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Tag Archive | "Coach Gus Kapolka"

Hawks end Spartan rivalry with win


Red Hawk Jacob Hooker runs with the ball. Photo by K. Alvesteffer/R. LaLone.

Red Hawk Jacob Hooker runs with the ball. Photo by K. Alvesteffer/R. LaLone.

By Maddie Nichols

After playing the Sparta Spartans 65 times in the last 66 years (and probably even longer) the Cedar Springs Red Hawks faced the Spartans for the last time this past Thursday. Sparta had asked to end their contract with Cedar Springs, saying the matchup was not “favorable to Sparta.” In this final rivalry game, Cedar ended the game with a significant 35-7 win.

The Hawks started the game off strong and held off the Spartans. With 4 minutes and 34 seconds left of the first quarter, Red Hawk junior John Todd made a run down the middle and scored Cedar’s first touchdown. After a successful two-point conversion pass from senior quarterback Collin Alvesteffer to another senior, Austin Basso, the Hawks were up 8-0. Cedar kept the lead on the Spartans with some great defensive efforts by sophomore Ryan Ringler and John Todd.

Early in the second quarter, senior Jacob Hooker made a long run in for a touchdown with 10 minutes and 31 seconds left. After a successful extra point, the Hawks were up 15-0. Cedar continued to shut down any of Sparta’s attempts with great tackles by Collin Alvesteffer, John Todd, and Austin Basso. At the end of the first half, the score remained 15-0.

The combined efforts of the offense and defense kept the Red Hawk momentum going in the third quarter. Tackles by junior Nathan Patin, senior Dustin Shaw, sophomore Lucas Pienton, senior Jaron Spencer and senior Thomas Hill kept the Spartans at bay. Runs by Jacob Hooker and pass deflections by Dustin Shaw and Lucas Pienton kept both the team and the fans energized. Ryan Ringler’s incredible 65-yard touchdown and Cedar’s successful point after at the end of third quarter made the score 22-0.

Cedar marched downfield in the fourth quarter with runs by Ryan Ringler, Jacob Hooker, and Collin Alvesteffer. Alvesteffer made a four-yard touchdown run with nine minutes left in the game. The two-point conversion was no good, but Cedar remained on top 28-0. Sparta snuck in a long run and a touchdown with six minutes 44 seconds left in the game, making the game 28-7. Cedar continued to push and Dustin Shaw got a touchdown and point after in with four minutes left, making it 35-7. The Hawks weren’t letting another touchdown go past them and they shut down the Spartans’ offense for the rest of the game.

Coach Gus Kapolka knows the Red Hawks still have some things to work on.

“After a sluggish start, I thought we played much better in the second half,” he said. “I’m disappointed in the number of penalties that we had, so it’s something that we will have to clean up for this week.”

The Red Hawks head to  Greenville to take on the Greenville Yellow Jackets this Friday, September 9, and then will host Northview on Friday, September 16, the first home game of the season.

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Red Hawks battle it out with Zeeland West


Red Hawk quarterback Collin Alvesteffer runs with the ball.

Red Hawk quarterback Collin Alvesteffer runs with the ball.

By Judy Reed

The Cedar Springs Red Hawks Varsity football team showed everyone last Thursday night that they won’t back down from a challenge. They needed someone to play the first week, and state champion Zeeland West needed an opponent. So they said yes. And come game time, they surprised a lot of people with how well they kept the Dux at bay. In fact, the Red Hawks did something no other team has done in two years—they kept them scoreless in the first half, and only allowed 14 points the whole game. And that’s on a team that generally scores 30-70 points each game. The Red Hawks went into half leading 3-0, but ultimately lost the game 14-9.

“I couldn’t be happier with the effort of our team, but obviously we are disappointed in the result,” said Head Coach Gus Kapolka. “We had opportunities to win the game and just came up a little short. This game will make us stronger moving forward, and we will be a better team for having played a team the caliber of Zeeland West.”

Click here for an article on the game by student reporter Maddie Nichols.

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Red Hawks dominate Spartans in home opener


Red Hawk senior Isaiah McDonald (10) scored both a 24-yard touchdown and a 73-yard touch down in the 35-0 win over Sparta. Photo by K. Alvesteffer and R. LaLone.

Red Hawk senior Isaiah McDonald (10) scored both a 24-yard touchdown and a 73-yard touch down in the 35-0 win over Sparta. Photo by K. Alvesteffer and R. LaLone.

The Cedar Springs Red Hawks came out on the offensive Thursday, September 3, against the Sparta Spartans, at Red Hawk Stadium. The boys played their hearts out that game to honor a recently passed student, Evan Kobayashi. With this mindset and determination to win, the Hawks dominated throughout the game, ending with a final score of 35-0.

“We played this game with heavy hearts, but our guys stayed really focused on the task at hand, and went out and played extremely well,” said Red Hawk Coach Gus Kapolka.

The Red Hawks never let the Spartans score Thursday night, in their home opener at Red Hawk Stadium. Photo by K. Alvesteffer and R. LaLone.

The Red Hawks never let the Spartans score Thursday night, in their home opener at Red Hawk Stadium. Photo by K. Alvesteffer and R. LaLone.

Junior Troy Patin put the Hawks on the board with a 3-yard touchdown with eight minutes and six seconds on the clock in the first quarter. Senior Cameron Umphrey also ran a 17-yard touchdown shortly after. However, the crowd wasn’t really energized until junior Jacob Hooker intercepted a Spartan pass and returned it for a touchdown. Following that play, senior Isaiah MacDonald was able to make the two-point conversion to end the first quarter.

The Hawks kept up their intensity on offense in the following quarter. MacDonald managed to score first a 24-yard touchdown, and then a 73-yard touchdown for his team. He also made a two-point conversion in the second quarter.

“We were given a lift [in the game] by Jacob Hooker, John Todd, and Thomas Hill, who all stepped in as quarterback for the injured Collin Alvesteffer,” commented Kapolka.

The boys worked together as a team offensively and defensively to achieve their win Thursday night. Juniors Jordan Ringler and Christian Twichell both led the team with four tackles, followed by Jordan Andrus, Ryan Ringler, Dustin Shaw and Taylor VanDyke with three.

The Red Hawks are now 1-1, and their next game is a non-conference match against the Belding Redskins (o-2), on Friday, September 11. They play at Belding at 7:00 p.m.

 

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Exciting football season ends at district final


Kaden Myers attempting to block an extra point.  Photo by K. Alvesteffer.

Kaden Myers attempting to block an extra point.
Photo by K. Alvesteffer.

 

The Cedar Springs Red Hawks Varsity football team had a phenomenal season, but it ended Saturday, November 8, when they faced the Muskegon Big Reds. Fans had a lot to cheer about this year, especially the team winning the OK Bronze championship—something the team hadn’t done since 1978. Great job, guys! We all look forward to seeing what the team has in store next year under Coach Gus Kapolka and staff.

Click here for highlights from Saturday’s game.

 

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Red Hawks powerhouse season comes to a close


Quarterback Collin Alvesteffer scored both touchdowns against the Muskegon Big Reds. Photo by K. Alvesteffer.

Quarterback Collin Alvesteffer scored both touchdowns against the Muskegon Big Reds. Photo by K. Alvesteffer.

“What a season! Our guys are the best and most honest players…” says Donna Male-Cotten, speaking for members of the Cedar Springs football family. A united “thank you” goes out to each and every player for their dedication and drive. The young men of Cedar Springs football united the community, while playing full on throughout the season, showing strength in offensive play, defensive play, and personal character.

Saturday, the Cedar Springs Red Hawks traveled to Muskegon to take on the Big Red in the district final match up. Under cloudy skies following a morning of rain, teams took to the field for a well matched, well-played game. At the half, Cedar led with a score of 14-7. However, Muskegon was able to come back in the second half and limited the Red Hawks to two first downs through the rest of the game.

Football Senior Captain Caden Burrows working in the trenches. Photo by K. Alvesteffer

Football Senior Captain Caden Burrows working in the trenches. Photo by K. Alvesteffer

The Red Hawks defense made running inside tough on the Big Red team. Senior linebacker MavRick Cotten led the team with 13 tackles, followed by Anthony Toploski with 10 and Collin Alvesteffer with 9.

The Red Hawks defense could not keep the Big Reds out of the end zone in the third and fourth quarters. The Red Hawks fell to the Big Reds 27-14 in the end.

It was a season of records. After a pause of 36 years, the 2014 Hawks brought home the title of OK Bronze Conference Champions! The school record for total points scored in a season was raised to 388. Coach Gus Kapolka endeared himself to the community and earned well-deserved recognition as Detroit Lion’s Coach of the Week.

The long held tradition of team meals the evening prior to every game continued, supported by family members and local businesses. Thank you to the parents and all the businesses who generously gave supported us and gave of their time each week.

The Cedar Springs community says, “Thank you!” to the coaching staff and young men of the Cedar Springs football program for a remarkable year of memories. From Rocket to Red Hawk you make us proud!

 

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