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Boys Cross Country kicks off 2022 season at Chippewa Hills

Senior Espen Wood charges to the lead en route to winning the Boys race in 16:46. Photo by Becky Wood.

The Cedar Springs Boys Cross Country team made its 2022 debut this week at the Early Season Invite hosted by Remus Chippewa Hills High School. The Red Hawk harriers battled hills and early morning heat to bring home the runner-up trophy in the 19-team field. 

Senior Espen Wood led the team claiming overall individual champion honors covering the 5-kilometer (3.1 mile) course in 16:46. “This was one of the strongest season openers our Boys team has had in a few years. Finishing runner-up and an overall champion was a great way to start the season and bring home some hardware,” said Coach Justin Jones.  “Traveling to Chippewa Hills’ course is always a mental battle more than anything as it is one of the slower, more challenging courses we see all season. Our goal was to be conservative at the start and get into position before the mile mark and hang on for dear life to the finish,” Jones went on to say. 

Red Hawk Cross Country runners accept their Runner-up trophy. Photo by Stephanie Hoort.

The depth of the Red Hawks paid huge dividends as they placed 7 runners in the top 36 of the 153 runner field. A trio of freshman ran solid races in their High School debut. The group was led by Ethan Shoffner’s 18th place finish in 18:22. Aiden Weller (31st – 19:28) and Ryan Ladd (33rd – 19:30) ran strong races and brought home medals for their efforts. Junior Jack Sherburn turned in a gritty performance finishing in 26th place in 19:08. Senior Eli Malon (35th – 19:34) and Junior Zach Reed (36th – 19:41) rounded out the Varsity squad for the Red Hawks and also brought home individual medals. Sophomore Quinton Bell finished in 47th place (20:10) to secure the 8th individual medal for the Red Hawks. 

“We have a long way to go to get to where we know we can be come championship season in late October,” said Coach Justin Jones. 

The Red Hawks will be back in action on Wednesday, September 7th at the first OK Gold Conference Jamboree at Riverside Park in Grand Rapids.  

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Girls Cross Country finishes runner-up at Chippewa Hills Invitational

Larissa McGrath (left) and Annalise Elliott (right) race up “Pacebreaker Hill” at the Chippewa Hills Invitational. Photo by Stephanie Hoort.

A new era began this month with the Cedar Springs Girls Cross Country program. The team is now under the guidance of first year head coach and former Red Hawk standout Katie Weiler. Coach Weiler and the team made the one-hour trek to the Central Michigan area to compete in the Chippewa Hills Invitational on Tuesday, August 23. 

“The girls team has had a very strong first 2 weeks of practice, so our approach to this meet was very low pressure, with the goal being to get a hard effort in on a challenging course. We have big goals for Conference and Regionals this year, so running fast in October is more of a focus than doing so in August,” said Coach Weiler. 

The girls responded with a stellar effort bringing home runner-up honors in the large school division. Much like last season, the girls were led by the duo of Junior Annalise Elliott (3rd – 20:29) and Senior Larissa McGrath (4th – 20:32) who worked together over the 5-kilometer course picking off opposing runners. 

“Annalise and Larissa had their best starting times to a season yet and more importantly, executed the race plan perfectly,” said Coach Weiler. 

Sophomore Emily Hoort sprints to the finish in helping the Red Hawks to a runner-up team finish. Photo by: Stephanie Hoort.

Freshman Serena Piotrowski turned in a superb debut race running 23:34 over the hilly course earning a medal and 29th place. Sophomore Emily Hoort turned in a strong performance passing several opposing runners in the last mile to finish in 77th place (26:31). Not far behind was freshman Lucy Hotz running 26:49 in 82nd place. Rounding out the top 7 for the Red Hawks were Sophomore Madison Viau (93rd – 27:33) and freshman Amaya Gomez (108th – 28:59). 

“I’m very impressed that most of the returners greatly improved on their times from last year and how the freshman attacked their first high school meet. We only had 9 of our 17 girls racing, so I am really looking forward to our first conference race on September 7th with the whole team out there,” said Coach Weiler.  

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Red Hawks kick off season at Wayne State

The Cedar Springs Red Hawks are back and shooting for another great season in the Ok Gold. 

By Judy Reed

The Cedar Springs Red Hawks will kick off the 2022 football season this Saturday at 4 p.m. when they take the field against River Rouge, at Tom Adams Field at Wayne State University, in the Xenith Prep Kickoff Classic.

The 2022 Xenith Prep Kickoff Classic is described as the premier season-opening high school football showcase in Michigan. Six games will highlight the event over three days, including teams from multiple divisions and powerhouse conferences. The game between River Rouge and Cedar Springs, both Division 3 teams, is the event finale. 

The Red Hawks are back after a great 2021 season, and The Post asked Coach Gus Kapolka about what this season’s team looks like.

“We hope to continue the success we’ve had the past several years and the outlook is good based on who returns and how hard our guys have worked in the off season,” he said.

They have six players returning on defense and four on offense.

“Our strong point is our offensive skill,” said Kapolka. “We return all three running backs—Antwuan  Nicholls, Carter Falan, and Ryan Mitchell—and Ryan West slides into the quarterback spot.”

They also have added some new faces to the coaching staff. “Joe Testerink joins our staff as the JV coach. He coached football in North Carolina for 9 years and has most recently coached at East Kentwood.  Brad Austin will be the freshman coach after coaching the 8th grade the last two years,” he explained.

The Red Hawks have a rough road ahead, with the first four games being some of their toughest—River Rouge, Zeeland West, Catholic Central, and South Christian. We asked Kapolka how they are preparing for that.

“We are trying to improve every day and focus on small immediate goals rather than obsessing over the first 4 games,” he explained.

How does the coach feel about this Saturday’s game against River Rouge? “River Rouge is elite,” remarked Kapolka. “They have Nick Marsh, who recently committed to MSU, and several other highly recruited players. They are the toughest test we’ve had since we played Muskegon in a Regional Final in 2018.”

If you’d like to travel to Wayne State University to cheer on the Red Hawks in the Xenith Prep Kickoff Classic, on Saturday, Aug. 27, at 4 p.m., tickets are $12.00 and can be purchased at detroitsports.org. A portion of the ticket purchased will benefit the school. The ticket is good for both games that day.

You can also watch on the NFHS Network.

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Red Hawk volleyball begins season at WMVOA

Cedar Springs Varsity volleyball opened the 2022 season on Friday, August 19th, competing in the annual Western Michigan Volleyball Officials Association (WMVOA) Scholarship Tournament in Grand Rapids.  

Pool play began with tough back to back losses to the West Ottawa (7-25;15-15) and Pewamo-Wesphalia(21-25;9-25) and ending with a tie against North Muskegon (25-21;18-25). Results placed the team in the Bronze bracket where the Red Hawks made an impressive comeback to win the opening match against Newaygo (18-25;26-24;15-11). The Lady Red Hawks ended the day with a loss in the semifinals to Hopkins (17-25;23-25).  

Coach Ashley Lowing stated, “We kicked off the season this week scrimmaging at Kingsley where the team focused on bonding and developing on court strategy and team cohesion. We ended the week at the WMVOA tournament where we continued to learn together and build a foundation for the season moving forward. We are very excited to see what this group of girls can accomplish this season.”

Team stat leaders on Friday included Senior/Captain Kennedi Jager with 19 kills, 8 blocks, and 6 aces. Junior Outside hitter Maddison Rayburn tallied 10 kills and 8 service points.  Sophomore setter Alyssa Krol began her Varsity year with 214 sets, 57 assists and a team high 13 aces with 32 service points. Libero Aleyna Moleski topped the defense with 40 digs and 71 serve receptions.

Varsity (1-3-1) continues competition when they travel to Northview for a non-conference triangular on Tuesday, September 6th at 6:00 pm. The start of conference play begins for Varsity, JV and Freshman on Thursday, September 8th when the teams travel to Catholic Central. Matches begin at 5:00 pm for Freshman and JV, followed by Varsity.        

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MHSAA rule changes 

The beginning of a school year always is accompanied by at least a handful of notable playing rules changes or adjustments regarding MHSAA Tournament competition. Among the most noteworthy this fall will be the addition of a “third half” rule in soccer, which will allow an athlete to play in a combined three halves across two matches and multiple levels (varsity, junior varsity, freshman) on the same day, any day of the week. This is similar to the fifth-quarter rules in football and basketball approved in recent years to help programs with low athlete numbers still have enough to continue fielding teams at multiple levels – generally with underclassmen playing on multiple teams to keep rosters filled.

There is also an enhanced penalty beginning this fall for violating the fifth-quarter or third-half rules: Violators must forfeit the contest during which the violation took place (either varsity or subvarsity), and that head coach in violation will be ineligible for the next day of competition.

The change to a playing rule most likely to be noticed by spectators comes in football, where intentional grounding has been adjusted to allow for a passer to throw an incomplete forward pass to conserve yardage – in essence, to throw the ball away to avoid being tackled for a loss, even when a receiver isn’t present near the pass’s destination – if the passer is outside the free-blocking zone, or “pocket,” and as long as the pass reaches the line of scrimmage or extension of the neutral zone beyond the sideline. This change makes the high school intentional grounding rule mirror those at the collegiate and professional levels and was made to conserve the amount of contact by defensive players with passers.

A second football rule change also was made with safety in mind, as the chop block – which is illegal – was redefined to include any combination block by multiple teammates against the same opponent where one of the blocks is above the waist and the other is below the waist. Previously, the knee (instead of the waist) was the determining factor on a chop block. This change also is expected to assist officials in enforcing the rule because deciding if blocks occur above and below the waste is more straightforward than using the knee to decide if an infraction occurred.

Another football rule change will be noticeable during the MHSAA 11-Player Finals, as head coaches for the first time will be allowed one challenge per game, with the play in question then reviewed with video replay. The challenge will cost that team a timeout if the original outcome is confirmed. Coaches will be allowed to challenge the following: complete/incomplete passes, if a runner/receiver was in/out of bounds, a runner who is ruled not down, the forward progress spot as it relates to the yard to gain, which player first touched a kick, the recovery of a ball in/out of bounds, if a pass was forward or backward, and penalties for illegal forward pass, targeting or illegal helmet contact, and pass interference only as it relates to the pass being previously tipped. All potential scores and turnovers will remain automatically reviewed by replay booth officials.

Three more notable rules changes for fall sports also affect MHSAA Tournament competition.

There is a new qualification process for divers seeking to advance to Lower Peninsula Finals. In each of the three divisions, each Regional will be guaranteed 10 qualifiers for the Finals, with si x more “floating” qualifier entries to be distributed to the Regionals that have one of the previous year’s top six returning Finals divers in their fields. If a team changes division from the previous season, any floating top-six spots are added to the six already allowed in the school’s new division.

In golf, the maximum number of strokes allowed per hole during MHSAA Tournament play has been reduced from 12 to 10. Also, teams will be allowed two school-approved coaches to be present and actively coaching during postseason rounds.

In tennis, the number of players who may be seeded at No. 1 singles was increased to seven if there are between 21-23 players in the field, and eight if the field includes 24 or more players at that flight. The No. 1 singles flight is the only flight that allows for individual qualifiers from Regional play, often making it larger than the other seven flights at the Finals.

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Cedar Springs students make all-conference

These Cedar Springs High School students were selected to the spring 2022 OK Gold all-conference team. 

Pictured from L to R front row: Braydon Gregory, Alyssa Detweiler, Makenna Outwin, Parker Vaughn. Back row: Madison Layne, Darrah Miller, Paige Castor, Aailyah Calklins, Aiden Brunin, Morgan French.


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Baseball awards

The Cedar Springs Red Hawk varsity baseball team tied the school record for wins this season with 23.  They finished 4th in the OK Gold Conference, which gave them four all conference nominations.  

Aiden Brunin: Senior

Aiden Brunin

Brunin batted lead off this season. He had 110 at bats and a 427 average. His 47 hits included 9 doubles and 3 triples. He scored 42 runs and led the team with 27 stolen bases. He will attend Grand Rapids Community College this fall and play for Coach Mike Eddington. Though he was primarily a shortstop for the Red Hawks, Aiden will likely see playing time all over the field at the collegiate level. Brunin was OK Gold All Conference, and District 9 All District as a short stop.  He will also play in the John Bos all-star game this week.

Braydon Gregory

Braydon Gregory: Junior

Gregory batted in the 3-hole all season. He had 97 at bats, totaling 36 hits. He was an extra base hit specialist with 12 doubles, 4 triples and a pair of homeruns. He led the team with 33 runs batted in, playing first base and designated hitter. Gregory was OK Gold All Conference, and District 9 All District as a first baseman.

Parker Vaughn: Sophomore

Parker Vaughn

Vaughn was the cleanup hitter for the Red Hawks this season, playing third and first base, along with outfield. He also pitched. He had 36 hits in his 95 at bats. He hit 11 doubles and one triple while driving in 21. He was named OK Gold All Conference as a third baseman

Clay Oosting: Junior

Clay Oosting

Oosting led the often-injured Red Hawk pitching staff with 52 innings. He struck out 54 and walked 18, totaling a 2.006 ERA. With a record of 6-3 with one save, Clay was very deserving of his OK Gold Conference Honorable Mention award.  

Cayden Steinebach: Senior

Cayden Steinebach

Cayden was the Cedar Springs High School Valedictorian for the class of 2022. He was named to the Michigan All State Academic Team with his GPA of 4.492.

Cayden ran cross country in the fall, pole vaulted for the track team when his schedule allowed it and was in the starting rotation on the Red Hawk pitching staff.  He tossed 54 innings and totaled a 7-3 record, while striking out 31 and walking only 11. His ERA of 3.457 wasn’t quite enough to get an all conference nod, but Steinebach was solid on the mound.  He managed to shut down several powerhouse teams this year, including throwing a 1-hitter against Forest Hills Northern in the District final. Cayden will attend Grand Valley this fall and major in Biomedical Sciences with an emphasis on pharmacy.  He plans to transfer to Ferris State University to pursue a graduate degree in pharmaceutical research in the hopes to find cures to many diseases and viruses we face today.

Having graduated only 3 seniors, the future of the program looks strong.  According to Coach Glyshaw, “If we can stay healthy, we have the talent to be one of the best teams Cedar Springs has seen in decades. I look forward to helping these boys develop and accomplish all they can on the field. The sky’s the limit for what this group has the potential to achieve.”

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Cedar Springs Athletic Information

Strength and condition training for all Red Hawk athletes will be taking place at Cedar Springs Red Hawk Stadium this summer.

June 6 – July 29 (Monday-Friday)

7 – 8:30 a.m. Varsity Football

8:30 – 10 a.m. Boys Sports

10 -11:30 a.m. Girls Sports

11:30 a.m. – 1 p.m. Middle School

Tryouts for fall athletics will start on Monday, August 8. All athletes must create an account using FinalForms, and have an updated physical for the year.Check our website for details https://www.csredhawks.org/Athletics/index.html. 

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Four Red Hawks Compete at State Finals

Senior Alyssa Detweiller earns All-State honors in the High Jump.  Photo by Gary Detweiller

The Cedar Springs Red Hawks sent four athletes to the Division I State Track and Field Finals this past Saturday.  The Championship event was held a short trip down Northland Drive at Rockford High School. The meet featured hundreds of athletes from across the State who qualified in Regional competition two weeks ago.  Two of Cedar Springs’ qualifiers earned All-State honors (finishing in the top 8) with the other two narrowly missing top 8 finishes.   

Senior Alyssa Detweiller ended her stellar High School career with a 6th place finish in the High Jump (5’4”) earning All-State honors.  Alyssa was the Conference and Regional Champion and is the Cedar Springs school record holder in the event.  Another Senior, Gabe White, also concluded his high school career on a high note with a 9th place finish in the Pole Vault.  Gabe is the two-time OK Gold Conference Champion in the event. Two underclassmen sent notice to the State that they will be forces to reckon with for the next two years.  Sophomore Taylor Diemond earned All-State honors with her vault of 11’6” to finish in 6th place in the Pole Vault.  Sophomore Dylan Lafontsee turned in a strong showing in the Long Jump narrowly missing All-State accolades by less than 6 inches.  Dylan’s jump of 20’3.75” earned him 14th place in a tightly contested competition. The team would like to thank all the Seniors for their contributions to the program over their careers and wish them all the best in their future endeavors.  

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Baseball team wraps up season with best record since 1979

June 4: District Tournament

Walker Glyshaw had a perfect bunt for a hit against Northview. Courtesy photo.

On Saturday, the Red Hawks took on the Wildcats of Northview in the semi-final.  Cedar totaled 8 hits throughout the game.  Aiden Brunin led the way with 2.  Clay Oosting, Brennen Porter, Braydon Gregory, and Zach Reed each had a single.  Walker Glyshaw had a perfect bunt for a hit and Austin Alcumbrack came on to pinch hit and was able to blast a single up the middle.  Oosting started on the mound.  We went 5 strong innings, allowing only 3 hits while walking another 3 and striking out 2. Sophomore Walker Glyshaw came on in relief.  He threw the final two innings to earn the save, allowing no hits in the 3-1 victory.

Without much of a break, the final against Forest Hills Northern was under way.  Senior Cayden Steinebach got the start on the mound.  He went the distance, pitching all 7 innings.  He allowed only one Husky hit, struck out 6 and walked 4.  Northern managed to punch one run across in the 5th inning and that run sealed the game.  The Red Hawks struggled at the plate against lefty Connor Foley who struck out 13 in his complete game performance.  The only two hits were a single from Brunin and a triple from Glyshaw, but Cedar was not able to execute and score them.  Forest Hills Northern earned a tough 1-0 win and will play Reeths-Puffer on Wednesday for the Regional title.

Red Hawk baseball team at end of the season banquet. Courtesy photo.

The Red Hawks finished the season with a 23-14 record.  The last time the Cedar Springs Varsity Baseball team had 23 wins was the spring of 1979.  They are losing 3 seniors in Brennen Porter, Cayden Steinebach and Aiden Brunin who will be sorely missed, as each contributed a great deal to this season’s success.  Coach Glyshaw expects next year’s team to be a force to be reckoned with.

“If we can stay healthy, the sky is the limit for the future of this baseball team,” he said.

Meetings for the OK Gold All Conference team and the All District team will take place this week.  Summaries of award winners will be in next week’s paper.

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Athletes of the Month


April: Olivia Tozer   

Parents: Jennifer Crystal and Jason Tozer

Olivia has been the varsity starting catcher for two years. We originally thought she would be a position player, but we needed this spot filled. She stepped in and exceeded our expectations.

In April, Olivia had the team’s highest batting average at .387. She had caught every game at this point. She has thrown out several baserunners and is a very smart player. Olivia is also a threat to steal each time she is on base. She was our leadoff hitter all season and did an amazing job getting the offense started. Olivia has one more year with us and then will take her talents to Aquinas College in the fall of 2023.

May: Paige Castor   

Parents: David and Terrie Castor

Paige started at 2nd base for us this year. She would have been a 3-year varsity player if not for the cancellation of the 2020 season.

Paige finished the season with the team’s high batting average at .441. She also had 31 singles, 7 doubles, 2 triples, 1 HR, and 35 RBIs. She also had 13 stolen bases. Paige also does well in the classroom with a 3.93 GPA. Paige batted 3rd in our lineup and is a consistent hitter that can also hit with power. We will definitely miss Paige next year, but wish her luck as she plans to attend cosmetology school, although I think the coaching staff may be relieved to see Paige graduate so we won’t be pressured into doing the “Gritty” and the “Stanky Leg” anymore.

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Cedar wraps up regular season with four wins

Braydon Gregory at bat. Courtesy photo.
Cedar Springs Red Hawk Clay Oosting pitching. Courtesy photo.

Districts start this weekend

May 23

Last Monday the Red Hawk Varsity traveled to Byron Center to take on the Sailors of South Christian.  In the first of three games, senior Cayden Steinebach took the mound.  He managed a complete game, allowing 11 hits while striking out 5 in the 17-4 victory.  Cedar totaled 14 hits in the game led by Braydon Gregory with a pair of triples and a single.  He also had 5 RBI. Zach Reed and Parker Vaughn each had 3 hits, followed by Haydon Koepke with a double and singles by Bryce Luevano, Clay Oosting and Brennen Porter.

In game two, Parker Vaughn got the start pitching.  He also pitched a complete game, allowing 7 hits and striking out 5.  This game, Cedar Springs stranded runners in nearly every inning, failing to execute when the situation in the game required it.  Vaughn had a single and a double himself.  Walker Glyshaw, Koepke, Porter and Reed each had hits as well but it wasn’t enough as the Red Hawks fell to the Sailors 3-2.

May 24

In the third and final game in the series, junior Clay Oosting got the start. This turned out to be a game in which everything went right for the Red Hawks. Oosting threw a complete game, allowing 3 hits, walking 3 and striking out 2 in the 10-0 victory.  At the plate Brennen Porter and Aiden Brunin each had a pair of singles.  Parker Vaughn, Clay Oosting, Braydon Gregory, Adler May and Zach Reed each had hits as well.  The baseball found holes all over the field and Cedar was able to down the Sailors in record time.

May 31

On Tuesday the Red Hawks wrapped up the regular season with a pair of victories against the Yellowjackets of Greenville with scores of 11-1 and 15-5.

In the first game Cayden Steinebach went 2 innings, Walker Glyshaw threw another 2, striking out 3. Zach Reed came on to close out the final inning.  At the plate Aiden Brunin had a pair of singles and two RBI.  Parker Vaughn, Connor Dunleavy and Clay Oosting each had singles and Braydon Gregory had 3 RBI triple.

In the final regular season game, Oosting got the start.  He threw two solid innings, striking out a pair of Greenville hitters and allowing only one hit.  Chase Marsman and Austin Alcumbrack split the third inning and Hunter Hendges threw the final two innings, striking out 5.  At the plate, Cedar continued to pound the baseball.  Zach Reed led the charge with a triple and two singles. Brunin had a pair of singles and two stolen bases.  Walker Glyshaw had a single and a double, knocking in 3 runs.  Vaughn, Dunleavy, Nate Robinson, Ryan Vos, Tyler Twiss, Tristan Terpstra and Cayden Steinebach also contributed with singles.

These victories leave the varsity with a regular season record of 22-13. The District tournament will begin this Saturday at Cedar Springs.  At 10 am Forest Hills Northern will take on Greenville.  This will be followed by Cedar Springs against Northview at 12:30. The winners of each of these games will play in the championship game at 3:00. 

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