Posted on 21 May 2015.
By Shae Brophy
Meet the owner and head coach of the West Michigan Hawks, David Lange. Lange has spent the majority of his life in Cedar Springs, graduating from Cedar Springs High School in 2007. He knew that when the idea of the Hawks came together, Cedar Springs was the only place he wanted to call home for the Hawks.
“When I decided to start this franchise, I knew for a fact that Cedar Springs would be the perfect place,” said Lange. “The love for football in this city is outstanding! The thing that makes me most proud about this city is the amount of support shown by the community.”
Coach Lange has already started the process of creating bonds with the city, as well. The Hawks have been very active in community projects, despite the fact that they have not been around for more than a few months. “It is a requirement to give back to the community if you want to wear the Hawks jersey,” Lange explained. “We have helped with the cleanup along the White Pine Trail, as well as picking up trash along the highway. Our next goal is to help a child who is fighting cancer. Ideally, we would like to raise funds to be able to help with hospital expenses.”
Lange knows a thing or two about giving back. Lange is a veteran of the United States Army, having joined the National Guard in 2007 right out of high school as a 19 Delta Cavalry Scout. In 2009, he decided to transfer to active duty, and was stationed in Colorado Springs, Colorado. While on active duty, he also served a 12-month deployment in Basra, Iraq. “My biggest takeaway from my time in the Army was how important teamwork is. Every mission that was carried out was a team effort. I relied on my teammates as they relied on me to keep one another safe, and to play my role in the mission to be successful. I use these same techniques from the Army and apply them to this football team, in order to build teamwork and trust. Without teamwork and trust, you can never be a successful team.”
When preparing the team for a game, Coach Lange says that there are quite a few advantages of being a first year team. “Nobody really knows what a first year team will be bringing to the table, which makes us very difficult to prepare for. Our guys are really coming together and starting to gel as a team.” Preparation is another one of Lange’s strong points, as you could guess because of who his main idol in life is. “My role model would have to be (UFC fighter) Georges St. Pierre. He is without a doubt a true champion, and a great role model both in the cage, and in life. He strives for excellence, while remaining humble at all times. Nothing but class.”
Every home game for the Hawks this season will be on a Saturday evening, and the West Michigan Hawks would like for you to come out and watch their games! Added Coach Lange, “Our fans are just as much a part of the team as our players. We strive to make our games family friendly, and a fun environment! What better way to spend a Saturday evening than under the lights at a football game!”
The Hawks have completed the non-conference portion of their schedule. They will open the conference portion of their schedule on May 30, against the Battle Creek Coyotes. The game will be played at Harper Creek High School, in Battle Creek, and will begin at 7 p.m. As always, you are encouraged to make the trip with the team to watch West Michigan semi-pro football at its finest!