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Cedar Volleyball to host district action Monday


The Cedar Springs Varsity Volleyball team (9-23-1 overall and 2-8 in conference) competed at Northview Tuesday Oct. 16 and at the Sparta Invitational on Saturday Oct.20 going 1-3 on the week. The Lady Red Hawks played a strong match against the Wildcats on Tuesday, losing 22-25;15-25 and15-25. Libero Haillie Jones held the defense against a powerful Northview offense, posting the team high dig and receive percentages and recording 15 serve receives with 13 digs. Grace Pavelka added 9 kills, 2 aces and a block while Arianna Rau tallied 5 kills and a block. Setter Maddie Outwin had 18 assists on the night.

On Saturday, the team traveled to Sparta where they were points away from taking first place in their pool. The Lady Red Hawks started competition with a tough loss to the eventual pool bracket leader Comstock Park (23-25;23-25;25-18). The second pool match against Loy Norrix resulted in a 25-20;25-22; 25-21 victory. The 2nd place pool finish positioned the ladies in the Gold Bracket single elimination quarterfinal competition where they lost to Grand Rapids Covenant Christian 25-18; 17-25; 6-15.  

Team leaders on the day were Grace Pavelka with 18 kills, 9 blocks and 12 aces.  Kaylie Andres added 14 kills and 13 digs. Setter Madison Outwin put up 48 assists and 4 aces while Michelle Brennen added14 digs and 4 aces. Kyla Andres contributed 12 kills and 4 blocks, Arianna Rau had 11 kills and 3 blocks, Kalli Green added 4 aces and Haillie Jones recorded 24 digs.

The Volleyball program will honor their parents and youth at their final home regular season match Tuesday night against Greenville before travelling to Forest Hills Northern Thursday night. JV matches begin at 5 p.m. followed by Varsity at 6 p.m. The Varsity team then travels to Central Montcalm on Saturday (Oct 27) for tournament play starting at 9 a.m.  

Cedar Springs will host first round District action on Monday, October 29 against Greenville at 6 p.m. The winner of the match will travel to Lowell on Tuesday, October 30 to play the winner of Forest Hills Northern/Rockford with a 5:30 p.m. match start.  

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Cedar Springs shuts out Ottawa Hills 48-0

Cedar Springs ran away with the game against Grand Rapids Ottawa Hills last Friday, 48-0. Courtesy photo.

By Judy Reed

The Cedar Springs Red Hawks varsity football team won their seventh straight game last Friday, October 12, when they traveled to Houseman Field to take on GR Ottawa Hills Bengals.

The Red Hawks controlled the game from the very first quarter, limiting the Bengals to only 47 yards and one first down the entire game. 

“I was pleased with the way our guys went out and took care of business,” said Red Hawks Coach Gus Kapolka. “We were focused and executed well, which sometimes is hard to do when you are playing an opponent who has a 1-6 record.”

Cedar scored early in the first quarter when Ryan Ringler ran up the middle for a 49-yard touchdown with 11:32 left on the clock. Ethan West’s run into the endzone for the two-point conversion was good.

The Red Hawks scored again in the first quarter with 4:43 left when Sage Serbenta ran left for a one-yard touchdown, and Kolby Swank then ran in the extra points.

They scored again with 2:09 left in the first when Ryan Ringler blocked a punt from Ottawa Hills, and Cedar scored a safety. The score at the end of the first was Cedar Springs 18, Ottawa Hills 0.

The Red Hawks scored three times in the second quarter. With 10:07 left on the clock, Ben Shaw ran up the middle for a 23-yard touchdown and Kolby Swank ran in the extra points. Three minutes later they scored again when Sage Serbenta ran one yard into the endzone for the touchdown and then Ethan West ran in the two-point conversion. They scored again at the 2:20 mark when Landon Totten ran left for a 10-yard touchdown, and took the ball into the endzone again for the two-point conversion. The score at the end of the half was Cedar Springs 42, Ottawa Hills 0.

Neither team scored during the third quarter, but the Red Hawks scored one more time in the fourth. With 2:11 left on the clock, Jeremy Champione ran up the middle for a 2-yard touchdown, then Champione attempted a pass to Zack Shcmid for the extra points, but it was no good.

The Red Hawks accumulated 380 yards rushing, with Ryan Ringler (92), Sage Serbenta (77), and Landon Totten (63) leading the way. Ben Shaw added 44, Jeremy Champione 30, Lucus Pienton 21, Gage Gardner 16, and Zack Schmid 14. Swank added 4 yards rushing, and 4 yards passing.

On defense, Kaden Liggett led in tackles with 6 and Miles Cartwright had 5. The rest of the team had 3 or less each.

The Red Hawks sealed at least a share of the conference title with the win, and as they are now only one game away from the playoffs, Kapolka was happy to give some of the younger players a chance to get some experience on the gridiron.

“We were able to play a lot of young guys in the second half, and those game reps are invaluable for them moving forward,” he said.

This Friday Cedar Springs (7-1, 5-0) hosts Forest Hills Northern (5-3, 3-2) in their last regular season game. Come on out and cheer them on!

Please note that according to Cedar Springs Athletic Director John Norton, the MHSAA has raised District Ticket prices to $6 moving forward. So be prepared as you head off to post-season events. This will include all playoff football games as well. And remember, even if the event is at Cedar Springs, no passes are accepted during post-season play.

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Cross country boys bring home another first place

Red Hawk Cross Country boys bringing home another first place.

From L to R:  Isabel VanDusen (86) and Carolanne Merlington (83).

The Cedar Springs Boys’ Cross Country team kept their winning streak rolling taking first in the Kent Division of the Kent Ottawa County Race held Saturday, October 6, at Gainey Athletic Complex.

The varsity boys finished 1st out of 17 teams. Corey Bowers finished with a time of 16:46 (2nd) getting outkicked in a sprint to the finish line. Jaydon Moleski and Dilan Sargent finished 17:10 (10th) and 17:22 (14th) respectively.  Bowers, Moleski, and Sargent each took home individual medals for finishing in the top 15. Austin Mann and Gavin Braciak both ran what Coach Lacy considered their best races of the season finishing 17:38 (19th) and 17:45 (22nd) respectively. Next to finish for the Red Hawks was Daniel Vermulm 18:34 (58th), Carter Moleski 18:44 (64th), Cayden Steinebach 19:03 (75th), Gabe White 19:13 (84th), and Alex Nylaan 21:10 (133rd).

The junior varsity boys placed 8th of 12 teams. Caleb Menefee led the way finishing 37th in a time of 20:11. He was followed closely by Justin Voskuil and Gabe Minnich who pushed each other throughout the race to finish in 52nd and 53rd overall in times of 20:30 and 20:31. Minnich’s time was a lifetime personal best improving his time by 6 seconds in muddy conditions. Sam Kleynenberg was next finishing in 68th in a time of 20:54 and Logan Douglas rounded out the JV finishers coming in at 115th overall in a time of 22:05.

“I thought the boys had their best team race of the season on Saturday,” said Coach Garrett Lacy. “Our gap between our one through five runners was the tightest it has been all year. Times were not fast due to muddy course conditions, but we competed very well against some of the top competition in the county, and were able to come away with another team win. Now we are just looking forward to taking care of business Wednesday to bring home our first conference title in 6 years.” 

The Lady Red Hawks finished 11th out of 14 teams. Maggie Prins finished 41st in a time of 22:18. Senior Carolanne Merlington ran her season best of 23:03 (69th) after time off for an injury. Freshmen Isabel VanDusen and Lily Howland followed closely placing 70th (23:04) and 72nd (23:06) respectively with Howland earning a lifetime personal best. Tonya Tepin was next to cross the finish line for the Red Hawks placing 87th in a time of 23:47. Ally Ladd finished 97th (24:20), Antonia Eigemann 101st (24:32), Marjorie Hosking 110th (25:24), and Paige Marsman 111th (25:25) who earned her season best.  Madison Golliver finished 118th with a time of 27:01. Hannah Helton ran her lifetime personal best for the JV girls in a time of 31:31 placing 132nd.

“Saturday’s meet was fun to watch. It was nice to see some runners out competing coming back from injuries,” said Coach Melinda Stressman. “The course was pretty challenging due to all the mud and sogginess from Friday night’s rain. I told the girls we weren’t looking for fast times. I wanted them to focus more on moving up and helping each other out. Those faster times will come. The weather was perfect for running, and the competition was solid.” 

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Volleyball beats Ottawa Hills


The Cedar Springs Varsity volleyball team (8-20-1, 2-7 conference) split in a couple of 3-0 matches this week during conference play. 

The Lady Red Hawks opened the week on Tuesday, October 9, at Ottawa Hills, where they beat the Bengals by scores of 25-9, 25-12, and 25-12. Leading on the night with a double/double was Junior Middle Hitter Grace Pavelka, recording 11 kills and10 aces. The middle hitter also recorded a team high 17 service points and 2 blocks. Grace Wilcox added 10 kills, 1 block and 2 digs, while Arianna Rau tallied 5 kills. Setter Michelle Brennen contributed 27 assists.  

Thursday, October 11, the Red Hawks hosted Forest Hills Central and lost 14-25, 16-25 and 11-25. Kyla Andres led on the night with 6 kills, 1 block, 13 serve receives and 7 digs; followed by Arianna Rau who added 5 kills and 3 blocks. Kaylie Andres recorded 2 kills and a block. Libero Haillie Jones chipped in 8 digs and Grace Wilcox contributed 23 serve receives.  

The Red Hawks continued competition this week at Northview Tuesday, October 16, and travel to the Sparta Invite on Saturday, October 20, with an 8 a.m. competition start.

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Be the Referee

By Mark Uyl, Asst. Director, MHSAA

Punts & missed field goals

One of the differences between high school football rules and rules at the collegiate and professional levels deals with punts and missed field goals.

Essentially, the place kick is treated like a punt as it relates to team possession from the goal line and out of bounds. If either goes out of bounds from inside the field of play, the defensive team takes possession at that spot. If either goes into the end zone, the defensive team may not return the kick.

And a missed field goal in high school that goes into or through the end zone, resulting in a touchback, has the defense taking over, first and 10, at their own 20, regardless of the previous spot.

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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Hustle and Heart Set the XC Team Apart

L to R: Gabi Fahling, Faith Watson, Ethan Slock, Ethan Watson, Jordan Brown, Collin Bishop, Dawson Ingersoll, Kevin Miner, Hannah Hofstra, Karly Fisk, Head Coach Todd Bowmar.

This year’s Charger Cross Country teams are led by Juniors Collin Bishop and Faith Watson. Collin was awarded as a member of the All-Conference team this year. Faith, missed the team by one place. Senior Dawson Ingersoll works to lead the team into the State Championship, a meet where the team ran their season best last year. Junior veteran, Hannah Hofstra has worked with newcomer Gabi Fahling to create a competitive environment at practice, working toward career bests. Rounding out a young team, underclassmen Kevin Miner, Jordan Brown, Ethan Slock, Ethan Watson and Karly Fisk have all achieve several season bests and a few career bests. The team completes their final two races on 10/20 in Shepard at the Class D State Championship; and on 10/27 in Allendale at the West Michigan Independent State Championship.

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Soccer Team Wraps Up First Season

Front (L to R): Joey Hanes, Austin Fisk, Evan Besmer, Aaron Wright, Carson McSorley, Jesse Benson, Sawyer Marek, Ivan Winters. Back (L to R): Assistant Coach Kyle Knarr, Tom Guerrato, Jeff Marek, Avery Bishop, Kaden Winters, Jake Perry, Landon Winters, Ryan Rypma, Matt Willis, Parker Tompkins, Head Coach Mark Winters. Not pictured: Binh Nguyen.

The soccer team had a good run for its first-ever team in school history. The team, comprised mostly of underclassmen, went up against some tough varsity teams and held their own. Under the direction of coaches Mark Winters and Kyle Knarr, the team has improved tremendously this season both offensively and defensively. We look forward to the team growing together over the next few years and becoming a leading competitor. We are very proud of the first-ever soccer team at CTA!


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Cedar Springs runs over Lowell

The Cedar Springs Red Hawks ran all over the field in their 50-0 win over Lowell last Friday. Courtesy photo.

Secures playoff bid

The Cedar Springs Red Hawks Varsity football team ran away with the win last Friday, October 6, on their way to a spot in the playoffs, when they hosted Lowell in their annual pink out game.

The Red Hawks tore up the field in their 50-0 win over the Red Arrows, raking up over 500 yards, with two players getting over 100 yards, and three other players getting 55-plus. Much of it was in the first half.

“As far as we can tell, the 473 yards rushing in the first half was a school record,” said Coach Gus Kapolka. “It’s the second time we’ve two players o over 100 yards this season.”

Ryan Ringler set a record on defense when he broke the previous school record of 301 career tackles. At the end of the game he had 304 career tackles, spanning from the 2015 to 2018 seasons.

The first score of the game came with 10:47 left in the first quarter, when Sage Serbenta ran right for a two-yard touchdown. QB Kolby Swank then ran it in for the extra two points.

Serbenta scored again with 5:41 left in the first quarter when he ran for a 62-yard touchdown. Swank’s pass to Serbenta was no good.

Cedar Springs scored again with :56 seconds left in the first when Lucas Pienton ran left for a two-yard touchdown. Ethan West’s run in for the extra points was no good. The score at the end of the first quarter was Cedar Springs 20, Lowell 0.

The Red Hawks scored again in the second quarter with 9:25 left on the clock when Ryan Ringler ran up the middle for an 85-yard touchdown. Pienton’s run in for the extra points was good.

The Red Hawks scored twice more in the second quarter. With 4:27 left, Zack Schmid ran right for a 10-yard touchdown, and Swank’s run into the end zone for extra points was good. They scored again with 1:16 left when Ben Shaw ran up the middle for a 42-yard touchdown. The two-point conversion attempt was no good, and the half ended with the score Cedar Springs 42, Lowell 0.

Cedar Springs scored once more in the fourth quarter, with 10:20 left on the clock, when Ethan West ran 49-yards for a touchdown. West then passed to Justus Larsen on the two-point conversion attempt and it was good. The final score was Cedar Springs 50, Lowell 0.

The Red Hawks rushed for 512 yards, netting 505 after penalties. Serbenta rushed for 130; Ringler 128; Shaw 73; West 72; Pienton 55; Landon Totten 24; Swank 19; and Schmid 13. Pienton also had an interception.

On defense, Gage Gardner had the most tackles with 8; followed by Zack Schmid and Xavier Anderson with 6 each; Ringler with 5; and several others with 3 or less.

 “I’m happy with our performance and I thought our guys played well and we were able to play a lot of our bench guys who haven’t gotten a lot of playing time this season,” said Coach Kapolka. 

Cedar Springs is now 4-0 in conference, and 6-1 overall. They are in first place in the OK-White, with Northview a close second (4-1, 5-2). There are two weeks left in the regular season. The Red Hawks travel to Grand Rapids Ottawa Hills (0-5, 1-6) this Friday, October 12, and then host Forest Hills Northern (2-2, 4-3) on October 19. Come out and cheer on your Red Hawks!

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Third conference win for boys cross country

Sophomore Austin Mann setting a new PR of 17:20

After 10 days off from racing and looking a little rusty, the Cedar Springs boys won their third OK Conference meet at Greenville, coming in first over second place Forest Hills Central with a score of 43 to 53. This meet took place on October 3 at Brookside Golf Course, and there were seven schools competing.

The team’s top three runners all finished further back than they have been in the previous league races, though only by a couple of spots. Corey Bowers finished 2nd overall in 16:31, just barely getting out-kicked in the final 100m by the top runner from Forest Hills Central. Dilan Sargent and Jaydon Moleski started off further back than they typically do, but managed to still finish 6th and 7th overall in times of 17:02 and 17:18. Austin Mann stepped up and set a personal record on the course, the only boy to do this at this meet. Mann finished 8th overall, his best conference finish of the season, with a time of 17:20. Mann’s finish in the top 10 was what was needed in order to get the win.

Freshman Carter Moleski finished inside the top five runners for the first time this season and 26th overall in a time of 18:14. He was closely followed by Gavin Braciak in 27th overall in a time of 18:19. Daniel Vermulm was 39th (19:06), Gabe White 43rd (19:09), Cayden Steinebach 46th (19:15), Justin Voskuil 69th (20:23), Alex Nylaan 72nd (20:32), Caleb Menefee 83rd (20:48), Sam Kleynenberg 92nd (21:23), Gabe Minnich 94th (21:26), and Logan Douglas 102nd (21:51).

The girls placed 6th overall as a team. Sophomore Maggie Prins ran her lifetime personal best of 21:44 placing 23rd, the only Red Hawk girl to PR for the day. Isabel VanDusen placed 46th with a time of 23:43 and Lily Howland placed 54th with a time of 24:25. Tonya Tepin helped close the gap placing 55th with a time of 24:27 and Marjorie Hosking placed 61st running a time of 24:48. Antonia Eigemann placed 70th (25:37), Paige Marsman placed 78th (26:04), Madison Golliver 94th (30:06), and Hannah Helton placed 101 overall (36:49).

“I was proud of our girls. Temperatures were warmer than usual and with the course still being soft, we ran well as a group. Times weren’t fast, but I didn’t want them to focus on that. The goal was to just keep moving up and helping their teammates fill that gap,” said Coach Melinda Stressman.

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Boys finish fourth at Portage invite

The Cedar Springs boys and girls cross country teams traveled to Portage on Saturday, October 6, for the biggest invitational in the state. Early morning storms came through creating muddy sections on an already relatively difficult course containing hills.

The boys’ varsity team finished 4th overall, but was only 15 points from 2nd and 3 points from 3rd. There were nearly 320 runners representing 46 schools in this race. The team proved they are capable of running right up there with the best teams in the state, with wins over other state ranked teams. 

Corey Bowers led up front with a 6th place finish in a time of 16:03. Dilan Sargent and Jaydon Moleski gave two more low finishes as they finished in 22nd and 25th overall in times of 16:46 and 16:49. Bowers, Sargent, and J. Moleski all earned medals for placing in the top 50. Gavin Braciak had a great comeback race finishing in 62nd overall in a season best time of 17:17. Austin Mann rounded out the top 5 finishers coming in 89th in a time of 17:39. Freshman Carter Moleski performed admirably in his first race of this caliber finishing in 133rd in a time of 18:07. Daniel Vermulm had a season best time of 18:19 finishing in 152nd.

JV medalist Freshman Cayden Steinebach

The boys JV team finished 14th overall out of 27 teams. Cayden Steinebach led for the Red Hawks finishing 39th overall in a time of 19:10 earning a medal for a top 50 finish. Alex Nylaan just missed a personal lifetime best coming in 67th overall in a time of 19:38. Caleb Menefee finished 101st overall in a time of 20:14. Justin Voskuil ran a 20:33 and placed 125th. Logan Douglas had a personal lifetime best of 20:39 (133rd). Sam Kleynenberg ran a 21:33 (184th) and Gabe Minnich 23:05 (278th).

“I am ecstatic about how our boys competed in what is the biggest invitational in the state of Michigan, against the top competition in the state, on what is a challenging course normally, but even tougher this past Saturday with the amount of rainfall we received creating many muddy sections on the course. To finish 4th in a meet of this caliber is a great step forward for our boys program. We had wins over several state ranked teams, including previously #2 ranked Spring Lake. We still have a long way to go, but I have great expectations for this team at the state meet this year,” said Coach Garrett Lacy.

The Varsity Lady Red Hawks placed 35th of 45 teams with 297 girls competing in their race. Leading the varsity was Maggie Prins with a time of 22:08 (141st). Tonya Tepin ran her lifetime personal best of 22:39 (166th). Isabel VanDusen ran a 22:42 placing 169th. Lily Howland and Ally Ladd ran lifetime personal bests of 23:19 (202nd) and 23:55 (233rd) respectively. Marjorie Hosking ran 24:46 (261st) and Paige Marsman ran her season best of 25:26 placing 281st.  Maddie Golliver competed in the JV race running a 25:09 and placing 181st.

“With weather and course conditions, each girl ran very well. It was the biggest invite in the state, so with having them run against some pretty good competition, they stuck to it and ran more competitively. Tonya Tepin ran a lifetime PR of 22:39 and she really improved on moving up to close some gaps. Paige Marsman ran her season PR of 25:26. Very proud of her breaking through the pack at the end to help her get to that point. Ally Ladd just got back to competing from having a slight injury and she looked great. All the girls did their part so now we just have to keep moving forward with that same momentum,” said Coach Melinda Stressman. 

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