By Shae Brophy
Meet offensive/defensive lineman Darren Trader. Darren, a 2007 graduate from Tri County High School, is one of a few players who see time on offense and defense. Primarily used on offense, his 6 foot 4 inch frame comes in handy on the defensive line as well. Trader has been involved with football since he was in the third grade, and played baseball at Tri County his junior and senior years of high school.
When he isn’t on the gridiron, Darren enjoys hunting, fishing, and golfing. Some of his idols include (Houston Texans defensive end) JJ Watt, (former NFL defensive end) Reggie White, and Michael Jordan.
According to Trader, the chance to play football again was a chance to fall in love with the game all over again. “I got a phone call from (Hawks captain) Ryan Bell saying there would be a semi-pro team in Cedar Springs. I had my doubts at first, but he assured me that I would fall in love with the game all over again, and he was right. After the very first practice, I had made up my mind that I would join this team, and help build it in any way possible. Plus, my Mom went to Cedar Springs, and she always wanted me to play after high school. I know she’s looking down on me smiling and cheering the team on. The became a member of this team because the owner is a class act man, and the Hawks play football the way it is supposed to be played: hard, and to the whistle with no quit.”
Owner/head coach David Lange added: “Darren is one of our bigger guys. He is an anchor for our linemen. He hits hard and he creates the holes needed for our backs. Darren is not afraid to get down and dirty in the trenches. He is a very physical player with a lot of heart.”
On July 18th, the Hawks will host the Grand Rapids Thunder, in the inaugural William W. Phillips Memorial game, which is dedicated to Darren’s grandfather, who recently passed away. It will also be a military appreciation night.
The Hawks will be off this weekend, as the league celebrates Independence Day. The team will be in action again on July 11th, as they travel to Detroit to take on the Michigan Renegades.
Shae Brophy is the Media/Public Relations Director for the West Michigan Hawks.