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Middle School wrestlers finish 2nd at Ravenna

Cedar Springs Middle School wrestlers took 2nd at Ravenna last weekend. Courtesy photo.

On Saturday, February 3, 35 wrestlers from the Cedar Springs Middle School wrestling team traveled to Ravenna, where 13 grapplers placed.

Gavin Lewis, 80lbs weight class took 2nd place; Cole Haack, 110 lbs weight class took 3rd place; Ben Brunner, 115 lbs weight class took 2nd place; Logan Troupe, 120lbs weight class took first place; Kaden Schmid, 125 lbs weight class took 2nd place; Carter Falan, 125lbs weight class took 3rd place; Alex Reman, 137 lbs weight class took first place; Logan Harris, 137 lbs weight class took 4th place; Kanin Wagner-Bumstad, 155 lbs weight class took 4th place; Maston Wood, 167lbs weight class took first place; Westley Wentworth 215lbs weight class took 3rd place. 

Good job, Red Hawks! 

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WMP wrestlers place in top four

Pictured is Harper Cheng, Champion in the 75 lb, 9/10 age group. Photo by B. Chong.

By Barbra Chong

West Michigan Pursuit entered 16 grapplers to wrestle this weekend and 15 placed in the top 4. 

Blake Werkema, travelled to Chippewa Hills and wrestled in the 52 lb, 7/8 age group. He went undefeated and claimed his first Championship of the season. 

Three grapplers travelled to Vicksburg for the opportunity to claim a Championship ring instead of the typical medal. Aaiden Vasquez, 61 lb 7/8 age group finished 2nd. Drew Moro, 64 lb 7/8 age group and 70 lb Josh Vasquez, 11/12 age group, both claimed Championship titles along with their Championship rings. 

Four grapplers traveled to Oxford for the Northeast Greights tournament. Kellen Weckesser, 59 lb 9/10 age group finished 3rd. Finishing second was Quinten Cassiday, 63 lb 9/10 age group; 67 lb Luke Egan, 9/10 age group; and 85 lb Blake Peasley, 9/10 age group. 

The rest of the team travelled to GVSU. Kamden Witte, 67 lb 9/10 age group finished 4th. Finishing second was 67 lb Evan Andrews, 9/10 age group; 70 lb Xavier Carpentier, 11/12 age group; 67 lb Caden Green, 7/8 Novice age group; and 55 lb Kaleb Pautke, 7/8 age group. Those claiming Championship titles included 52 lb Tatianna Castillo, 7/8 age group and 75 lb Harper Cheng, 9/10 age group. This was Harper’s first Championship of the season. 

“Each week my athletes and their families continue to impress me with their dedication to this sport. Even with the inclement weather and being Super Bowl Sunday, these kids all showed up to compete. We are the Pursuit of Champions,” said Head Coach, Dave Andrus.

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Youth wrestlers face intense competition

Cedar Springs Youth Wrestlers and their awards. Photo by Terry Troupe.

By Jacquie Troupe

On February 4, Cedar Springs Youth Wrestling Club traveled to Grand Valley State University, Chippewa Hills High School and Oxford High School. 

Thirty local youth joined 463 wrestlers in the Open & Novice Tournament at GVSU. The Team went 64-50 for the day. 

Leading the team in Most Pins in Shortest Times were Rory Schoenborn (5th overall), Dawson Pike (6th), Spencer Schoenborn (7th), Dillon VanDyke (39th), Brycen Alber (41st), Austin Averill (56th), Gabe Gair (57th), Cameron Ellison (60th) and Deegan Pike (66th) helping CSYWC take the 1st place spot with 30 pins in 31:21. 

Mason Taylor had the Fastest Pin overall with :09; Spencer Schoenborn was 6th with :14; Dawson Pike and Cameron Ellison were 18th with :20; Brycen Alber was 41st with :28; Rory Schoenborn was 48th with :29; Dillon VanDyke was 67th with :34; Austin Averill was 80th with :37; and Gabe Gair was 85th with :38. 

Rory Schoenborn scored the most Team Points with 26, bringing the total to 223. They were second overall in Total Match points with 343, wrestling 71 scoring matches. Dawson Pike scored 19 in a single match coming in 7th overall. Austin Averill scored 17, Blake Falan and Thomas Prins 13, and Cameron Ellison and  Brycen Alber 12. 

According to Coach Scott Marsman, there was very intense competition at GVSU and the kids really held their own. “At the halfway point of the season we are very pleased with where the kids are at and are very excited as we work towards finishing out the year strong,” he said. 

In the 2011-13 age group, Brycen Alber placed 2nd in the 43lb class, Dawson Pike placed 2nd in the 46lb class, Blake Alber placed 4th in the 52lb class, Dillon VanDyke placed 3rd in the 55lb class, and Jaxon Fitzgerald placed 3rd in the 61lb class. 

In the 2009-10 age group, Novice Division Cameron Ellison placed 4th in the 49lb class and Zach Vu placed 3rd in the 112lb class. In the Open Division Tucker Crystal placed 2nd in the 58lb class. 

In the 2007-08 age group, Novice Division Deegan Pike placed 2nd, Austin Averill placed 3rd and Spencer Schoenborn placed 4th in the 63lb class. Rory Schoenborn placed first and brought home the Championship trophy in the 80lb class. Thomas Prins placed first and brought home the Championship trophy in the 110lb class. In the Open Division Blake Falan placed 2nd in the 71lb class and Hudson Crystal placed first and brought home the Championship trophy in the 85/90lb class. 

In the 2005-06 age group, Gabe Gair placed 2nd in the 112/119lb class. In the 2003-04 age group Ben Brunner placed 4th in the 122lb class. 

At Chippewa Hills HS, Sierra Streeter had 2 pins in 3:44, was 56th overall and brought home the first place medal in the 43lb class. Micah LaFlure placed 4th in the 43lb class. Ben Streeter placed first in the 67/77lb class and had the 14th fastest pin with :16.

Jon Libera headed to Oxford HS to chase the Northeast Region’s Greights medal. He had some tough competition and brought home the 3rd place medal. So far he has won 4, one Gold-North Region, one Silver-Metro Region and two bronze for the West and Northeast Regions. He plans to travel to all the Greights tournaments this season. 

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How basketball games should be

The Hawks Nest student section during the pink out game against Lowell last Friday, January 26. Photo by K&R Lalone.

By Judy Reed

The Cedar Springs Red Hawks’ student section—the Hawks Nest—just barely missed making it as a top three finalist for MHSAA’s Battle of the Fans VII. But they are winners none-the-less.

“Our student body has been absolutely fantastic this year. In fact, I believe it has been the best it has been in many years,” said teacher and coach Justin Harnden, who has been working with the student Athletic Leadership Council to create a culture that positive and supportive for all fans and teams. “A large amount of students have taken the challenge of changing the culture of our student section and making it a positive experience for everyone.”  

Cedar Springs was chosen as one of nine semi-finalists and one of three in Class A, on January 16. They then had 12 days to step up their game and show what they could do, and record it on social media. On January 23, almost 1,000 students cheered on a Special Olympics basketball game between Cedar Springs and Sparta—and they cheered for both sides. They also cheered at pink out games for girls and boys basketball. During last Friday’s pink out boys basketball game against Lowell, the positive spirit they showed made a big impact on at least one of the opposing team’s fans.  

Joel Fritsma, a Red Arrow fan, posted this on Twitter: “Shoutout to @CedarALC for the hospitality Friday night! The pink out was really fitting. Quite the SS you guys have put together this year! Keep up the great work, and best of luck towards moving on in the #BOTF rankings! – A Lowell Student #HowBasketballGamesShouldBe”

Harnden said that sentiment really exemplies all that they have done this year. 

“There have been a large amount of great moments the past two sports seasons that are highlighted with one of the largest sections we have ever had for our Lowell football game, and partnering with the school Be Nice campaign for our Glow Out Bullying basketball game,” he said.

“While we were disappointed that we didn’t make the finals, everyone here is extremely proud of all the we have done and we absolutely will try again next year. The upperclassmen that we currently have put forth so much effort into the shift and they have laid the groundwork for everyone else to follow.”  

Harnden hopes the positive impact of the campaign extends beyond school walls. “I hope that the positive shift resonates with not just our students, but our community as well. Everyone leading and pushing in a supportive way makes the games so much fun to be a part of and when we can lead the shift out of the student section we can make a much bigger difference in the lives of many other people,” he explained. 

Boyne City, Buchanan and Petoskey were selected as finalists by MHSAA’s Student Advisory Council. Voting among the top five semifinalists was particularly close, according to the MHSAA. Cedar Springs and Charlotte just missed earning spots among the top three. Munising, Negaunee, Pellston and Traverse City West also were among the semifinalists.

“Charlotte and Cedar Springs were very close to becoming part of this year’s finalists tour,” said Andy Frushour, MHSAA director of brand management and advisor to the Student Advisory Council. “Both have established incredible fan cultures, and we certainly plan on seeing them in this contest again next year.”
Harnden agrees. 

“This year semi-finalists; next year champions,” he said.

Visit CedarSpringsTV on youtube.com to see several examples of the Hawks Nest in action during Battle of the Fans VII.

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Red Hawk bowling results


The Cedar Springs boys and girls bowling teams have turned in some great games the last couple of weeks.

They competed in a conference match on January 17 against Forest Hills Northern. The girls won 28-2, and the boys won 27-3.

In a conference match on January 22 against Lowell, the girls won 16-14 with Junior Sarah Galloway bowling her High School High of 263 with nine strikes in a row. The boys lost but they had some good games. Senior Josh Hamilton bowled a 266 with nine strikes in a row, and freshmen Ethan Plummer bowled his High School High of 180.  

On January 24 they competed in a conference match against Forest Hills Central. The girls won 24-6, and the boys won 28-2 with Sophomore Kaleb Fisk bowling a two-game High Series of 452 (245 and 207).

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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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