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Dan George inducted into GBC athletic hall of fame

Dan George was inducted into the Grace Bible College athletic hall of fame last weekend. Courtesy photo.

Dan George was inducted into the Grace Bible College athletic hall of fame last weekend. Courtesy photo.

Grace Bible College announces the selection of Dan George, Associate Head Coach for Men’s Basketball, to the Grace Bible College Athletic Hall of Fame. Induction ceremonies took place on Saturday, October 18, in the Aldrich Center on campus.

“I am humbled and extremely appreciative of this honor,” said Coach George.

George, a Cedar Springs resident, begins his 10th season with the Tigers in 2014-15. Coach George has a unique connection to the program as he was head coach at Jordan College, and recruited, signed, and coached the Tigers’ Head Coach Gary Bailey in 1978-82. The two have remained friends over the years and Bailey knew who to turn to for assistance, when he took over the helm of the Tigers in 2005. In the nine years the two have been together at Grace, the Tigers have won seven regional championships and five national championships.

“When Gary took the head coaching position at Grace in 2005, I was flattered that he asked me to come help him,” said Coach George. “I said, ‘OK, I’ll do it for a year.’ And then we won a regional and national championship that first year, and I was hooked on working with this team and being a part of the Grace atmosphere. I told Coach Bailey I would stay as long as he wanted me.”

Coach George has served in several capacities over the last nine years. He assisted Coach Bailey with game management and he has always had a passion for teaching and developing defensive skills. He has also teamed with supporting Coach Kent Karnemaat in the team’s “Champions to the Core” initiative. He will continue to assist in all those areas but his focus this year is to pursue a long time passion and team need to develop and implement a new program for game preparation and analysis.

“Dan brings strong leadership skills and great basketball knowledge to our program,” said Coach Bailey, “but it is his passion for assisting young men in the development of character and life skills that we value most.”

Dan played high school ball at Walton Central School (class of 1970) in Walton, New York and college basketball at Hartwick College, Oneonta, New York. He served as athletic director and head basketball coach at Jordan College where his teams were nationally ranked. An avid sportsman and conservationist, Dan enjoys hunting, fishing, and camping and he owns an outdoor adventure consulting/booking business, Quest Expeditions, offering worldwide hunting and fishing adventures. Dan received a B.A. in History from Hartwick College in 1974 and a M.A. in Education from Michigan State University in 1980. He currently serves as the Superintendent/School Leader at Creative Technologies Academy in Cedar Springs, where he lives with his wife, Debi, and son, Hunter, a senior at Creative Technologies Academy. Daughter Dani, is in her freshman year at Indiana Wesleyan University.

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Charger Cross Country team goes to state 

*S-Cross Country CTA Les Miner State ChampionIt may have been a cold, damp Saturday morning, but it did not slow down the Chargers of Creative Technologies Academy at their Cross Country Class D State Championship meet. Head Coach Gerry Verwey challenged every one of his runners to set a new lifetime personal record during the race, and many of them did just that.

The boys’ team finished in an overall place of 14th out of 34 teams, which was quite an accomplishment. They were once again led by freshman Les Miner (17:10), who received all state honors. Not far behind was Sophomore Ethan Lehman, who finished with a lifetime PR of 18:31. Freshman James Hofstra (19:40) finished third for the Chargers, while Sophomore Logan Colter (20:24) and Freshman Dawson Armstrong (lifetime PR 21:28) rounded out the top five.

While the girls team did not have enough participants required to be scored in the team results, two Charger ladies still had great meets. Senior Olivia Wortz finished with a lifetime PR of 27:56, and Junior Kaleigh Keech continued her impressive improvement by posting a time of 36:22.

The Chargers have one week left of practice, followed by the Michigan Independent High School Championships next Saturday in Allendale. It is the final race of the season, and the Chargers will look to close out the season strong.

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Tennis ends with conference tournament and regionals

The Cedar Springs varsity boy’s tennis team completed their season the week of October 5th with an OK Bronze conference tournament at Forest Hills Northern and a Division 3 Regional tournament at Gainey Athletic Complex. The OK Bronze tournament was successfully completed on Tuesday evening, October 7th after several postponements and delays due to the weather. When all the matches were complete, the Cedar Springs Red Hawks ended up with a 4th place finish. The Red Hawk players awarded at the end of the tournament were Drew French, who took a second place finish in #3 singles, and Blake Fisk was named all conference for being #1 singles on the Cedar Springs team.

On Thursday, October 9, the team headed to their Regional tournament at Gainey Athletic Complex. The Red Hawks boys did their best to stay alive in the tough single elimination tournament. #2 singles Nick Fennessey, the only senior on the team, was the last to be eliminated in the tournament, which seemed very fitting, since it would be his last tennis match as a Red Hawk.

The Red Hawks finished their season with 8 wins and 6 losses.

Coach Katie Unsworth remarked, “2014 was a fantastic year for our team and I only see us becoming stronger and even more competitive! We are a young team and I am very excited about the next few years!


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Playoff bound!

Red Hawk quarterback Collin Alvesteffer dives into the endzone with the game-winning touchdown. Photo by K. Alvesteffer.

Red Hawk quarterback Collin Alvesteffer dives into the endzone with the game-winning touchdown. Photo by K. Alvesteffer.


Red Hawk MavRick Cotten brings down the ball carrier. Photo by K. Alvesteffer.

Red Hawk MavRick Cotten brings down the ball carrier. Photo by K. Alvesteffer.

The Cedar Springs Red Hawks varsity football team pulled off a double coup Friday night, October 10, when they not only clinched a playoff berth with their sixth win, but also took over sole possession of first place in the OK Bronze.

The Cedar Springs Red Hawks brought a fearless work ethic to their match up with the Huskies of Forest Hills Northern. This game was anticipated to be an offensive brawl, with both teams averaging 40-plus points a game for the season. But things turned out to be completely different when both teams’ defenses showed up to spoil the offensive festivities.

The game began with a scoreless first quarter and an indication of how the entire game would play out. Both teams exposed their true identities, with the Huskies showing their spread offense air attack, and the Red Hawks bringing their red flannel, relentless, full house wing T.

By the end of the first half, the Red Hawks’ team determination established an 8-point lead that the Huskies players had to sit on through the course of their extended homecoming halftime show that was filled with corvettes and BMWs.

Lane Gott on the tackle for the Red Hawks. Photo by K. Alvesteffer.

Lane Gott on the tackle for the Red Hawks. Photo by K. Alvesteffer.

To start the second half, the Huskies tied the game up through the air at the end of the third quarter leaving the score at 8 to 8 going into the fourth. This had every fan in the stadium, including our infamous 12th man—the camo-clad, Cedar Springs student section—on the edge of their seats and screaming for a win.

In the end, it came down to a fourth and inches play, after the Husky defense stopped the Red Hawks on the goal line on second and third down. Red Hawk quarterback Collin Alvesteffer beat the Huskies’ defense to the end zone pylon to make the score 14 to 8, with just a few minutes to go in the game.

The Huskies then pulled out all the stops through the air and on the ground, in an attempt to keep their grip on the OK Bronze Conference title. Then came the final play for the Huskies, when the pass by Forest Hills Northern quarterback, Jake Martin, found the hands of Red Hawk defender, Collin Alvesteffer, which sealed the game for the Red Hawks!

Please join us for our 3rd Annual Pink game this Friday, October 17, when the Red Hawks face the Greenville Yellow Jackets at Red Hawk stadium at 7:00 p.m. Please come out and support your Red Hawks!


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Be the referee


By Mark Uyl, Asst. Director, MHSAA


Automatic first downs 


Today we are going to talk about one of the biggest rule difference areas in high school football, from those rules used in college and pro games, and that deals with automatic first downs.

When watching that college game on Saturday or the pro game on Sunday, all of us know there are several defensive fouls that give the offense an automatic first down. However, under high school rules, the opposite is true most of the time.

The only high school fouls that result in an automatic first down for the offense are the roughing fouls—roughing the passer, the kicker, the holder and the long snapper. Fouls such as defensive pass interference or any other personal foul do not bring an automatic first down under high school rules.

Be the Referee is a weekly message from the Michigan High School Athletics Association that is designed to help educate people on the rules in different sports, to help them better understand the art of officiating, and to recruit officials.


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Red Hawks triumph over Wolves 


Improve record to 5 and 1

On Friday, October 3, many faithful Red Hawk fans made the trip to cheer on the hometown team when the Red Hawks traveled to Wyoming to meet the Wolves for a first time conference meeting. The Red Hawks proved to be too much for Wyoming by putting up 60 points to the Wolves 28, which put a damper on Wyoming’s homecoming celebration.

Cloudy skies, steady rain and gusting west winds made their presence known as the Red Hawks began their ground assault on the unwilling Wolves defense. But in the end, Wyoming had no answers for Cedar’s offensive grind, which gained 478 yards on the ground and led to six Red Hawks—Kaden Myers, MavRick Cotton, Zach Wamser, Collin Alvesteffer, Anthony Topolski  and Taylor Van Dyke—all finding the end zone throughout the four quarters of the game.

Wyoming quarterback Brendan Berg was 10 for 16 on pass attempts, for a total of 157 yards through the air. The Wolves answered back three times, with scores from the passing attack, and a total offensive effort of 160 yards, which was not enough as the Red Hawk’s defense held steady through the night.

The Red Hawk defense was led in tackles by Cameron Umphrey with six, Anthony Topolski with five tackles, along with Damarcus Barnett, MavRick Cotton, Collin Alvesteffer, Nate Sorensen, Caden Burrows and Lane Gott all adding four take downs for the Red Hawks.

Next week the Red Hawks will journey back to Forest Hills Northern for a 7:00 p.m. contest with the Forest Hills Northern Huskies. This will be a showdown of the top two teams in the OK Bronze Conference. Please come out and make some noise for your Red Hawk Football team!


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Tennis team adds one more win to their season

Red Hawk Dylan Kolasa, #4 singles, prepares to return the ball to his opponent’s side of the court.

Red Hawk Dylan Kolasa, #4 singles, prepares to return the ball to his opponent’s side of the court.

The Cedar Springs varsity boy’s tennis team had a busy schedule last week, with two home matches and one away, before they begin their conference and regional tournaments.

On Monday, September 29, Cedar Springs played on their home court against Sparta, which ended with a 2-6 loss for the Red Hawks. The players with wins over Sparta were #1 doubles team Karsen Dingman and Austin Nielson, and #2 doubles team Ethan Brown and Jon Baculy.

On Wednesday, October 1, the team traveled to Kellogsville, which resulted in a 6-2 win for the Red Hawks. The players with winning matches for Cedar Springs were #1 singles Blake Fisk, #2 singles Nick Fennessey, #1 doubles Karsen Dingman and Austin Nielson, #2 doubles Ethan Brown and Jon Baculy, #3 doubles Jared Liggett and Nick Hibbs and #4 doubles Jesse Empie and Tim Shovan. #4 singles Dylan Kolasa made a great effort to score an additional win for Cedar Springs by going into a 10-point tie-breaker, with his Kellogsville opponent.

The next day the Red Hawks were back in action on their home courts with Spring Lake, where they lost 2-6. The players scoring wins for Cedar Springs were #2 singles Nick Fennessey and #3 singles Drew French. #1 singles Blake Fisk went into a 10-point tie breaker with his Spring Lake opponent and #4 singles Dylan Kolasa scored two very close sets with his opponent, both making a great effort to gain additional wins for Cedar Springs.

Coach Katie Unsworth commented, “This has been a very exciting season for varsity boy’s tennis. We have several players vying for first and second places at our regional tournament. This has been our first winning season in the past three years. Something we can all be proud of! We have a young team with some depth. Not only has this been a great season, but the next couple of years should only get better!”



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Young Chargers perform well at Portage Invitational

Casen Armstrong

Casen Armstrong

Les Miner

Les Miner

On a cold, wet Saturday morning (Red Flannel Day), the Creative Technologies Academy Chargers Cross Country team made their way to the Portage Invitational. The invite included both a varsity race, as well as an open 5K race. The entire coaching staff, which consists of Coach Gerry Verwey, Coach Tyler Buitenwerf, and Coach Danielle Davies, competed in the open race. All three posted impressive times, with Coach Verwey leading the way with a time of 19:49. Coach Buitenwerf was not far behind with a time of 21:56, and Coach Davies also had an impressive run, with a total time of 25:52. Casen Armstrong, a 6th grade student at CTA, posted a fantastic time of 24:40 in the open race as well.

The varsity race turned out to be one of the best showings the Chargers have had all season. Freshman Les Miner, the #1 runner for the Chargers, received a medal and finished 29th overall with a time of 17:47. Several other members finished with either season personal records or lifetime personal records. Sophomore Ethan Lehman  and Senior Olivia Wortz set lifetime personal records with superb times of 18:55 and 27:59, respectively. Sophomore Logan Colter set his own season personal record with a time of 20:40, missing his lifetime PR by a mere 6 seconds.

With the season coming near a close, the Chargers have three races this week. On Tuesday, they will be competing in the Kent City Invite, followed by the Conference Championship on Wednesday at Riverside Park, and then finishing the week at the Montabella Invite on Friday. Friday’s race will be the last race for the 6th grade runners. It should be a great week for all involved.


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Red Hawks beat Northview at Home 26 to 3

 Senior Captain Zach Wamser scored one of the Red Hawk touchdowns last Friday in the win against Northview. Photo by K. Alvesteffer.

Senior Captain Zach Wamser scored one of the Red Hawk touchdowns last Friday in the win against Northview. Photo by K. Alvesteffer.

This year’s seniors include: (bottom row L to R) Nick Morris, Zach Wamser, MavRick Cotten, Drew Simington, Joe Sherman, Nate Sorensen. Top row (L to R) Caden Burrows, Ted Edwards, Hunter Larsen, Kaden Myers,  Jimmy Tepin, Cody Dunmire. Not pictured: Trevor Ash.

This year’s seniors include: (bottom row L to R) Nick Morris, Zach Wamser, MavRick Cotten, Drew Simington, Joe Sherman, Nate Sorensen. Top row (L to R) Caden Burrows, Ted Edwards, Hunter Larsen, Kaden Myers, Jimmy Tepin, Cody Dunmire. Not pictured: Trevor Ash.

On a beautiful fall evening at impressive Red Hawk Stadium the stage was set for the first conference match of the season. Friday night, September 26, started off by honoring our football, cheer and band seniors and the inspiring voices of the Cedar Springs Middle School choir singing an outstanding rendition of our national anthem. Pride was the theme of the night, as many Cedar Springs community members watched as the Red Hawks took the field.

The first quarter shaped up to be a slugfest. The Northview kicker made a 30-yard field goal that would be the only score in the first quarter and the only score of the entire game for Northview.

After that, the Red Hawks took over on both sides of the ball and special teams. Senior running back MavRick Cotton rushed for two second quarter touchdowns, with the longest run going for 60 yards. MavRick later added another score, making him the offensive top gun for the Red Hawks. Senior Captain Zach Wamser added a fourth touchdown run to the Red Hawks game tally accounting for 26 total points for the night.

Northview attempted to rally throughout the contest but the Red Hawk defense proved to be too much for the Wildcats, with Cameron Umphrey leading the defense in tackles with 12.

The Northview passing attack tested the Red Hawk secondary throughout the game. But the defensive secondary, driven by Kaden Myers, and coupled with pressure from the defensive line, led by Senior Captain Caden Burrows, Nate Sorensen and Ted Edwards, proved to be too much for Northview.

The icing on the cake for the Red Hawks was two blocked field goals provided by special teams, which sealed the fate for Northview.

This Friday the Red Hawks travel to Wyoming to take on the Wolves at 7:00 p.m. Please come out and support your team.

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Equestrian places fourth at regionals

This year’s Equestrian seniors are: (L to R) Bayley Wolfe, Jordan Stevens, Logan Amelia, Courtney Piatt and Nicole Kaupa.

This year’s Equestrian seniors are: (L to R) Bayley Wolfe, Jordan Stevens, Logan Amelia, Courtney Piatt and Nicole Kaupa.

The Cedar Springs High School Equestrian Team competed last weekend in the MIHA Region C Championships in Midland. The weather was perfect and a great time was had by all. The team ended with a 4th place finish in the “A” division.

Senior Bayley Wolfe led the team in points, with sophomore Ashlee Warlick and senior Courtney Piatt adding quite a few points of their own.

Assistant Coach Danni Naffziger had this to say about her team: “We had a great time in Midland. We had a teammate that was not able to go, which required other teammates to step up and fill those spots and everyone was willing to try new things. Jesseka Ruiter took her speed horse in the jumping and gained more points for the team. Ashlee Warlick tried bareback. Logan Amelia had a crash course this week in Reining. Raine Gregware gave trail a go. Everyone just stepped up to the plate and we couldn’t be more proud of what this team has achieved.”

Seniors on the team are Logan Amelia, Nicole Kaupa, Courtney Piatt, Jordan Stevens and Bayley Wolfe.

The coaches would like to thank the parents for their time and support this season.

Naffziger will be stepping down from her coaching duties as life takes her in a different direction with a new job. “I would like to personally thank Danni on behalf of the team for the amazing amount of support she has given this us,” said Coach Emily Ream. “She has selflessly given of her time and energy for the team, and I’m still in denial that she’s leaving. We will miss you Danni! Good luck!”

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