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Girls tennis battles weather and opponents


Row 1: Beth Bullen, Aiyana Plank.Row 2: Amber Dunham, Sam Alger, Brittany Lenardson, Jessica Naffziger, Ellen Pike, Brooke Gust, Kristen Bull, Mackenzie Frederick, Amber Barnes, Jessica Blackmer, Paige Gebhardt. Row 3: Coach Russel, Molly VonSeggern, Alexis Robinson, Tranaya VerStrat, Molly McCarthy, Monica West, Samantha Durkee, Megan Brunett, Shannon Leal, Seana Pursley, Coach Kennedy.

The Cedar Springs Red Hawks Varsity  Tennis team has been steadily improving their stats as the season slowly begins to warm-up in weather and match results. This past week, the varsity girls defeated Coopersville, Sparta, and swept West Catholic. The season has not been weather friendly, and two Saturday tourneys and some non-league matches had to be canceled. Practice was often indoors or outside in some blustery conditions. Despite this, the varsity has posted a respectable 5 wins 3 losses and 2 ties for the season. The league tournament is this Saturday, with regionals at Ludington on May 19.
Playing #1 singles is Brooke Gust. She is currently 2nd in the league and has a dual record of 9-2. She has added some pace to her game and mental toughness that has enabled her to maintain a high level of play. Following Brooke in the lineup is seniors Mackenzie Frederick at #2, and Brittany Lenardson at #3 singles. Mackenzie has 8 wins and 3 losses, and Brittany is 9-2, with a 5-match winning streak. Both play with great patience and are able to adapt their games to defeat different types of opponents. Senior Ellen Pike is #4 singles, and is a 2nd year player that gives the team a valid competitor at #4.
The doubles teams are led by seniors Amber Dunham and Jessica Naffziger. The #1 girls have five match wins with the latest against West Catholic, coming back from a 5-2 deficit to win 7-5, 6-0. They have improved each week, like the whole team, with top results. Following are #2 doubles Paige Gebhardt and Samantha Alger, with a 5-2 record and 4-match win streak. They have sound ground strokes and that inner drive to compete at a top level. Jessica Blackmer and Kristen Bull make up #3 doubles are on a 6-match win streak. Jess, a sophomore, and Kristen, a freshman, blend together well and complement each other with their skills in competition. Below them at #4 doubles are freshmen Megan Brunett and Shannon Leal. They have 4 match wins, with the latest 6-0, 6-0 against West Catholic. Following them are the #13 and #14 girls senior Amber Barnes and freshman Samantha Durkee.
The team has some big challenges ahead being positioned in 3rd place in the OK-Rainbow conference after duals. The team need to have a good day at conference on Saturday, May 14. The tennis year, despite the weather disappointments, has been one of gradual improvement in tennis skills and match competitiveness. Coach Kennedy credits his captains jess Naffziger and Brooke Gust for their leadership, and the rest of the seniors—Amber D., Brittany, Mackenzie, Ellen, and Amber B. for helping to move the team forward this year.

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Congratulations to the Varsity Competitive Cheer team!


Red Hawk Cheer team 7th in state

“Take the Lead” was the team motto for the season and it seemed to take on different meanings over the course of the season.  One might interpret it as taking the lead in all 3 rounds to win that competition while another might interpret it as being the leader for their team. Throughout this season, this team definitely encountered numerous adversities that they had to overcome in order to reach their final goal of making it to the D2 Competitive Cheer State Finals. The week before State Finals wasn’t any different, the team would have another obstacle to overcome as they entered into the State Finals competition.

“I’m so proud of how all of the girls really pulled together and helped each other out while we were preparing for the biggest competition of our season. I saw new leaders stepping up on our team and our team motto ‘take the lead’ took on a whole new meaning for me!” said Coach Pamela Ingles.

As Saturday approached, the team was continuing to prepare for their competition by finishing all the last minute details for each round.  At the end of their practice on Friday, the girls took a few minutes to share a funny memory from the season with their teammates and several had tears from laughing so hard about a memory that may have been forgotten.  They also shared what they were going to do at State Finals to give everything they could for themselves and their teammates as this would be the last time this team would compete together this year. Saturday morning, the team traveled to the Delta Plex in style. A limo transported all 20 teammates and their coach to the State Finals competition at the Delta Plex.

“It was nice to be able to surprise the girls with special transportation for something that they have worked so hard to accomplish all season—making it to State Finals,” remarked Coach Ingles.

When they arrived to the Delta Plex, they were greeted by several of their fans holding a banner that said “Congratulations Cedar Springs Varsity Cheer.” Out of the 20 girls on the team, 11 where returning from last years team. For 9 of the girls, this experience would be a brand new experience.

Junior Kelli Markosky described her first year experience at State Finals as, “One word—accomplishment. I know that’s what was on everyone’s mind as we walked through the doors of the Delta Plex and realized ‘WOW, we met our goal…we are at State Finals.’ As we stood in line for the national anthem, our hearts were pumping with excitement.”

The Delta Plex was filled to capacity and this was the biggest crowd the girls would compete in front of all year. After they finished round 1, they had their highest round 1 score of the season with a 223.3.  After all the teams had finished round 1, the Red Hawks were in 7th place by .2 behind Kenowa Hills.  Round 2 was started off by Gibraltor Carlson who had 16 girls on the floor compared to Cedar’s 12.  The girls knew they would have to go out there and have their best day in round 2.  Again, they had one of their best round 2 scores with a 235. With only one round left to go, the Lady Red Hawks were still in 7th place behind Lakeshore. Kenowa Hills had dropped to 8th place with an 8 point penalty during round 2.

“Walking out for round 3 was my last time to compete with this team, I knew I had to make it the best round ever and make it a lasting memory for our seniors,”  said sophomore Nicki Luevano. They earned a round 3 score of 307.6.

All of the hard work that started in November would be finished after round 3 was completed.  The perseverance, determination, hard work, and dedication to never give up led this team to their 2nd State Finals appearance, one that they hope will continue as a tradition into the upcoming years.

“It was an amazing feeling to be back at State Finals. Now we just need to aim to go back next year.  I would be so ecstatic if we went to State all four years of High School,” said sophomore Katie Maka.

As the final scores were tallied, the Cedar Springs Red Hawks would score their highest score of the season – 766, which would place them as the 7th best team in the State for D2. “7th isn’t what we were hoping for, but considering everything our team went through I’m satisfied. We found that when its necessary we can pull together and we did as we earned our highest score of the season!” remarked senior Brittany Lenardson.
In the future when this team reflects on their season, they will remember all of the memories they made during practices, competitions, team bonding activities, and ultimately the journey throughout the season to make it to their final goal – making it to the D2 State Finals Cheer Competition. As stated by senior Heather Mindler,”It was the best experience ever to compete at the State Finals!”

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Lady Red Hawks pull out win over Spartans


The Lady Red Hawks won the purple game last Friday night against the Spartans. Red Hawk Lindsey Kline looks for a way inside.

Last Friday’s matchup between the Lady Red Hawks and the Spartans kept the crowd on its toes with 2 lead changes and 5 ties. The first quarter ended with the Hawks in the lead 12-8, but the Spartans came back in the 2nd quarter and outscored the Hawks 9-3, and ended the half ahead of the Hawks 17-15.
Cedar came out of the break and scored some quick buckets by pressing, but Sparta kept in there and ended the 3rd quarter tied 25-25. The Red Hawks came back in the 4th and added to their score by being patient and looking inside. That drew fouls, and adding in some key free throws helped the Red Hawks outscore the Spartans 15-6, and win the game 40-31.
Tiffany Karger led the Red Hawks in scoring with 10 points, and Chaya Coxon tipped in 9. Also scoring was Rachael Ludtke (7), Hannah Wight (6), Molly Holtrop (5), Amber Milligan (2), and Lindsey Klein (1). Coxon went 5/5 in free throws, Karger went 4/5, and Ludtke ¾.
The Sparta High School boys and girls basketball teams brought attention to Lupus for both games Friday night against Cedar Springs. They raised money by asking for donations and selling purple T-shirts, and by wearing purple jerseys during the games. The girls varsity team wore purple to support and bring awareness of the auto-immune disorder that Sparta High School senior Courtney Marble has dealt with for years. Marble was able to start the game Friday after having just been cleared to play again by her doctors. She spent several weeks in the hospital this fall dealing with the disease.
For more information on this disorder, go to: www.lupus.org.

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Red Hawk wrestlers conquer Belding


Red Hawk Joe Simon (285 lb), senior, takes down his opponent.

On Wednesday, January 12, the Cedar Springs Varsity wrestling team beat Belding 53-13 at the first home match of the season. Beginning with the 171 lb class, Levi Whipple earned the first points of the night with an overtime win 5-4. A fall executed by Corey Wozniak (189 lb) midway through the second period brought the score to 9-0 in favor of the Red Hawks.
Belding countered in the 215 lb and 285 lb weight classes to tie the score 9-9.
Baron Lenardson (103 lb) rallied with a quick pin just 27 seconds into his first round to continue the momentum for the Hawks.  A major win by Jared Vodry (125 lb), a void at 130 lb for Danny Wier, and a 15-0 technical fall in the second period by Cody Oehme (135 lb) tallied the score at 40-9. With no hope for Belding to make a comeback, the Hawks earned wins by Matt Patin (140 lb) with a fall in the first period, a major win by Jake Marsman (152 lb), who kept his opponents score at zero for three periods, and a solid match by Austin Wamser (160 lb) brought the final score to 53-13 and a conference win for the Hawks.
The Hawks take to the mat at home this week:
Conference match vs West Catholic Wednesday, January 19 (last night)
JV Invitational Friday, January 21, at 4:00 p.m.
Red Hawk Varsity Invitational Saturday, January 22,  at 9:00 a.m.
Come cheer them on!

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Lady Red Hawks outscore Broncos


varsity girls basketball

Junior Chaya Coxon helped lead the Red Hawks to another win with 10 points against the Broncos Friday night. Photo by R. Karger.

girls varsity basketball

Freshman Brittany Todd led the scoring for the Red Hawks with 13 points against Coopersville last Friday. Photo by R. Karger.

Cedar Springs Lady Red Hawk Varsity Basketball paid a visit to Coopersville last Friday, January 7 and came away with another victory under their belt.
The Red Hawks hit the ground running early and ended the first period with a 16-6 lead, and finished out at halftime with a 25-9 advantage. The Broncos did not back down, however, and out scored the Hawks by one point in the 3rd quarter and six points in the 4th. The Hawks were already well in the lead, though, and held on to win a 42-33 O-K Blue victory against Coopersville.
Cedar Springs, now 5-2 overall and 2-1 in the O-K Blue, were led by freshman Brittany Todd with 13 points coming off the bench. Also contributing was Chaya Coxon with 10 points, Tiffany Karger with 5 points, Molly Holtrop with 4 points, Amber Milligan 4 points, Rachael Ludtke with 3 and Lindsey Kline 3 points.

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