gavyn Byxbe had 2 pins in 1:56. Tucker Crystal had 1 pin in :54. Jaxon Fitzgerald had 1 pin in 1:52. Kaiden Dreyer had 1 pin in 3:57. Dakota Winchel had 1 pin in 4:05. Logan Troupe had 1 pin in 4:18 and scored 28 TMP.

In the 2011-13 67lb bracket, Ben Streeter placed 2nd after four matches. He had 2 pins in 2:11 and scored 11 TMP.

In the 2009-10 77lb class, Jon Libera placed 5th after eight matches. He had 1 pin in :37 and he scored 31 TMP.

In the 2008 71lb class, Blake Falan placed 8th after five matches and he scored 30 TMP. 

In the 2007 90lb class, Hudson Crystal placed 3rd after eight matches. He had 5 pins in 8:34 (10th), his fastest pin was in :14 (tied for 52nd) and he scored 36 TMP.

In the 2006 183lb class, Wyatt Cooper placed 2nd after four matches. He had 1 pin in 2:03 and scored 15 TMP.

In the 2004 114lb class, Carter Falan placed 8th after five matches. He had 2 pins in 3:33 and scored 13 TMP. In the 170lb bracket, Maston Wood placed 5th after five matches. He had 3 pins in 5:57 and scored 18 TMP.

In the 2011-13 Girls 49lb class, Taylor Crystal placed 6th after 5 matches, had 1 pin in 2:33 and scored 9 TMP. 

In the 2009-10 Girls 58lb class, Caleigh Wood placed 4th after five matches. She had 3 pins in 7:57 and scored 27 TMP. 

Look for Cedar Springs Youth Wrestling Club on Facebook!

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State bowling results

Josh Hamilton and Omani Morales after regionals.

The girls bowling team wrapped up a great season at state on Friday, March 2, where they placed 17th out of 18 teams. They had placed second at regionals, and won their conference. 

The Red Hawks also sent two individual bowlers to state. Sophomore Omani Morales, the top girls bowler in the region, was eliminated in the first round of individual competition, as was senior Josh Hamilton, who had finished fourth at regionals.

 Congratulations to you all on a great season!

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Successful Season for Charger Basketball Teams

The boys basketball team pose with their first place post-season tournament trophy.

Seniors line up on the court with their parents to commemorate their final year in sports.

The CTA Charger boys ended the basketball season with a record of 15-4. After a rough 2-3 start in 2017, the Chargers went on an impressive 12-game win streak to start off the 2018 part of the season. After suffering a tough loss in the final regular season game, the Chargers bounced back to win their first post-season tournament in school history with a combined score of 142-45 in two games.

In addition to one of the best seasons the team has ever had, numerous records were broken for scoring, rebounding, assists, steals, and blocks for both individual seasons and for players’ careers. Some of the records that were set include: Career Scoring, Single Season Assists, and Single Season Steals by Dawson Armstrong; Single Season and Single Game Scoring by James Hofstra; Single Season Rebounds by Collin Bishop; and Single Season Blocks by Charles Wortz.

The Lady Chargers wrapped up a great season and ended on two back-to-back wins. Their overall record was 5-11. However, the true victories for the team came from their progress as a team and the sportsmanship they exhibited. High school sports have so much to teach about life, and this team came together and learned lessons that many teams never learn about: attitude, teamwork, work ethic, and sportsmanship. Our team was led by senior captain Autumn Watson and junior captain Brin Calkins. The team will lose two seniors as well as two first year, foreign exchange students. All four will be greatly missed, but the rest of the team is excited to continue their growth next season. High scorers for the season were sophomores Faith Watson and Hannah Hofstra and junior Brin Calkins. Great defensive efforts were shown by senior Autumn Watson and 8th grader Molly Wortz. In the words of our team: “T.E.A.M., together everyone achieves more!” Great job, Lady Chargers!

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WMP wrestlers to advance to state

WMP qualifiers for the state finals. Photo by B. Chong.

By Barbra Chong

West Michigan Pursuit entered 21 grapplers to wrestle at regionals last weekend, and 20 are advancing to the state finals in two weeks. Of the 20 qualifiers, 13 are Regional Champions. As a team, they are currently ranked as follows: 

#5 for Most Pins/Least Time with 27 pins in 42.11. 

#1 for most Tech Falls/Least Time with 8 tech falls in 22.16. 

#3 for most Pins/Tech Falls/Least Time with 35 in 64.27. 

#4 for Most total match points 413 points and #1 for Winning Percentage 58 wins/11 Losses 82% win ratio. 

Individual placements are as follows: 52 lb Tatianna Castillo, 7/8 age group finished 5th Place. 95 lb Blake Hammer, 2004 age group; 100 lb Isa Starr, 2007 age group and 67 lb Kamden Witte, 2007 age group finished 3rdPlace. 55 lb Kaleb Pautke,7/8 age group; 58 lb Aaiden Vasquez, 7/8 age group and 59 lb Kellen Weckesser, 2008 age group finished 2nd Place. 

2018 Regional Champions are 67 lb Evan Andrews,2008 age group; 70 lb Xavier Carpentier, 2005 age group; 63 lb Quinten Cassiday, 2008 age group; 75 lb Harper Cheng, 2007 age group; 43 lb Brody Compau, 7/8 age group; 67 lb Luke Egan, 2007 age group; 64 lb Drew Moro, 7/8 age group; 75 lb Tyler Parmeter, 2008 age group; 85 Blake Peasley, 2007 age group; 138 lb Aaron Smith, HS; 80 lb Isaiah Sostenes, 2007 age group; 65 lb Josh Vasquez, 2006 age group and 49 lb Blake Werkema, 7/8 age group. 

We also want to recognize some grapplers who have practiced with us full time all season but do not currently wrestle under WMP: 

63 lb Hunter Eek, 2008 age group finished 3rd Place; and 80 lb Alex Buskirk, 2007 age group finished 2nd Place. 

2018 Regional Champions are 55 lb Tanner Cowles, 7/8 age group; 75 lb Ian Cook, 2006 age group and 75 lb Ayden McClurken, 2007 age group. 

WMP also recognizes the hard work of the following grapplers: Quinten Cassiday and Brody Compau, who earned their back to back Regional Championships; Tyler Parmeter, Josh Vasquez and Blake Werkema earned their 3rd consecutive Regional Championship; Ayden McClurken, Drew Moro and Blake Peasley earned their 4th consecutive Regional Championship; and Luke Egan earned his 5th consecutive Regional Championship. 

“These kids continue to exceed my expectations week after week,” said head coach Dave Andrus. “They have diligently pushed themselves and each other to get where they are right now. Going into the State Finals in a few weeks, I have the highest of confidence on their performance. A very special thank you to Bill, Aaron and all of my supportive parents. We are not coaching an elite group of All Stars. We are showing them the path it takes to realize their hard work come to fruition to be recognized as an All Star. This is what I strive for.” 

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Cedar Springs Youth Wrestlers head to state

Cedar Springs Youth Wrestlers after a successful regionals. Photo by J. Troupe.

By Jacquie Troupe

Thirty-eight Cedar Springs Youth Wrestlers competed at the Myway West Regionals March 10-11 for the top four spots in each division to continue on to the State competition on March 23-25. 

The team placed 2nd in pins with 38 in 59:49; 3rd in techs with 4 in 14:23; and 1st in Team Points with 586. The kids went 85-61 for the weekend. 

According to Coach Scott Marsman, they are so proud of themselves and of their hard work and dedication. They are anxious for the State competition and are looking forward to the fun times with their teammates. 

In the 2011-13 division 43lb class, Sierra Streeter scored 27 TMP (tied for 70th), placed 4th. Brycen Alber placed 5th. In the 52lb class Nolan Averill had 2 pins in 2:30 (73rd), 38 TMP (tied for 24th) and placed 2nd. In the 55lb class Dillon VanDyke had 2 pins in 1:20 (43rd), his fastest pin was :36 (tied for 70th) and he placed 3rd. The Champion in the 64lb class was Jaxon Fitzgerald. He had 2 pins in 2:11 (62nd), his fastest pin was :11 (4th). The Champion in the 67lb class was Ben Streeter. His fastest pin was 1:58.

In the 2009-10 divisions, Tucker Dines scored 55 TMP (most on the team and tied for 3rd) and placed 6th in the 52lb class. Caleigh Wood had 2 pins in 3:32 (94th) and placed 5th in the 55lb class. Tucker Crystal had a pin in 1:17 and placed 3rd in the 58lb class. The Champion in the 67lb class was Chasyn Winchel. His fastest pin was :27 (tied for 40th). Alex Hanes placed 3rd in the 72lb class. The Champion in the 77lb class was Jon Libera.  He had 2 pins in 2:28 (tied for 72nd). Zach Vu placed 5th in the 97lb class. 

In the 2008 division Deegan Pike placed 5th in the 63lb class. Austin Averill placed 6th in the 67lb class. Spencer Schoenborn placed 4th in the 67lb class. The Champion in the 71lb class was Blake Falan. He had 3 pins in 4:31 (15th), his fastest pin was :25 (tied for 28th).

Olivia Lawson placed 3rd in the 85lb class. 

In the 2007 divisions Trenton Perez placed 3rd in the 59lb class. Brandson Wood placed 3rd in the 63lb class. Kaiden Dreyer had one Tech in 2:20(12th), scored 53 TMP (7th) and placed 3rd in the  80lb class. Rory Shoenborn had two Techs in 8:13 (7th), 48 TMP (9th) and placed 5th in the 80lb class. Gavyn Byxbe placed 3rd in the 85lb class. Hudson Crystal had 2 pins in 2:24 (68th) and he placed 2nd in the 90lb class. Dakota Winchel placed 2nd in the 130lb class. 

In the 2006 division Wyatt Cooper placed 2nd in the 183lb class.

In the 2005 division  Gabe Gair had two pins in 2:00(57th), 1 Tech in 3:50 (49th) and placed 5th in the 105lb class. 

In the 2004 divisions the Champion in the 114lb class was Carter Falan. He had two pins in 2:28. Logan Troupe had a pin in 2:11and placed 4th in the 122lb class. Ben Brunner had a pin in 1:22and placed 3rd in the 122lb class. The Champion in the 170lb class was Maston Wood. He had a pin in 4:04.

In the 2003 division Ashly Erxleben placed 6th.

In the 2002-03 HS division Andrew VanGessel had a pin in 2:29and placed 5th in the 115lb class.

In the 1999-2001 division David Erxleben placed 5th in the 133lb class.

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