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Red Hawk’s Alvesteffer voted WZZM13’s MVP of the season


Cedar Springs sophomore Collin Alvesteffer (center) receives the 2014 Season MVP award from WZZM13 and sponsor Mercy Health during last Friday’s edition of “On your sidelines.” Brent Ashcroft, left, and Dan Harland, right, are the show’s anchors. Photo by K. Alvesteffer

Cedar Springs sophomore Collin Alvesteffer (center) receives the 2014 Season MVP award from WZZM13 and sponsor Mercy Health during last Friday’s edition of “On your sidelines.” Brent Ashcroft, left, and Dan Harland, right, are the show’s anchors. Photo by K. Alvesteffer

By Judy Reed

The Cedar Springs Red Hawks Varsity Football team had a great season, going 9-2 and winning the OK-Bronze Conference Championship outright. They won their first playoff home game at Red Hawk Stadium, against Forest Hills Northern, and were defeated by Muskegon in the district regional the following week. They scored an average 35 points per game.

One of the sparkplugs that fired that success was sophomore quarterback Collin Alvesteffer, who was equally efficient on both offense and defense. He received a great honor last week when he was voted by fans as WZZM13’s 2014 Season MVP. WZZM listed 10 nominees for the award, and fan voting online narrowed it to three. Fans then voted again, and Collin came out on top. He was given the award on their final “On your sidelines” show of the season last Friday evening.

Collin was selected as a MVP of the week earlier in the season, and also voted to MLive’s defensive dream team. That’s a lot of attention for a 15-year-old. The Post asked how he was dealing with all the attention.

Collin Alvesteffer scored both touchdowns against the Muskegon Big Reds. Photo by K. Alvesteffer.

Collin Alvesteffer scored both touchdowns against the Muskegon Big Reds. Photo by K. Alvesteffer.

“It’s all exciting, but I just try to focus on the team’s success instead of my own,” said Collin. The attention was not something he was expecting. “I knew I was not the best football player that we had, so figured they would get all the attention,” he added.

Football is in Collin’s blood. He started playing flag football at ages 4-6, and then Rocket at age 7. He’s continued to play ever since.

The Post asked him if he did anything special to prepare for this season. “I just tried to become the best player and teammate that I could,” he remarked.

And it seems to have paid off, not just for him but the whole team. “We had excellent team work and effort in practice and during the offseason,” he explained, when asked why he thought the team did so well.

Collin knows his success was made possible by those around him.

“I want to thank my teammates and coaches for always pushing me and making me better,” said Collin. “But most importantly, I want to thank my Mom and Dad, because they support me no matter what and are my biggest fans.”

Collin’s Mom, Kelley Alvesteffer, won’t argue with that. “Collin has always excelled at football and I have always been proud of him for that. However, this year he learned that it is not about him. He learned to play for the team—not for himself. He learned good sportsmanship and learned to be truly humble.”

Congratulations to Collin, and we look forward to seeing what the Red Hawks can do in 2015!

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Red Hawks powerhouse season comes to a close


Quarterback Collin Alvesteffer scored both touchdowns against the Muskegon Big Reds. Photo by K. Alvesteffer.

Quarterback Collin Alvesteffer scored both touchdowns against the Muskegon Big Reds. Photo by K. Alvesteffer.

“What a season! Our guys are the best and most honest players…” says Donna Male-Cotten, speaking for members of the Cedar Springs football family. A united “thank you” goes out to each and every player for their dedication and drive. The young men of Cedar Springs football united the community, while playing full on throughout the season, showing strength in offensive play, defensive play, and personal character.

Saturday, the Cedar Springs Red Hawks traveled to Muskegon to take on the Big Red in the district final match up. Under cloudy skies following a morning of rain, teams took to the field for a well matched, well-played game. At the half, Cedar led with a score of 14-7. However, Muskegon was able to come back in the second half and limited the Red Hawks to two first downs through the rest of the game.

Football Senior Captain Caden Burrows working in the trenches. Photo by K. Alvesteffer

Football Senior Captain Caden Burrows working in the trenches. Photo by K. Alvesteffer

The Red Hawks defense made running inside tough on the Big Red team. Senior linebacker MavRick Cotten led the team with 13 tackles, followed by Anthony Toploski with 10 and Collin Alvesteffer with 9.

The Red Hawks defense could not keep the Big Reds out of the end zone in the third and fourth quarters. The Red Hawks fell to the Big Reds 27-14 in the end.

It was a season of records. After a pause of 36 years, the 2014 Hawks brought home the title of OK Bronze Conference Champions! The school record for total points scored in a season was raised to 388. Coach Gus Kapolka endeared himself to the community and earned well-deserved recognition as Detroit Lion’s Coach of the Week.

The long held tradition of team meals the evening prior to every game continued, supported by family members and local businesses. Thank you to the parents and all the businesses who generously gave supported us and gave of their time each week.

The Cedar Springs community says, “Thank you!” to the coaching staff and young men of the Cedar Springs football program for a remarkable year of memories. From Rocket to Red Hawk you make us proud!

 

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Red Hawks win first ever playoff game at Red Hawk stadium


Regional final this Saturday at Muskegon at 1 p.m.

Kaden Myers in the endzone, untouched.

Kaden Myers in the endzone, untouched.

 

On Friday, October 31, the Cedar Springs Red Hawks took on conference foe Forest Hills Northern in the first round of the division three state championship playoffs. This was the first time a playoff game was ever hosted at Red Hawk stadium, and what a game it turned out to be, on a windy, cold Halloween night.

The Red Hawks jumped out to a one-touchdown lead in the first quarter and then added two more scores in the second. The Red Hawk defense became a very nasty Halloween monster and manhandled the Huskies, by keeping them scoreless throughout the first half. It ended with the Red Hawks leading 30 to 0.

The Red Hawk defense shut out the Forest Hills Northern Huskies 36-0. That’s the first time the Huskies have been shut out since 2010.

The Red Hawk defense shut out the Forest Hills Northern Huskies 36-0. That’s the first time the Huskies have been shut out since 2010.

The second half started with the Red Hawks once again scoring in the third quarter to make it 36 to 0.

To the dismay of the normally fast paced Forest Hills Northern Husky offense, the Red Hawk defense became even uglier as Halloween night went on, and the bitter cold wind continued to blow. The Red Hawks conjured up a spell binding effort each time the Huskies attempted to navigate the Cedar Springs defensive house of pain.

At the end of this chilly night, with many Red Hawk fans watching, it was the Cedar Springs Red Hawks who received the best treat of all, with a playoff win over the Forest Hills Northern Huskies of 36-0. That’s the first time the Huskies have been shut out since 2010.

The Red Hawk offense was once again led by the offensive line that allowed MavRick Cotton to rush for 90 yards and two touchdowns, Kaden Myers added another 55 yards rushing and one score, and Collin Alvesteffer ran for another 54 yards and a touchdown, with Zach Wamser adding the final touchdown with his rushing effort for 45 yards. Anthony Topolski, Lane Gott and Jacob Hooker all added to the total rushing effort of 300 yards compared to the Huskies 70 yards on the ground.

The Red Hawk defense front line.

The Red Hawk defense front line.

The Red Hawk defense was led by Demarcus Barnett, with 10 tackles, while the defensive front line maintained pressure on the Huskies quarterback and the defensive secondary held up with a strong effort against the passing attack. The Husky offense was held to zero third down conversions out of nine attempts during the contest.

The Red Hawks football players would like to invite everyone to travel to Muskegon with them, as they advance to play The Muskegon Big Red on Saturday, November 8, at 1 p.m. Please come out and support the Red Hawks as their playoff run continues.

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Red Hawks RULE the OK-Bronze


Red Hawk MavRick Cotten takes down the Eastern Hawks’ ball carrier. Photo by R. LaLone.

Red Hawk MavRick Cotten takes down the Eastern Hawks’ ball carrier. Photo by R. LaLone.

By Judy Reed

 

The Cedar Springs Red Hawks Varsity football team did something this season that they haven’t done since the late 1970s—take a conference title in football. While this season marks the fifth time that the Red Hawks have made it to the playoffs since 2000, this is the first time since 1978 that the Red Hawks have earned a conference title. That year they shared it with Sparta, in the Tri River Conference. We knew last week that they had earned a share of this year’s title, but last Friday’s win over Forest Hills Eastern gave Cedar Springs sole possession of first place, with a 5-0 record in conference, and an 8-1 overall record.

This Friday, they host Forest Hills Northern in the first playoff game at 7 p.m. at Red Hawk Stadium. Turn to page 9 for more info on last Friday’s game.

 

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Red Hawks clinch sole possession of OK Bronze title


Zach Wamser dives for extra yardage.

Zach Wamser dives for extra yardage.

 

On Friday, October 24, the Cedar Springs Red Hawks went to battle on their home turf, against the Forest Hills Eastern Hawks. This game for the Red Hawks was a chance to take sole possession of the 2014 OK Bronze Conference title.

In the first quarter, Red Hawk quarterback, Colin Alvesteffer found the end zone twice for the home team. One run was from 69 yards out and one from the three-yard line. The Forest Hills Eastern Hawks were able to answer once during the quarter, with a sixty yard pass play to put them on the score board, with an extra point being added by their kicker. This left the Red Hawks up 12 to 7 going into the second quarter.

The first half ended with the Red Hawks leading 18 to 7, after a 15-yard run by MavRick Cotton.

Kaden Myers knocks down a pass.

Kaden Myers knocks down a pass.

This game proved to be another pairing of opposite football philosophies, with the Red Hawk offense pounding the ground for 444 yards, averaging almost eight yards per carry, and the Forest Hills Eastern Hawks passing for 260 yards and running for nearly 100 yards. Their passing attack tested the Red Hawks’ secondary, but the defense held up by getting pressure on the quarterback and making plays in the secondary when it mattered most.

In the second half, the fog rolled in and things got spooky for the FHE Hawks as MavRick Cotton scored on a 20-yard run and Zach Wamser added two more touch downs, one from three yards out and the second from 71 yards. The final score was, Red Hawks 38 and the Eastern Hawks 14.

While this season marks the fifth time that the Red Hawks have made it to the playoffs since 2000, this is the first time since 1978 that the Red Hawks have earned a conference title. That year they shared it with Sparta, in the Tri River Conference.

This Friday, October 31, the Red Hawks will play at home against Forest Hills Northern to begin their playoff run in the Division 3 pre-district game. Tickets go on sale this Wednesday at noon and can be purchased in the High School Main office. Tickets are $5. No passes will be allowed at this game. Please come out and cheer on your Conference Champs!

 

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Red Hawks improve to 7 and 1 with a win over Greenville


 

The stingy Red Hawk defense kept the Greenville offense at bay last Friday night. Photo by K. Alvesteffer.

The stingy Red Hawk defense kept the Greenville offense at bay last Friday night. Photo by K. Alvesteffer.

The varsity football team wins 48-16

 

On Friday, October 17, the rain began as the national anthem was sung and just after the Cedar Springs Red Hawks honored so many brave people that have been affected by cancer in the third annual Hawks against Cancer pink game.

Greenville kicked off in the steady rain to start the first quarter, which ended with the Red Hawks leading 14 to 0. Collin Alvesteffer ran the ball for one touchdown and passed 34 yards to Kaden Myers for the second score. Zach Wamser added the two-point conversion on the second touchdown.

Red Hawks celebrate in the endzone after a touchdown by MavRick Cotten.

Red Hawks celebrate in the endzone after a touchdown by MavRick Cotten.

In the second quarter, the Red Hawks continued to pound on the Yellow Jacket defense by adding another touchdown to the first half tally, when Red Hawk fullback MavRick Cotton busted through the middle of the Greenville defense and scored on an 18-yard run. The Red Hawks did not capitalize on the two-point conversion, which left the score at 20 to 0, going into a rainy and windy half time.

After an excellent performance by the Red Hawk Marching Band, the third quarter began the way the second quarter ended, with MavRick Cotten breaking through the heart of the Yellow Jacket defense to score a 34-yard touchdown. The beginning of the end came when the Greenville offense fumbled the ball at midfield and Red Hawk Kaden Myers recovered the ball and ran it 52 yards for the score!

The Yellow Jackets continued to challenge the stingy, run-stopping and quarterback-sacking Red Hawk defense, with a score in the third quarter and one in the fourth, but the Red Hawks answered both times. Zach Wamser scored on a 41-yard dash with 48 seconds left in the third quarter, and Collin Alvesteffer answered again in the middle of the fourth.

In the end, it was second year head Coach Gus Kapolka’s Red Hawks that prevailed, 48-16.

This Friday, October 25, the Red Hawks will finish the regular season with a homecoming match up against conference foe Forest Hills Eastern, at 7 p.m. in Red Hawk Stadium. Get your Red Flannel on, load up the car and come out to support your 7 and 1 Red Hawks! Don’t forget the cowbell.

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Tennis ends with conference tournament and regionals


The Cedar Springs varsity boy’s tennis team completed their season the week of October 5th with an OK Bronze conference tournament at Forest Hills Northern and a Division 3 Regional tournament at Gainey Athletic Complex. The OK Bronze tournament was successfully completed on Tuesday evening, October 7th after several postponements and delays due to the weather. When all the matches were complete, the Cedar Springs Red Hawks ended up with a 4th place finish. The Red Hawk players awarded at the end of the tournament were Drew French, who took a second place finish in #3 singles, and Blake Fisk was named all conference for being #1 singles on the Cedar Springs team.

On Thursday, October 9, the team headed to their Regional tournament at Gainey Athletic Complex. The Red Hawks boys did their best to stay alive in the tough single elimination tournament. #2 singles Nick Fennessey, the only senior on the team, was the last to be eliminated in the tournament, which seemed very fitting, since it would be his last tennis match as a Red Hawk.

The Red Hawks finished their season with 8 wins and 6 losses.

Coach Katie Unsworth remarked, “2014 was a fantastic year for our team and I only see us becoming stronger and even more competitive! We are a young team and I am very excited about the next few years!

 

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Playoff bound!


Red Hawk quarterback Collin Alvesteffer dives into the endzone with the game-winning touchdown. Photo by K. Alvesteffer.

Red Hawk quarterback Collin Alvesteffer dives into the endzone with the game-winning touchdown. Photo by K. Alvesteffer.

 

Red Hawk MavRick Cotten brings down the ball carrier. Photo by K. Alvesteffer.

Red Hawk MavRick Cotten brings down the ball carrier. Photo by K. Alvesteffer.

The Cedar Springs Red Hawks varsity football team pulled off a double coup Friday night, October 10, when they not only clinched a playoff berth with their sixth win, but also took over sole possession of first place in the OK Bronze.

The Cedar Springs Red Hawks brought a fearless work ethic to their match up with the Huskies of Forest Hills Northern. This game was anticipated to be an offensive brawl, with both teams averaging 40-plus points a game for the season. But things turned out to be completely different when both teams’ defenses showed up to spoil the offensive festivities.

The game began with a scoreless first quarter and an indication of how the entire game would play out. Both teams exposed their true identities, with the Huskies showing their spread offense air attack, and the Red Hawks bringing their red flannel, relentless, full house wing T.

By the end of the first half, the Red Hawks’ team determination established an 8-point lead that the Huskies players had to sit on through the course of their extended homecoming halftime show that was filled with corvettes and BMWs.

Lane Gott on the tackle for the Red Hawks. Photo by K. Alvesteffer.

Lane Gott on the tackle for the Red Hawks. Photo by K. Alvesteffer.

To start the second half, the Huskies tied the game up through the air at the end of the third quarter leaving the score at 8 to 8 going into the fourth. This had every fan in the stadium, including our infamous 12th man—the camo-clad, Cedar Springs student section—on the edge of their seats and screaming for a win.

In the end, it came down to a fourth and inches play, after the Husky defense stopped the Red Hawks on the goal line on second and third down. Red Hawk quarterback Collin Alvesteffer beat the Huskies’ defense to the end zone pylon to make the score 14 to 8, with just a few minutes to go in the game.

The Huskies then pulled out all the stops through the air and on the ground, in an attempt to keep their grip on the OK Bronze Conference title. Then came the final play for the Huskies, when the pass by Forest Hills Northern quarterback, Jake Martin, found the hands of Red Hawk defender, Collin Alvesteffer, which sealed the game for the Red Hawks!

Please join us for our 3rd Annual Pink game this Friday, October 17, when the Red Hawks face the Greenville Yellow Jackets at Red Hawk stadium at 7:00 p.m. Please come out and support your Red Hawks!

 

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Red Hawks triumph over Wolves 


S-Football-vs-Wyoming-web

Improve record to 5 and 1

On Friday, October 3, many faithful Red Hawk fans made the trip to cheer on the hometown team when the Red Hawks traveled to Wyoming to meet the Wolves for a first time conference meeting. The Red Hawks proved to be too much for Wyoming by putting up 60 points to the Wolves 28, which put a damper on Wyoming’s homecoming celebration.

Cloudy skies, steady rain and gusting west winds made their presence known as the Red Hawks began their ground assault on the unwilling Wolves defense. But in the end, Wyoming had no answers for Cedar’s offensive grind, which gained 478 yards on the ground and led to six Red Hawks—Kaden Myers, MavRick Cotton, Zach Wamser, Collin Alvesteffer, Anthony Topolski  and Taylor Van Dyke—all finding the end zone throughout the four quarters of the game.

Wyoming quarterback Brendan Berg was 10 for 16 on pass attempts, for a total of 157 yards through the air. The Wolves answered back three times, with scores from the passing attack, and a total offensive effort of 160 yards, which was not enough as the Red Hawk’s defense held steady through the night.

The Red Hawk defense was led in tackles by Cameron Umphrey with six, Anthony Topolski with five tackles, along with Damarcus Barnett, MavRick Cotton, Collin Alvesteffer, Nate Sorensen, Caden Burrows and Lane Gott all adding four take downs for the Red Hawks.

Next week the Red Hawks will journey back to Forest Hills Northern for a 7:00 p.m. contest with the Forest Hills Northern Huskies. This will be a showdown of the top two teams in the OK Bronze Conference. Please come out and make some noise for your Red Hawk Football team!

 

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Red Hawks improve to 3 and 0 with 46 to 7 win over Belding


The Red Hawks blazed a trail to the endzone against Belding last week, even in the pouring rain. Photo from Kelly Alvesteffer.

The Red Hawks blazed a trail to the endzone against Belding last week, even in the pouring rain. Photo from Kelly Alvesteffer.

The steady rain could not dampen the home opener for the Red Hawk varsity football team last Friday night, September 12, which honored the Cedar Springs Rocket Football and Cheerleading programs.

Collin Alvesteffer, Kaden Myers, and Anthony Topolski led the Cedar Springs Red Hawks by using a solid running game to defeat Belding 46-7.

“We got Belding on their heels and scored on our first two possessions,” Red Hawks Head Coach Gus Kapolka said. “We focused on getting off to a quick start and we were able to keep the pressure on with our no-huddle offense. We’ve been working on it since Day 1. It’s a part of our game that we want to feature, but we hadn’t gotten to yet. We still need to work on it, but the kids came out and executed really well tonight.”

The Red Hawks offensive line controlled the line of scrimmage all night while 346 rushing yards and six touchdowns were recorded in the game stats. Kaden Myers, Anthony Topolski, Zach Wamser and Isaiah MacDonald all reached the end zone for the Red Hawks.

“Our offensive line does a great job,” Kapolka said. “We have four seniors on the offensive line and have some guys that are very hungry. We played with great pad level tonight. Belding has great size, but I felt like our line controlled the line of scrimmage.”

The Red Hawks defense was able to hold back Belding throughout the entire rainy night, only allowing one score by Belding’s Connor Barker. MavRick Cotton was on fire with 14 tackles, and one was for a 4-yard loss.

“We have to continue to improve,” Kapolka said. “We had a couple coverage breakdowns this week and that will be a point of emphasis this week.”

This week the Red Hawks will travel to Forest Hills Northern to take on Grand Rapids Catholic Central at 7:00 p.m. Friday, in the M-Live Grand Rapids Press Game of the Week. Please come out and support your Red Hawks!

 

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