Posted on 10 October 2014.
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.
Posted in Sports
Posted on 18 September 2014.
September 18 Cross Country Fremont Invite
September 19 Picture Day – all grades
September 19 Grades 6-8 Back to School Kickoff for Parents and Students of Middle School – 6-9 pm
September 26 Student Early Release – (2 hours early)
K-5 Dismissal at 12:55 pm
6-12 Dismissal at 1:06 pm
September 27 Cross Country Allendale Invite – 8:30 am
October 10 Student Early Release – (2 hours early)
K-5 Dismissal at 12:55 pm
6-12 Dismissal at 1:06 pm
October 10 Cross Country – Montabella HS – 4 pm
October 18 Cross Country – Michigan Class “D” State Championship
October 18 1st Annual Harvest Festival – 3-6 pm (PA sponsored)
October 18 Harvest Festival Dance – 6-9 pm
October 21-23 Student Led Parent Teacher Conferences (required of all students and parents)
October 23 Wall of Honor Recognition – 2 pm – CTA Auditorium
October 24 Student Early Release – (2 hours early)
K-5 Dismissal at 12:55 pm
6-12 Dismissal at 1:06 pm
October 27 Parent/Superintendent Town Hall Meeting – 6:30 pm
October 30 Cross Country Banquet and Awards – 6 pm
Posted in CTA
Posted on 28 August 2014.
Each year, the Michigan High School Athletic Association seeks to improve the safety of high school athletes. Below are some rules changes in fall sports.
Rules were added restricting targeting of opponent and illegal helmet contact with defenseless players, with both resulting in 15-yard penalties. Targeting is defined as taking aim at an opponent with the helmet, forearm, hand, fist, elbow or shoulder to initiate contact above the shoulders and with an intent beyond making a legal tackle or block, or playing the ball. A defenseless player can be considered one no longer involved in a play, a runner whose progress has been stopped, a player focused on receiving a kick or a receiver who has given up on an errant pass, or a player already on the ground.
Roughing-the-passer fouls now will result in an automatic first down in addition to the previous 15-yard penalty.
On kickoffs, the kicking team must have at least four players on either side of the kicker, and no kicking team players except for the kicker may line up more than five yards behind the free-kick line. These changes were made to improve safety by balancing the kicking formation and shortening the potential run-up by kicking team players heading down the field to tackle the ball carrier.
A number of significant rules changes will go into effect for other fall sports:
In cross country, the ban on wearing jewelry has been lifted (and also for track and field in the spring). The National Federation of State High School Associations deemed the ban unnecessary in these two sports because there is little risk of injury with minimal contact between competitors. Elimination of the rule will allow officials to further focus on the competition.
In soccer, Michigan has adopted the National Federation rule stating home teams must wear solid white jerseys and socks, with visiting teams in dark jerseys and socks (dark defined as any color contrasting white). Also, officials may now wear green and blue shirts in addition to red and black as alternates to the primary yellow shirt with black pinstripes.
Also for soccer, both field players and goalkeepers must now leave the field when injured and the referee has stopped the clock. Previously, an injured goalkeeper was not required to leave the game when the referee stopped the clock; going forward, the keeper must be replaced.
Swimming and diving
In swimming and diving, one change affects the beginning of races and another impacts a specific event. The use of starter’s pistols is now prohibited; starters must use an alternative sounding device to start races. Additionally, in the backstroke, a swimmer may not submerge his or her entire body after the start except for during turns. The swimmer must remain on or above the water surface on the finish, eliminating the abuse of submerging well before touching the wall. This change also applies to the finish of the backstroke leg of the individual medley.
Posted in Sports
Posted on 07 November 2013.
Kenzie Weiler and Austin Sargent
Two runners from the Cedar Springs Red Hawks cross country teams did something last weekend that has never been done before in Division 2—and only once before in the state’s history—a boy and girl from the same school both won the state title in Cross Country the same year.
Junior Austin Sargent finished first in the Boys Division 2 State Finals with a time of 15:42.7 and Kenzie Weiler finished first in the Girls Division 2 State Finals with a time of 17:55.1 last weekend at Michigan International Speedway.
Only one other time in state history has a boy and girl won state titles together and that was Corunna HS in 1995.
The entire girls Cross Country team also qualified for the state finals. After placing second at regionals, the girls’ team was looking for a solid performance on Saturday. The team ended up finishing 15th overall, led by Weiler, who placed first and became Cedar Springs’ first female cross country girl to win a state championship. Sophomore Kellsie Webber was 71st overall and ran her best time of her career. Senior Maddie Pekrul finished her last race, placing 90th overall, and was followed closely by Ellie Ovokaitys who placed 91st and also ran her best time. Shayne Mann (103rd) also ran her personal best time ever. Senior Caitlin McClurken also broke the 21-minute barrier and Allyson Marvel rounded out the top seven by adding a solid performance.
Austin Sargent, Cedar Springs boys only state qualifier, ran in a pack and broke away to take the lead and finish first to become the D2 state champion. Sargent becomes the third boy from Cedar to win an individual state championship. He follows Connor Mora (2012) and Landon Peacock (2005). The win also becomes the first time a school has had two different state champions in back to back years.
“This is a big moment in our school history and we are very proud of Kenzie and Austin!” remarked Autumn Mattson, Athletic Director at Cedar Springs High School. “The success of these individuals and our team is directly related to the support of our cross country parents, hard work and determination of our athletes and the countless hours our previous coaches and current coaches have put into our kids. Last Saturday was a great day to be a Red Hawk!”
Posted in News, Sports
Posted on 15 March 2012.
Grand Valley State University senior Tyler Emmorey, a 2007 Cedar Springs graduate, finished eighth in the 5,000 meter run last weekend, to earn United States Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) All-American honors, crossing the line in a time of 14:28.66. It is his fourth All-American honor overall and his first All-American honor during indoor track season.
Lake Superior State University freshman Justin Balczak (Cedar Springs class of 2011) also competed last weekend in the NCAA Division II National Indoor Track and Field Finals. He took second in the high jump, fifth in the 60-meter hurdles, sixth in the long jump and 10th in the heptathlon.
Posted in Sports
Posted on 17 November 2011.
On Saturday, October 29, the cross country teams from Creative Technologies Academy concluded their racing schedule at the inaugural Michigan Independent High School Championships at Allendale High School. The meet featured schools from around the state and provided a venue for non-MHSAA schools to compete against each other. The men’s team from CTA earned runner-up honors against tough competition from Grand Rapids Track Club, who won the meet, and narrowly defeated third place Kalamazoo Home School by one point.
The Chargers were led by sophomore Aaron Nutt (5th place) in a time of 17:57. Also scoring for CTA were junior Jeremiah Wortz (19:23), freshman Benett Tomandl (19:49), seventh grader Brandon Beck (19:58), and senior Steve Van Enk (20:08). “The boys decided before the gun that they were going to win a trophy today. They immediately put themselves in position once the race started and never looked back. I was very satisfied with the team performance,” remarked Coach Gerry Verwey.
CTA’s ladies team placed third at the meet. Sophomore Erin Munger (20:35) won the race and was crowned “MIHS Champion.” Freshman Hannah Hubbard, sophomores Alicia Beck and Michaela Smith, and junior Grace Van Enk contributed in the scoring as well.
After experiencing their most successful season of cross country in their young four years of existence, the Chargers celebrated their accomplishments with a highly interactive and festive team banquet on November 9th. The banquet featured a murder mystery dinner, in which each team member received a character and objectives to act out to solve an imaginary crime, all while partaking in a wonderfully fulfilling three-course feast provided by some of the parents. The party also featured mock awards and photo highlights, complete with funny stories from the season.
“This was one of the most memorable seasons ever,” commented Verwey. “These kids were a team from day one – from camp through to the end. It was incredibly rewarding to see so many students set new lifetime personal bests throughout the season. I can’t wait to see what we will do next year.”
Posted in CTA, Featured
Posted on 10 November 2011.
It was a banner year for the Cedar Springs Cross Country teams, with both boys and girls winning regionals, and then carrying on that excellence to the state finals last weekend, where the girls finished second behind East Grand Rapids, and the boys took fourth. Three Red Hawks earned all state honors: Katie Weiler (left) took 6th, Connor Mora (Center) took 3rd, and Kenzie Weiler (right) took 2nd. Congratulations, Red Hawks! Read the complete story here.
Posted in Featured, News
Posted on 04 November 2011.
Both boys and girls cross country regional champs
Coach Ted Sabinas, his daughter Jen (Sabinas) Kahler (Girls Cross Country Coach).
By Sue Wolfe
Boys Cross Country Coach Ted Sabinas, his daughter Jen (Sabinas) Kahler (Girls Cross Country Coach) and their teams have been setting Cedar Springs school records all season. However, this year’s teams are definitely earning elite status that may never be surpassed.
Last Saturday, both the girls and boys cross country teams finished first in the Division II Regional Cross Country meets held at Benzie Central High School. Not only did they earn two (boys and girls) regional team titles for Cedar Springs, but they also laid claim to the top two running times from all divisions in the State of Michigan. Kenzie Weiler and Connor Mora each finished with the best current individual times in the state according to athletic.net.
“We have two of the very best cross country runners in Michigan right here in Cedar Springs,” explains Coach Sabinas. “These runners have not only accomplished outstanding personal running feats but have also inspired and challenged the rest of the team knowing that it takes a entire team to win conference, regional, and state competitions.”
Kenzie Weiler, a freshman on the girls team and Connor Mora, a junior, have been posting some of the fastest times in the state all year. The Cedar Springs girls team has sisters Kenzie and Katie Weiler (daughters of Pat and Julie (Myers) Weiler, both outstanding high school and collegiate athletes themselves) finished first and second at regionals with times of 17.13 minutes and 17.57 respectively.
“Our team has worked very hard this year. At the regional meet, all seven runners from both the girls and boys teams achieved personal best times of their career thus far,” said Coach Kahler. The Weiler’s other five running mates had personal best times which include Sommer Vandyke 19:23, Maddie Pekrul (19:32), Michaela Burnett (19:41), Christina Dean (20:04), and Kendahl Oberdorfer (20:22). “It is important that our players stay healthy and reach their peak at this point of the season. They are doing just that,” she noted.
Part of the teams’ success is the great rapport between the athletes and their coaches. “We respect and admire the blend of coaching our team has received this year from both Coach Sabinas and Coach Kahler. They brought different elements into our practices and meets at different times during the season. As shown in the team’s success, it has been the perfect combination of coaching styles,” said both Katie and Kenzie Weiler.
For the first time ever in Cedar Springs High School history, the girls team has been ranked first in the state. They have been bouncing back and forth among the top five all season. The team won both the conference and regional meets and is ready for the state meet scheduled for this Saturday, November 5 at MIS Speed Way in Brooklyn, Michigan starting at 1:30 for the girls and 2:30 for the boys.
Coach Kahler had to miss only a few weeks of the season, giving birth to her and her husband Bryan’s first child, Lela. She and her father worked together to keep the team with a well-planned schedule during Kahler’s short absence. This is Kahler’s 9th season as the varsity girls coach, during which the team holds three consecutive conference and regional titles, along with a 6th place team finish at the state level in 2010, a school record for the women’s team.
When Coach Kahler was asked how she can continually bring the best out of her runners both physically and mentally she explains, “The girls and I believe strongly in the sense of team and the work that they put in day in and day out for each other helps strengthen each individual’s running performance.”
Sabinas had high praise for his daughter. “Jen is highly respected among the running class of athletes and coaches throughout the state for her knowledge and abilities. In just 9 years, she has already accomplished many of the goals I set for my teams in a 27-year span,” explained Sabinas. “She is doing an amazing job with the many facets of coaching necessary to achieve conference, regional, and state level success.”
Veteran Coach Sabinas is in his 27th year as varsity men’s coach. He too holds school and state records for his cross-country teams. Sabinas’s teams highest honor is runner up at the state meet in 1990. Other significant accomplishments include over 160 dual meet wins, 3 conference titles, 3 regional titles, and 10 teams placing in state meets.
“Conner Mora has consistently been an outstanding runner. He finished 2nd at the 2010 state finals and continued to improve his times this year. He improved through hard work and tremendous dedication. However, Connor would be quick to point out that our team’s success is just that—team success and not individual success. His six regional teammates all achieved personal best times with Aaron Brooks (16:06), Justin Harthorn (16:26), Alex Bray (16:32), Austin Sargent (16:32), Ethan Menefee (16:48), and Dan Zinn (17:27) stepping up to secure the championship,” said Sabinas.
“Coach Sabinas understands us really well,” commented Mora. “He knew what type of training we needed to take our team to the state level. We are now ready and excited for next week.”
Autumn Mattson, CSHS Athletic Director, urged fans to support the teams. “This is a year when the Cedar Springs Community will want to get out and cheer for their two cross country teams as we have some of the finest ever Red Hawk runners competing,” she said. “This is a pretty unique moment for our school and community having two teams qualify for state during the same season and to have the best male and female runner in the state on our teams. This is all happening under the leadership of a father-daughter cooperative coaching effort,” she remarked.
Posted in Featured, News, Sports
Posted on 27 October 2011.
Boys finish 13th out of 40; two runners earn all-state honors
The CTA girls cross country team took second place in Class “D” Cross Country Coaches Association Championships last Saturday. Standing (L to R): Coach Aaron Kenemer, Dani George, Esther Hubbard, Olivia Wortz, Grace VanEnk, Alicia Beck, Mikayla Tomandl, Hannah Hubbard, Coach Gerry Verwey. Kneeling (L to R): Michaela Smith, Erin Munger.
Going into Saturday’s Class “D” Cross Country Coaches Association Championships, the cross country teams at Creative Technologies Academy had one goal in mind: a top-10 finish. The Lady Chargers stepped onto Maple Creek Golf Course in Shepherd, Michigan and blew that goal away, earning an exciting runner-up trophy in a race that featured 34 schools. CTA’s previous highest place at the state championships was a 12th place finish last year. Mt. Pleasant Sacred Heart took home the first place title in both the girls and boys events.
CTA’s coaches attributed this year’s success to a dedicated group of runners who understood the importance of running as a team. “The key to our success was pack running,” commented head coach Gerry Verwey. “About half-way through the season we were able to get our 2nd-5th runners to link up and start training and racing as a group. Not only did this improve the quality of our practices, but our times as a whole began dropping, and our team scores at meets began improving as a result.”
It wasn’t just the pack of Chargers that made the difference. Sophomore Erin Munger continued to lead CTA, as she has all season, with a new personal record of 20:09, breaking her previous school record mark. Her fifth place finish earned her “All-State” honors and was significant to outdistancing CTA from the third through fifth place teams. Alicia Beck (22:25), Grace VanEnk (22:30), Michaela Smith (22:41), and Hannah Hubbard (22:42) rounded out the scoring for the Chargers. Also turning in solid runs were Dani George and Mikayla Tomandl. “Dani and Mikayla were aware at the start that any chances of placing well might come down to our 6th and 7th runners. They brought their best races ever to help secure our trophy,” added Verwey.
How well they placed surprised even Verwey. “This was an awesome day for CTA. I have to admit that I didn’t believe the girls when they first told me the team scores. I knew we ran well, but the thought of winning a trophy at State hadn’t ever crossed my mind. We had two goals left this season: winning a trophy and a top-ten placing at State. I didn’t expect us to achieve both at the same time,” he explained.
The performance of a boys team that placed 13th out of 40 schools should not go over looked either. Sophomore Aaron Nutt smashed the school record, leading the team with a time of 17:36, and placing high enough to earn “All-State” honors. Jeremiah Wortz (18:34), Benett Tomandl (18:56), Steve VanEnk (19:17), and Venus Ceballos (20:37) all stepped up at a time when the Chargers needed them most. “The boys ran their hearts out,” according to assistant coach Aaron Kenemer. “They knew what needed to be done and left it all on the course. It was great to see the aggressiveness, especially in the last mile of the race.”
Verwey is happy with the results of both teams. “We as coaches are so incredibly proud of both the girls and boys teams. They’ve been working hard since August and learned that good things don’t come easily, but when they do, it’s worth the work!”
CTA will conclude its season at the Michigan Independent High School Championships in Allendale next Saturday, October 29.
Posted in CTA, Featured, Sports
Posted on 13 January 2011.
By Sue Wolfe
Ted Sabinas, a 34-year Cedar Springs resident, teacher, and cross country coach, recently completed his 20th year of running 3.1 miles every single day. Twenty years calculates out to 240 months, 1040 weeks and 7,300 days, which involved outdoor conditions of extreme heat, snow blizzards, rainstorms, and high winds. Sabinas weathered them all while also teaching, coaching, parenting, grandparenting, and spending time with his wife and friends. He mustered up the time and determination to run a 5K each and every day while many people would be thrilled to just run one 5K in their lifetime.
This daunting goal starting in 1990 when Sabinas decided he would try to achieve running a total of 1,200 miles or 100 miles per month. As of December 8, Sabinas exceeded his original goal and now traveled 22,630 miles. This is further than running from Key West, Florida to Anchorage, Alaska and back (10,340 miles) two times!
When asked how he could run during illnesses, injuries, inclement weather, and time restraints, Sabinas said, “It was a case of mind over matter. I also believe this allows me to be a better cross-country coach. By actually running myself, I can relate to the mental and physical challenges that my runners are facing and implement some strategies and techniques that are helpful. ”
Sabinas also explained, “My father passed away at age 52 from a heart attack. I want to stay active and healthy. At age 58, I feel I can still do most everything I did at 28.” Injuries and incidents have not evaded Sabinas’s running adventures over the past twenty years. He has dealt with pulled muscles, flu, back pain, and colds. He has been chased by a Doberman and had a pigeon fly just overhead with him for almost a mile. While Sabinas’s usual route is down Pine Lake Avenue, he has also run in the summer heat of Puerto Rico and Mexico, the hills of West Virginia, bear country in the Upper Peninsula, and even the deck of a cruise ship. Sabinas was one of two Cedar Springs residents that ran the entire Michigan Coast-to-Coast Run in the late 80s as a fund-raiser for a new Cedar Springs High School track.
When asked what his next goal is, Sabinas replied, “I don’t have a specific number of years or miles in mind but hope to keep running as long as my body will allow me to.”
Sabinas has successfully coached the boy’s cross-country team for 26 years. He has educated his runners in the benefits of running for overall health physically and mentally. He has inspired his runners to be the best they can be, evidenced by his teams’ records of several conference and regional championships, 50-plus invitational wins, and 8 teams that qualified for state. His team’s highest state finish includes a 2nd in 1990 as well as a 5th and 9th place. Coach Sabinas’s cross-country win/loss record for dual meets is 165/46. Sabinas has coached one All-American (Landon Peacock) and 15-plus All-State runners during his cross-country stay.
Sabinas shares the joy and commitment of consistently exercising with his wife Dianne who recently completed 18 years of consecutively walking 1.5 miles per day. His daughter Jennifer is the CSHS girl’s cross-country coach, has run in the River Bank Run, a marathon, and a triathlon. His daughter Sarah is an accomplished collegiate volleyball player and previously a middle school and high school volleyball coach.
Posted in News