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Cedar Springs Youth wrestlers bring home medals

CS Youth wrestlers show off their medals. Photo courtesy of Kathy Crystal.

By Jacquie Troupe

Twenty-nine novice wrestlers from Cedar Springs Youth Wrestling competed at Zeeland East High School in a Novice Duals Tournament on Saturday, January 27. They grappled against Hamilton, Zeeland, Allendale A & B and Byron Center. They finished in third place. 

“I’m really happy with the way these Novice kids wrestled this weekend,” said Coach Jake. “There were some tough matches. We won some, we lost some but now we have a goal to set for the end of the year.”

Eight Cedar Springs wrestlers headed to Big Rapids High School on Sunday, January 28, to chase the Greights medal. Seven were successful. Chasyn Winchel was 10th overall in pins with 3 in 2:08, his fastest being :33. Karsen Roelofs tied for 53rd with 2 in 1:41, Tucker Crystal was 63rd with 2 in 2:33 and Hudson Crystal was 80th with 2 in 3:26. Tucker Crystal had the fastest Tech for the team and was 19th overall with 2:11. Leading scorers for the day were Tucker Crystal with 28 match points, Jaxon Fitzgerald with 21 and Hudson Crystal with 16. They finished the day 8th in Pins with 11 in 11:14, 19th in Match Points with 109 and finishing the day 18-12. 

In the 2011-13 age group Karsen Roelofs placed 3rd and Jaxon Fitzgerald took the top spot in the 61lb class. In the 2009-10 age group Tucker Crystal and Chasyn Winchel placed 3rd and Jon Libera took the top spot in the 77lb class. In the 2007-08 age group Dakota Winchel placed 4th and Hudson Crystal took the top spot in the 90lb class.

Cedar Springs took 12 wrestlers to West Ottawa for the West Region competition on Sunday, January 28. Conner Dines was 7th overall in Pins with 3 in 2:22 and Tucker Dines tied for 31st with 2 in 2:32. Blake Falan had the fastest Tech for the team and was 11th overall with 3:14. Conner Dines had the fastest pin for the team with :27, tied for 31st overall. Carter Falan tied for 43rd with :33, Tucker Dines tied for 70th with :42. Conner Dines had the most Team Points overall with 27.5 after 4 matches, Tucker Dines had 19.0, Blake Falan had 18.5 & Deegan Pike finished with 16.0. Tucker Dines had the most Single Match Points for the team with 20 and was 3rd overall. Conner Dines had 16, Blake Falan had 15 and Cameron Ellison had 15. The team finished 25th overall, going 18-17 for the day, 11th in Pins with 8 in 8:07 and 10th in Match Points with 148. 

In the 2011-13 age group Dillon VanDyke placed 3rd. In the 2009-10 age group Tucker Dines placed 2nd. In the 2007-08 age group Donivin D’Antuono placed 3rd, Deegan Pike placed 2nd and Conner Dines (80lb) and Blake Falan (71lb) took the top spots. In the 2005-06 age group, Gabe Gair placed 2nd. In the 2003-04 age group Ben Brunner placed 3rd.

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West Michigan Pursuit at North Greights/West Ottawa     


Quinten Cassiday was Champion of the 63 lb 9/10 Age Group. Photo by B. Chong.

By Barbra Chong 


West Michigan Pursuit entered 18 grapplers to wrestle last weekend and 16 placed in the top four. 

Desmond Smith, 58 lbs, 7/8 age group travelled to West Ottawa. Smith went 3-0 for the day taking home the Championship Title. Tatianna Castillo, 52 lbs, entered the All Girls tournament in the 7/8 age group. Castillo went 3-0, claiming a Championship Title. 

The rest of the team traveled to Big Rapids for the North Greights tournament. Blake Hammer, 90 lbs, 13/15 age group and 52 lb Blake Werkema, 7/8 age group finished 4th. 

Evan Andrews, 67 lbs, 9/10 age group; 70 lb Xavier Carpentier, 11/12 age group; 46 lb Brody Compau, 7/8 age group and 75 lb Tyler Parmeter, 9/10 age group all finished 3rd. 

Isaiah Sostenes, 80 lbs, 9/10 age group; 64 lb Aaiden Vasquez, 7/8 age group and 70 lb Josh Vasquez, 11/12 age group all finished 2nd. 

Champions of the day are 63 lb Quinten Cassiday, 9/10 age group; 67 lb Luke Egan, 9/10 age group; 64 lb Drew Moro, 7/8 age group; 55 lb Kaleb Pautke, 7/8 age group and 85 lb Blake Peasley, 9/10 age group. 

“Watching these kids build momentum each week is exciting. Their passion and drive is displayed every time they step on the mat. I am thankful for my athletes and the support of their parents,” said Head Coach Dave Andrus.

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Become an official 


Stay connected to high school sports

By Bob Gardner and Mark Uyl 

They don’t make the headlines, their names are not in the box scores and they don’t make the all-star teams. But perhaps the most important individuals in high school sports are the contest officials.

These individuals are so important that, in fact, there would be no organized competitive sports at the high school level without the men and women who officiate these contests every day across the country. Subtract the dedicated men and women who officiate high school sports, and competitive sports would no longer be organized; they would be chaotic.

In some areas of our country, high school officials are retiring faster than new ones are being added. And junior varsity, freshmen and middle school games are being postponed—or even cancelled—because  there are not enough men and women to officiate them.

Anyone looking for a unique way to contribute to the local community should consider becoming a registered high school official. For individuals who played sports in high school, officiating is a great way to stay close to the sport after their playing days have ended. Officiating helps people stay in shape, expands their social and professional networks and offers part-time work that is flexible, yet pays. In fact, officiating is a form of community service, but with compensation.

Another benefit of officiating is that individuals become role models so that teenagers in the community can learn the life lessons that high school sports teach. Students learn to respect their opponents and the rules of the game and the importance of practicing good sportsmanship thanks, in part, to those men and women who officiate. And the objectivity and integrity that high school officials display is an example that every young person needs to observe firsthand. In short, communities around the country will be stronger because of the life lessons that high school officials help teach the next generation.   

Officiating is a great way to stay connected to sports and to give back to the local high school and community. We need dedicated men and women to become involved so that high school sports can continue to prosper for years to come.

Individuals interested in learning more about becoming a high school official, and even beginning the application process, can do so at www.HighSchoolOfficials.com.

Bob Gardner is Executive Director of the National Federation of State High School Associations, and Mark Uyl is Assistant Director of the Michigan High School Athletic Association

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A movie inspires a dream

Maximus De Back finished 8th out of 170 in a fencing competition earlier this month in Bratislava, Slovakia.

Teen finishes in top 8 in fencing competition

By Judy Reed

Maximus De Back, 16, of Solon Township, is working hard to realize a dream—to become part of the USA Olympic fencing team. 

Earlier this month, Maximus was part of the Team USA at the Bratislava Men’s Foil Cadet European Cup in Slovakia. Team USA won gold, silver and bronze, with five of the team in the top eight—including Maximus. He finished 8th out of 170 in the international tournament. 

Maximus, who is the son of William P. and Rachel De Back, has been fencing since he was six years old. “I watched the movie The Princess Bride and told my mom and dad I wanted to try it,” he said with a smile. “So I took fencing lessons at a club in Grand Rapids.”

He trained for about a year, then participated in his first tournament at about age 7 or 8.

His sister, Greta, 13, also fences. But she is currently healing from an injury.

According to his dad, Maximus practices two hours a night, 4-5 days a week, all year long. He trains at the Grand Rapids Fencing Academy, and competes in various tournaments, both domestic and international. In Budapest, he placed in the top 32.

All of his training and traveling doesn’t give him much time to attend school, so he takes virtual classes online, through Cedar Springs Public Schools, so that he will be able to earn his diploma.

What is it that Maximus likes about fencing? “It’s not just who is bigger or stronger; you have to think about what you are going to do,” he said. “If you lose, it’s your fault.”

He said he will sometimes study his opponent to see what they like to do, then shut that down. 

While his goal is to join the Olympic team at some point, he said his immediate goal is to just get better each time he competes.

Maximus will complete next in the Jr. Olympics in February in Memphis. 

You can keep track of many of the fencing tournaments here and abroad on the USA Fencing facebook page.

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Varsity Wrestlers ram Rockford and sting Greenville

Senior Chris Shaffer (189lbs, 21-7 record) sealed the win for the Red Hawks against Rockford.

The Varsity Wrestling team accomplished a mission last weekend that had not been completed since the 1995 State Championship season. On Friday, January 19, the boys defeated arch nemesis Greenville 55-9 in front of the home crowd for Parents Night. Topping off the weekend, the Red Hawks were able to pull away from Rockford in the upper weights to knock off our Division 1 neighbors 37-24 at the Lakeshore Super Duals.

Trevor Marsman opened the Rockford dual with a last second take down, handing the tough Brock Fisher a rare loss. It was a complete team effort as the Red Hawks fought off bonus points through the heart of Rockford lineup, which includes All-Staters Noah Anderson and Jack Richardson. After wins from Nate Male, Aaron Smith and Jacob Galinis, the Red Hawks found themselves down 18-21. Lucus Pienton battled for a last second escape to tie the dual, and Xavier Anderson displayed his talents to keep the match within reach.

Trailing 21-24, Rockford voided All State Ryan Ringler and it would all came down to senior Chris Shaffer. A cool-eyed Shaffer stated, “I got this Coach,” then he went on to claim a major decision and ice it for the Hawks. Caleb Baty placed the cherry on top with a 30-second pin at Heavyweight to cement the victory for the Red Hawks.

“The boys are turning in a fine season, compiling an 18-6 record (5-1 OK White) and will be in action this weekend looking to threepeat as Champions at the Shelby Superduals,” said Coach Nick Emery.

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CS Youth wrestlers place in Myway tournaments

Cedar Springs Youth Wrestlers with medals. Photo by Terry Troupe.

Cedar Springs Youth Wrestlers traveled to Ionia HS and to Henry Ford HS for Myway tournaments this past weekend.

According to Coach Pike, it was exciting to see how many new wrestlers are winning out on the mat. “We brought 43 wrestlers to Ionia. It’s been exciting to see the improvement in all the kids every week. From the newest wrestler to our most experienced, they are proving to themselves that working hard in practice gives them the edge they need to win out on the mat,” he said.

CSYWC finished the day 1st in number of Pins and total Match Points, 2nd in most Techs and their winning percentage was up 13 percent over last week, 102-59. 

Jon Libera headed to the Detroit/Metro Region to chase the Greights. His fastest pin for the day was 1:00 and he brought home the Silver medal in the 2009-10 77lb class.  

At Ionia HS, Conner Dines had the most pins for the team and was 5th overall with 4 in 4:17. Thomas Prins was 23rd with 3 in 3:16. Hudson Crystal was 52nd with 2 in :59. Ben Streeter was 67th with 2 in 1:33. Nolan Averill was 82nd with 2 in 2:02. Karsen Roelofs was 88th with 2 in 2:17. 

Mason Taylor had the fastest Tech for the team and was 3rd overall with 1:13. Karsen Roelofs was 13th with 2:09. Dillon VanDyke tied for 26th with 3:00. Deegan Pike was 40th with 3:47. Gavyn Byxbe was 41st with 3:50. The team was 2nd overall with 5 in 13:59.

Zach Vu celebrated his birthday and had the Fastest Pin for the team, tying for 1st overall, with :09! Dawson Pike and Thomas Prins tied for 18th with :15. Hudson Crystal tied for 23rd with :16. Taylor Crystal tied for 30th :18. Conner Dines tied for 48th with :22. Karsen Roelofs tied for 61st with :25. We were 1st place overall with 39 pins in 53:09.

Conner Dines scored the most Team Points overall tying for 1st with 25.0, Austin Averill and Spencer Schoenborn tied for 30th with 22.0, Deegan Pike was 25th with 21.5, Kaiden Dreyer tied for 47th with 21.0, Tucker Crystal and Thomas Prins tied for 59th with 20.0, Karsen Roelofs and Dillon VanDyke tied for 77th with 19.5, Nolan Averill tied for 83rd with 19.0, Hudson Crystal and Gabe Gair tied for 92nd with 18.0.

Tucker Dines tied for 14th in overall single Match Points with 18, Dillon VanDyke tied for 19th with 17. Sierra Streeter, Karsen Roelofs, Gavyn Byxbe, Deegan Pike & Mason Taylor tied for 43rd with 16. John Elam and Nolan Averill tied for 67th with 15. Taylor Crystal tied for 96th with 14. The team scored 690 match points for the day. 

In the 2011-13 age group our 4th place finishers were Mason Taylor & Dawson Pike.  Placing 3rd were Sierra Streeter and Jaxon Fitzgerald. Finishing 2nd were Taylor Crystal, Karsen Roelofs, Nolan Averill, Dillon VanDyke. Congratulations goes to Ben Streeter on his 1st place Championship!

In the 2009-10 age group Tucker Dines placed 3rd. Placing 2nd were Cameron Ellison and Chasyn Winchel. Congratulations to our 1st place Champions Zach Vu and Tucker Crystal!

In the 2007-08 divisions placing 3rd was Rory Schoenborn. Our 2nd place finishers were Deegan Pike, Kaiden Dreyer and Gavyn Byxbe. Congratulations to our 1st place Champions Austin Averill, Spencer Schoenborn, Conner Dines, Thomas Prins and Hudson Crystal!

In the 2005-06 age groups Jack Sherburn placed 3rd and Gabe Gair took the 1st place Championship in the 112/119lb class!

In the 2003-04 divisions Joey Meade and Logan Troupe brought home 4th place medals. Bringing home 3rd place was Carter Falan. Maston Wood brought home the 2nd place medal in the 170lb class.

Next week the team travels to Zeeland East for a team duals tournament; Big Rapids to chase the Greights medal; and West Ottawa for the West Region competition.

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West Michigan Pursuit wrestlers all place in tournaments


Kaleb Pautke was the 55 lb Champion in the 7/8 age group.

West Michigan Pursuit entered 18 grapplers to wrestle this weekend and everyone one of them placed. 

Drew Moro, 64 lbs, traveled to Oklahoma for Tulsa Nationals. He went 4-2 for the day, and finished in 5th Place. 

Five traveled to Sterling Heights for the Metro Greights tournament and 12 went to Ionia. Metro Greights results: 75 lb Tyler Parmeter, 9/10 age group finished 4th Place. 59 lb Kellen Weckesser, 9/10 age group finished 3rd Place. 63 lb Quinten Cassiday, 9/10 age group finished 2nd Place. Greights Champions are 67 lb Luke Egan and 85 lb Blake Peasley, both in the 9/10 age groups. 

Ionia results: 58 lb Desmond Smith, 7/8 novice age group and 63/37 lb Kamden Witte, 9/10 age group finished 4th Place. 65/70 lb Xavier Carpentier, 11/12 age group; 52 lb Tatianna Castillo, 7/8 age group; 72 lb Logan Galinis, 7/8 age group and 95/100 lb Isa Starr, 9/10 age group finished 3rd Place. 63/67 lb Evan Andrews, 9/10 age group; 64 lb Aaiden Vasquez, 7/8 age group; 65/70 lb Josh Vasquez, 11/12 age group and 52 lb Blake Werkema, 7/8 age group finished 2nd Place. Ionia Champions are 43/46 lb Brody Compau and 55 lb Kaleb Pautke, both 7/8 age groups. 

“Our kids have excellent team and sportsmanship qualities. I could not be more proud of this team,” said Head Coach Dave Andrus.

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Cedar Springs 106 Forest Hills 32

Cedar Springs Varsity wrestlers

The Cedar Springs Varsity wrestlers traveled to Forest Hills Central on Friday night, January 12, to face off against the Rangers and Huskies. After falling behind 17-3 early on, the Red Hawks then reeled off victories in 8 of the next 9 weights to claim a 43-23 win. The boys ran on the Huskies early and never looked back, topping the Huskies 63-9. Undefeated wrestlers on the night were Trevor Marsman, Nate Male, Logan Hull, Aaron Smith, Anthony Brew, Jacob Galinis, Lucus Pienton, Ryan Ringler and Zak Schmid.

On Saturday, January 13, the Red Hawks traveled across state to Warren for the Clash of the Champions. The team finished runner-up in a strong field of 19 competitive schools.

Ryan Ringler won the 171lb weight class and was awarded Most Valuable Wrestler. Ringler defeated the number two and four ranked wrestlers in his division, according to MIGrappler.com.

Runner-up finalists for the Red Hawks included Trevor Marsman (103), Lucus Pienton (152), and Chris Shaffer (189).

Important contributions and medalists on the day for Cedar Springs came from Aaron Smith (3rd), Jacob Galinis (5th), Caleb Baty (5th), Paul Duran, Anthony Brew, Logan Hull, Nate Male, Trentyn Roelofs, David Erxleben and Zak Schmid.

Don’t miss the home action on Friday night versus arch rival Greenville and Ottawa Hills at 5 p.m. The team will travel to Stevensville Lakeshore for duals on Saturday.

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Red Hawk bowling results


On January 6, the Red Hawk boys and girls bowling teams attended a tournament at Hudsonville. The boys finished 3rd and the girls finished 5th.

On January 8, the Red Hawks held a non-conference match against West Catholic. Both the boys and girls teams won. Junior Sarah Galloway bowled seven strikes in a row.

On January 10, they played in a conference match at Northview. Girls won 22-8 and the boys fell in the last few frames losing 14.5-15.5.

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Whitecaps ask fans to submit foods for 25th season

From West Michigan Whitecaps

As Old Man Winter has his grips on West Michigan, our thoughts drift toward warmer things: 75 degree days, trips to the beach and nights at Fifth Third Ballpark. Of course, when thinking about attending a Whitecaps game, you immediately think of ballpark food!

 Deciding among the many great concession items can be overwhelming. So, starting today we’re helping with this decision by asking fans to submit ideas for what new food item they would like to have at Fifth Third Ballpark this year. 

This is the ninth year that a food item submitted by fans will be on the menu. Past winners include the Declaration of Indigestion (footlong combination of stadium sausage and Philly Cheese Steak), Baco (a taco shell made of bacon), Dutch Love (combination of pot roast, cheese curds, French fries and turkey gravy), and last year’s winner, Beercheese Poutine (a heavenly combination of waffle fries, pulled pork, beer cheese and bbq sauce). The Beerchesse Poutine is such an unbelievably delicious combination that it took home Ballpark Digest’s “Best New Food Item” for 2017!

“The ideas we see from fans can get really crazy!” said Whitecaps Vice President Jim Jarecki. “The submissions from the fans show their passion for interesting foods, and it just blows us away every year.”

Submissions will be taken through Wednesday, January 31. They can be made via e-mail at playball@whitecapsbaseball.com or through a link on the on the Whitecaps website, Facebook page, Twitter account and Instagram account. All submissions should be accompanied by a complete description and a picture, if possible.

The food idea submissions will then be pared down, and starting Tuesday, February 27, fans will be able to vote for their choice for the new 2018 concessions item. Voting will take place on the Whitecaps website, www.whitecapsbaseball.com. The winning entry will be on the menu for all fans to enjoy.

The Whitecaps open their 25th season on Thursday, April 5 against the South Bend Cubs at 6:35 pm. Season and group tickets are now on sale; individual tickets will go on sale in February. Complete ticket information, including season and group ticket prices and perks, is available at www.whitecapsbaseball.com.

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