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Red Hawks quash Northview pass attack in 26-10 victory


Cedar Springs’ Sage Serbenta rushed for 200 yards in the win over Northview last Friday.
Photo by Kelly and Rob LaLone.

Red Hawk offense gains 300 yards rushing

By Judy Reed

The Cedar Springs Red Hawks Varsity Football team kept their winning streak against Northview alive Friday night, September 7, defeating them 26-10 in their sixth straight victory against the Wildcats. But the Red Hawks did more than that—they limited the Wildcats to only 10 points, something the two previous teams Northview faced couldn’t do.

The Wildcats had scored 68 points in their 68-47 win over Comstock Park, and 36 points in their 43-36 loss to Jenison. But Cedar Springs stood up to the pass and didn’t allow them to get an edge.

“Our defensive coaching staff did a great job with the game plan and our kids really executed it on Friday night,” said Red Hawk Coach Gus Kapolka. “I thought we tackled well against a dangerously explosive team in the open field, and limited their opportunities. Our special teams were key as well with a blocked punt to set up a score, as well as a blocked field goal.”

Northview attempted to score first with a field goal with 6:04 left in the first quarter but it was blocked by Cedar Springs. The first score of the game came in the second quarter, with 11:35 remaining, when Cedar Springs running back Sage Serbenta ran for a 60-yard touchdown. The 2-point conversion was no good.

Northview attempted a second field goal with 9:55 left in the second quarter and the 31-yard kick by Chris Mendez was good this time. The score was now 6-3.

Cedar Springs scored again with 4:55 left in the quarter when Sage Serbenta ran for a 15-yard touchdown. The two point conversion was no good, leaving the score 12-3. But the Red Hawks came back and scored again when Ryan Ringler ran for a 12-yard touchdown with 57 seconds left in the quarter. The two-point conversion was no good, and the quarter ended with a score of 18-3, Cedar Springs.

Northview scored again in the third quarter, when Jalen Williams ran for a 10-yard touchdown with 6:01 left. The extra point was good, making the score 18-10.

Cedar Springs put one more nail in the coffin with 3:07 left in the fourth quarter, when Ryan Ringler scored again with a 5-yard run. They scored two more points when Kolby Swank ran the ball in to get the two-point conversion. Final score Cedar Springs 26, Northview 10.

Overall, Cedar Springs had 301 yards rushing (but lost 15 on penalties), with Sage Serbenta getting 203. “Sage is new to our program, but he has picked up our offense quickly,” remarked Kapolka. “He has great speed and vision when running the ball, and our offensive line did a good job opening up space for him.”

Other rushing leaders included Ryan Ringler with 43 yards, Ethan West with 30, Lucas Pienton with 15, and Ben Shaw with 9.

Defensively, Ryan Ringler led in tackles with 9; Landon Totten had 7; Graham Bayink 6; Lucas Pienton and Sage Serbenta each had five. 

Cedar Springs is 1-0 in conference and 2-1 overall. They will host Greenville (also 1-0 in conference, 1-2 overall) this Friday, September 14, at Red Hawk Stadium. The Hawk’s Nest spirit theme is a blackout. Dress in black and come on out and cheer on your Red Hawks!

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Cedar crushes Caledonia in home opener


There was no stopping the Red Hawks last Thursday as they garnered almost 400 yards in the game against Caledonia last Thursday. Photo by Rob LaLone.

By Judy Reed

The Cedar Springs Red Hawks brought their A-game last Thursday, August 30, when they hosted Caledonia for the first home game of the season and ran away with the win 46-7.

The Red Hawks were fresh off a loss to the Division 5 state runner-up Saginaw Swan Valley, where they had some trouble getting the offense going that they needed. But the Red Hawks found their groove against the Fighting Scots, scoring once in the first quarter, three times in the second quarter, and twice in the fourth.

The Red Hawks netted 338 yards on the ground, and 56 in the air, for 394 total. Ethan West ran for 105 yards and two touchdowns, followed by Lucas Pienton with 96 yards and one touchdown; Sage Serbenta ran for 50, Ryan Ringler had 36, Zak Schmid and Kolby Swank each had 16, Ben Shaw and Landon Totten ran for 10 each, including a touchdown by Totten.

Swank completed three passes out of three attempts, with two resulting in touchdowns—a 25-yard pass to Lucas Pienton, and 20-yard pass to Kaden Liggett. The third pass was 11-yards to Ethan West. 

Their defense was also stellar, allowing Caledonia only 154 yards on the ground for the whole game and one touchdown, which came in the second quarter. Leading in tackles for the Red Hawks was Ryan Ringler with 12 and 3 assists; Xavier Anderson with 6 tackles and 4 assists; Gage Gardner with 8 tackles; and Sage Serbenta with 6 tackles, 1 assist, 1 QB sack, and 2 fumble recoveries. Many other Red Hawks also contributed defensively, including Lucus Pienton and Graham Bayink, both with 1 interception each.

Cedar Springs travels to Northview this Friday, September 7, to take on the Wildcats. They have beaten Northview for the last five meetings, but Northview came out strong this year, with a win over Comstock Park 68-47, and they still put a lot of points on the board in their loss to Jenison last week, 43-36. It should be a good game! Travel to Northview and cheer on your Red Hawks!

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Cedar Springs suffers loss to Swan Valley


Cedar Springs took a 21-12 loss at Saginaw Swan Valley in their non-conference opener last week. Photo by Kelly and Rob LaLone.

By Judy Reed

The Cedar Springs Red Hawks varsity football team went on the road last Thursday, August 23, for their first ever game against the Saginaw Swan Valley Vikings, the 2017 state runner-ups in Division 5. 

Cedar Springs kicked off to Swan Valley to start the game, but the Vikings fumbled the ball and the Red Hawks recovered. They didn’t score, however, and Swan Valley took over on their own 39-yard line. On their second play, Deon Danders ran up the middle for a 61-yard touchdown, and the extra point was good, making the score 7-0, Swan Valley, with 9:29 left in the quarter.

In the second quarter, the Red Hawks scored with 2:33 left when quarterbank Kolby Swank ran right for three yards into the end zone. His pass to Kaden Liggett for extra points was no good. The score was now Swan Valley 7, Cedar Springs 6.

Swan Valley scored again in the third quarter with 3:38 left, when Alex Fries ran up the middle for a 1-yard touchdown. Their extra kick was good, making the score 14-6.

The Red Hawks rallied and came back and scored again before the quarter was over. With :33 left on the clock, Swank ran up the middle for a 1-yard touchdown. Ryan Ringler attempted a run into the end zone for a two-point conversion but it was no good. The score was now Swan Valley 14, Cedar Springs 12.

The Red Hawks would not score again, but Swan Valley put one more into the end zone to seal the victory. With 4:46 left on the clock, Fries passed to Ethan Champney for a 10-yard touchdown. The after kick was good, and Swan Valley took a 21-12 victory over Cedar Springs.

Cedar Springs rushed for 179 yards, on 54 attempts. Leading rushers were Ryan Ringler with 65 yards on 19 attempts, and Ethan West with 49 yards on 15 attempts. Kolby Swank contributed 23 yards on six attempts, and Sage Serbenta had 21 on 6 attempts. Ben Shaw added 16 yards on three attempts, and Zack Schmid added 5 yards on 5 attempts.

Swan Valley rushed for 208 yards, with Deon Danders leading the way with 102 yards on 9 attempts, and quarterback Alex Fries coming in second with 43 yards on 12 attempts.

Ringler led the Red Hawks in tackles with 7, followed closely by Sage Serbenta with 6 and Zach Schmid with 5. 

Mitchel Boehler led the Vikings in tackles with 16.

Cedar Springs Coach Gus Kapolka thought his team did some things well against a tough team.

“I thought we played well in the kicking game and defense against Swan Valley, but we were just not able to generate enough offense to win the game. I thought our kids played a very tough opponent on the road and acquitted themselves very well. We need to improve in many areas before our next game, but we especially need to improve our offensive line play. I have every confidence that will happen,” he said.

Kapolka was also pleased by an email they received from Swan Valley after the game. “We were forwarded an email from Swan Valley’s Athletic Director commenting on our player’s and fans sportsmanship at the game, and complimenting us on how we handled ourselves. It makes me as a coach very appreciative of our parents and fans, and proud of our players for handling themselves with poise under difficult circumstances. It is one of the core values of our program, and one of the things that makes Cedar Springs a great place.”

The Red Hawks play their first home game of the season tonight, Thursday, August 31, when they host Caledonia at 7 p.m. at Red Hawk Stadium.

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It’s time for football!


Red Hawk Ryan Ringler leaps over several Pioneers as he scores a touchdown against East Grand Rapids in 2017.

Michigan high school football starts this week, and fans are looking forward to a great season for the hometown team in the OK-White. In 2017, the Red Hawks went 7-4, which included some exciting moments, such as 28-14 win over Lowell during the regular season, and a heart-stopping victory over East Grand Rapids 41-40 in a pre-district game. Cedar Springs will have two non-conference games before Labor Day that will test their mettle. The first is tonight, Thursday, August 23, at Saginaw Swan Valley. They went 12-2 last year, losing to West Catholic in the Division 5 state final. Then next Thursday, August 30, the Red Hawks will host Caledonia, who went 4-5 last year in a tough division—the OK-Red. Watch for a complete schedule in an upcoming issue. Come on out and cheer your Red Hawks! Hope to see you there!

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JV Baseball battles weather to complete games


Dylan Knauf got the win against the Red Arrows in game one of a doubleheader last week.

The JV baseball team was able to get two games in on April 11 before Mother Nature decided to play a joke on us with another touch of snow and ice over the weekend.

On Wednesday April 11, the Red Hawks played a double header against the undefeated Huskies of Forest Hills Northern. In the first game, Connor Ellison pitched a great game, striking out 3 and walking none. He allowed 6 hits over his six-inning outing. His defense didn’t help him much, committing 7 total errors. In the 10-3 loss, only 2 of the Forest Hills runs were earned.

At the plate, Trenton Snoeyink, Dylan Knauf, Lucas Secord, Jeremy Campione and Caden Vandenberg all recorded a hit. As a whole, the Red Hawks left a dozen runners on base and weren’t able to get hits when they needed them.  

In the second game, Kyle Wise struggled throwing strikes, walking 7 and hitting one batter, while allowing 6 runs. Colton Moore was able to hold the Huskies to just one run in his two innings of relief.  Offensively, the Red Hawks were able to draw several walks, which were brought around to score with hits from Connor Ellison, Lucas Secord and a big double from Caden Vandenberg. With aggressive baserunning and these timely hits the score was tied at 7-7 when the sun went down and the game was called due to darkness.  

Last week the JV baseball team played a three-day set against the Red Arrows of Lowell.  

On April 19, they played a doubleheader. In game one, the Red Hawks were led on the mound by Dylan Knauf. In six innings of work, he allowed 4 runs on just three hits, while walking one. Trenton Snoeyink pitched the seventh inning to earn his second save of the season in the 7-4 victory. 

At the plate, Jeremy Campione had a pair of hits. Dylan Greenland, Willy Zain, Trenton Snoeyink, Caden Vandenberg, Dylan Knauf and Gage Haywood each had a hit as well.

In game two, Sophomore Colton Moore struggled throwing strikes on the mound, and allowed 8 runs, though only 3 of them were earned. The defense also committed several errors that sunk a few innings. Dylan Knauf had two doulbles batting in the leadoff spot. Willy Zain had a pair of hits as well, one of them a double. Lucas Secord hit a double as well. Trenton Snoeyink and Clyde Dykhouse each added a hit. The game 2 final was 12-5.

In game three, on April 20, our boys ran into a tough pitcher from Lowell and were only able to scrape together one hit each from Willy Zain and Jeremy Campione. Defensively they committed six errors as a team in the 10-0 loss.

The JV team is 4-4-1 overall. This week they are scheduled to play a trio of games against Ottawa Hills and a double header against Fremont.

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JV baseball takes win over Newaygo


Freshman Trenton Snoeyink earned the save for the JV Red Hawks baseball team over Newaygo.

The JV baseball team improved to 3-1 with a nail-biting victory over Newaygo on Wednesday, March 28.  

Once again sophomore Caden Vandenberg led the team in hitting with two singles and three RBI.  Trenton Snoeyink, Dylan Greenland, Jeremy Campione, Willy Zain and Connor Ellison each added a hit as well.  

The Red Hawks were tied 3-3 going into the 5th inning. After an Ellison single to start the inning, Clyde Dykhouse hit a rocket at the third baseman, causing him to misplay the play, leaving runners at first and third. The Hawks proceeded to score 4 runs with timely hits by Greenland and Vandenberg to take a 7-3 lead.  

In the sixth, Newaygo managed to put together a collection of hits. Those, accompanied by a pair of Red Hawk errors, got them to within 7-6.  

In the seventh inning, freshman lefty Trenton Snoeyink went out to the mound to try closing the game out. He walked the first hitter, then proceeded to catch him stealing second with a well-timed pick off move. Trenton then struck out the final two hitters to end the game and earn the save.  

The JV will play next after spring break at home on Wednesday, April 11 against Forest Hills Northern and will play Northern again on the 13th on the road.

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Freshmen girls basketball finish undefeated in conference


Abby Buttermore with the ball.

Freshmen girls basketball team wins conference.

The Red Hawks freshmen girls had two goals in mind when the season started. They wanted to win the OK White freshmen conference title and have fun. They did that and then some. The season started rough with a loss to open the season, but the girls quickly got things together and finished the season 16-2 over 12-0 against conference teams, ending the season on a 13-game win streak.  

“We had a bit of an identity crisis with six girls being moved up to JV and Varsity, to start the season,” Coach Steven Washington said. “We figured out our identity pretty quick for losing so many players.”  

The teams focused on playing aggressive man to man defense the full length of the floor and it paid off for them. The girls are an experienced athletic team led by captains Abby Buttermore, Gloria Alvarez and Morgan Reyers, as the primary ball handlers.  Sydney Schafer and Baylee Mosher provided much needed inside scoring.  

“Hailey Begeman got pulled up to JV halfway through the season. We were happy for her opportunity, but knew others needed to step up in her absence,” said Washington. Rose Pigorsh helped ease Begeman’s loss by filling the inside with intense defense averaging 4 blocks per game. The team got key back-up support from Kaleigh Hull and Makayla Pierce.  This season the freshmen had three foreign exchange students, Amanda Verella (Brazil), Alice Gelli(Italy), and Klaudia Kulakowska(Poland).  

Washington added, “I am extremely proud of not only the record but the hard work and the growth these ladies made this year.”  

Gloria Alvarez summed up the season when she said, ‘This season was one where I worked my hardest to improve, made great progress and had so much fun.”

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Varsity Wrestlers earn All Conference Honors


Aaron Smith tangles up his Greenville opponent on his way to a pin.
Courtesy photo

The Varsity wrestlers traveled to Lowell to compete in the OK White Individual Championship on Friday, February 2. As a team, the Red Hawks finished the day only behind the four-time defending State Champions from Lowell. Jacob Galinis (140), Lucus Pienton (160) and Ryan Ringler (171) each reigned supreme in their respective weight classes.

Galinis wrestled a smart match and upset James Fotis (#6 migrappler.com) in the final 30 seconds. Lucus Pienton was too much for Derek Mohr from Lowell, while collecting a major decision 11-3. It took Ryan Ringler overtime to defeat Isaac Torrey (#3 migrappler) from Forest Hills Central. Galinis, Pienton and Ringler are now each two time Ok-White Conference Champions.

Trevor Marsman (103), Aaron Smith (135), and Anthony Brew (145) also made the finals for Cedar Springs. Andrew Vangessel, David Erxleben, Phillip Elzinga, Logan Hull, Fernando Pedraza, Chris Shafer, Landen Totten and Paul Duran won matches and scored for the team as well. 

With a 5-1 Ok White dual record the boys claimed second place overall in the Ok White.

Action continues with team Districts at Sparta High School on Thursday, February 8, at 6 p.m.

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Varsity Wrestlers ram Rockford and sting Greenville


Senior Chris Shaffer (189lbs, 21-7 record) sealed the win for the Red Hawks against Rockford.

The Varsity Wrestling team accomplished a mission last weekend that had not been completed since the 1995 State Championship season. On Friday, January 19, the boys defeated arch nemesis Greenville 55-9 in front of the home crowd for Parents Night. Topping off the weekend, the Red Hawks were able to pull away from Rockford in the upper weights to knock off our Division 1 neighbors 37-24 at the Lakeshore Super Duals.

Trevor Marsman opened the Rockford dual with a last second take down, handing the tough Brock Fisher a rare loss. It was a complete team effort as the Red Hawks fought off bonus points through the heart of Rockford lineup, which includes All-Staters Noah Anderson and Jack Richardson. After wins from Nate Male, Aaron Smith and Jacob Galinis, the Red Hawks found themselves down 18-21. Lucus Pienton battled for a last second escape to tie the dual, and Xavier Anderson displayed his talents to keep the match within reach.

Trailing 21-24, Rockford voided All State Ryan Ringler and it would all came down to senior Chris Shaffer. A cool-eyed Shaffer stated, “I got this Coach,” then he went on to claim a major decision and ice it for the Hawks. Caleb Baty placed the cherry on top with a 30-second pin at Heavyweight to cement the victory for the Red Hawks.

“The boys are turning in a fine season, compiling an 18-6 record (5-1 OK White) and will be in action this weekend looking to threepeat as Champions at the Shelby Superduals,” said Coach Nick Emery.

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Cedar Springs 106 Forest Hills 32


Cedar Springs Varsity wrestlers

The Cedar Springs Varsity wrestlers traveled to Forest Hills Central on Friday night, January 12, to face off against the Rangers and Huskies. After falling behind 17-3 early on, the Red Hawks then reeled off victories in 8 of the next 9 weights to claim a 43-23 win. The boys ran on the Huskies early and never looked back, topping the Huskies 63-9. Undefeated wrestlers on the night were Trevor Marsman, Nate Male, Logan Hull, Aaron Smith, Anthony Brew, Jacob Galinis, Lucus Pienton, Ryan Ringler and Zak Schmid.

On Saturday, January 13, the Red Hawks traveled across state to Warren for the Clash of the Champions. The team finished runner-up in a strong field of 19 competitive schools.

Ryan Ringler won the 171lb weight class and was awarded Most Valuable Wrestler. Ringler defeated the number two and four ranked wrestlers in his division, according to MIGrappler.com.

Runner-up finalists for the Red Hawks included Trevor Marsman (103), Lucus Pienton (152), and Chris Shaffer (189).

Important contributions and medalists on the day for Cedar Springs came from Aaron Smith (3rd), Jacob Galinis (5th), Caleb Baty (5th), Paul Duran, Anthony Brew, Logan Hull, Nate Male, Trentyn Roelofs, David Erxleben and Zak Schmid.

Don’t miss the home action on Friday night versus arch rival Greenville and Ottawa Hills at 5 p.m. The team will travel to Stevensville Lakeshore for duals on Saturday.

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