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Tag Archive | "football"

Red Hawks lose to Scots 19-12

By Judy Reed

Red Hawk Aiden Brunin runs with the ball.  Photo by J. Reed.

A trip into OK-Red territory on Friday, September 5, to face Caledonia turned into disappointment for the Cedar Springs Red Hawks Varsity Football team. Cedar Springs beat Caledonia handily in 2018, but it was not meant to be this year.

“Caledonia’s size gave us some problems up front, and they controlled the line of scrimmage against us,” explained Cedar Springs Coach Gus Kapolka. 

“Their kids and coaches had a good game plan and they executed it well. We had several opportunities late to tie or take the lead and couldn’t capitalize,” he added.

Cedar Springs scored early in the first quarter, with 7:54 left on the clock, when Landon Totten ran left for a 14-yard touchdown. The pass for extra points from QB Jeremy Champione to Kaden Liggett was then called no good by the referee.

Caledonia came right back to score with 6:27 left in the first, when Carson Vanderhoff ran 5 yards for a touchdown. The kick by Mitchell Hooker for an extra point was good. The score was now 7-6 Caledonia.

Neither team scored in the second quarter, but Caledonia came back to score twice in the 3rd. once on a 6-yard run up the middle by Carson Vanderhoff, and again when Luke Mandsager ran in a 5-yard touchdown. Hooker attempted to kick extra points both times, but the first one was blocked and the second one was no good.

Cedar Springs finally scored again with 8:51 in the fourth quarter when Ben Shaw ran 35 yards for a touchdown. The pass from Champione to Nate Elliston was no good, making the final score Caledonia 19, Cedar Springs 12.

Cedar Springs had 188 yards rushing, with Ben Shaw gaining 74 yards on 13 attempts (including a touchdown); Landon Totten 66 yards on 8 attempts (including a touchdown); Jeremy Champione 29 yards on 8 attempts; and Aiden Brunin 13 yards on 9 attempts. Zack Schmid and Nathan Elliston also contributed, for 4 yards and 2 yards, respectively.

Champione attempted 11 passes and completed 5 for 36 yards. Receivers included Brunin (14 yards); Shaw (-1); Elliston (7); Nate Webb (12); Liggett (4).

Defensively, the Red Hawks had 59 tackles. Elliston led with 8; Webb, Liggett, Brunin, Schmid, and Seth Almas all had 6; Miles Cartwright had 5; David Whitten and Kaleb Colby had 3; Bryant Maley and Ben Shaw both had 2; and Brady Amell and Jeff Clark had 1.

Caledonia had 205 yards on the ground. Carson Vanderhoff carried the ball 23 times for 160 yards; QB Jax Kinninger carried it 10 times for 31 yards; and Luke Mandsager gained 14 yards on 3 carries. Nick Fox carried it once but didn’t gain any yardage.

Kinninger completed 7 of 12 passes for 81 yards in the air. Receivers included Jack Snider (41 yards); Ben Norris (29 yards); Jalan Shinn (12 yards); Nick Fox (-1).

Defensively, the Scots had 49 tackles. Mandsager led with 8; Mason Stanley had 7; Jack Snider and Jerry Mansfield both had 6; Dilon Herrema had 4; Marcus Joplin-pinero, Ben Norris, Griffin Poll, Blake Towsend, and Ryan Stanton all had 3; Andrew Winkler and Andrew Kayser each had 1.

This Friday, Cedar Springs (1-1) faces Northview (2-0) at Red Hawk Stadium at 7 p.m. The Post asked Coach Kapolka what Cedar Springs would need to bring to the field to get the win over Northview.

“Northview has an explosive offense that features an all state caliber running back. We will have to be on the top of our game to slow him down and give ourselves an opportunity for success,” he explained. 

The game against Northview is the first OK-White conference game of the season. Come on out and cheer on your Red Hawks!

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Cedar Springs wins home opener over Swan Valley

Red Hawk quarterback Jeremy Champione, a junior, runs with the ball against Saginaw Swan Valley. Photo by Rob and Kelly Lalone.

By Judy Reed

Cedar Springs has not been shy about opening their football seasons by playing strong opponents. And this year was no exception. Last year, they traveled to Saginaw and lost a tough first game to the Saginaw Swan Valley Vikings (21-12), a Division 5 team that consistently appears in the playoffs. This year they took on the Vikings again, but this time on Red Hawk turf and came away with a solid 34-21 win.

The game was scheduled for last Thursday evening, August 29, but due to lightning and storms, it was continually delayed and then finally postponed to Friday, August 30, at 3 p.m.

Swan Valley scored the first touchdown of the game with 3:46 left in the first quarter, when Viking Khyree Harris ran right for a 26-yard touchdown. The extra point kick by Easton Goldensoph was good, making the score 7-0, Vikings.

Swan Valley scored again with 8:43 left in the second quarter, when quarterback Avery Goldensoph passed to Trent Alworden for a 35-yard touchdown. The extra point kick was no good, making the score Swan Valley 13, Cedar Springs 0.

Red Hawk QB Jeremy Champione hands the ball off to Zack Schmid. Photo by Rob and Kelly Lalone. 

The Red Hawks didn’t wait long after to score. Just 20 seconds later, with 8:24 left in the second quarter, Ben Shaw ran up the middle for a 60-yard touchdown. The 2-point conversion was no good, making the score now 13-6.

But Cedar Springs didn’t stop there. They scored two more times in the second quarter—once on a 45-yard pass from QB Jeremy Champione to Aiden Brunin, with an extra two points from Zack Schmid, and again when Ben Shaw ran up the middle for a 35-yard touchdown. At half, the Red Hawks led the Vikings 20-13.

Cedar Springs scored again in the 3rd quarter. With 6:20 left, QB Jeremy Champione ran the ball two yards into the end zone for the touchdown, and then made a short pass to Kaden Liggett for the two-point conversion. The score was now CS 28, Saginaw SV 13.

Swan Valley scored their final touchdown of the night with 2:41 left in the 3rd, when QB Avery Goldensoph ran 1-yard up the middle to score. He then passed to Ethan Champney for two points. The score was now CS 28, SV 21.

Cedar Springs scored one more time early in the fourth quarter to seal the victory. With 11:12 left to play, Landon Totten ran 53 yards for the touchdown. The two-point conversion was no good. Score was now CS 34, SV 21.

It looked like the Red Hawks might score again when Ben Shaw broke away from the pack and headed down field with about 3 minutes to go. However, he took a knee, and the team continued to play the ball, running out the clock, and winning the game, 34-21.

The Post asked Coach Gus Kapolka what he felt his team did well. “It was a great win for our team against a quality opponent,” he said. “It showed the resiliency of our team in coming back from 13 down and scoring 28 unanswered points. We executed our offense well, especially after the first couple of drives.

“I’m proud of how our kids hung in early, took their best shot and responded by getting a tough victory under adverse circumstances.” 

What did he think Swan Valley did well? “Swan Valley ran the ball well and completed some big 3rd down conversions to their All State Receiver #7 Ethan Champney,” he remarked.

Cedar Springs gained 360 yards on the ground. Leading rushers for the Red Hawks included Ben Shaw with 146 yards on 10 carries, including two touchdowns; Landon Totten with 99 yards on 16 carries and one touchdown; and Jeremy Champione with 38 yards on 8 carries and one touchdown. Other ball carriers included Zack Schmid, Aiden Brunin, Da’montae Barnett, and Nathan Male. 

Cedar Springs gained 58 yards in the air. QB Jeremy Champione completed 3 passes on four attempts. Receivers included Aiden Brunin on a 45-yard pass (and TD); Da’montae Barnett on a 7-yard pass; and Zack Schmid on a 6-yard pass.

Swan Valley had 201 yards on the ground. Leading rushers included Khyree Harris with 141 yards on 13 attempts and one touchdown; Avery Goldensoph with 13 yards on nine attempts and one touchdown; and Andrew Rousseau with 42 yards on five attempts. Miekael Brooker and Callen Reaume also carried the ball.

Swan Valley had 155 yards in the air. QB Avery Goldensoph completed 8 passes on 20 attempts. Receivers included Ethan Champney, 4 passes for 92 yards; Ara Nab, 2 passes for 19 yards; Trent Alworden 1 pass for 35 yards and 1 TD; and Khyree Harris 1 pass for 9 yards.

This Friday, the Cedar Springs Red Hawks play another non-conference game, this time at Caledonia. Make the trip out there to cheer on your Red Hawks! The game starts at 7 p.m.

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Ready for some Red Hawk football?

Last fall the Red Hawks were OK-White Champions

By Judy Reed

Another exciting year of Red Hawk football is about to begin and you won’t want to miss it. It starts tonight, Thursday, August 29, at Red Hawk Stadium, with a rematch against the only team to snatch victory from the Red Hawks during the regular season last year—Saginaw Swan Valley, who was also last year’s opening game.

After the loss to Saginaw Swan Valley (who made it to the District 5 semifinals last fall) the Red Hawks went on to win 10 straight games—including their first ever OK-White Championship and two playoff games. They became District Champs, defeating a previously undefeated Mount Pleasant for the title, and ended the season with a 10-2 record. They only allowed 95 points during the regular season, and 55 during the post season, with their regional finals loss (18-34) to the Muskegon Big Reds making up the bulk of that. 

The Red Hawks will face the same non-conference and conference teams this year: Saginaw Swan Valley, Caledonia, Northview, Greenville, Allendale, Forest Hills Central, Lowell, Ottawa Hills, and Forest Hills Northern. 

Come on out tonight and support your Red Hawks! See spirit themes for all the games on page 8.

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Cedar Springs runs over Lowell

The Cedar Springs Red Hawks ran all over the field in their 50-0 win over Lowell last Friday. Courtesy photo.

Secures playoff bid

The Cedar Springs Red Hawks Varsity football team ran away with the win last Friday, October 6, on their way to a spot in the playoffs, when they hosted Lowell in their annual pink out game.

The Red Hawks tore up the field in their 50-0 win over the Red Arrows, raking up over 500 yards, with two players getting over 100 yards, and three other players getting 55-plus. Much of it was in the first half.

“As far as we can tell, the 473 yards rushing in the first half was a school record,” said Coach Gus Kapolka. “It’s the second time we’ve two players o over 100 yards this season.”

Ryan Ringler set a record on defense when he broke the previous school record of 301 career tackles. At the end of the game he had 304 career tackles, spanning from the 2015 to 2018 seasons.

The first score of the game came with 10:47 left in the first quarter, when Sage Serbenta ran right for a two-yard touchdown. QB Kolby Swank then ran it in for the extra two points.

Serbenta scored again with 5:41 left in the first quarter when he ran for a 62-yard touchdown. Swank’s pass to Serbenta was no good.

Cedar Springs scored again with :56 seconds left in the first when Lucas Pienton ran left for a two-yard touchdown. Ethan West’s run in for the extra points was no good. The score at the end of the first quarter was Cedar Springs 20, Lowell 0.

The Red Hawks scored again in the second quarter with 9:25 left on the clock when Ryan Ringler ran up the middle for an 85-yard touchdown. Pienton’s run in for the extra points was good.

The Red Hawks scored twice more in the second quarter. With 4:27 left, Zack Schmid ran right for a 10-yard touchdown, and Swank’s run into the end zone for extra points was good. They scored again with 1:16 left when Ben Shaw ran up the middle for a 42-yard touchdown. The two-point conversion attempt was no good, and the half ended with the score Cedar Springs 42, Lowell 0.

Cedar Springs scored once more in the fourth quarter, with 10:20 left on the clock, when Ethan West ran 49-yards for a touchdown. West then passed to Justus Larsen on the two-point conversion attempt and it was good. The final score was Cedar Springs 50, Lowell 0.

The Red Hawks rushed for 512 yards, netting 505 after penalties. Serbenta rushed for 130; Ringler 128; Shaw 73; West 72; Pienton 55; Landon Totten 24; Swank 19; and Schmid 13. Pienton also had an interception.

On defense, Gage Gardner had the most tackles with 8; followed by Zack Schmid and Xavier Anderson with 6 each; Ringler with 5; and several others with 3 or less.

 “I’m happy with our performance and I thought our guys played well and we were able to play a lot of our bench guys who haven’t gotten a lot of playing time this season,” said Coach Kapolka. 

Cedar Springs is now 4-0 in conference, and 6-1 overall. They are in first place in the OK-White, with Northview a close second (4-1, 5-2). There are two weeks left in the regular season. The Red Hawks travel to Grand Rapids Ottawa Hills (0-5, 1-6) this Friday, October 12, and then host Forest Hills Northern (2-2, 4-3) on October 19. Come out and cheer on your Red Hawks!

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Be the Referee

By Mark Uyl, Asst. Director, MHSAA

Always first and goal during overtime

In Michigan, football overtime for each team starts with first and goal at the 10-yard line. Other states which allow overtime begin anywhere from the 10 to the 25-yard line, and in some of those states, you could actually pick up a first down while on offense.

But Michigan is always first and goal. Even in those situations where a dead ball foul from the end of the first team’s possession in an overtime may start the second team’s series at the 25, it is still first and goal.

The only way a team on offense can pick up a first down in overtime is on a penalty providing yardage plus an automatic first down, and those are only the roughing calls: roughing the passer, the kicker, the holder and the long snapper.

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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Cedar crushes Caledonia in home opener

There was no stopping the Red Hawks last Thursday as they garnered almost 400 yards in the game against Caledonia last Thursday. Photo by Rob LaLone.

By Judy Reed

The Cedar Springs Red Hawks brought their A-game last Thursday, August 30, when they hosted Caledonia for the first home game of the season and ran away with the win 46-7.

The Red Hawks were fresh off a loss to the Division 5 state runner-up Saginaw Swan Valley, where they had some trouble getting the offense going that they needed. But the Red Hawks found their groove against the Fighting Scots, scoring once in the first quarter, three times in the second quarter, and twice in the fourth.

The Red Hawks netted 338 yards on the ground, and 56 in the air, for 394 total. Ethan West ran for 105 yards and two touchdowns, followed by Lucas Pienton with 96 yards and one touchdown; Sage Serbenta ran for 50, Ryan Ringler had 36, Zak Schmid and Kolby Swank each had 16, Ben Shaw and Landon Totten ran for 10 each, including a touchdown by Totten.

Swank completed three passes out of three attempts, with two resulting in touchdowns—a 25-yard pass to Lucas Pienton, and 20-yard pass to Kaden Liggett. The third pass was 11-yards to Ethan West. 

Their defense was also stellar, allowing Caledonia only 154 yards on the ground for the whole game and one touchdown, which came in the second quarter. Leading in tackles for the Red Hawks was Ryan Ringler with 12 and 3 assists; Xavier Anderson with 6 tackles and 4 assists; Gage Gardner with 8 tackles; and Sage Serbenta with 6 tackles, 1 assist, 1 QB sack, and 2 fumble recoveries. Many other Red Hawks also contributed defensively, including Lucus Pienton and Graham Bayink, both with 1 interception each.

Cedar Springs travels to Northview this Friday, September 7, to take on the Wildcats. They have beaten Northview for the last five meetings, but Northview came out strong this year, with a win over Comstock Park 68-47, and they still put a lot of points on the board in their loss to Jenison last week, 43-36. It should be a good game! Travel to Northview and cheer on your Red Hawks!

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It’s time for football!

Red Hawk Ryan Ringler leaps over several Pioneers as he scores a touchdown against East Grand Rapids in 2017.

Michigan high school football starts this week, and fans are looking forward to a great season for the hometown team in the OK-White. In 2017, the Red Hawks went 7-4, which included some exciting moments, such as 28-14 win over Lowell during the regular season, and a heart-stopping victory over East Grand Rapids 41-40 in a pre-district game. Cedar Springs will have two non-conference games before Labor Day that will test their mettle. The first is tonight, Thursday, August 23, at Saginaw Swan Valley. They went 12-2 last year, losing to West Catholic in the Division 5 state final. Then next Thursday, August 30, the Red Hawks will host Caledonia, who went 4-5 last year in a tough division—the OK-Red. Watch for a complete schedule in an upcoming issue. Come on out and cheer your Red Hawks! Hope to see you there!

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Football playoff journey ends at district final

The Red Hawks scored early in the first quarter against the DeWitt Panthers, but lost the game 36-12. Photo by K&R LaLone.

By Kayleigh Boomgaard 

On Friday, November 3, in the city of DeWitt, Michigan, the Cedar Springs varsity Red Hawks faced off against the Panthers of DeWiitt, in their second round playoff game for the district chamionship. With a final game score of Cedar Springs 12, DeWitt 36, the Red Hawk boys of fall brought their season to a close. They finished with a record of 5-1 in conference play (2nd place in the OK-White) and 7-4 overall.

With touchdowns scored in the first and third quarter, the Red Hawks left the stage to their opponents, but put up a tough fight throughout the game’s entirety. The first Red Hawk touchdown, and the first touchdown of the night was scored by Cedar Springs running-back John Jacob Todd. Todd ran left for 32 yards. After his touchdown, he attempted a pass to teammate Jordan Lyon for a PAT (point after touchdown) that was incomplete. 

The Hawks’ second and last touchdown of the night was run in by Ryan Ringler in the third quarter with 4:29 seconds left to play in the quarter. This touchdown also followed an incomplete two-point conversion, which Todd attempted to run in. 

Panther players Noah Koenigsknecht, Jack Horn, Alan Smith, and Darron Weber scored for DeWitt throughout the night, with passes assisting these touchdowns thrown by Blake Gatfield and Anthony Joseph. 

In spite of their defeat, the varsity Red Hawks were greatly supported by the Cedar Springs community, who took great pride in how far their team had come in the 2017 season. The Cedar Springs High school filled three spirit buses, bringing students to fill the stands at DeWitt high school, nearly two hours away from our hometown. 

Although this game was a last for many seniors, it was only the beginning of the varsity journey for others. The future team of 2018 looks forward to what next season has in store. 

Congratulations on a great season!

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Red Hawks beat East Grand Rapids

The Red Hawks celebrate their win over EGR. Photo by K&R LaLone.


The Red Hawks scored more points on the Pioneers in the first quarter (27) than the Pioneers allowed in each game all year. Photo by K&R LaLone.

By Kayleigh Boomgaard

Under the Friday night lights on October 27, the varsity Red Hawks of Cedar Springs faced off against the Pioneers of East Grand Rapids in the first round of playoffs. The Red Hawks defeated the previously undefeated Pioneers with a final score of Cedar Springs 41, East Grand Rapids 40.

Throughout the entirety of this intense match up, the two teams were neck in neck on the scoreboard. The Red Hawks finished with a one point lead due to a kick in the first quarter by Moritz Lerch.

The Red Hawks were the first to make it on the scoreboard, with a touchdown run in by Ryan Ringler at 10:07 left to play in the first quarter. This touchdown was followed by a PAT (point after touchdown) also scored by Ringler. Additional Cedar Springs touchdowns in the first quarter were run in by Darius Barnett and Ringler, followed by incomplete attempts at PATs.

In the second quarter, running back John Jacob Todd scored an additional touchdown shortly after a Pioneer run made by Max Lundeen, who received a key pass from teammate Michael Malewitz. Malewitz also made passes to Connor Davis for a run into the end zone, and to Pioneers Ben Forestner and Nick Milanowski for two completed two-point conversions.

Coming back from halftime with a standing score of Cedar Springs 33, East Grand Rapids 28, the close game continued. Pioneer player Connor Davis ran up the middle for a total of 8 yards, scoring a touchdown with 7:39 left to play in the third quarter. Cedar Springs senior Nicholas Campione finished off the third quarter with a Red Hawk touchdown, then passed to teammate Ryan Ringler for a PAT.

The Hawk’s defeat of the Pioneers was a triumphant win, and the Cedar Springs varsity football team greatly looks forward to next week’s game against DeWitt at DeWitt high school. The Cedar Springs High School will be hosting a spirit bus for students to travel to the home of the Panthers and show their Red Hawk pride. The game will take place on Friday, November 3rd at 7pm.

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Playoff bound!

The Red Hawks were in the lead 50-0 at the beginning of the fourth quarter against Ottawa Hills. They won 56-12, and are now headed to the playoffs.

By Judy Reed

The Cedar Springs Varsity Red Hawk football team won their last conference game of the season last Friday against Ottawa Hills, securing them second place in the OK-White conference (5-1) and a spot in the playoffs with an overall record of 6-3. Forest Hills Central took first in the conference with a record of 6-0,  (9-0 overall) and Lowell took third, with a record of 4-2 and 6-3 over all.

The Red Hawks will take on the winners of the OK-Gold conference, the East Grand Rapids Pioneers (6-0, 9-0) at East Grand Rapids this Friday, October 27 at 7 p.m. in their third playoff appearance in the last four years. It will be a white out, so be sure to wear white! Click here for more details on last week’s game.

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