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Nick Wolfe joins basketball staff at Grace Bible

 

The Grace Bible College men’s basketball program is excited to announce the addition of their newest Assistant Coach, Nick Wolfe.

Nick had a storied career as a player, beginning at Cedar Springs High School from 1990-1994, where he earned First Team All-State honors in Class B in his junior and senior years and averaged 31 points per game. He then went on to the Upper Peninsula and Lake Superior State University (NCAA DII), continuing to make an impact on the basketball court from 1995-1999, closing his career as the Lakers’ career 3-point leader. He was also a two-time captain and a two-time All-League selection. His 1996 team brought home the GLIAC League and Tournament Championship.

Nick spent the year in 2000 as a Graduate Assistant at LSSU before returning to the court as a professional player in Portugal in 2001 and 2002. He then returned to the coaching ranks just recently at Cedar Springs High School as the Varsity Assistant in 2016.

Grace Head Coach Gary Bailey has known Nick for decades, and he attested that he will be a fantastic addition to the men’s basketball program.

“Nick brings a wealth of experience and knowledge to the team. I have known Nick since he was a kid and he is a great person to have around our staff and our players. He had an outstanding basketball career in college and overseas. The players will benefit greatly from having Nick with us.”

Nick has been married for 15 years to his wife Krista and they reside in Rockford, MI with their two children – Sienna (9) and Eli (7). He currently is a Senior Case Director at The Robison Group and owner of Enviro-Master of West Michigan, a commercial hygiene company.

“I’m thrilled for the opportunity to be a part of the Grace basketball family,” commented Nick. “Coach Bailey and his staff have done an amazing job with this program and I’m honored to be a part of it.”

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MHSAA announces concussion report findings

2016-17 school year

The Michigan High School Athletic Association has completed its second year of collecting head injury reports from member schools and continues to build data that will assist in identifying trends and progress being made to reduce the incidence of head injuries in school sports.

Following a first mandate to do so in 2015-16, member schools again were required to report head injuries to the MHSAA identifying the sport that each student-athlete was participating in and whether the injury was sustained during practice or competition. As reporting for the 2017-18 school year is now underway, schools again are required to designate if potential concussions occur during competition or practice and at which level—varsity, junior varsity or freshman.

The full report of all head injuries experienced during 2016-17 by student-athletes at MHSAA member high schools—including percentages by sport (per 1,000 participants), gender and team level, as well as data tracking when athletes returned to play—is available on the Health & Safety page of the MHSAA Website at https://www.mhsaa.com/portals/0/Documents/health%20safety/concussionreport1617.pdf.

As with the first year of reporting, the MHSAA received data from more than 99 percent of its member high schools after the fall, winter and spring seasons and continued to track each injury report through its conclusion this summer. Member junior high and middle schools also were allowed, although not mandated, to report their potential head injuries; and those findings are not part of the published report.

The 2016-17 concussion report found an 11-percent decrease in the number of confirmed concussions from the previous year. Student-athletes at MHSAA member high schools encountered during 2016-17 a total of 3,958 head injuries—or 5.2 per member school, similar but lower than the 2015-16 average of 5.9. Total participation in MHSAA sports for 2016-17 was 283,625, with students counted once for each sport he or she played and only 1.4 percent of participants experienced a head injury; that percentage in 2015-16 was 1.6.

Although the total number of confirmed concussions was significantly lower in 2016-17, a number of findings detailing those injuries fell in line with results of the 2015-16 survey.

Boys experienced 2,607—or 66 percent—of those injuries, nearly the same ratio as 2015-16 and as boys participation in sports, especially contact sports, remained higher than girls. More than half of head injuries—55 percent—were experienced by varsity athletes, which also fell within a percent difference of last year’s findings.

A total of 2,973 head injuries—or 65 percent—came in competition as opposed to practice. More than half took place during either the middle of practice or middle of competition as opposed to the start or end, and 52 percent of injuries were a result of person-to-person contact. The largest percentage of athletes—27 percent—returned to activity after 6 to 10 days, while 23 percent of those who suffered head injuries returned after 11-15 days of rest. All of these findings were within 1-4 percent of those discovered from the 2015-16 data.

Contact sports again revealed the most head injuries. Ranking first was football, 11 and 8-player combined, with 44 head injuries per 1,000 participants—a decrease of five head injuries per 1,000 participants from 2015-16. Ice hockey repeated with the second-most injuries per 1,000, with 36 (down two injuries per 1,000 from 2015-16), and girls soccer was again third with 28 head injuries per 1,000 participants (also down two from the previous year).

In fact, after football and hockey, the next four sports to show the highest incidences of head injuries were girls sports—girls soccer followed by girls basketball (23 per 1,000), girls competitive cheer (22) and girls lacrosse (20). Although girls basketball moved up from fifth to fourth for highest ratio, it did see a decline of six injuries per 1,000 participants from 2015-16.

Startling indications of another potential trend were seen again in the number of reported head injuries suffered by girls and boys playing the same sports. Soccer, basketball and baseball/softball are played under identical or nearly identical rules. Just as in 2015-16, females in those sports reported significantly more concussions than males playing the same or similar sport.

Female soccer players reported double the concussions per 1,000 participants as male soccer players, while female basketball players reported nearly triple the number of concussions per 1,000 participants (23 to 8). Softball players reported 11 concussions per 1,000 participants, and baseball players reported four per 1,000. The numbers from all three comparisons remained consistent from what the survey found in 2015-16.

It is the hope that Michigan’s universities, health care systems and the National Federation of State High School Associations will take part in analyzing the data and questions that have arisen during the past two years. Michigan State University’s Institute for the Study of Youth Sports submitted a paper titled “Gender Differences in Youth Sports Concussion” based on the 2015-16 results, and that subject will remain closely monitored in 2017-18 and beyond.

“The Institute’s research concluded that there is merit for believing females may be more susceptible than males to having concussions because of structural differences to the neck and head, and also due to neurological differences in the brains of females and males. But the findings also show merit for believing females may be more honest in reporting concussions,” said MHSAA Executive Director John E. “Jack” Roberts.

“We need to find out why. Are girls just more willing to report the injury? Are boys hiding it? These are some of our most important questions moving forward, and they will be critical in our efforts to educate athletes, their parents and coaches on the importance of reporting and receiving care for these injuries immediately.”

Roberts said that while it’s significant to note the similarity in statistics over the first two years of injury report collection, the lower percentages in 2016-17 don’t necessarily represent a trend; that conclusion can only be made after more data is collected in years to come. Some differences in data from the first year to the second could be the result of schools’ increased familiarity with the reporting system, the refinement of the follow-up reporting procedure and other survey error that is expected to decrease with future surveys.

“Our first survey in 2015-16 raised some initial themes, and the data we collected this past year and will continue to collect will help us identify the trends that will guide our next steps in reducing head injuries in interscholastic athletics,” Roberts said. “However, the necessity for more data to determine these trends should not delay our efforts to experiment with more head protection and modified play and practice rules in contact sports like ice hockey, soccer, wrestling and lacrosse, which all ranked among the top 10 sports for numbers of head injuries per thousand participants.

“We will continue to look for ways to make our good games better and our healthy games safer, and the collection of this data will continue to prove key as we work toward those goals.”

Schools report possible concussions online via the MHSAA Website. Reports are then examined by members of the MHSAA staff, who follow up with school administrators as those student-athletes continue to receive care and eventually return to play. Student privacy is protected.

The reporting of possible concussions is part of a three-pronged advance by the MHSAA in concussion care begun during the 2015-16 school year. The MHSAA completed this past spring (2017) the largest-ever state high school association sideline concussion testing pilot program, with a sample of schools from across the state over the last two years using one of two screening tests designed to detect concussions. The second year of the pilot program (2016-17) allowed participating schools to use the sideline detection tests in all sports but mandated they be used in sports (11 total over three seasons) showing the highest prevalence of concussions.

The MHSAA also was the first state association to provide all participants at every member high school and junior high/middle school with insurance intended to pay accident medical expense benefits—covering deductibles and co-pays left unpaid by other policies—resulting from head injuries sustained during school practices or competitions and at no cost to either schools or families. During 2016-17, a total of 139 claims were made—20 fewer than in 2015-16—with  football (44) and girls basketball (27) the sports most cited in those claims for the second straight year.

Previously, the MHSAA also was among the first state associations to adopt a return-to-play protocol that keeps an athlete out of activity until at least the next day after a suspected concussion, and allows that athlete to return to play only after he or she has been cleared unconditionally for activity by a doctor (M.D. or D.O.), physician’s assistant or nurse practitioner.

In addition, the MHSAA’s Coaches Advancement Program, which includes courses that must be completed by all varsity head coaches hired for the first time at a member school, has augmented for this fall its already substantial instruction on concussion care. Separately, rules meetings that are required viewing for all varsity and subvarsity head and assistant coaches at the start of each season include detailed training on caring for athletes with possible head injuries.

 

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Red Hawk wrestler named All-American

Ryan Ringler received the title of “All American” after placing in the top eight at the Fargo National Wrestling Tournament this summer. Courtesy photo.

Cedar Springs junior Ryan Ringler, 16, the son of Paul and Jane Ringler, is an outstanding athlete who qualified for the Fargo National Wrestling Tournament this summer. He placed in the top eight in both Freestyle and Greco-Roman Cadet level, and received the title of “All American” wrestler.

Team Michigan, consisting of one to three wrestlers from each weight class, traveled to the Fargodome in Fargo, North Dakota on July 13, for the highest level of wrestling competition for high school wrestlers in the U.S. This prestigious eight-day competition is unique. It is the largest, most competitive wrestling competition, and it is common to see as many as 150-plus extremely tough competitors in a particular weight class. Competing in Fargo is invaluable for a wrestler who wishes to excel at the highest level, such as collegiate or international levels. College coaches and scouts attend looking for the best up and coming talent. Ringler was approached and invited to lunch with a group of college coaches.

This was Ryan’s first time to qualify and attend Fargo. As intimidating as the competition can be, he did exactly what he set out to accomplish, which was to place in both styles of wrestling. He placed 7th in freestyle, taking his first loss immediately and having to do something that is rare, which was to win his way back six consecutive times to place.

Ringler’s determination and upper body strength is remarkable. He was able to place third in Greco-Roman with just one loss to the Illinois Cadet Greco champ, who media claimed was unstoppable. Ringler was dominating this important match with the only points scored; however, after a throw by Ringler and being awarded two points, Illinois challenged it and the two points were removed from Ringler and four points were awarded to Illinois. Illinois gained another point due to Ringler’s head position. Ringler scored the last two points, but time ran out before Ringler could score another 2 points to win. The match ended 4-5. The sting of losing to the Champion by one point was tough, but placing top three and being awarded membership into the USA National team was a goal realized.

Up next for this amazing student athlete is football, where he plans to lead the Cedar Springs varsity team in tackles for the third consecutive year. Then it’s back to training for high school folk style wrestling and researching colleges to attend and wrestle for.

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Cedar Springs grad selected to U.S. Youth Futsal team

Northern Kentucky University freshman Isaiah Schatz, with Keith Tozer, who is the coach of the Men’s U.S. Futsal National Team. Courtesy photo.

By Judy Reed

Isaiah Schatz, 17, a 2017 Cedar Springs graduate and freshman goalkeeper on the Northern Kentucky University men’s soccer team, was selected to play for the national U.S. Youth Futsal team, after participating in the national futsal i.d. trials earlier this month.

Futsal is the official indoor soccer game. It is small sided (5v5), played on a smaller pitch (roughly basketball court sized) and with a smaller ball.

Schatz is currently in Costa Rica with the team, where they will train and play three international matches between July 23 and July 30.

“Anytime someone is called up to represent their country, it is a great honor, and I have no doubt Isaiah will benefit greatly from this experience ahead of his freshman year at NKU,” said head coach Stu Riddle.

“I think it speaks volumes to the caliber of players we are recruiting to NKU, and I certainly expect to see plenty more National Team representation from members of this year’s incoming class and in future years.”

Schatz excelled in soccer while at Cedar Springs High School, and also was a member of the track and field team.

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Band car wash

The Cedar Springs High School Band has been working very hard this summer marching and learning to make music come to life. On July 15, the kids put on a car wash in a local business parking lot to raise funds to help the band cover the cost of their trips. They are grateful to the community for the generous support they showed.

They will be having another car wash on August 26 at Family Farm and Home from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm. “Please come out to see us. We’ll put a shine on your car and a smile on your face,” they said.

The Cedar Springs High School marching band put on a car wash July 15 to raise funds for the band program, and will hold another car wash on August 26.

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Mad scramble golf outing for sports boosters

 

Cedar Springs Brewing Company presents the Kitt F. Fisher Memorial mad scramble golf outing on Monday, August 14, at 11 a.m. at North Kent Golf Course, 11029 Stout Ave. NE. The outing will benefit the Cedar Springs Athletic Boosters.
There will be prizes, a hole-in-one contest and a fabulous prime rib dinner by Chef Shaun. Go to csbrew.com/event/mad-scramble-golf-outing/ for more information and to print out a flyer.

You can stop by Cedar Springs Brewing Company to sign up or download and print out the flyer and mail to PO Box 34, Cedar Springs, MI. Must be received by Thursday, August 10.

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Baseball tryout & hitting camp

 

Coast to Coast Baseball would like to invite local players (ages 14-18) to one of our upcoming tryout events. At the tryout, our staff will evaluate player’s skills in four areas: hitting, fielding, arm strength & speed. Players accepted to the program, will join college coaches and pro scouts at the $28 million Roger Dean Complex in Jupiter, FL for games and instruction this December 27-31.

Since the summer of 2001, over 4,000 athletes from 46 different states have particpated in the Coast to Coast Baseball program. Our alumni now compete at every level of collegiate baseball… and even professionally.

In addition to the tryout, an instructional hitting camp will be held the same day. The goal of the camp is to help players improve hitting fundamentals as well as their mental approach at the plate.

Events will be held at:

Genesee Fieldhouse – Grand Blanc, MI

Wednesday, July 12, 10 am

Elite Baseball -Wyoming, MI

Thursday, July 13, 10 am

Hardball Fans – Kalamazoo, MI

Friday, July 14, 10 am

A hitting camp follows each tryout.

For more information, players and parents can visit our website www.CoastToCoastAthletics.com. Register for an event either on the webiste or by calling our office at 740-236-8390.

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Cedar View 55 meter dash champions

 

By Mark Schumann

On the final day of school, June 7, the entire student body of Cedar View Elementary went to Red Hawk Stadium for the 55 meter dash finals.

On May 31, all of the students participated in the annual field day. Students were active in 9 different events, with winners crowned in the football kick, tennis ball toss, soccer kick, jump rope contest and 55 meter dash. The other 4 non-competitive events were: gunny sack race, hurdles, kickball and the free play area.

The first place and second place boy and girl from the 55 meter dash races on May 31 moved to the championship event on June 7.

The final results were:

4th grade boys champion: Sawyer Smith

4th grade girls champion: Cora Gonzales

5th grade boys champion: Eli Howland

5th grade girls champion: Ja’Kayla Finley

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Middle school girls track finishes undefeated season

The Middle School girls track team finished undefeated.

The girls middle school track team finished the regular season with an undefeated record.  This was the first year joining a new middle school conference and the girls excelled at the challenge. At the conclusion of the season, the 7th and 8th grade split their conference meets by grade level. The 7th grade team finished second, but only by a small margin.  The 8th grade team won their conference meet, which was also held at Red Hawk Stadium. This year the middle school team had a record number of girls out (87), which was a great thing for our program.

At the conclusion of the regular season, 15 girls represented Cedar Springs at the MegaStar meet, hosted at Shephard HS. In order to run in this event, they had to be part of the top 8 relays or top 16 individuals in their event in the state. The girls that attended the meet put down some incredible times and distances to finish 2nd overall as a team, to Traverse City West, a D1 team.

Seven school records were also broken this year. Abby Buttermore (70m), Kaelyn Colclasure (200m), Arianna Rau (400m), Sophia Dault (long jump & 55 hurdles), Arianna Rau (shot put) and the 400 relay team of Buttermore, Rau, Dault and Olivia Sherman.

Congratulations to these great young ladies and all the hard work they put in throughout the season. Each and everyone one of them dedicated themselves to working hard and as a result, saw their times/distances drop throughout the season.  Also a huge thank you to all our parents who supported the kids and parents throughout the season.  We definitely had the biggest crowd no matter where we were running!

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CSMS boys track team finishes undefeated season

The 7th and 8th grade boys track team finished with an undefeated record for the third year in a row.

Sixteen 7th and 8th grade track athletes from Cedar Springs competed at the Mega Star meet and won the team championship.

The CSMS boys track team finished its dual meet season with a third consecutive undefeated record.  The team completed their season by splitting into separate 7th and 8th grade teams to compete in separate conference championship invitationals. The 8th grade team placed first with 157 points, which was followed by Greenville, with 102 points. The 7th graders finished in first place with a total of 134 points, outdistancing second place Lowell, with 108.

In addition to their outstanding performances at their conference championships, the 7th and 8th grade team combined to send 16 athletes to compete at the Mega Star meet in Shepherd, Mich. There were 80 teams around the state represented at this meet. In order for an athlete to compete, they must have one of the 16 best times in an individual event, or in the top 8 for a relay team. The team fought hard and won the team championship with 83 points, over second place Traverse City West, with 70 points. Individuals who earned first place medals include Alex Nylaan, Spencer Bray, Caleb Peacock, Corey Bowers, Nathan Elliston, Carter Bayink and Aiden Brunin.

Seven school records were broken this year, which is the most by one team in the history of the middle school program. Corey Bowers set three school records in the 3200m, 1600m and 800m runs. Jeremy Campione broke the school record in pole vault by going 11’0. The 1600 meter relay team of  Spencer Bray, Caleb Peacock, Aiden Brunin and Corey Bowers broke the record that was established just last year and set the Mega Star meet record by running a time of 3:48. Tucker Cooke, Daniel Vaughn, Christian Moleski and Jeremy Campione broke the 400m relay record by sprinting to a 49.16 time. Finally, the 800m relay team of Daniel Vaughn, Christian Moleski, Aiden Brunin and Landon Totten set the school record with a time of 1:41.56.

The track team enjoyed an unbelievable and historic season this year due to their hard work, dedication and commitment to individually do what was necessary to make the team a success.

Congratulations to all team members on a fantastic season. A special thank you to all parents, staff members, high school coaches and athletes who are always on hand to cheer our team on and for running great home meets.

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