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WAAAM wrestlers place at state finals

These Cedar Springs wrestlers competed at the WAAAM state finals earlier this month. Courtesy photo.

On Sunday, May 6, nine boys from Cedar Springs competed at the Wrestling Amateur Athletic Association (WAAAM) State wrestling competition at Battle Creek Lakeview High School.

Maston Wood took a 1st place; Cole Hacck took a 3rd; James Joldersma took 7th; Aaron Smith took 5th; David Erxleben took 5th; Westley Wentworth took 6th; Ben Brunner took 2nd; Trevor Marsman took 1st; and Andrew VanGessel took a 3rd place.

“These boys have worked hard all season and made a big Improvement throughout the season. We are so proud of all the accomplishments they made and can’t wait for next season,” said Coach Nick Emery.

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Three new sports added to the Meijer State Games 

Footgolf is one of three new sports added to the Meijer State Games this summer. Photo by FIFG [CC BY-SA 4.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)], from Wikimedia Commons

Registration is open for most sports 

Grand Rapids, Mich., May 15, 2018 — The Meijer State Games of Michigan will showcase three new sports at the 2018 Summer Games. The three sports that will be added to the Summer Games lineup this year are: Footgolf, BB Gun/Air Rifle/Air Pistol and Archery Tag. The Meijer State Games of Michigan is now offering over 40 sports in this year’s event lineup.

Archery Tag will take place on Saturday, June 16, at East Kentwood High School (6230 Kalamazoo Ave. SE Kentwood, MI 49508). The shooting sports divisions of BB Gun, Air Rifle and Air Pistol will take place on Saturday, June 23, at the Grand Rapids Rifle and Pistol Club (1331 Nagel Ave SW Wyoming, MI 49509). Footgolf will take place at Stormy Creek Footgolf Course on Sunday, June 24 (3450 36th St Kentwood, MI 49512).

Footgolf sport director, Mirza Causevic, talked about the addition of footgolf to the Meijer State Games of Michigan. “Footgolf is a twist of golf and soccer, which I think will draw interest from all age groups.” “Participants can expect to play 18 holes with a soccer ball, in a competitive environment.”

Ron Carr will be running this year’s shooting events.

“There are three new shooting divisions being introduced to the summer games, and I think this will be appealing to people who want to get in the shooting range, be competitive and have some fun,” said shooting sports director, Ron Carr. “I’m eager to see more shooting sports in the State Games, and I’m honored to be able to coordinate this event.”

Registration is now open for most sports. There is an estimated 8,000+ athletes participating in over 40 sporting events in this year’s Summer Games. For more information about registration, please visit www.stategamesofmichigan.com/summer-games-sports-lineup/. Registration is located on each sports page.

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JV Baseball loses to Northview


The Cedar Springs Red Hawks JV baseball team played a three game set against Northview last week.  

Games 1 and 2 were played Monday, May 7.  Game 1 went nine innings with Northview coming out on top 9-8. Connor Ellison and Trenton Snoeyink pitched a great game but, again, errors cost the Red Hawks the game. At the plate, Gage Haywood, Dylan Greenland, and Willy Zain each had two hits. Snoeyink, Ellison and Dylan Knauf each had a hit as well. The boys had several chances to win the game, leaving 10 runners on base throughout the game.  

In game 2, errors cost them again as Colton Moore took the mound. Five errors led to big innings by Northview as they defeated the Red Hawks again 10-2.  Connor Ellison continued hitting the ball well with two hard hits. Jeremy Campione chipped in with two hits as well. Trenton Snoeyink and Dylan Knauf each had a hit.

Game 3 was played on Wednesday, May 9. Kyle Wise, Willy Zain and Jeremy Campione shared time on the mound. The Wildcats of Northview hit the ball well, scoring 18 runs. The Red Hawks managed 8 runs on 8 hits, led by Connor Ellison with two. Snoeyink, Campione, Secord, Greenland, Knauf and Dykhouse each had hits as well.

It was a long week of fighting illness and injuries, leaving the JV team with an 11-10-1 record. Next is a non-conference week against West Ottawa and Big Rapids.

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MHSAA Representative Council Selects Mark Uyl as Next Executive Director


Mark Uyl

EAST LANSING, Mich. – Mark Uyl, formerly a high school teacher, coach and administrator and currently an assistant director for the Michigan High School Athletic Association and one of the nation’s most respected voices in sports officiating, has been selected as the next executive director of the MHSAA by its Representative Council.

He will succeed retiring Executive Director John E. “Jack” Roberts in August. Roberts, who has served as executive director since the fall of 1986, announced his retirement April 24.

Uyl (pronounced yule), 44, joined the MHSAA staff in January 2004 and coordinates the Association’s nearly 10,000 officials in addition to serving as director of baseball and administrator of the MHSAA’s catastrophic and concussion care insurance plans. He also has served as director of cross country and wrestling during his tenure.

As assistant director, Uyl was instrumental as the MHSAA became the first state high school athletics association to offer concussion care insurance, which provides gap coverage to assist in covering costs for athletes who are injured while participating in MHSAA-sponsored sports. As an official himself, Uyl has worked to build a stronger relationship with those working high school events that has included an increase in training and support. As a sport director, Uyl has sought to create the best experiences for Michigan high school teams, including with the move of the MHSAA Baseball and Softball Finals to Michigan State University in 2014.

“The foundation built here by Jack Roberts over the last 32 years is the strongest in the country, and I’m honored to have the opportunity to lead our staff in building on that foundation,” Uyl said. “There will be many ways we’ll continue to protect the same values of educational athletics, while also looking for new ways and new opportunities to best serve the students and our member schools in Michigan.”

In addition to his full-time MHSAA duties, Uyl has officiated collegiate baseball since 1997 and is regarded as one of the best at that level. In addition to umpiring major conference baseball all over the United States, Uyl was part of the crews for the 2014 and 2017 College World Series. He also officiated college football for 12 years with several NCAA postseason assignments, and did serve as coordinator of officials for the Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association. He was registered with the MHSAA for at least three sports beginning in 1992 and worked the Baseball Finals in 1999.

Additionally, Uyl served on the board of directors of the National Association of Sports Officials (NASO) from 2012-15 and as its chairperson during his final year. Currently, he serves as the high school representative on the Officiating Development Alliance (ODA), which consists of the supervisors of officials for the NFL, NBA, MLB, NHL, CFL, MLS and NCAA Division I sports.

The Council made its decision at the conclusion of its annual Spring Meeting on May 7 in Gaylord. Uyl will become only the fifth full-time executive in the MHSAA’s 94-year history, following Charles E. Forsythe (1931-42, 1945-68), Allen W. Bush (1968-78), Vern L. Norris (1978-86) and Roberts.

“Mark has spent the past 14 years as a highly effective assistant director for the MHSAA,” said Representative Council President Scott Grimes, who serves as Assistant Superintendent of Human Services for Grand Haven Area Public Schools. “He is a proven leader in the organization committed to providing outstanding service to both internal and external constituents. The positive relationships he has fostered with school administrators will help make this a very smooth transition.”

Prior to his time at the MHSAA, Uyl first taught and coached and then served as athletic director and assistant principal at Middleville-Thornapple Kellogg High School, the latter from 2001-03. Before becoming an administrator there, Uyl served as athletic director at Caledonia High School in 2000-01.

During his tenure as an assistant director at the MHSAA, Uyl also served a four-year term on the Baseball Committee for the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS).

“Mark was the obvious choice to become the next executive director of the MHSAA,” Roberts said. “Mark has the proper student-focused perspective of educational athletics, excellent person-to-person communications skills and a deep practical understanding of what is happening day to day in school sports in our state and nationally.”

Uyl graduated from Caledonia High School in 1992, and from Calvin College in 1996 with a bachelor’s degree in history and physical education. He later received a master’s in educational leadership from Grand Valley State University. At Calvin, Uyl was a four-year starter on the baseball team, earning all-conference honors twice and serving as team captain.

Uyl resides in DeWitt with his wife Marcy, an accomplished educator and coach who has served as a high school varsity basketball coach since 1994. They have three children: Jackson (17), Grant (15) and Madison (11).

The MHSAA is a private, not-for-profit corporation of voluntary membership by more than 1,500 public and private senior high schools and junior high/middle schools which exists to develop common rules for athletic eligibility and competition. No government funds or tax dollars support the MHSAA, which was the first such association nationally to not accept membership dues or tournament entry fees from schools. Member schools which enforce these rules are permitted to participate in MHSAA tournaments, which attract more than 1.4 million spectators each year.

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JV baseball loses to FHC, beats Belding

JV Red Hawk Baseball players Colton Moore, Lucas Secord, and Dylan Knauf warming up before a game.

The JV Red Hawk baseball team ran into a talented group of ballplayers when they faced off against the Rangers of Forest Hills Central last week. Cedar Springs dropped the three game set 12-2, 12-6 and 12-4. Pitchers struggled throwing strikes at times and defensive errors allowed the Rangers to put together a big inning in each of the three games. 

The Red Hawks hit the ball well but, again, left many runners on base. Caden Vandenberg led the Hawks at the plate with 6 hits, three of them doubles.  Jeremy Campione and Trenton Snoeyink each had 5 hits in the series. Dylan Knauf and Connor Ellison each had 3 hits, while Willy Zain and Dylan Greenland added a pair of hits each. Clyde Dykhouse, Kyle Wise and Jerome Patin also each had a hit.  

On Friday, May 4, the boys traveled to Belding for a non-conference double header. In game one they got a strong performance from Dylan Knauf and Connor Ellison. Trenton Snoeyink, Lucas Secord and Willy Zain led the team at the plate with a pair of hits each. Jeremy Campione added a triple while Dylan Greenland, Gage Haywood and Clyde Dykhouse also had hits. The final score was 9-0.

In game two, Belding came out swinging but were no match for the Zain/Greenland combination on the mound. Walking only one batter, the boys allowed their defense to make plays and pick up their eleventh win of the season with a final score of 17-7. Connor Ellison led the team at the plate with four hits, one of them a triple. Campione added another triple. Snoeyink continued hitting the ball well with three more hits. Willy Zain had a pair of hits as well. Dylan Greenland, Clyde Dykhouse and Dylan Knauf each had a hit as well.  

Overall the JV team is 11-7-1 on the season. They’ll play three against a tough Northview team this week.

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High School Track Host Red Hawk Invite 

Red Hawk Klaudia Kulakowski placed 4th in the 100 and 200-meter dashes last weekend at the Red Hawk Invitational track meet. Courtesy photo

On Saturday, May 5, the Cedar Springs Lady Red Hawks hosted the Red Hawk Invitational Track meet. The team scored 593.5 points and placed 6th out of 9 teams. Senior Mackenzie Rugg vaulted a personal best of 9’ 6” to win the pole vault. Also placing in the top 6 and earning medals was Klaudia Kulakowski, 4th in the 100 and 200-meter dashes and 6th in the long jump; Julia Danielson, 4th in the long jump; and Grace Sova, 6th in the pole vault. 

The team competes Friday, May 11, in the OK White Conference meet at Housman Field in Grand Rapids. Field events start at 1:15 p.m. and running finals start at 4:30.

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JV Baseball improves record to 9-4

The JV baseball team played a three game series against Ottawa Hills last week. The Red Hawks won all three games, scoring 50 runs in the series. Jerome Patin and Willy Zain each had four hits in the series. Gage Haywood, Trenton Snoeyink, and Colton Moore each had three hits, while Connor Ellison, Dylan Knauf, Clyde Dykhouse and Kyle Wise each had two. Dylan Greenland, Caden Vandenberg, Lucas Secord and Jeremy Campione also had hits. Kyle Wise, Colton Moore, and Dylan Greenland each earned victories on the mound, not allowing a single run.

On Thursday, April 26, the JV team made the trip to Fremont. In the opener, Dylan Knauf threw a two hit shutout, striking out 10 and walking only one in a thrilling 2-0 victory. Trenton Snoyink and Jeremy Campione had 2 hits each and each scored runs in the final inning to get the win.  

In the second game of the double header, Kyle Wise earned the victory on the mound, striking out four and walking one. The Red Hawks were more efficient at the plate. Trenton Snoyink continued driving the ball, landing two hits, while Campione, Knauf, Zain, Ellison and Greenland each added a hit in the 11-0 victory.  

It was a great week for pitching and defense. In 5 games the boys committed only 3 errors and pitchers didn’t allow a single run. The JV team is currently 9-4-1 on the season.

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Here’s how to help protect young athletes from injury


Bob Gardner, Executive Director , National Federation of State High School Associations

By Bob Gardner Executive Director, National Federation of State High School Associations

 One of the responsibilities that parents take most seriously is protecting their children from injury, whether it is buckling seat belts in a car or wearing a helmet while riding a bike. And when their kids become teenagers and want to participate in sports or other activities, parents do everything they can to keep their sons and daughters from getting hurt.

 But not all injuries are caused by a twist, fall, collision or accident. Many are caused when young athletes repeat the same athletic activity so often that muscles, ligaments, tendons and bones don’t have time to recover—especially among middle school and high school students. These injuries can end promising careers, cost families tens of thousands of dollars, squash dreams and literally change lives.

 Examples include elbow and arm injuries to teenagers who play baseball or softball all year long; shoulder injuries to year-round swimmers; wrist and elbow injuries to gymnasts; and stress fractures to soccer players.

 The culprit, most often, is what’s commonly known as “sport specialization,” the process of playing the same sport all year long with the goal of either gaining a competitive edge or earning a college scholarship. It involves intense, year-round training in a single sport.     

Research shows that sports specialization is putting teenage athletes at risk. According to a study commissioned by the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) and conducted by researchers from the University of Wisconsin, high school athletes who specialize in a single sport are 70 percent more likely to suffer an injury during their playing season than those who play multiple sports.

The American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons says much the same. It reports that “overuse injuries” (injuries caused when an athletic activity is repeated so often that parts of the body do not have enough time to heal) are responsible for nearly half of all sports injuries to middle school and high school students.

There is a solution. Young athletes should be encouraged to play multiple sports. 

When student-athletes cross-train, they work different muscle groups and joints, which in fact, results in better overall conditioning. They also develop a new set of athletic skills like hand-eye coordination, balance, endurance, explosion and agility that are transferable to their primary sport. It’s no coincidence that 30 of the 32 first-round picks in the 2017 National Football League draft played multiple sports in high school.  

Parents can play a key role in preventing these overuse injuries by encouraging their kids to play multiple sports rather than pushing them to specialize in one sport. They will have more fun, will be less likely to suffer burnout and will actually become better athletes.


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JV Baseball battles weather to complete games

Dylan Knauf got the win against the Red Arrows in game one of a doubleheader last week.

The JV baseball team was able to get two games in on April 11 before Mother Nature decided to play a joke on us with another touch of snow and ice over the weekend.

On Wednesday April 11, the Red Hawks played a double header against the undefeated Huskies of Forest Hills Northern. In the first game, Connor Ellison pitched a great game, striking out 3 and walking none. He allowed 6 hits over his six-inning outing. His defense didn’t help him much, committing 7 total errors. In the 10-3 loss, only 2 of the Forest Hills runs were earned.

At the plate, Trenton Snoeyink, Dylan Knauf, Lucas Secord, Jeremy Campione and Caden Vandenberg all recorded a hit. As a whole, the Red Hawks left a dozen runners on base and weren’t able to get hits when they needed them.  

In the second game, Kyle Wise struggled throwing strikes, walking 7 and hitting one batter, while allowing 6 runs. Colton Moore was able to hold the Huskies to just one run in his two innings of relief.  Offensively, the Red Hawks were able to draw several walks, which were brought around to score with hits from Connor Ellison, Lucas Secord and a big double from Caden Vandenberg. With aggressive baserunning and these timely hits the score was tied at 7-7 when the sun went down and the game was called due to darkness.  

Last week the JV baseball team played a three-day set against the Red Arrows of Lowell.  

On April 19, they played a doubleheader. In game one, the Red Hawks were led on the mound by Dylan Knauf. In six innings of work, he allowed 4 runs on just three hits, while walking one. Trenton Snoeyink pitched the seventh inning to earn his second save of the season in the 7-4 victory. 

At the plate, Jeremy Campione had a pair of hits. Dylan Greenland, Willy Zain, Trenton Snoeyink, Caden Vandenberg, Dylan Knauf and Gage Haywood each had a hit as well.

In game two, Sophomore Colton Moore struggled throwing strikes on the mound, and allowed 8 runs, though only 3 of them were earned. The defense also committed several errors that sunk a few innings. Dylan Knauf had two doulbles batting in the leadoff spot. Willy Zain had a pair of hits as well, one of them a double. Lucas Secord hit a double as well. Trenton Snoeyink and Clyde Dykhouse each added a hit. The game 2 final was 12-5.

In game three, on April 20, our boys ran into a tough pitcher from Lowell and were only able to scrape together one hit each from Willy Zain and Jeremy Campione. Defensively they committed six errors as a team in the 10-0 loss.

The JV team is 4-4-1 overall. This week they are scheduled to play a trio of games against Ottawa Hills and a double header against Fremont.

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WMP wrestlers earn All American status at Nationals

Two West Michigan Pursuit wrestlers became NUWAY National Champions last weekend. Courtesy photo.

By Barbra Chong

West Michigan Pursuit traveled to Lansing for the 2018 NUWAY Nationals. WMP entered 12 grapplers to compete and 8 earned All American Status.

Tatianna Castillo entered the All Girls event in the 9U, 52 lb wt class. Castillo battled her way into the Championship but came up short taking the runner up spot. She ended her season with a 37-22 record.

65 lb Hunter Eeck, D3 division finished 8th. Eck finished his season with a record of 30-24. 

59 lb Kellen Weckesser, D3 division finished 6th. Weckesser finished his season with a 38-21 record. 

58 lb Tanner Cowles, D2 division finished 4th. Cowles finished his season with a 40-15 record. 

86 lb Blake Peasley, D3 division and 66 lb Josh Vasquez, D4 division both finished 3rd. Peasley finished his season with a 53-8 record and Vasquez ended his season with a 50-10 record. 

2018 NUWAY National Champions are 65 lb Quinten Cassiday, D3 division and 64 lb Drew Moro, D2 division. Cassiday finished his season with a 57-11 record and Moro ended his season with a 62-5 record. 

“From the beginning of season, my expectations were set high,” said head coach Dave Andrus. “I was very pleased they were met and some were exceeded. I’m so very proud of all my kids. It’s the greatest feeling as a coach to have your athletes jump into your arms after they accomplish what they work so hard for.” 

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