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Tag Archive | "football"

Meet the Hawks: Ryan Williams


Ryan Williams

Ryan Williams

By Shae Brophy

Meet West Michigan Hawks safety/kick returner Ryan Williams. Originally from Muskegon, Michigan, Williams graduated from Muskegon High School in 2012. This is his fourth season playing in the semi-pro football ranks.

One of his biggest role models is Martin Luther King Jr. “I look up to historical figures who did more than just talk,” said Williams. When he isn’t on the field for the Hawks, Williams enjoys playing basketball and flag football.

“Ryan is an incredible safety,” said head coach/owner David Lange. “He is a huge asset for the defense, and a big contributor towards the overall success of our defense. His explosive speed is tackle breaking ability is a big reason as to why he has success returning punts and kickoffs.”

Like a lot of his teammates, Williams heard big things about the Hawks and was hopeful to be a part of the team. “I heard about the team and the things they do, and wanted to give it a try. I liked what I saw,” he said. “I also love that Coach Lange wants everyone to get involved with the community. It’s a good feeling to know that we have created a fan base for the team, as well.”

Williams and the Hawks will enjoy a bye week over the holiday weekend, and will be back in action on July 9th when they travel to face the Battle Creek Coyotes.

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Meet the Hawks: Nick Steimel

West Michigan Hawk Nick Steimel and his girlfriend, Brittney McCarthy.

West Michigan Hawk Nick Steimel and his girlfriend, Brittney McCarthy.

By Shae Brophy

Meet West Michigan Hawks defensive end/tight end Nick Steimel. Originally from Grand Rapids, Steimel moved to Cedar Springs during second grade, graduating from Cedar Springs High School in 2007. He has played football since his youth, and has also coached one year of rocket football. While in school, he also played baseball and was on the bowling team, and also played AYBT basketball during the summer.

Nick’s biggest role model is his father, Walter Steimel. “He’s the most hard-working person i know,” Nick said. “He’s the one that has shown me with dedication and hard work you can accomplish anything in life. Growing up he made sure i had all the right tools to succeed whether it was bringing me to practice, or in my later years helping me pay for college. I can’t express how grateful I am to have him as a father.”

When not on the football field, Steimel enjoys disc golf, recreational basketball and softball, and spending time with friends and family.

“What makes me want to be part of the West Michigan Hawks is the positive influence and impact the team strives to have on people,” he said. “You won’t see that out of other semi-pro teams. The fact that I can be part of a team that can help a person in need while doing what I love is truly a blessing. The people we dedicate games to are people that are part of the community I grew up in, which makes this team that much more special to me.”

“Nick has amazing work ethic,” said head coach/owner David Lange. “His motor never stops going, and he is a great teammate. He’s the kind of guy that any coach would be glad to have on their team.”

Steimel and the Hawks will be on the road again this weekend, as they travel to Kalamazoo for a matchup with the Grizzlies. As always, you are encouraged to make the trip with the team and cheer them on in enemy territory!

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Hawks improve to 3-0 with blowout win over West Michigan Bulls

West Michigan Hawks

West Michigan Hawks

By Shae Brophy

On the heels of the biggest win in franchise history, the West Michigan Hawks hit the road for their first game away from Skinner Field this season. The 1 p.m. start also marked the team’s first afternoon game of the season.

The Hawks would not allow either of those things stop them from showcasing a dominating performance on the field, as they came home with a 56-8 victory. Wide receiver Monta Swanigan had three receiving touchdowns on the day, while Robert Bell had two (one receiving, one fumble return) of his own. Dontae Ensley, also brought in a receiving touchdown, and Jeremiah Cochran took one to the house on a run. Cornerback Omar Haynes also found the end zone, taking an interception all the way back for the score. Quarterback Charles Manny Hodges threw for all five of the touchdowns that the team scored through the air.

“It was a great day to deal with adversity. Not the bad, but the good adversity,” said Bell. “We were tested in the first half and played comfortably, but the moment the second half started, we were able to take away from what we did a week ago and add to our great performance as a team.”

The Bulls found the end zone for the only time during the second quarter.

Although the Hawks only took a 14-8 lead into the locker room at halftime, the team knew that they were better than the performance they exhibited in the first half.

“We just had to execute better,” said head coach David Lange. “After a big win last week, I think we may have been guilty of not playing to our full potential in the first half this week, which is something that was addressed during halftime. As you can see by the final score, we turned it on in the second half, and brought home a really big win.”

Next up for the Hawks is another road game. The team will travel to take on the Kalamazoo Grizzlies on Saturday. We would like to see you travel with the team for another big matchup! For details on where the game will be played, be sure to follow the West Michigan Hawks on Facebook!

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24C--obit-RobinsonFCLarrie V. Robinson, 79, of Cedar Springs, died Sunday, June 12, 2016 at Mercy Health St. Mary’s. Larrie was born September 15, 1936 in Solon Township, Michigan, the son of Volyn and Jessie (Coan) Robinson. He graduated from Cedar Springs High School in 1955 and was quarterback his senior year as Cedar Springs went undefeated in football. He enjoyed all sports and the Detroit Tigers. He was very involved in Cub Scouts for 30 years serving as Scout Master and was on the district board of the West Michigan Shores Council. Surviving are his wife of 56 years, Carol; children, Sandy, Scott, Shelly and Tim; several nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by a sister, Doreen Bayne; and a brother, Rex Robinson. The family greeted friends Wednesday at the Bliss-Witters & Pike Funeral Home, Cedar Springs, where the service was held Thursday 11:00 am. Interment Blythefield Memory Gardens.

Arrangements by Bliss-Witters & Pike Funeral Home, Cedar Springs

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Meet the Hawks: Charles Hodges

West Michigan Hawks quarterback Charles “Manny” Hodges

West Michigan Hawks quarterback Charles “Manny” Hodges

Meet West Michigan Hawks quarterback Charles “Manny” Hodges. A 2008 graduate from Creston High School, Hodges has experience in numerous different sports dating back to his high school days. Those sports include football, basketball, and track.

His biggest idols in life are his hard-working parents. When not on the football field, Hodges likes bowling and enjoying time with his kids.

“What made me want to be a West Michigan Hawk was the love and dedication of everyone that I tried out for this team with,” said Hodges.

Head coach David Lange is thrilled to have a competent signal caller on the team. “Manny is a phenomenal quarterback, and a great leader. He is definitely a guy who can take charge, and is also quite a play caller,” said Lange. “It definitely takes quite a bit to get him rattled.”

You can see Hodges and the West Michigan Hawks in action again this weekend, when they host the Southern Michigan Timberwolves at Skinner Field on Saturday. Game time is 7 p.m.

This week’s benefit is for Alan Beamer in his continued battle against Alzheimer’s Disease. Ticket are $6, with children 10 and under free.

We hope to see you there!

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Meet the Hawks: Brant Brooks Sr.


Pictured with ball is West Michigan Hawks’ running back Brant Brooks Sr.

By Shae Brophy

Meet West Michigan Hawks running back Brant Brooks Sr. A 2006 graduate from Muskegon Heights High School, Brooks has always been a stand out on the football field. During his high school playing career, he earned All-Area honors at running back and corner back. After high school, he joined the semi-pro ranks. He has also played for two different arena league teams, and got a couple looks from college teams. He has played in three different championship games, but is still looking for his first championship ring.

Outside of playing football, Brooks’s hobbies include spending time with his family, coaching football, and helping his son achieve his dreams in the game of football.

His biggest idol is his older brother David Sain, who recently passed away. “He has always inspired me, and I still look up to him,” said Brooks.

“I wanted to join the Hawks because I heard nothing but good things about them,” he said. “When I came to check them out, Coach Lange and the rest of the staff welcomed me with open arms and made me feel right at home, like this is where I’m supposed to be. I love this team and my teammates, and I’m honored to be a part  of this movement. This is going to be a great year for the Hawks, and I’m proud to be able to say that I’m a part of it.”

“Brant is a very hard worker,” said head coach/owner David Lange. “He never stops moving his feet, and hits the holes with a lot of power. It’s no easy task to bring him down once he hits his stride. His tackle-breaking ability is top notch, as well. He brings an element to this team that we desperately needed, and we are very grateful that he is on our side.”

You can see Brooks and the Hawks in action this Saturday at Skinner Field, when they begin the conference portion of their schedule. The Kalamazoo Grizzlies are coming to town, as the team hosts a benefit for Alan Beamer in his continued battle against Alzheimer’s Disease. There will be a 50/50 raffle, prizes, and donation jars, with all proceeds going to the Beamer family.

Tickets are $6 a piece, with children under 10 receiving free admission. Gates open at 5 p.m. with kickoff scheduled for 6. We hope to see you there!

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West Michigan Hawks start season with 46-0 victory

The Hawks start season with big win.

The Hawks start season with big win.

The West Michigan Hawks didn’t let the rain dampen their spirits on Saturday evening, April 29. Although the playing conditions weren’t ideal, the Hawks put together a complete effort in their 46-0 victory over the Highland Park Polar Bears at Skinner Field.

Acclimating to the weather was a bit of a challenge, as the team got off to a bit of a slow start offensively. But it was the defense that set the tone. The Hawks forced a safety midway through the first quarter to start the scoring, taking a 2-0 lead. Wide receiver Monte Swanigan hauled in a 60-yard pass from quarterback Charles Hodges on the next drive, and the two point conversion attempt was good, giving the Hawks a 10-0 lead at the end of the first quarter.

Things really came together for the Hawks in the second quarter. Hodges scored on a two-yard quarterback keeper, running back Brant Brooks scored on a run, and cornerback Omar Haynes returned an interception 63 yards for a touchdown in the quarter. The Hawks took a 32-0 lead into the locker rooms at the half.

The second half was played on a running clock, but that didn’t stop the Hawks from continuing what they started. Ryan Williams returned a punt for a touchdown during the middle portion of the quarter, and the Hawks led 40-0 after three quarters. Brooks scored his second touchdown on the last play of the game, making the final score 46-0.

“It was inspiring to see all of the new elements of the team come together with such enthusiasm,” said lineman Neil Gillett. “We have a lot of new guys on the team this year. The ability for us to come together and play so cohesively in such a short amount of time really speaks for the selfless quality and team focus of our men.”

Safety Robert Bell was also quite satisfied with the team’s effort. “This was a great first test for our team. We mentioned throughout the practice weeks about answering the call when adversity dials the number. We opened our arms to our brother Brant Brooks, who prior to the game lost his brother. This game allowed our team to solidify our brotherhood and turn life’s negatives into a community of positivity. It was also great to see Alan Beamer and his family accept the #12 jersey in his recognition of his battle with Alzheimer’s Disease. Life is bigger than self. Welcome to the West Michigan Hawks!”

Head coach David Lange was ecstatic after the game. “I’m very proud of our guys and what they have accomplished. We still have work to do, some corrections we need to make, but we did an outstanding job. We had our fun with this win, but now its time to move forward and focus on the next game on May 14th against the Lake Michigan Havoc.”

The game on May 14 will be played at Skinner Field, and is a benefit for Cedar Springs resident Brison Ricker, who is fighting a brain tumor. Doors will open at 5 p.m., with kickoff scheduled for 6. Tickets are $6 a piece, with children 10 and under free, and proceeds will go to Ricker’s cause. We hope to see you there!

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Red Hawks OK Bronze Champs, head to playoffs

The Red Hawks celebrate their win over Northview, and entry into the playoffs for the second year in a row.

The Red Hawks celebrate their win over Northview, and entry into the playoffs for the second year in a row.

By Judy Reed

The Cedar Springs Red Hawks marched on to the field last Friday, October 23, at Northview, with the goal of not just winning the game, but clinching a share of the OK Bronze championship, and getting a spot in the 2015 playoffs. They scored on all counts, taking down Northview 52-29.

The Cedar Springs Red Hawks are OK Bronze champions for the second year in a row. Last year they had sole title, and this year they share the title with Forest Hills Eastern, who lost last week to Forest Hills Northern. Both CS and FHE finished the season 4-1 in conference. Cedar’s only conference loss was to FHE.

The win over Northview was also the Red Hawks’ 6th win, assuring them a berth in the playoffs, which begin this weekend. They take on Zeeland West at Zeeland, on Saturday, October 31, at 1 p.m. For more on last Friday’s game, turn to page 7.

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Red Hawks advance to playoffs after win against Northview

Red Hawk QB Collin Alvesteffer is looking healthy again after an ankle injury early in the season.

Red Hawk QB Collin Alvesteffer is looking healthy again after an ankle injury early in the season.

By Lauren VanDenHout

The Cedar Springs Red Hawks faced off against the Northview Wildcats for a spot in the 2015 playoffs. This matchup took place last Friday, October 23, at Northview. The Red Hawks took charge of the field early on, and carried an aggressive mentality throughout the entire game. With a final score of 52-29, Cedar Springs proved they have what it takes to be back to back conference champions.

Cedar Springs started out strong in the first half. The first touchdown was made by senior Isaiah MacDonald, while junior Collin Alvesteffer made the two-point conversion. This dynamic duo managed to make another connection later on in the first quarter, with three minutes remaining. Macdonald again got the touchdown, and Alvesteffer scored the conversion.

In the second quarter, senior Da’Marcus Barnett intercepted a Wildcat pass that reignited the Red Hawks’ offensive brutality. Junior John Todd earned the third touchdown for Cedar Springs that quarter, while senior Cameron Umphrey made the two-point. Umphrey also made an explosive run down the middle that the Wildcats’ defense was unable to stop until the Red Hawks got dangerously close to their end zone. This run led Alvesteffer to score another touchdown. The quarterback also made the pass to MacDonald for the two-point conversion. To end the second quarter, Alvesteffer put another touchdown on the scoreboard to make the score 32-14 leading into the second half.

The Wildcats started to fight back offensively in the third quarter, however, the Red Hawks were stronger. Offensively, Alvesteffer was the only one to score a touchdown in the third quarter. The conversion was completed by Umphrey. The score was now 46-21.

Alvesteffer intercepted a pass early on in the final quarter. With an unstoppable lead, this gave other Red Hawks the chance to step up and contribute to their team. Senior Connor Willitts made an aggressive run for a touchdown with three minutes remaining in the quarter. This final touchdown sealed the win for Cedar Springs to make it into the playoffs. The conversion after Willitts’ touchdown was incomplete, however. Defensively, big blocks put up by senior Alex Tanis and junior Ryan Ringler in the final quarter helped ensure the Red Hawks’ victory.

The Red Hawks finished the regular season 4-1 in conference (6-3 overall), and tied with Forest Hills Eastern, also 4-1 in conference (8-1 overall), for a share of the OK Bronze championship. This is the second year in a row they are OK Bronze champions.

Cedar Springs is away at Zeeland East against the Chixs for the first round of the playoffs on Saturday. Kickoff time is 1 p.m.

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Cedar Springs loses to Forest Hills Eastern

Red Hawk senior Cameron Umphrey scored both touchdowns for Cedar Springs in their loss to Forest Hills Eastern last Friday.

Red Hawk senior Cameron Umphrey scored both touchdowns for Cedar Springs in their loss to Forest Hills Eastern last Friday.

By Lauren VanDenHout

The Cedar Springs Red Hawks lost to the Forest Hills Eastern Hawks 49-12 last week Friday, October 16. Cedar Springs fought hard, but ultimately, they were no match for Forest Hills Eastern’s offensive and defensive line.

The Red Hawks’ first touchdown of the game was scored by senior Cameron Umphrey in the second quarter. It was an aggressive one-yard run in the middle that broke Forest Hills Eastern’s defensive line. The two-point conversion was no good. This made the score 7-6 in the middle of the second quarter. At halftime, the Red Hawks walked off the field trailing by a score of 21-6.

The Red Hawks came out aggressive in the third quarter. Umphrey scored another touchdown, and the two point conversion was incomplete. This touchdown made the score 28-12, and the Red Hawks held them at that score until the end of the quarter. However, FHE came back in the fourth quarter and scored three more touchdowns.

Cedar Springs is now in second place in the OK-Bronze, with a record of 3-1 in conference, and 5-3 overall.

Their next game is away at Grand Rapids Northview on Friday, October 23. Kickoff starts at 7:00 p.m. This game is sure to be intense, as it is the final chance for the Cedar Springs Red Hawks to make it into the playoffs.

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