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Tag Archive | "Cedar Springs Red Hawks"

Cedar Springs hands Mt. Pleasant pre-district loss 34-7

The Cedar Springs defense only allowed one touchdown from Mount Pleasant last Friday. 

By Judy Reed

For the second year in a row, the Cedar Springs Red Hawks faced the Mount Pleasant Oilers in the playoffs and walked away winners. 

Last year, Cedar Springs won the district championship at Mt. Pleasant; this year, Mount Pleasant visited Red Hawk Stadium for the first round of playoffs and faced a tough group of Red Hawks who were determined to win.

“I’m extremely proud of our guys’ efforts on Friday night,” remarked Cedar Springs Coach Gus Kapolka. “We had some guys fill in due to injury and play great games. Connor Ellison made his first ever Varsity start and had two interceptions; freshman Josh Kreikaard and sophomore Blake Scheer filled in at Left Tackle. Ben Shaw played through a very painful hip pointer to score two touchdowns. It was a team effort and everybody stepped up to make it happen.”

Cedar Springs took the lead early with 8:46 on the clock in the first quarter when Aiden Brunin ran 36 yards for the touchdown. Quarterback Jeremy Campione then passed to Kaden Liggett on the two-point conversion, making the score 8-0, Cedar Springs.

They scored again about a minute later, after a Mount Pleasant pass was intercepted by senior Red Hawk Connor Ellison and returned to the 36 yard line. Ben Shaw then ran it 28-yards for the touchdown, with 7:45 left on the clock. Da’montae Barnett then ran in the two-point conversion. The score was now 16-0.

Mount Pleasant scored their only touchdown of the game with 4:02 left in the first quarter, when Mark Goenner ran in a 12-yard touchdown. The point-after kick by Andrew Funnell was good, making the score CS 16, MP 7.

Cedar Springs scored two more times in the second quarter, on a 17-yard run by Aiden Brunin, and 35-yard run by Ben Shaw. Their last touchdown came with 3:04 on the clock in the third quarter with a 43-yard run by Landon Totten. Campione’s run for extra points was no good, making the score CS 34, MP 7.

Cedar Springs gained 341 yards on the ground, and eight in the air. Mount Pleasant had 96 on the ground, and 79 in the air. 

Aiden Brunin was the leading rusher for the Red Hawks with 109 yards; Ben Shaw had 82; Landon Totten 53; Jeremy Campione 28; Nathan Elliston 27; Da’montae Barnett 22; Zack Schmid 21; and Nathan Male 1.

Defensively, Seth Almas led in tackles with 7; Kaden Liggett had 5; Nate Webb had 4, and the rest of the team had 3 or less. Connor Ellison had two interceptions.

This Saturday, Cedar Springs (9-1) will face the Muskegon Big Reds (10-0) at 1 p.m. at Grand Haven Stadium for the District Championship. What is Coach Kapolka doing to get his team ready to face the number one ranked team in Michigan? 

“We are excited to get the opportunity to play the #18 ranked team (USA Today) in the USA on Saturday,” said Kapolka. “It is a great challenge for our program, and we will have to play our best football to win a district championship. With the extra day of preparation, we are going to practice light on Monday then resume our regular practice schedule for the rest of the week.”

The fan theme for Saturday’s game is a RED OUT, so they are asking everyone to wear red. High school student fan buses are being offered for the game on Saturday. Students must sign up by the end of the day Thursday in the Athletic Office. It is $7 to sign up for the bus, but that includes your $6 ticket to the game. Student bus will leave the front of Cedar Springs High School precisely at 11:15 a.m.

Anyone can buy tickets at the gate to the game on Saturday, or on Thursday and Friday during normal school hours in the Athletic Office at Cedar Springs High School.

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Cedar Springs soars over Allendale 48-39

Red Hawk Nathan Elliston runs with the ball. Photo by Rob and Kelly Lalone.

By Judy Reed

An early game time, a storm delay at halftime, and a lot of points on the board in the first two quarters made for an interesting game between the Cedar Springs Red Hawks and the Allendale Falcons last Friday night, September 27.

Both teams entered the nonconference game with a 3-1 record overall. The game started at 5 p.m. instead of 7 p.m., due to the threat of storms. And both teams hit the gridiron running, scoring a total of six touchdowns in the first quarter.

“It was a crazy game, with the early start, long delay at half time for weather, and all the first half scoring, but I was proud of how we kept our composure and closed the game out. It was a tough win on the road,” remarked Cedar Springs Coach Gus Kapolka.

The Red Hawks got things going early, when less than a minute into the first quarter Ben Shaw ran up the middle for a 39-yard touchdown. QB Jeremy Campione then passed to Nathan Elliston for the 2-point conversion. 

Allendale came back and scored with 8:58 on the clock in the first quarter when Owen Burk ran 43-yards for a touchdown. His run for extra points was no good. The score was now CS 8, Allendale 7.

The Red Hawks scored again just a few seconds later with 8:39 left on the clock on a 63-yard touchdown by Aiden Brunin. Elliston then ran in the extra points. The score was now 16-7.

With 5:23 left in the first, Allendale scored again on a 3-yard touchdown run by Cole Dipiazza. Burks run for extra points was no good. The score was now 16-13.

Cedar Springs scored one more time in the first quarter with 3:20 left when Nathan Male ran up the middle 41-yards for a touchdown. Aiden Brunin then ran in the extra points. The score was now 24-13.

With 58 seconds left in the quarter, Allendale struck again, this time when Adam Hotovy passed to Ross Mango for a 43-yard touchdown. Burk’s run for extra points was no good, making the score Cedar Springs 24, Allendale 18, at the end of the first quarter.

There were four more touchdowns in the second quarter, two by each team. With 8:27 on the clock in the second, Red Hawk Aiden Brunin ran in to the end zone for a two-yard touchdown. Campione’s run for extra points was no good.

Cedar Springs then kicked off to Allendale, and Owen Burk caught the ball on the Allendale 15 yard line and returned it to the Cedar Springs endzone for a touchdown. Kaiden Anderson then kicked the extra point.

The Red Hawks scored again with 4:41 left in the second when Ben Shaw ran up the middle for a 7-yard touchdown.  Brunin’s run for extra points was no good.

Allendale then scored late with 23 seconds left in the half when Owen Burk ran up the middle for a two-yard touchdown. Burk then passed to Sabastian Wells for the extra points. The score at the end of the first half was Cedar Springs 36, Allendale 33.

The teams came back after a long weather delay, and Cedar Springs then held Allendale to only one more touchdown, while they scored two more. Cedar scored first in the third with 5:38 left, when Campione ran up the middle for a two-yard touchdown. Elliston’s run for extra points was no good.

Allendale then scored one final time. With 3:49 left in the third, Burn ran up the middle for a one-yard touchdown. His run for extra points was no good. The score was CS 42, Allendale 39, at the end of the third quarter.

The Red Hawks scored one last time in the 4th, with 11:09 left on the clock, when Da’montae Barnett ran left for a 36-yard touchdown. Shaw’s run for extra points was no good. The final score was Cedar Springs 48, Allendale 39.

“Our offensive line controlled the game from start to finish. We controlled the clock, rushed for 516 yards, and had a school record 29 first downs,” remarked Kapolka.

Kapolka said that he felt the rain delay was beneficial for the team. “It gave us time to make adjustments on defense that ultimately held them to 6 points in the second half,” he explained.

Aiden  Brunin and Ben Shaw accounted for over half the rushing yardage, with Brunin netting 161 on 20 carries, and Shaw 164 on 12. Barnett had 49 yards, Elliston 46, Campione 42, and Male 41. Zak Schmid added another 13 yards. 

Allendale had 275 yards on the ground, with Burk getting 169 on 20 carries, Wells getting 80 on 5 carries, Dipiazza 24 on 6, and Hotovy added another 2 yards.

The Red Hawks face off against conference rival Forest Hills Central this Friday at 5 p.m. at Red Hawk Stadium as things heat up in the OK White. Both teams are 4-1 and 2-0 in conference, along with Lowell. The Post asked Coach Kapolka what the Red Hawks need to do to defeat FHC.

“FHC is a very athletic , well coached team.  We will need to execute all three phases of the game (Offense, Defense, Special Teams) in order to beat them,” he said.

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JV baseball bats heat up to avoid sweep by the Rangers

The Cedar Springs Red Hawks welcomed a home OK White doubleheader matchup with the Rangers of Forest Hills Central on Monday April 22. The hometeam Red Hawks were no match for the visiting Rangers. The Red Hawks lost the game 12-2 and Game 2 by a score of 11-5.  The Red Hawks’ bats were quiet and struggled against the Rangers. In the two games at home, the Red Hawks only managed 10 hits.  

“It was a very odd night for these boys,” said Coach Greenland. “Everything seemed quiet.”

For the third and final game of the series, the Red Hawks visited the Rangers on Wednesday April 24. The Red Hawks did not allow the Rangers to sweep them. They pounded out 17 hits in the game and defeated the hometeam Rangers 17-4. Dylan Knauf led the team with 4 hits in the contest, followed by Aiden Brunin, Trenton Snoeyink, Jeremy Campione, Anthony Lizardo and Alec McDonald with 2 hits each, and with one hit each was Logan Petty, Willy Zain and Caleb Menefee.

The JV Team currently has a record of 6-4-1 on the year.

Next week they have an OK White 3-game series with Northview and a double header against Big Rapids.

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Brighton Miller commits to play basketball at Aquinas

On November 1, Cedar Springs had their first student-athlete of the year make their college commitment official when senior Brighton Miller (4.23 GPA) signed to play collegiate basketball at Aquinas College. Brighton is pictured at her signing ceremony with her mom Christine, and her father and coach, Brandon.  

Also attending Brighton’s signing ceremony were numerous family members, friends, administrators, staff, teammates and coaches, including the Aquinas College Basketball staff. 

“We are extremely excited to have Brighton as part of our women’s basketball program at Aquinas College,” said Head Coach Nash, from Aquinas College. “Brighton is an outstanding student-athlete. Her work ethic and knowledge of the game will be a huge asset to our program.”

“Brighton is a multi-sport standout athlete for Cedar, and she has especially shined on the hardwood for the Red Hawks since her freshman year,” said Cedar Springs Athletic Director John Norton.

Brighton is excited about the commitment. “Aquinas just felt like a good fit for me. I like the location, and I am just excited to be able to keep playing at the next level beyond High School. I am extremely thankful to my Mom and Dad for their support, and giving me this opportunity,” she said.

Brighton and the Red Hawks will begin preparing for their coming season next Monday, November 12. With Brighton leading the way, it should be an exciting season for the Lady Red Hawks.

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Red Hawks end season with loss to the Big Reds 34-18

The Red Hawks couldn’t stop Cameron Martinez, of the Muskegon Big Reds. Photo by Kelly and Rob LaLone.

By Judy Reed

The Cedar Springs Red Hawks ended their season on an ice covered field at Grand Haven High School last Friday, November 9, when they lost to the undefeated Muskegon Big Reds in the regional championship by a score of 34-18. But what a season it was!

The team went 10-2, which is their best record since 2000, when they went 11-2 and made it to the semifinals. They lost their first game this season to a tough Saginaw Swan Valley 12-21, and then went on to win 10 straight, including two playoff games. They won their first ever OK White Conference championship (6-0) and went on to become District Champs, defeating a previously undefeated Mount Pleasant for the title. They only allowed 95 points during the regular season, and 55 during the post season, with the Muskegon game making up the bulk of that. 

Kapolka explained why his team had such a great season and what he will remember about it. “We were successful because our team was unselfish, and played hard for each other. This group enjoyed being around each other and loved playing football. They never had a bad day on the practice field or weight room, and it was an honor for me to coach this group,” he said.

The loss to Muskegon brought an end to the best season Cedar Springs has had since 2000. Photo by Kelly and Rob LaLone.

Muskegon scored first in Friday’s game with 8:44 on the clock in the first quarter on a 4-yard run by Cameron Martinez, and Carlos Hernandez-sias kicked the extra point. Cedar Springs then scored with 4:54 left in the first, on a 5-yard run by QB Kolby Swank. The extra point run was no good. Cedar Springs then kicked off to Muskegon, and the ball was run all the way back by Myles Walton to the Cedar Springs end zone for a touchdown. The first quarter ended with a score of Cedar Springs 6, Muskegon 13.

The Red Hawks then scored again in the second when Ethan West ran left 20 yards for the touchdown. Swank’s pass to West for the extra points was no good. Muskegon did not score in the second, so it ended with a score of Muskegon 13, Cedar Springs 12.

Muskegon scored twice in the third on runs by Cameron Martinez—a 32-yard run and a 75-yard run. Extra points were good, and the score at the end of 3 was Muskegon 28, Cedar Springs 12.

Both teams scored again in the fourth quarter. The Big Reds scored on a two-yard touchdown by Martinez, and the extra point was no good. The Red Hawks scored with 3:20 left, when Sage Serbenta ran the ball in two yards for the touchdown. Swank’s pass to Ryan Ringler was no good. The final score was Muskegon 34, Cedar Springs 18.

“I thought our kids played tough Friday night,” said Coach Gus Kapolka. “We made a few too many mistakes, and against a team like Muskegon it makes it difficult to win. It was a disappointing end to our season, but I’m proud of how our kids handled themselves against a tough opponent. I thought they represented Cedar Springs well, and our community should be proud of the job they did.”

Leading rushers for Cedar Springs were Serbenta with 94 yards; West with 81; Ringler with 31; Lucas Pienton with 24; and Swank with 14. The team rushed for 244 yards.

For Muskegon, Martinez was the leading rusher with 232 yards. The team total was 321.

Leading in tackles for Cedar Springs was Ethan West, with 11; Xavier Anderson with 9; Ryan Ringler with 8; Seth Almas with 6; Landon Totten with 5; Ben Shaw and Sage Serbenta with 4; Lucas Pienton, Gage Gardner and Zack Schmid with 3 each; and Brayden Marvel, Bryant Maley and Tyler Salinas all had one.

Ali’vonta Wallace led the Big Reds in tackles with 12.

When the Red Hawks come back next season, they will be missing some of the familiar names from this season. What does Kapolka see in the team’s future? 

“We lose an amazing group of seniors who have raised the bar of expectations in our program” he remarked. “Their impact on our program will be felt for a very long time. With that being said, we will return approximately 5 starters on both sides of the ball, including our leading scorer and rusher from this year’s team, Sage Serbenta. In addition, our JV’s finished 8-1 and the freshmen were 6-3, so the future is bright for our program.”

Congratulations to the Red Hawks on a great season! 

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Red Hawks head to district championship game

There was no stopping the Red Hawks in their 46-7 win over Gaylord in the pre-district home game last Friday. Photo by Kelly and Rob LaLone.


The Cedar Springs Red Hawks were a force to be reckoned with in last Friday’s pre-district win at home over Gaylord. The Red Hawks racked up 410 yards rushing and 49 yards passing in their 46-7 win over the Blue Devils, and upped their record to 9-1.

“Home playoff games are very special,” noted Red Hawk Coach Gus Kapolka. “We’ve only had four in the history of Cedar Springs, so Friday night was a great experience for our team. Our guys were energized by the big crowd and went out and played a sharp game. I was pleased with the physicality that we brought, and our execution in all three phases of the game was good.”

The win means they will face the Mount Pleasant Oilers (10-0) at Mount Pleasant this Friday for the District Championship. They won 35-6 over Petoskey last Friday.

“Mt. Pleasant is an undefeated team that has only given up 75 points the entire season,” said Kapolka. “This will be our toughest test of the season so far. I believe that the game will come down to turnovers, explosive plays, and special teams.”

The Red Hawks controlled the game from the beginning kickoff. They went 70 yards on just six plays and scored when quarterback Kolby Swank ran to the right for a 17-yard touchdown. Sage Serbenta then ran in the extra points.

Their next scoring drive was set in motion when Serbenta intercepted a pass from Gaylord QB Ryan Stefanski at the Cedar Springs 10 yard line and ran it back to the 26. They scored with 1:27 left in the first when Ryan Ringler ran up the middle for an 11-yard touchdown. Serbenta ran in the extra points, and the score at the end of the first quarter was Cedar Springs 16, Gaylord 0.

Cedar Springs scored two more touchdowns in the second quarter. About a minute into the quarter, Gaylord punted and Cedar took over on their own 12-yard line. Several plays later it was 3rd and 11 at their own 39, when Serbenta threw a 43-yard pass to Nate Webb to make it first and 10 on the Gaylord 18. Ethan West made two runs of 7 and 8 yards, before Ringler ran in a 3-yard touchdown. Swank then passed to West for the extra points.

Ringler scored again on an 11-yard run with just 56 seconds left on the clock in the second, and West ran in the extra points. They then kicked off to Gaylord, and the Blue Devils got the ball on their own 35-yard line. With seven seconds remaining, Stefanski attempted a pass from the Cedar Springs 43 to Cade Foster, but Red Hawk Lucas Pienton intercepted it at the 2-yard line, ending their attempt to score in the first half.

The Red Hawks went into half time leading 32-0.

Cedar Springs scored again in the third quarter with 7:50 left when Landon Totten ran to the left for a 20-yard touchdown. Swank’s pass to Kaden Liggett was good for the extra points.

The Red Hawks scored one last time in the fourth quarter, when Jeremy Campione ran left for an 8-yard touchdown. The extra point run was no good.

Gaylord finally got on the board in the fourth quarter with 6:22 left when Cade Foster ran left for a 16-yard touchdown. The extra point kick by Joey Kotsko was good.

The District 3 Region 1 District 1 playoff game ended with a score of Cedar Springs 46, Gaylord 7.

Leading rushers for Cedar Springs were Serbenta with 109 yards; Ringler with 95; Totten with 54; West with 30; Ben Shaw with 27; Swank with 26; Zack Schmid with 23; Campione with 18; Lucas Pienton with 17; Elliston with 10; and Brunin with 1.

On defense, Ringler led in tackles with 8; Gage Gardner had 6; Totten had 5; Shaw 4; Serbenta and Xavier Anderson 3; and 11 others had 2 or less.

The Red Hawks will travel to Mount Pleasant High School this Friday, November 2, for the District Championship. Game time is 7 p.m., and tickets are $6. You can buy them at the gate, or purchase them at Cedar Springs High School on Thursday and Friday from 6:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. High School students will also be in the circle drive at Cedar Springs High School from 3-4 p.m. to decorate/paint your car if you’d like, and you can then caravan with others drivers from there at 4 p.m. The dress theme for fans is a black out, so fans are being asked to wear a black coat if you can. Check out the Cedar Springs Athletic Boosters Facebook page for updates.

If you cannot make the trip to Mount Pleasant, the game will also be streamed on MHSAA TV. For subscription options just go to https://www.nfhsnetwork.com/events/mhsaa-mi/gam9e380a9742.

The winner of the Cedar Springs vs Mount Pleasant game will move on to face the winner of the Muskegon vs Grand Rapids Christian game.




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Red Hawks pull off big win over FHC

The Cedar Springs Red Hawks earned their fifth straight victory last Friday, September 28, when they took the win over Forest Hills Central at the Rangers’ homecoming. Photo by Kelly and Rob LaLone.

By Judy Reed

The Cedar Springs Red Hawks kept their winning streak alive last Friday, September 28, when they upset Forest Hills Central 24-14, on the Rangers’ home turf. However, it was a bit of a nail biter for Red Hawk fans, when the Rangers defense did something no other teams’ defense has been able to do this year: they kept the Red Hawks scoreless in the first half.

“This was a big win for us,” said Coach Gus Kapolka. “Being down at the half and fighting our way back really makes me proud as a coach. Our guys hung tough together and found a way to get it done.”  

The first score of the game came with :36 seconds left on the clock in the second quarter, when Forest Hills Central’s Cameron Deines ran right for a 4-yard touchdown, and the extra point kick was good. So Cedar Springs went into the locker room at half down 0-7.

The Red Hawks came out with renewed vigor in the second half, and scored with 7:08 left in the second quarter, when QB Kolby Swank passed to Kaden Liggett for a 10-yard touchdown, and then passed again to Sage Serbenta for another two. They led 8-7 at the end of the third quarter.

The Red Hawks scored again in the fourth, with 8:28 left, when Serbenta ran to the right for a 5-yard touchdown, and then he ran it into the end zone again for the extra two points. 

The Rangers hit the scoreboard again just a couple of minutes later (6:53 left) when Cameron Deines ran to the left for a 19-yard touchdown. The extra point kick was good. The score was now 16-14, Red Hawks, and plenty of time for it to go either way.

Cedar Springs sealed the win with 2:04 left on the clock when Lucas Pienton ran left for a 1-yard touchdown, and then Swank passed to Serbenta for the extra two points.

“We really controlled time of possession in the second half (20 minutes – 4 minutes), and we converted all three of our two-point conversions in the second half,” noted Kapolka. “I felt that was the difference in the game.”

The Red Hawks rushed for a net total of 295 yards, with Serbenta running for 99 on 14 carries; Pienton had 89 on 17 carries; Ringler 77 on 19 carries; and Swank had 23 on 5 carries. Ethan West and Zach Schmid also contributed. 

Cedar Springs also garnered some passing yardage, with Swank completing 5 out of 8 passes for 47 yards. Receivers included Pienton, Serbenta, West, Liggett, and Nate Webb.

FHC had a total of 75 yards rushing, with Deines getting 39 yards on 7 carries; and Jimmy Scholler 30 yards on 12 carries. 

Ranger QB Jimmy Scholler racked up 148 yards on 14 of 20 passes. 

On defense, Ryan Ringler led with 8 tackles; Pienton had 7; Schmid had 6; Gage Gardner and Xavier Anderson both had 5. Pienton also had an interception. 

The Red Hawks lead the OK White Conference with a record of 3-0 in conference and 5-1 overall. One more win will guarantee them a spot in the playoffs. On Friday, the Red Hawks will host Lowell (1-2, 1-5 overall) in their annual pink game at Red Hawk Stadium at 7 p.m. 

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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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Hawks Nest moves to semifinals in Battle of the Fans

Cedar Springs is one of nine schools across the state competing to win the “Battle of the Fans.” Courtesy photo.

Every athlete knows that there is a member of the team that doesn’t play on the field or court with them, but they are part of the team just the same—and that’s the fans that cheer them on. Anyone who has been to a Cedar Springs Red Hawks sporting event knows that the student section—the Hawks Nest—is one of the best around. And now the student section has a chance to prove it.

Teacher and Coach Justin Harnden has been working with the Athletic Leadership Council at the school to create a culture that’s positive and supportive to all fans and teams—including the opposing ones. And Tuesday morning he saw some of the fruits of that labor when it was announced by the MHSAA that Cedar Springs was one of nine schools chosen to continue on to the semifinals in the “Battle of the Fans VII” contest.

The Battle of the Fans was organized by the MHSAA staff and its 16-member Student Advisory Council. Schools were invited throughout the fall to submit short videos, via YouTube, of their cheering sections in action, with the deadline Jan. 13. Nine semifinalists were announced on Tuesday, January 16: Cedar Springs, Petoskey and Traverse City West from Class A; Boyne City, Buchanan and Charlotte from Class B; and Munising, Negaunee and Pellston from Class C/D. 

Instead of choosing five finalists as in past years, the Advisory Council selected nine semifinalists to accomplish a list of tasks showing off their sections over the next 12 days–and the Council will then select three finalists for MHSAA visits.

This year’s winner will be announced Feb. 23 and recognized March 23 at the Breslin Center.

Semifinalists are required to complete 10 challenges via their social media channels by 11 p.m. Jan. 27. Five mandatory challenges focus on contest criteria: positive sportsmanship, student body participation, school spirit, originality of cheers, organization of the group, student section leadership and overall fun.

Five elective challenges (taken from a list of 15 opportunities) will allow semifinalists more opportunities to show the unique characteristics that make their sections elite. 

“Our Student Advisory Council wanted to keep more of these great student sections involved in Battle of the Fans longer, and also make sure our best sections were showing their best on more than just the days they applied and we visited,” said Andy Frushour, MHSAA director of brand management and advisor to the Student Advisory Council. “The ‘Challenge Round’ sets up a true competition as these nine schools watch and try to outdo each other’s best work over the next 12 days. We’re excited to watch them step up their games to answer the competition.”

Harnden was pleased that they had been chosen to head on to the semifinals. “We have a lot of work to do, but we are up for it,” he said.

A total of 19 schools applied for this year’s contest – seven from Class A schools, six from Class B, four from Class C and two from Class D. Three semifinalists each were selected from the Class A, Class B and Class C/D applicants.

The Student Advisory Council will select the finalists for announcement Jan. 29 on Second Half. MHSAA staff and Student Advisory Council members will visit all three finalists for home basketball games during the second half of this regular season, with coverage and video from those visits and the announcement of the winner all to be published on Second Half.

The winner will be selected by another Advisory Council vote based in part on activity on the MHSAA’s social media sites. All social media postings regarding Battle of the Fans VII should include the hashtag #BOTF. The MHSAA will share semifinalists’ challenge posts over the next two weeks on its Facebook, Twitter and Instagram sites and Snapchat feed. The MHSAA also will post from the three finalists visits on those channels.

Cedar Springs will be using their social media sites on Facebook (CSHS Athletic Leadership Council) and Twitter (@CedarALC). Don’t forget to check them out and share their content!

To see the application video they put together, go to YouTube and search for CedarSpringsTV. Click on it, and then you will see their “Battle of the Fans” video listed.

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Red Hawks rack up first conference win

Darius Barnett scores one of several Red Hawk touchdowns against the Yellow Jackets.

The Cedar Springs Red Hawks rolled over the Greenville Yellow Jackets 48-7 last Friday, September 8, to bring home the win in their first conference game of the season. The Red Hawks now stand at 1-0 conference, and 2-1 overall. They previously won against Battle Creek Lakeview, 60-13, and lost to Zeeland West 50-12, in their first two games of the season, which were both non-conference.

The Red Hawks hit the road this week to take on Northview (0-3) in another conference match up. Click here for details on last week’s game against Greenville.

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