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Marching band completes band camp

The Cedar Springs High School Marching band recently attended band camp where they worked on their 2018 show entitled “We the people.” At the end of the week, they did performed for the community to showcase what they had learned.

The band is grateful to the Cedar Springs Fire Department for hosing them off after a hot day, and appreciates the community for their support!

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Fall sports begin, rule changes


This fall, two football game dates again precede Labor Day, and a number of MHSAA schools will play their first varsity games Thursday, Aug. 23. Cedar Springs will travel to Saginaw Swan Valley on Thursday, August 23, for their first game of the season. Swan Valley went 12-2 last year, but was beat in the state finals by West Catholic. Cedar Springs will play their second game at home on Thursday, August 30 against Caledonia.

For fall sports, perhaps the most discussed change will concern MHSAA Tournament classification in volleyball. For the first time, volleyball teams are classified in four equal divisions instead of the traditional Class A-B-C-D. Class will no longer be used to organize the postseason for any sport, including girls and boys basketball in the winter. All other sports previously had switched from classes to divisions.

While most fall sports face at least minor rules changes this season, a few of the most noticeable adjustments in fall sports will come in football, volleyball, boys soccer and girls swimming & diving.

  • In an effort to improve football pace of play by reducing re-kicks after a free or scrimmage kick (generally kickoffs or punts, respectively), an option has been added allowing the receiving team to accept a penalty and tack on the awarded yardage to the spot where the kick or punt return ended. This option incentivizes the receiving team to forgo a re-kick, and joins three other options after a penalty on the kicking team. The receiving team also may continue to accept a penalty from the previous spot and have the kicking team re-kick; and on kickoffs that travel out of bounds, the receiving team may continue to accept the ball and begin possession 25 yards from where the kickoff occurred or decline the penalty and begin possession where the kick flew out of bounds.
  • Additionally for football, players who fail to properly wear required equipment or are missing required equipment during a down shall be replaced for one down rather than incur a yardage penalty. Previously, a penalty was assessed for delay of game in this scenario. If a player’s proper or legal equipment has become improperly worn through use and prompt repair is possible and does not cause a delay in game, that repair may be made without the player being replaced for the next down.
  • A change in volleyball will allow teams to substitute for an injured/ill player prior to a replay; previously a replay would take place with no changes on the floor after the point was originally contested.
  • Also in volleyball, with an eye on risk minimization, teams will be allowed to warm-up between sets only in their playing area and may not hit volleyballs over the net into the opponents’ playing area.
  • For soccer – both boys this fall and girls in the spring – teams may continue to play up to two multi-team events every season, but beginning this fall a multi-team event can include two full 80-minute games the same day and still be counted as only one of a team’s 18 regular-season contests. Teams also may continue to play multi-team events with 30-minute halves and no more than 180 minutes total in one day (for example, three games with 30-minute halves) and call it just one contest of the 18.
  • Another significant soccer change will switch the home team to wearing the dark uniform and the away team to wearing the white uniform. The change was made to allow home teams to wear their school colors – it does not require teams to purchase new uniforms, but only switches which team wears dark and which wears white.
  • Also for soccer, a change has been made to the penalty when a player is whistled for denying the other team an obvious goal-scoring opportunity. If a player, in the penalty area, commits an infraction while attempting to play the ball, and that infraction results in a penalty kick, that offending player will receive a yellow card – previously this would have been a red card. If the player is not attempting to play the ball when an infraction is called in the penalty area that results in a penalty kick, the offending player still will receive a red card along with the opposing team being awarded the penalty kick.

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Semi pro soccer team lands in Cedar Springs

L to R: Dominic Siclunia, Detroit Waza Flo; Joe Brefczynski, Great Lakes Wanderers co-owner; Pedro Sanchez, Great Lakes Wanderers co-owner; and Mario Siclunia, Detroit Waza Flo. Courtesy photo.

The Great Lakes Wanderers, a new semi pro arena soccer team in Cedar Springs held their final exhibition game, Saturday, June 30, at the Cedar Rock Sports Plex, where they faced off against the Lansing City Futsal, and came away with an 11-0 win.

According to co-owner and head coach Joe Brefczynski, the roster for the game was made up of players whom have tried out for the Wanderers and have been selected to participate in team camp. The current prospects include players from Cedar Springs, Rockford, Sparta, Grand Rapids, and Muskegon. Some players are international emigrants from Mexico, Liberia, Guatemala and Columbia. 

“Camp is scheduled in August with our final roster being released then,” he explained. The season will start in the fall. The team is part of the Premier World Soccer League (PASL) and will play in Division 3. 

Owners Brefczynski and Pedro Sanchez have placed an emphasis on developing local talent from our surrounding communities for the emerging sport of Arena Soccer. They plan to showcase their talent to Major Arena Soccer League teams  in the first and second division, hoping to see some of them take the step to full professional when they are ready. Currently there are is Division 2 teams in Muskegon and Detroit, and Division 1 teams as close as Milwaukee and St. Louis.

Helping Brefczynski with coaching duties are assistant coaches JR Burnett and Mike Booggart. 

The Great Lakes Wanderers won over the Lansing City Futsal 11-0. Courtesy photo.

Brefczynski and Burnett grew up together in Park Forest, Illinois, playing, coaching, and refereeing together. Brefczynski is a former professional arena player himself, winning an AISL national title with the Cincinnati Excite in 2005. Burnett coaches for Midwest United Full time. Booggart played on one of the original semi pro teams in Grand Rapids—The Explosion in the old USISL, and most recently led the Byron Center Boys HS varsity program.

Co-owner Pedro Sanchez grew up in Kent City and played locally. He has continued to stay involved coaching at various clubs in the area and most recently accepted the Head Coaching role at Algoma Christian for boys and girls.

The Wanderers hope to fill a sports entertainment void for soccer fans over the winter months and provide an option for families north of Grand Rapids. All home games will be played at the Cedar Rock Sportsplex in Cedar Springs. Every game will feature additional entertainment options for youth and adult as well as several opportunities for young athletes to interact directly with the semi professional player. 

Brefczynski said that the Great Lakes Wanderers are open to soccer players 16 years and older. “Since we are semi-pro, it doesn’t affect their eligibility to play in high school or college,” he explained. 

Anyone interested in trying out should email pedro@greatlakeswfc.com.

Follow their Facebook page for updates on the team at www.facebook.com/glwanderers/.

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Taylor receives athletic honors from MCC

Samantha Taylor, a 2016 graduate of Cedar Springs Public Schools,
received multiple athletic honors for her basketball career.

Samantha Taylor, a 2016 graduate of Cedar Springs Public Schools, completed her sophomore year at Muskegon Community College (MCC) recently and received multiple athletic honors for her outstanding two-year basketball career as a Jayhawk. 

Taylor, a 5’8 shooting guard and two-time team captain, averaged 6.8 points per game and 2.6 rebounds per game, earning her MCCAA Western Conference All Defensive Team and All-Western Conference Honorable Mention. The MCC Women’s basketball team’s historic season came to an abrupt end, losing a heart-breaker 66-57 in the NJCAA Regional Semifinal game held at St. Clair Community College located in Port Huron, MI. 

Taylor certainly left her mark at MCC, as she was a key part in the Jayhawks recording back-to-back 20-win seasons, the 2018 MCCAA Western Conference Championship and the MCCAA State Championship. Taylor capped off her basketball career being named the 2018 Muskegon Community College Female Athlete of the Year. 

“Sam was a great example of what being a student athlete at MCC is all about. She not only excelled on the basketball court but excelled in the classroom as well. She had a great work ethic and attitude and represented both the MCC Athletic Department and the Women’s Basketball program proudly,” said Jimmy Booth, Muskegon Community College Assistant Athletic Director. 

Taylor will finish her academic studies at Grand Valley State University pursuing a bachelor’s degree in the healthcare field.

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Raiders add Dallas Mora to Cross Country Team

Dallas Mora (L), a 2018 graduate of Cedar Springs High School, is pictured here with Matt Silicia, head coach of the GRCC Cross Country team. Courtesy photo.

The GRCC Men’s Cross Country team made a run into the post season and placed 24th overall as a team at the NJCAA Division I National Championship this past fall. As a team, the Raiders finished as one of the top MCCAA schools represented, just behind Macomb and Lansing at the National Championship.

The Raiders add Dallas Mora from Cedar Springs High School to the roster for 2018-19. Mora lettered in Cross Country, as well as Track & Field for the Red Hawks.

Mora was recognized for many team and individual awards during his senior season. He helped his team take home trophies from the Spartan Invitational, the Red Hawk Invitational, and the Kent/Ottawa County Championship, as well as a second place finish at the Carson City Invitational. Additionally, the Cedar Springs Men’s Cross Country team finished 10th overall at the State Championship.

Mora was named All-Conference, as well as second team All-Area during his senior season. He finished out his season with a time of 16:31, placing 43rd at the State Championship meet, while earning his best time and highest placing in three years of racing.

With Mora’s best times coming in during the end of his high school career, the Raiders are excited to have him join the team and help continue their success!

Reprinted with permission from Grand Rapids Community College.

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Red Hawk boys track competes at state

Four athletes from the Cedar Springs High School Boy’s Track Team qualified to participate in the MHSAA Division 2 State Track Meet in Zeeland on June 2, 2018. From left to right: Junior Anthony Brew finished 10th in pole Vault; Freshman Corey Bowers had an All-State finish with an 8th place in the 1600; Senior John Todd finished 13th in the 400 and 17th in the Long Jump; and Senior Brandon Sawade had an All-State 7th place finish in Pole Vault.  They are pictured with Head Coach Jeffrey Brazier. 

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Red Hawks JV baseball ends season

JV baseball team in the dugout at Forest Hills.

Due to weather delays and cancellations, the JV baseball team was only able to play Greenville twice last week, on Thursday, May 23, and then took on Forest Hills Central on Friday, May 24.

In game one against Greenville, Kyle Wise pitched a great game, striking out six in the 8-2 victory. At the plate, the Red Hawks were led by Connor Ellison, Trenton Snoeyink, Dylan Knauf, Jeremy Campione and Willy Zain with two hits each. Lucas Secord and Dylan Greenland each had hits as well.  

In game two the boys lost 8-4. Colton Moore and Trenton Snoeyink struggled a bit on the mound. Clyde Dykhouse had a pair of hits, as did Knauf and Zain.  Gage Haywood and Dylan Greenland each had hits. Though they hit the ball well, the hits didn’t come at the right times during the game.

On Friday, the boys drew Forest Hills Central in the first round of their end-of-the-year conference tournament. Throughout the game our boys collected nine total hits, led by Trenton Snoeyink with two. Ellison, Knauf, Zain, Greenland, Campione, Moore and Wise each had hits also. Connor Ellison pitched a great game on the mound, taking a 3-1 lead into the bottom of the 7th. A pair of walks, followed by a string of hits led to a 4-3 walk off victory for the Rangers, effectively ending the JV season for Cedar Springs.  

All in all, the boys’ record was 13-13-1. Like many sports seasons this one was full of ups and downs. The boys learned a lot and played some great baseball against some pretty tough opponents. The outlook on the future is bright as a quality group of sophomores will head off to varsity next season, and the talented freshmen will look to improve upon this record next season.

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Rockford Area Kids Triathlon

The 14th Annual Rockford Area Kids Triathlon is set to be held on Saturday July 14, 2018 at the Rockford High School.  Races will start at 9:00am and participants should arrive an hour before race time.

This is a swim/bike/run event for children age 2-17 sponsored by the Rockford Department of Public Safety, Kent County Sheriff’s Department, and the Michigan State Police. The purpose of the Kids Triathlon is not only to promote physical fitness to our children, but to give them positive alternatives to drugs and alcohol through athletic competition 

Every participant will receive a t-shirt, medal, and participation certificate.  The top three boys and girls in each age group will receive a trophy.  The cost of this race is $20.00 and all proceeds from this event will benefit the Michigan Special Olympics.  The following is a list of races, start times, age groups and the distances they will be performing in:

A 9:00am 16-17 400 yds 6 miles 3 miles
A 9:00am 14-15 400 yds 6 miles 3 miles
B 10:00am 12-13 200 yds 4 miles 2 miles
C 10:30am 10-11 200 yds 4 miles 2 miles
D 11:00am 8-9 100 yds 2 miles 1 mile
E 11:30am 6-7 100 yds 2 miles 1 mile
F 12:00pm 0-5 1 length 100 yds 100 yds

Awards will be presented at approximately 12:45pm.

For any questions or to register for this race please contact F/Lt Kevin Sweeney of the Michigan State Police at 517-719-1195 or by email at sweeneyk@michigan.gov   

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JV Red Hawks split double header


Clyde Dykhouse and Colton Moore getting ready in the field.

On May 17, the Cedar Springs Red Hawks JV baseball team traveled to Big Rapids to take on the Cardinals in a double header.  

In game one, Connor Ellison pitched a great game, striking out 7 while only walking 1. One costly error in the final inning cost the Red Hawks the victory as they lost 5-3. The Hawks scattered 7 hits throughout. Colton Moore, Willy Zain, Kyle Wise, Clyde Dykhouse, Dylan Greenland, Lucas Secord and Dylan Knauf each contributed.  

In game two Colton Moore and Dylan Knauf divided the pitching duties in the 7-5 victory. The Cardinals came out pounding the baseball, but the boys threw strikes and were able to keep them off balance. The defense made a few great plays as well. Knauf and Zain led the team at the plate with two hits apiece. Wise, Dykhouse, Jeremy Campione and Trenton Snoeyink each had hits as well.  

The JV are now 12-11-1 and will wrap up their season with a three game series with Greenville, followed by a conference tournament next week.

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Team wins Cherry Capital Cup championship

Pictured above: Bottom Row (Left to Right):  Avery Lake, Molly Wierstra, Madison Viau, Madison Reyburn, Ella Peck; Middle Row (Left to Right):  Kelsi Green, Stella Malon, Molly Perez, Sienna Wolfe, Reagan Viau, Madelyn Carnes, Gabrielle Christie, Olivia Williams, Adrianna Newhof; Back Row: Coaches Michael Viau, Steve Malon, Chad Lake

This past weekend (May 19-20) the CASSA Tri-Hawks U12 girls team participated in the Cherry Capital Cup Tournament in Traverse City in the Silver Division and came away winners.

The tournament bracket consisted of two pools. The champion from each pool goes onto the championship game. Two games were played on Saturday, where the girls came out with decisive 2-0 wins in both games and against Michigan Fire Juniors and TASC.  

Sunday started out just as successful with a 4-0 win over Cadillac Crush to set up a championship game with Michigan Legends FC from Brighton. The girls fought hard through a very physical game that was tied at the end of regulation, which leads to two 5-minute overtime periods. The Tri-Hawks scored early off a corner kick in the first 5-minute session, which led to the eventual final score of 1-0 to take home the championship.  

To go through four games in a tournament without giving up a single goal is an amazing accomplishment and can’t be done without great teamwork, effort, and soccer ability. The coaches and parents are very proud of this group that have many girls that have played together for 3-plus years from multiple schools in the area and have had continued success against increasing competition to build up to this achievement. We look forward to continue to see these girls on the pitch in the future! 



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