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Tag Archive | "national title"

Wrestler wins national title


Ryan Ringler, age 11, son of Paul and Jane Ringler of Cedar Springs, has learned from a early age what it takes to be a champion. When many kids are enjoying video games and watching TV after school, Ryan and his brother Jordan are on a wrestling mat. The Ringler boys began wrestling as early as their preschool days. Over these years, the boys have become accustom to starting the season in November and practicing most days of the week for half of the year. This commitment and determination leads them to the annual spring state finals and also the national tournament for youth wrestling—the two largest and most meaningful competitions for every wrestler.

All the time, effort and hard work paid off just two weeks ago, when Ryan accomplished his goal by taking state champion, for the third time, for Michigan. He pinned every opponent. And this past week, he attended the national competition and was awarded the National Champion title for the 100-pound weight class. This was Ryan’s first individual national title. Only the top four wrestlers in each state could participate in this prestigious competition.

Ryan is no stranger to a national championship. This past winter, he tried out and was accepted on to the elite, (MyWay) Michigan, travel team. They battled against several elite, out of state teams. At the end of these duals, Michigan conquered and took home the champion title. Ryan had contributed to this national victory, as he pulled out a win every time he took the mat.

When asked about the state and national tournaments, Ryan never questioned if he could do it. He believed in himself and this was his year. He prepared and worked out, even on those days he didn’t feel like exerting himself. Given the tough, frustrating, contact sport that wrestling is, and the practice time that it takes to be successful, Ryan showed commitment, respect for his fellow wrestlers and for the officials.  He continually presented a good attitude and sportsmanship. That is what his family is truly proud of.

Ryan’s older brother Jordan also made the national team. Both boys will continue to travel with these teams this summer. Jordan placed 3rd at the state finals and should be given much credit for Ryan’s success, due to the motivation and help given to his younger brother all year.

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Grace Bible College wins third straight national title


Coach Gary Bailey of Cedar Springs named coach of the year


Grace Bible College won its third consecutive NCCAA II national championship and the fourth in six years in Springfield, Missouri Saturday night with a 76-56 drubbing of Valley Forge Christian College.  The championship game was a rematch of the 2009 title game which Grace won by 2 points.

Grace’s head coach, Gary Bailey, and assistant coach, Dan George, are Cedar Springs residents.  George was Bailey’s college coach 32 years ago and the two have been teamed up at Grace for the last six years.  “It has been an amazing run, especially these last three years,” said Dan George.  “It kind of started two years ago when we beat Ferris State University on their floor.  People started paying attention to tiny Grace.”

Gary Bailey was named Midwest Region Coach of the Year for the fourth consecutive year and he was named National Coach of the Year for the second time, previously winning the honor in 2009.

Team accomplishments this year included:

•    Victories over Calvin College and Hope College in their tournaments with Grace winning both tournaments

•    Leading NAIA Champion Cornerstone University by 16 at halftime before falling to the Golden Eagles on a buzzer beating three-pointer.

•    Setting a new school record for victories in a season (breaking the 30-8 record they set in 2009) with a record of 31-7.

•    Expanding their record setting NCCAA II winning streak to 58 in a row.  The Tigers have not lost an NCCAA II game in three years and they have been ranked #1 in the country since January of 2009.

This year’s tournament run began at the Midwest Regionals in Chicago where Grace dominated Emmaus, Northland International University, and Lincoln Christian University and moved on to the National Tournament in Springfield, Missouri last week as the #1 seed.  The Tigers handled #8 Kentucky Christian University on Thursday, 74-53, but survived a scare from #4 Dallas Christian on Friday night.  Grace trailed by 13 at halftime before fighting back and winning in overtime, 69-67.  The Tigers built a 13 point lead at the half of the championship game against Valley Forge and expanded it to as much as 27 points in the second half before Bailey emptied his bench to give all his players an opportunity to contribute.

Allen Durham (Wyoming Park) was named Tournament MVP and winner of the Maravich Award as NCCAA II Player of the Year.  Durham and Cory Jamieson (Wayland) were named All-Americans.

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