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Tag Archive | "football"

South Christian over Cedar Springs 32-14


Red Hawk Antwuan Nicholls runs with the ball against South Christian. Photo by Brandon Kramer Photography.

By Judy Reed

Cedar Springs has never won a varsity football game against South Christian. Last Friday’s homecoming game was no exception. Instead, they suffered a humbling 32-14 loss.

“We did not play well Friday night,” said Cedar Springs Coach Gus Kapolka. “It was an uncharacteristic game for us. We were undisciplined and committed 9 penalties. Hats off to the South Christian players and coaches for playing well and out executing us in every aspect of the game.”

Kapolka expects to see more from his team this week. “We have a lot to work on for this week, but I have no doubt that we will approach Friday’s game with a positive mindset and a desire to improve,” he remarked.

South Christian scored three times before Cedar Springs ever hit the board. They scored two touchdowns in the first quarter (one a 3-yard run and one a 43-yard touchdown pass) and then again on a 32-yard field goal by Jeff Herrema with 7:20 left in the second quarter. That made the score 17-0.

Cedar Springs then scored with 4:52 in the second on a 58-yard touchdown run by Da’Montae Barnett. Antwuan Nicholls then ran it into the endzone to add two more points, to make it 17-8.

South Christian came right back and scored again with 1:30 left in the second, on a Ty Rynbrandt pass to Eli Smith for a 26-yard touchdown. The extra point was good. The score was SC 24, CS 8 at halftime.

South Christian scored again with 6:38 left in the third quarter on another pass to Smith, this one a 7-yard touchdown. Rynbrandt then passed to Daniel Possett for two more points.

Cedar Springs scored once more with 4:29 left in the fourth quarter, on a 15-yard touchdown run by quarterback Jeremy Campione. The extra point run by Nicholls was no good. The final score was South Christian 32, Cedar Springs 14.

Cedar Springs had 207 yards rushing. Barnett led the Red Hawks with 80 yards on the ground. He was followed by Nicholls with 64; Alex Ream with 31; and Campione with 29. Nathan Elliston, Kyle Hoort, and David DiPiazza also contributed net yardage of one each.

Campione completed 2 of 5 passes for 18 yards, and threw one interception to South Christian’s Will Fennema. Josh Kriekaard led in pass receiving with 13, and Dylan Greenland had one yard.

South Christian rushed for 37 yards but had 270 in the air. Rynbrandt completed 24 of 32 passes, three for touchdowns.

Defensively, Alex Ream led in tackles for Cedar Springs with 11; Elliston and Greenland both  had 7; Hoort and Mitchell Metiva had 5 each; Nicholls had 4; the rest of the team had 3 and below, for a total of 50.

South Christian had 54 tackles, with Evan Roedema leading with 9; Connor Dykema with 7; Ike Northouse, Jace Demann and Sam Meengs all had 6.

The Red Hawks are now 2-2 in the OK Gold and South Christian improved to 4-0. This week, Cedar Springs travels to Ottawa Hills, who is 0-4 on the season.

The standings for the OK Gold are: Catholic Central and South Christian (both 4-0) are tied for first place; followed by Forest Hills Eastern (3-1); Cedar Springs and Thornapple Kellogg (both 2-2); Kenowa Hills (1-3); and then Ottawa Hills and Wayland (both 0-4).

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Catholic Central claims victory in OK Gold showdown


Photo by J. Harnden
Aiden Brunin had 151 yards rushing against Catholic Central last Friday. 

By Judy Reed

Two of the toughest teams in the OK Gold went head to head last Friday evening: Catholic Central—the reigning Division 4 state champs, and Cedar Springs—conference champs in the OK White two years in a row. Both teams were 2-0 on the season. 

But another win for Cedar Springs just wasn’t in the cards Friday night. They took it on the chin 42-28, in spite of a rally in the second half that brought them within a touchdown of the Falcons.

“We obviously ran the ball extremely well and controlled time of possession, but we gave up too many big plays on defense and couldn’t get off the field on 3rd down,” explained Cedar Springs Coach Gus Kapolka. “I’m proud of the fight our kids showed in the second half, scoring on three consecutive drives and recovering an onside kick.”  

Catholic Central scored first at the 2:10 mark in the first quarter when Joey Silveri completed a pass to Danny Mikolay for a 21-yard touchdown. The kick by Jack Barlow was good for the extra point. 

At 9:56 in the second quarter, Silveri completed another pass, this time to Jace Williams for a 5-yard touchdown. The extra point kick was good.

With 7:16 left in the second, the Red Hawks scored when Alex Ream ran to the left and into the endzone for a 3-yard touchdown. Quarterback Jeremy Campione then ran the ball in for the two-point conversion. 

Just seconds later, Catholic Central came back and scored again with 6:59 left in the half on another pass from Silveri, this time to Nolan Zeigler, for a 49-yard touchdown. The extra point kick by Barlow was good. At the end of the half, the score was CC 21, CS 8.

Cedar Springs came out in the second half determined to make up for lost opportunities.

Catholic Central scored first, with 10:29 on the clock, on a one-yard run by Nick Hollern. The extra point kick was good.

Cedar Springs then scored with 5:01 left on the clock in the third when Aiden Brunin ran for an 18-yard touchdown. Alex Ream’s two-point conversion was good, making the score 28-16.

CC scored again when Silveri passed to Hollern for a 48-yard touchdown. The extra point kick was good, making the score 35-16.

Cedar Springs rallied and scored twice in the fourth quarter, for 12 more points. The first was on a run by Brunin for a 7-yard touchdown, and the second on a one-yard run by Campione. Extra points were no good. The score was now 35-28.

Catholic Central sealed the victory with 1:28 left in the game on a 28-yard run up the middle by Silveri. The extra point kick was good, making the final score CC 42, CS 28.

Photo by J. Harnden 
Catholic Central outscored Cedar Springs Friday night by a score of 42-28. 

Cedar Springs had 383 yards on the ground. Leading the charge was Aiden Brunin with 151; Antwuan Nicholls with 88; Alex Ream with 87; Jeremy Campione with 28; Nathan Elliston with 20; Kyle Hoort with 6; and Da’Montae Barnett with 3.

Catholic Central had 191 yards rushing. Joey Silveri had 110, and Nick Hollern had 81. Silveri also completed 7 out of 8 passes for 191 yards on the air.

Defensively, Cedar Springs had 21 tackles, and Catholic Central had 73.

Cedar Springs (2-1) hosts South Christian (3-0) this Friday for homecoming. What does Coach Kapolka think they need to do win that game?

“We need to repeat our success on the ground against South Christian and limit the big plays on defense,” he said. “Those are our goals this week.”

While fans can buy tickets to the freshman and JV games this week, none are being sold at the gate for the Varsity Friday night, as it would exceed the 1,000 person cap. Three tickets to the game are being made available to participants (football, cheer, band) and extras to students.t

For others to watch, you will need to stream the game at https://www.nfhsnetwork.com/events/cedar-springs-high-school-cedar-springs-mi/game2f253c198. According to a post by teacher Justin Harnden, their crew will be filming the game, not using the automated camera.

The cost for the streaming subscription to nfhsnetwork.com is $10.99 per month and less for a year’s subscription. A subscription allows you to watch games from all over the state of Michigan.

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MHSAA pushes football to spring


Red Hawk Miles Cartwright knocks down a Forest Hills Northern pass during their last game in the OK-White conference last fall, where they took their second consecutive championship. Photo by J. Harnden.

By Judy Reed

After two consecutive championships in the OK-White, Red Hawk players, coaches and fans were looking forward to their matchups this fall in the OK-Gold. And until late last week, it looked like the Michigan High School Athletic Association was going to let the season proceed as long as all the COVID-19 safeguards were being followed. But it was not to be.

On Friday, August 14, the Representative Council of the MHSAA announced it will move the 2020 Fall football season to Spring 2021, due to football’s higher risk for spreading COVID-19, with the rest of Fall sports proceeding as scheduled.

According to a news release from the MHSAA, the football season switch was made based on consultation with state health department   officials and after surveying MHSAA member high schools on their progress and preferences after the first four days of practice. Football is considered a high-risk sport for potential spread of the COVID-19 virus because of its level of player-to-player contact.

A total of 34,219 student-athletes played football at MHSAA member schools during the 2019 season. A total of 520 11-player teams and 83 8-player teams were anticipated during late summer to play football this fall season.

“At the end of the day, we did everything we could to find a path forward for football this fall,” MHSAA Executive Director Mark Uyl said. “But while continuing to connect with the Governor’s office, state health department officials, our member schools’ personnel and the Council, there is just too much uncertainty and too many unknowns to play football this fall.

“No one is willing to take the risk of COVID being passed on because of a high-risk sport. Decisions have to be made on our other sports as well, but none of those carry the same close, consistent, and face-to-face contact as football.”

Some Michigan athletic directors and coaches have posted on social media that they never received the survey. John Norton, CAA, the Athletic Director for Cedar Springs Public Schools, told the Post he did receive the survey, but was in favor of continuing the season. 

“The survey came from the MHSAA executive director late in the day and was due the next morning,” he explained. “The survey asked for our opinions on basically all Fall sports and (not sure of exact wording) but if we wanted to continue on/ or if we thought it was safe to continue on for each sport. I responded that I felt we were at a point, in regards to safety of coaches and athletes, that we could continue on with all the fall sports, football included.”

Norton thinks the team may have been safer playing football than not.

“I feel the MHSAA has put some serious and strict safeguards in place that have made competitive school athletics an extremely safe environment for our coaches and kids.  Personally, without sports or without football specifically, I do not know if our student-athletes will be as conscious about wearing masks, hygiene, social distancing and gathering in large groups on their own time. While I know this is an unpredictable virus that can do serious harm, we will never be able to completely eliminate that risk, but I feel our athletic venues are a safe place where the risk of transmission has been drastically reduced compared to sectors of our society.   

“A lot of time and extra work by school administrators, coaches and custodians, along with guidance from the health department and the MHSAA have helped to make our facilities a place where I feel the transmission of Covid-19 is reduced and at a low risk, but I am also not a medical professional.”

Head football coach Gus Kapolka shared what he was feeling about the announcement with the Cedar Springs football family and fans through Facebook. “I would like to reach out to the Cedar Springs Football Family in this time of uncertainty and reassure everyone that this postponement is a minor setback. For the past week, we have grown together as a team, family and community. I believe that this cruel act of injustice will not end us, nor will it define us. It will only serve to make us stronger, toughen our resolve, and focus our efforts. 

“I do not know what the future will bring, but I look forward to a day that I can hug each and everyone of you again and tell you how much you mean to me, and we can share that brotherhood in pursuit of our dreams. Someday very soon, ‘Hell’s Bells’ will play over the loudspeakers, while a Red & Black clad team will take the field in front of an entire small town, and all will be right with the world on a Friday Night. But until that day, never take anything for granted, and covet each day we have together as a gift. Until that day….Go Red Hawks.”

The team continued practicing together through Wednesday. An announcement of some kind was expected Wednesday on what spring football might look like but was postponed until Thursday.

Meanwhile there is a protest movement afoot, made up of thousands of fans and parents, protesting the MHSAA decision. The group, called Let Michigan High School football play!!, is active on Facebook and has done several interviews about the impact of the MHSAA’s decision, and hopes to get them to reverse it.

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School sports to start next week


From CS Athletic Director John Norton

Cedar Springs High School Fall Sports start the week of August 10.  All the tryout information you need—times, locations, etc. can be found on the school website by going to: http://www.csredhawks.org/Departments/Athletics/index.html 

Or just go to www.csredhawks.org and follow the link from the home page.

Remember, if you have a valid physical from sports last year, you do not need another one, but you must complete a form which is available at the website.

All highs school sports will begin on Wednesday, August 12, except for Football which will begin Monday, August 10 at 9 a.m. at Red Hawk stadium.

Middle school sports will begin later in August, and contact information and those days can be found at this website as well. If you have any questions, or you are new to the District, please email the athletic director at john.norton@csredhawks.org

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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.

Posted in Featured, News, SportsComments Off on Ready for some Red Hawk football?

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