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Tag Archive | "middle school"

Middle school wrestlers show teamwork


by Colleen White

The Middle School grapplers faced their last two opponents of the season this past week, facing Northview and Comstock Park. Both matches offered some of the best wrestling matches of the season. The fledgling Hawks soared high, winning both matches by pulling together and supporting each other.

Saturday offered another challenge with the Individual Tournament held at Lowell. Nine wrestlers chose to participate, with others coming to cheer on those wrestling. Six wrestlers placed in the top four. Anthony Brew placed 2nd, Reese Gonzales placed 3rd, and in 4th place was Fred White, David Erxleben, Aaron Smith and Zac Schmid.

“All of our wrestlers have shown improvement this year. It has been a wonderful season,” stated Coach VanHam.

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Spelling Bee winner

Victoria De Leon

Victoria De Leon

Regional Spelling Bee at Middle School on February 10.  1st place Victoria De Leon!  Go Redhawks!

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Olympic athlete visits Cedar Teams

Middle school and high school track teams

Middle school and high school track teams

Olympian Dathan Ritzenhein

Olympian Dathan Ritzenhein

Track and field athletes in Cedar Springs got a real treat last week. Middle school as well as high school athletes gathered to listen to advice from a world-class athlete—three-time Olympian Dathan Ritzenhein. The runner visited Cedar Springs to speak to the teams and join them on a run around the campus.

Ritzenhein, who graduated from Rockford High School in 1991 and set several state and national records, explained to the students the importance of working hard. “When I was starting with running, I was not that good. I was a middle-of-the-pack runner,” he said.

Times change. His career has taken him through college and into professional distance racing where he has represented the United States in three Olympic Games. Ritzenhein said he enjoys seeing the passion the younger runners have for the sport.

Middle school track runner Sarah Martin said, “I thought it was interesting what he shared about working hard and seeing the payoff.”

Cedar Springs athletes running on campus

Cedar Springs athletes running on campus

While Ritzenhein said he had benefited from hard athletic work in school, he advised the runners to try to enjoy their time as students. “Just enjoying the time in school is important,” he said. “You have to build those close friendships and don’t lose sight of the lessons you learn here.”

The Grand Rapids Press reported that Ritzenhein would soon be moving his family back to West Michigan, from Oregon, and will serve as assistant coach to runners at Grand Valley State University.


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Middle School girls track 5-1

CSMS girls track are 8th grade conference champs.

CSMS girls track are 8th grade conference champs.

The Cedar Springs Middle School Girls 400 relay team set a school record.

The Cedar Springs Middle School Girls 400 relay team set a school record.

The girls track team completed an amazing season with a 5-1 record, with the one loss only being by two points. Even though practice started inside because of the weather, everyone of these girls were able to rise above and run, jump and throw their best.

Two school records were broken—Tara Tepin in the 200m dash and the 400 relay of Tara Tepin, Maddie Vandusen, Bailey Lachniet and Sienna Wight.

The 7th grade track team finished 5th at their conference meet, with very few points separating 2nd through 6th place.

For the second year in a row, the 8th grade track team finished as conference champions, making school history as the first time a girls track team has won back to back championships.

Coaches Weiler and Weiler are very proud of how all these girls ran, competed and the sportsmanship they portrayed. “It was an honor to coach this group of young ladies,” they said.

Placing and scoring points at the conference meets were:

7th grade:

Leah Kuzma-70m dash, 100m dash, 1600 relay

Rachel Crystal-200m dash, 1600 relay

Sydney Plummer -400m dash 1600 relay

Rachel Bowers-1600 relay

Myla Umphrey-1600 and 3200m runs

Grace Dault-55 hurdles and 1st in long jump

Hailey Luccarelli-shot put

Cece Brandt-shot put

Nicole Mosher-high jmp

400 relay of Erica Larsen, Grace Dault, Abby Hall and Nicole Mosher

800 relay of Montana Whitmore, CeCe Brandt, Hailey Arnold, Brooklyn  Andres

8th grade (all 4 relays were conference champs)

Maddie VanDusen-1st in long jump, 1st in 70m dash, 400 relay

Taylor Pasley- 70 m dash, 100m dash, 1600 relay

Tara Tepin-100m dash, high jump, 400 relay

Jenna Zoerman-100m dash, long jump, 800 relay

Brooke Morris-400m dash, 800 relay, 1600 relay

Sammie Terhorst-400m dash, 800 relay

Clarissa Jackson-400m dash

Jenna Heintzelman-800m run, 1600 relay, 3200m relay

Hannah Heinzelman-3200m run and 3200m relay

Lisa Heintzelman-55hurdles, 200 hurdles and 3200m relay

Bailey Lachniet-1st shot put, 400 relay

Mikayla Williams-high jump

Aaliyah Sargent-1600 relay, 3200 relay

Sienna Wight-400 relay, 800 relay

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Middle school boys track team finishes undefeated

The Cedar Springs Middle School boys track team continued their strong tradition with an eighth consecutive undefeated season at 5 wins and 0 losses. In the past 19 years, the boys have posted 16 undefeated seasons.

The team ended their season by splitting into separate grade level teams to compete in two conference championship invitationals. The 7th grade team placed first at their conference meet, earning championship honors with 155 points. The teams’ nearest competitor was Belding, who finished second with 116 points. The 8th grade team finished in second place, 21 points behind Sparta.

The following is a list of 1st place Conference Champions and their events:


John Todd………………………55 Hurdles, 200 Hurdles, High Jump

George Gonzales……………800 Run, Shot Put

Alex Merlington………………70 Dash, Pole Vault

Dallas Mora…………………3200 Run


Jacob Hooker…………………200 Hurdles

Troy Patin, Christian Twitchell, Jameson Pavelka, Austin Basso……..3200 Relay

Dustin Shaw, Jake Mead, Austin Ellis, Collin Alvesteffer…………………400 Relay

The guys enjoyed a great season due to their hard work, dedication and commitment to individually do what was necessary to make the team a success. Coach Martens and Coach Banagis would like to congratulate all team members on a fantastic season. A special “thank you” to all parents, staff members, high school coaches and athletes for always cheering our team on and for running great home meets.



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Middle School – Exploring Technology

Eighth-grade student Alex Teal practices his presentation skills while describing research results. Presentations were created using www.prezi.com.

Exploring Technology is taught by Jeremy Plain in both the seventh and eighth grades. While each class covers different topics, the idea is the same; show students some new and fun ways to process and display information.  In addition to the familiarity students gain with new types of technology, Mr. Plain’s classes are designed to reinforce classroom concepts in science, reading and math.

Some of the activities students complete throughout the trimester include researching, organizing and producing presentations; creating how-to videos using screen captures at www.screencast.com; implementing reading strategies to explore developments in technology and designing informational and persuasive posters.

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Big announcement for the library!

Remember when we used to dream about a new library? Things have been quiet on that front for a while, but the drive to build a new library is picking up steam, and there are some important things happening in the next week!
The first thing is happening next week Tuesday. Residents of Cedar Springs and the surrounding area are urged to come to a town hall meeting at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, November 1, at Cedar Springs Middle School to hear some big news! The library board and the City of Cedar Springs will be there to talk about the need for a new library and let you in on something new that’s happened to get the ball rolling again, and how you can help keep it bouncing along! The meeting will be held in the upstairs meeting room at the Middle School, at the corner of Northland and 16 Mile.
The second date to note is Thursday, November 3. That is the last day that you have to buy a ticket for the Big Boy spaghetti dinner fundraiser for the Cedar Springs Public Library that will be held one week later, on Thursday, November 10. It will be held at Big Boy from 5-8 p.m. Tickets are available at the library, and will also be available to purchase the night of the town hall meeting. Purchase a meal ticket and enter your stub for a chance to win some great prizes, including a brand new Kindle Keyboard 3G, pies, meals, books and more. Tickets are $6 for children (up to 12th grade), and $9 for adults.  The meal includes an all-you-can-eat buffet of spaghetti, soup, salad and fruit, and kids 10 and under can build their own sundaes. There will also be face painting for kids and a chance to meet children’s author Amanda Litz. She will have her new book series for sale, “Sam and Pam can and you can, too!”
For more information, call the library at 696-1910.

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Mother son movie night and Wee Hawks basketball

Two programs put on by Cedar Springs Parks and Rec are underway in the next week.
The Wee Hawks Basketball Program begins this Saturday, April 30, from 9-10:30 am at the Cedar View Elementary Gym and runs four weeks. Cedar Springs High School basketball coaches work with students in Kindergarten through 2nd grade to help them get a good fundamental start at the game. They will work on some basic ball handling skills and drills, dribbling and work on making a few shots. The program is held at Cedar View Elementary gymnasium and there are special baskets put up so that the youth do not have to shoot as high to get their two points. The participants will receive a basketball at the end of the camp that will allow them to keep practicing on their newfound talent over the summer. Registration forms can be found online at www.csaparksandrec.com or at the CS Public Schools District Office.  Pre-registration is encouraged, but not required.
To celebrate Mother’s Day, there will be a mother-son movie night at the Cedar Springs Middle School on May 6, from 6-9 p.m. The event features the movie “Megamind,” while enjoying pizza and popcorn. It also includes fun activities that give the boys a chance to make a meaningful gift and card for the holiday, and a chance to go into the gym and play together or sit in the cafeteria and have a few moments away from television and distractions of home to play a game together. The night is filled with opportunities for the boys to play with their friends and spend time with their mothers. Tickets are on sale now during normal daytime office hours at Hilltop and Monday-Wednesday evenings at the Middle School from 6-9pm. Tickets in advance are $12 for two people, or $15 for three or more. Tickets can be purchased at the door for an additional fee, $15 for two people, or $20 for three or more.

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Student gives up 8th grade trip to serve

Members of the Springs Church mission team that went to Peru are shown standing in front of the Presidential Palace in Lima, Peru with a Post newspaper. Shown (L to R) is Judy Stark, Shila Kiander, Kelsey Kiander, and Pastor Barry Briggs.

Most 13-year-olds would give anything to spend a week away from home, traveling with their friends. But Kelsey Kiander, of Cedar Springs, is not your average kid.

Each year, 8th grade students at Cedar Springs Middle School have the opportunity to go on an East Coast trip to visit Niagara Falls, Washington D.C., and many historic sites. But Kelsey’s parents, Shila and Kevin Kiander, gave Kelsey another choice.

“In early spring of 2010, my husband and I gave our daughter a choice to either plan to participate on the East Coast trip at the end of her 8th grade year in 2011, or to go on a mission trip.  She chose a mission trip,” explained Shila. “Peru was her choice, as our former pastor (Garry Cruce) and his wife had become missionaries to Peru.”

Kelsey spoke with the missionaries, then went before the board at the Springs Church and asked them to approve the mission trip, which included team members Kelsey, Shila, Pastor Barry Briggs, and former Cedar Springs school teacher Judy Stark.

They decided to participate in “Brighten Their Christmas,” a Christian program that has ran for the last two years with the focus on raising funds to give Christmas gifts and supplies to needy children in Peru.

They went to Peru over Christmas break, and provided “Chocolatadas” to 5 different communities in the Tarma area. “Chocolatadas are a Peruvian custom that was started by the Catholic church that provided hot chocolate and ponetone (a Peruvian Christmas Sweet bread) to poor children in the community.  A small gift is sometimes also given to the children,” explained Shila.

The team ministered to over 150 children in 5 different communities that included two churches in Tarma, the Village of Yanamayo (a farming community), Ayas (a dairy farming community), and Huacapo (a sheep herding community).

While there, they had the opportunity to visit all three regions of Peru. They visited the desert coastal region, hiked in the Andes, found all manner of bird and sea life, trekked through the jungle, visited the presidential palace, a world famous water park, and the Huaca Pucllana ruins that date back to 400 A.D., 900 hundred years before the Incas. They also experienced many types of Peruvian cuisine.

Kelsey said she had a great experience that was life changing.  She said she learned three things.  First, that a language barrier can’t stop people from communicating God’s love to others; second, sometimes we don’t think we have enough things but the Peruvians they met don’t have many things and yet they are happy and content with what they do have; third, serving God is more than going to fun youth group events.  Serving others is about sacrifice, which is giving up something for others.

“She learned this from the four teens who asked for time off of work and didn’t get paid to travel with the team to serve others,” said Shila. “That was sacrifice.”

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