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Baseball tryout and hitting camp


Coast to Coast Baseball would like to invite local players (ages 14–18) to one of their upcoming tryout events. At the tryout, staff will evaluate player’s skills in four areas: hitting, fielding, arm strength, and speed.

Since the summer of 2001, over 3500 athletes from 46 different states have participated in the Coast to Coast Baseball program. Our alumni now compete at every level of collegiate baseball and even professionally.

Players accepted to the program will join college coaches and pro scouts at the $28 million Roger Dean Complex in Jupiter, Florida for games and instruction.

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.

The events will be held at Elite Baseball, 5930 Clyde Park Ave. SW, Wyoming, MI 40509 on Monday, August 1; at Hillsdale College, 201 Oak Street, Hillsdale, MI 49242 on Tuesday, August 2; and the Genesee Fieldhouse, 7383 Grand Parkway, Grand Blanc, MI 48439 on Wednesday, August 3.

Tryouts begin at 10 a.m. Hitting camp follows the tryout. For more information, players and parents can visit the website at www.CoastToCoastAthletics.com. Register for an event either on the website or by calling the office at 740-236-8390.

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Hawks suffer first loss this season

Brant Brooks manuevers his way through the Coyotes defense. Photo by Marcie Crouch.

Brant Brooks manuevers his way through the Coyotes defense. Photo by Marcie Crouch.

By Shae Brophy

The West Michigan Hawks traveled south for their game against the Battle Creek Coyotes on Saturday, June 9. The Hawks brought an undefeated 4-0 record into the game, while the Coyotes entered the game at 2-2.

West Michigan got off to a quick start, taking a 7-0 lead on an Eric Woodfork 47-yard touchdown run. That would be the only scoring of the half for the Hawks. Battle Creek scored the next 18 points to close out the first half, taking an 18-7 lead into the locker room.

After another Coyotes touchdown early in the second half, the Hawks turned up the pressure. Brant Brooks hauled in a pass from Charles Manny Hodges for a touchdown, making the score 24-14 in favor of the Coyotes. Donell Jones added another touchdown for the Hawks in the fourth quarter, closing the gap to 24-20, but that was as close as the Hawks would ultimately get.

With a chance to get the ball back in the final minutes of the fourth quarter, the Hawks made a costly mistake. Battle Creek punted the ball away with 2:30 to go, but after a miscue from the Hawks punt returner, the Coyotes were able to recover a fumble on the return and resume possession. Battle Creek scored another touchdown, opening the lead to 30-20, which held as the final score.

“I think we beat ourselves,” said Hawks head coach David Lange. “We were hit with adversity, and didn’t respond the way that we needed to.”

“Both teams played hard until the whistle”, said Coyotes head coach Robbie Hattan. “I thought it was a good game. David and I are close friends, so I hated to be their first loss because I want to see him succeed. I think we let a up bit after the half, and they almost pulled the comeback, but the ball fell our way. It was a good game all around.”

The Hawks will be back in action this Saturday, as they return to Skinner Field for the first time in July. They will host the reigning national champion Toledo Thunder, who will bring a matching 4-1 record into the contest. Doors open at 5pm, with kickoff scheduled for 6. Tickets are $7, with children 10 and under in free. We hope to see you there!

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Meet the Hawks: Michael Henderson


By Shae Brophy

S-Meet-the-Hawks-hendersonMeet Hawks defensive coordinator Michael Henderson. Originally from New York, Henderson graduated from Mount Vernon High School in New York in 1977. This year, his first with the Hawks organization, is his 41st year of coaching.

Henderson has a wealth of experience at numerous different levels, including every level from youth football all the way up to the semi-pro ranks. He has also coached wrestling in Michigan since 1991. He also owns his own wrestling company, which has seen his wrestlers achieve state championships and all-american status. Henderson is well versed in judo wrestling, and teaches all styles of wrestling, and is also a member of the USA/AAU Wrestling League. He has held a certification as a nutrition/fitness trainer since 1992, and was also a bodybuilder on a national level in the past.

Henderson’s role models include (former tennis player) Arthur Ashe, (former football player) Dick Butkus, (former Olympic wrestler) Dan Gable, Arnold Schwarzenegger, and Vince Lombardi. When he isn’t scheming how to win football games, Henderson enjoys working on cars, being a handyman, and mentoring children.

“I joined the Hawks because I want to be involved with a good program that is involved in the community, and is changing the face of semi-pro football,” said Henderson. “I have high respect for head coach David Lange and what he is trying to accomplish by working with the community. I look forward to continuing to work with him to make this the best semi-pro football team in the state of Michigan!”

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Red Hawk wrestlers experience competition camp

Red Hawk Varsity wrestlers attended a competitin camp in Iowa, and are shown wearing their Wrestling for A Cause shirt, supporting their friend Brison Ricker, a Cedar Springs high school student who is currently battling an inoperable brain tumor.

Red Hawk Varsity wrestlers attended a competitin camp in Iowa, and are shown wearing their Wrestling for A Cause shirt, supporting their friend Brison Ricker, a Cedar Springs high school student who is currently battling an inoperable brain tumor.

Cedar Springs Varsity Wrestlers recently traveled to the University of Iowa to attend a four-day Competition Camp.

Each wrestler got 10-12 matches with other high school and collegiate wrestlers around the same weight. Iowa Head Coach and three-time Big Ten Coach of the Year, Tom Brands, and his staff, observed the matches live to give instant feedback on what the wrestlers did well and skill sets that needed improvement. Technique sessions were available to give them the opportunity to break up into groups and learn and apply the advice given to them. They were pushed to improve on all aspects of their wrestling.

Every wrestler wants to be a state champion, a national champion, an Olympic champion. “I would like to see these wrestlers take what they learn at camp and apply it to their upcoming 2016-2017 season,” said head coach Nick Emery. “This will help our wrestlers attain their personal goals and will set them apart from other teams. Wrestling for a cause bigger than yourself gives you twice the strength as wrestling for your own glory.” #Greater than yourself. Wrestling is a physically and mentally tough sport. If you are interested in joining a program that focuses on individual achievement while competing in a team environment, please contact Head Coach Nick Emery through their facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/groups/cedar.springs.wrestling/

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West Michigan Hawks win big again 


Improve to 4-0

By Shae Brophy

Saturday evening, the Hawks paid a visit to Vicksburg High School to square off with the Kalamazoo Grizzlies. After a 50-8 Hawks victory in the first matchup of the season, the Hawks took the field with plenty of confidence. Considering that the Grizzlies also guaranteed a victory this time around, the Hawks used the word “guarantee” as the mantra for this game.

After a bit of a sluggish start, the Hawks took a 3-0 lead on a 38-yard field goal by kicker Jacob Hardy. That score held until the end of the first quarter. Early in the second quarter, running back Eric Woodfork took a 15-yard run to the house for a touchdown, improving the score to 9-0. Wide receiver Monta Swanigan added to the lead later in the quarter with a 17-yard receiving touchdown, giving the Hawks a 15-0 lead at the half.

Quarterback Charles Manny Hodges rumbled his way into the end zone in the third quarter on a one-yard quarterback keeper, extending the lead to 21-0. The Grizzlies found the end zone for the only time of the evening on their next drive, returning an interception for a touchdown. After three quarters, the Hawks held a 21-6 lead.

The Hawks put the pedal to the medal in the fourth quarter. Swanigan pulled in his second touchdown of the game, a 22-yard pass, early in the quarter. Defensive end Rick Loper found the end zone after returning an interception the distance for a touchdown, and Swanigan scored his third touchdown of the game on the next Hawks possession. The Hawks’ defense also recorded a safety in the quarter. When all was said and done, the Hawks brought home a 45-6 victory.

Chaz Watford had an impressive day defensively, pulling in two interceptions, as well as breaking up another pass. In total, the Hawks forced seven turnovers (two interceptions for Watford, Loper interception, Court McSwain interception, Darnell Madison interception, Javon Welch interception, Nick Steimel interception), while they also had six turnovers of their own.

It was just another day at the office for Swanigan, who ripped off his second consecutive game with three receiving touchdowns.

Although West Michigan won big on the scoreboard, the Hawks were penalized for a total of 150 yards, including six personal foul penalties.

“We played a solid game,” said head coach David Lange. “We got off to a slow start, which has become somewhat of a trend, and is something that we need to work on. We also need to work on our consistency, but in the end, it’s hard to be too upset about a 45-6 victory.”

With the victory, the Hawks are now the only undefeated team remaining in the Minor Leauge Football Alliance’s “Big Eight” division.

The Hawks will enjoy the holiday weekend with a bye week, and will be in action again on July 9, when they make the trip to Battle Creek for a tilt with the Coyotes.

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Meet the Hawks: Ryan Williams


Ryan Williams

Ryan Williams

By Shae Brophy

Meet West Michigan Hawks safety/kick returner Ryan Williams. Originally from Muskegon, Michigan, Williams graduated from Muskegon High School in 2012. This is his fourth season playing in the semi-pro football ranks.

One of his biggest role models is Martin Luther King Jr. “I look up to historical figures who did more than just talk,” said Williams. When he isn’t on the field for the Hawks, Williams enjoys playing basketball and flag football.

“Ryan is an incredible safety,” said head coach/owner David Lange. “He is a huge asset for the defense, and a big contributor towards the overall success of our defense. His explosive speed is tackle breaking ability is a big reason as to why he has success returning punts and kickoffs.”

Like a lot of his teammates, Williams heard big things about the Hawks and was hopeful to be a part of the team. “I heard about the team and the things they do, and wanted to give it a try. I liked what I saw,” he said. “I also love that Coach Lange wants everyone to get involved with the community. It’s a good feeling to know that we have created a fan base for the team, as well.”

Williams and the Hawks will enjoy a bye week over the holiday weekend, and will be back in action on July 9th when they travel to face the Battle Creek Coyotes.

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Officials registration underway


The Michigan High School Athletic Association is accepting registrations by mail and online for game officials for the 2016-17 school year.

The MHSAA annually receives registration by more than 10,000 officials, and had 10,043 during the 2015-16 school year. The highest total of officials registered for basketball, 4,265, with football, softball and baseball all with more than 2,000 registered officials during this school year.

For all new and returning officials, those who register online again will receive a $5 discount off their processing fees. A $15 fee is charged for each sport in which an official wishes to register, and the online processing fee is $35. Officials submitting registration forms by mail or on a walk-up basis will incur a $40 processing fee. Officials registered in 2015-16 will be assessed a late fee of $30 for registration after Aug. 1. The processing fee includes liability insurance coverage up to $1 million for officials while working contests involving MHSAA schools.

Online registration can be accessed by clicking “Officials” on the home page of the MHSAA Website at www.mhsaa.com. Forms also are available online that can be printed and submitted by traditional mail or hand delivery to the MHSAA Office. More information about officials registration may be obtained by contacting the MHSAA at 1661 Ramblewood Drive, East Lansing, MI, 48823, by phone at (517) 332-5046 or by e-mail at register@mhsaa.com.

There is an officials’ registration test for first-time officials and officials who were not registered during the past school year. The test consists of 45 questions derived from the MHSAA Officials Guidebook, which also is available on the Officials page of the MHSAA Website. Additional 50-question exams must be taken by those registering for football or basketball for the first time or those who were not registered for those sports during the previous school year. Manuals for both sports also are available on the Officials page. New officials also must complete the online MHSAA Principles of Officiating course, also available on the MHSAA Website.

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Meet the Hawks: Nick Steimel

West Michigan Hawk Nick Steimel and his girlfriend, Brittney McCarthy.

West Michigan Hawk Nick Steimel and his girlfriend, Brittney McCarthy.

By Shae Brophy

Meet West Michigan Hawks defensive end/tight end Nick Steimel. Originally from Grand Rapids, Steimel moved to Cedar Springs during second grade, graduating from Cedar Springs High School in 2007. He has played football since his youth, and has also coached one year of rocket football. While in school, he also played baseball and was on the bowling team, and also played AYBT basketball during the summer.

Nick’s biggest role model is his father, Walter Steimel. “He’s the most hard-working person i know,” Nick said. “He’s the one that has shown me with dedication and hard work you can accomplish anything in life. Growing up he made sure i had all the right tools to succeed whether it was bringing me to practice, or in my later years helping me pay for college. I can’t express how grateful I am to have him as a father.”

When not on the football field, Steimel enjoys disc golf, recreational basketball and softball, and spending time with friends and family.

“What makes me want to be part of the West Michigan Hawks is the positive influence and impact the team strives to have on people,” he said. “You won’t see that out of other semi-pro teams. The fact that I can be part of a team that can help a person in need while doing what I love is truly a blessing. The people we dedicate games to are people that are part of the community I grew up in, which makes this team that much more special to me.”

“Nick has amazing work ethic,” said head coach/owner David Lange. “His motor never stops going, and he is a great teammate. He’s the kind of guy that any coach would be glad to have on their team.”

Steimel and the Hawks will be on the road again this weekend, as they travel to Kalamazoo for a matchup with the Grizzlies. As always, you are encouraged to make the trip with the team and cheer them on in enemy territory!

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Hawks improve to 3-0 with blowout win over West Michigan Bulls

West Michigan Hawks

West Michigan Hawks

By Shae Brophy

On the heels of the biggest win in franchise history, the West Michigan Hawks hit the road for their first game away from Skinner Field this season. The 1 p.m. start also marked the team’s first afternoon game of the season.

The Hawks would not allow either of those things stop them from showcasing a dominating performance on the field, as they came home with a 56-8 victory. Wide receiver Monta Swanigan had three receiving touchdowns on the day, while Robert Bell had two (one receiving, one fumble return) of his own. Dontae Ensley, also brought in a receiving touchdown, and Jeremiah Cochran took one to the house on a run. Cornerback Omar Haynes also found the end zone, taking an interception all the way back for the score. Quarterback Charles Manny Hodges threw for all five of the touchdowns that the team scored through the air.

“It was a great day to deal with adversity. Not the bad, but the good adversity,” said Bell. “We were tested in the first half and played comfortably, but the moment the second half started, we were able to take away from what we did a week ago and add to our great performance as a team.”

The Bulls found the end zone for the only time during the second quarter.

Although the Hawks only took a 14-8 lead into the locker room at halftime, the team knew that they were better than the performance they exhibited in the first half.

“We just had to execute better,” said head coach David Lange. “After a big win last week, I think we may have been guilty of not playing to our full potential in the first half this week, which is something that was addressed during halftime. As you can see by the final score, we turned it on in the second half, and brought home a really big win.”

Next up for the Hawks is another road game. The team will travel to take on the Kalamazoo Grizzlies on Saturday. We would like to see you travel with the team for another big matchup! For details on where the game will be played, be sure to follow the West Michigan Hawks on Facebook!

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Meet the Hawks: Jeremy Schreiber


West Michigan Hawks lineman Jeremy Schreiber

West Michigan Hawks lineman Jeremy Schreiber

. A 2008 graduate from Cedar Springs High School, Schreiber has played football since he was eight years old. He also threw shot put and discus on the track and field team from seventh grade until graduation, and coached rocket football all throughout high school.

Jeremy’s biggest role models are his mother Wendy Schreiber, and his uncle Travis Nichols. “My mom taught me to how to persevere when things aren’t going your way, and to make the best of what you have,” he said. “As for my uncle, he’s always been there for me, whether it was being in the chain gang of my first football game, or helping me catch my first fish.”

When he isn’t on the gridiron, Jeremy enjoys shooting, working on cars, and spending time with his kids.

“I had heard about the Hawks, but I didn’t really consider playing for the team until Coach Lange contacted me and asked me to come out to a practice,” said Schreiber. “After I got to see what the organization is all about, and the work I saw from the guys on the team, I figured it would be great to lace up the cleats and play again for my home town team.”

Head coach David Lange enjoys Jeremy’s work ethic, amongst many other things. “Jeremy is a very hard working football player. He is smart and consistent, especially with his play recognition. He is a very solid lineman who does very well fighting in the trenches.”

The Hawks will hit the road for the first time this season on Saturday, as they travel to Kalamazoo to take on the West Michigan Bulls. As always, you’re welcome to make the trip with the team!

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