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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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Red Hawks roll over Northview 50-15



Aiden Brunin (28) and Miles Cartwright (4) celebrate in the end zone after Cartwright picks up a fumble and runs 65 yards for a touchdown against Northview. 
Photo by Rob and Kelly LaLone.

By Judy Reed

The Cedar Springs Red Hawks knew going into last Friday’s OK-White conference game against Northview that if they were going to have any chance at winning the game, they were going to have stop the Wild Cats’ explosive running back, Ja’kaurie Kirkland. 

When the Red Hawks took the field at Red Hawk stadium, they meant business. And it showed in the way they executed their game plan.

“We had a great week of preparation for the game, and we were really focused,” explained Cedar Springs Coach Gus Kapolka. “We wanted to limit their run game, establish our run game, and play inspired special teams—and we did all three of those things on Friday night.”

Cedar Springs kicked off to Northview to start the game, and after losing yardage in their first possession, Northview punted to Cedar Springs. They took possession on the Northview 47-yard line, and on the first play, with 9:54 on the clock, Red Hawk Nathan Elliston ran 47-yards for a touchdown. He also ran in the two-point conversion, to make the score 8-0 Cedar Springs.

The Wild Cats came back just a few minutes later to score when Daniel Frey passed to Kaden Boucher for a 6-yard touchdown. Kolbe Vandenberg then passed to Kinji Black for the two-point conversion and the score was now 8-8, with 6:18 left in the quarter.

Cedar Springs scored again on their next drive, when Ben Shaw ran for a 24-yard touchdown with 4:24 left on the clock in the first. Nathan Elliston ran in the two-point conversion. The score was now 16-8, Cedar Springs.

Northview failed to get a first down on their next drive, and tried a fake punt on fourth down. That resulted in Cedar Springs taking over on the Northview 36-yard line, with 2:57 left in the first. They worked their way down to the 10-yard line, where Aiden Brunin ran the ball in for a touchdown with 13 seconds on the clock. The two-point conversion was no good, and the score was now Cedar Springs 22, Northview 8.

Both teams scored again in the second quarter. Northview scored with 7:31 left on the clock on a pass from Daniel Frey to Kaden Boucher for a 9-yard touchdown. Eric Mendez then kicked the extra point. The score was now 22-15, Cedar Springs.

Then, with 2:42 left on the clock in the second, Northview’s Frey passed the ball to Boucher, who ran 3-yards and fumbled it. The ball was recovered on the CS 35-yard line by Red Hawk Miles Cartwright, who ran 65-yards for a touchdown. The extra point try was no good. The score was now CS 28, Northview 15.

Cedar Springs then kicked off to Northview, and on 3rd and 11, Frey passed to Prade Horling but it was intercepted by Red Hawk Aiden Brunin at the Northview 50. Cedar Springs then took over, and after several plays, they scored on a 23-yard pass from QB Jeremy Campione to Brunin. Ben Shaw then ran in the 2-point conversion. With just 13 seconds left in the half, the score was now CS 36, Northview 15.

When the 3rd quarter rolled around, Cedar Springs still had not run out of steam. Northview kicked off to the Red Hawks, and they started their drive on the Cedar Springs 35. Brunin ran for 10 yards on the first play, and then ran 55-yards for the touchdown. Campione then passed to Da’Montae Barnett for the two-point conversion. With 11:05 left on the clock in the third, it was now CS 44, Northview 15.

Cedar Springs scored again at the end of the 3rd quarter with 1:12 left on the clock. Northview’s Frey attempted to pass to Kyle Vanderjagt but Red Hawk Miles Cartwright intercepted it at the CS 25, and returned it to the Northview 49. That set up the next play, when Zack Schmid ran 49 yards for the touchdown. The two-point conversion was no good, and the score was now Cedar Springs 50, Northview 15, with one quarter left to play. Neither team scored in the fourth quarter.

How important does Kapolka think the turnovers were for their team? “Turnovers are always really big, but when you can covert turnovers to points like Miles’ fumble return for a touchdown, it breaks the back of your opponent,” he explained.

The Red Hawks garnered 367 yards rushing, with at least 10 different players each having a piece of it, and 9 of them had yardage in the double digits. Brunin led the pack with 98; Schmid had 69; Elliston 54; Shaw 34; Barnett 29; Jeff Clark 27; Campione 24; Nathan Male 15; Dylan Greenland 11; and Logan Petty 6.

Campione completed two passes on two attempts for 32 yards, to Brunin (23 yards) and Kaden Liggett (9 yards).

The Red Hawks limited Northview to a total of 120 yards rushing. Half of that was Kirkland, who had 63 yards; Frey had 28; and Gavin Jones 20.

Frey completed 13 passes on 24 attempts for 170 yards in the air. Receivers included Boucher, Vanderjagt, Kirkland, Horling, and Jailen Tatum.

On Friday, September 20, the Red Hawks will travel to Greenville to take on the Yellow Jackets in a long-standing rivalry between conference foes. What does Kapolka think they need to do to win?

“We need to continue our improvement on the offensive and defensive fronts in order to beat Greenville,” he said. “This is a rivalry game for us, and we look forward to the challenge that the Yellow Jackets pose.”

Cedar Springs is now 1-0 in conference, and 2-1 overall. Greenville is 0-1 in conference, and 0-3 overall. They lost last Friday to Lowell in conference play, 40-0.

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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 Campione 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 Campione 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 Campione 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.

Campione 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 Campione, 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 Campione 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 Campione 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 Campione 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 Campione 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 Campione 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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