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Red Hawks lose battle with Big Reds in district final

Red Hawks lose battle with Big Reds in district final


Red Hawk Aiden Brunin scores in the first quarter. 
Photo by J. Harnden.

By Judy Reed

Cedar Springs quarterback Jeremy Campione and Coach Gus Kapolka discuss a play. Post photo by J. Reed.

Cedar Springs ended an amazing football season last Saturday on the field at Grand Haven, where they took on not only the top-rated high school team in Michigan but one of the top rated teams in the nation—Muskegon. 

Cedar Springs marched down the field with their usual confidence and speed, scoring first with only 8:17 on the clock in the first quarter when Aiden Brunin ran 5-yards into the end zone for the touchdown. The point after kick by Owen Sweezer was good.

Muskegon then battled the Cedar Springs defense to get down the field and scored with 2:41 left in the first on a 3-yard touchdown by Julian Sims. The point after kick by Jose Guitterez was good, tying the score at 7-7.

Cedar Springs scored again with only 36 seconds left in the first on a 29-yard field goal by Sweezer, making the score CS 10, Muskegon 7.

However, Muskegon then scored 15 seconds later on a 52-yard run by quarterback Cameron Martinez, and the point after was good, leaving the score Muskegon 14, CS 10 at the end of the first quarter.

Cedar Springs did not score again. Muskegon scored five more times during the game, winning 48-10.

So what does Coach Kapolka think happened to the Red Hawks after the first quarter?

“I thought our guys came out ready to play and for the first 10 minutes or so, we played well. After that point, Muskegon wore us out and we couldn’t hold up,” explained Kapolka. “We had opportunities to make plays in the last 4 minutes of the first half and the first 4 minutes of the second, but we just couldn’t make enough plays when the score was close.”

Cedar Springs gained 158 yards on the ground, with Aiden Brunin getting 92 yards of that on 11 carries. Muskegon had 427 yards, with Martinez earning 219 yards on 19 carries.

Brunin led in tackles for Cedar Springs with 11. Tarran Walker led in tackles for Muskegon, with 13.

Despite their loss at District Finals, Cedar Springs has nothing to hang their head about. They ended their season as OK White Champions for the second year in a row, with a record of 6-0 in conference, and 9-2 overall.

“I’m extremely proud of this senior class, and in my 25 years of coaching, it’s one of my favorite groups. They were unselfish, hard working, and fun to be around everyday,” remarked Kapolka.

“I’m appreciative of their contributions to the program, and they have left their mark on our program in a positive manner. They leave with a 26-8 record and 2 OK White Championships in the last two years, and a 17-1 record in the OK White during that time.”

Next fall, Cedar Springs will leave the OK White and join the OK Gold conference, along with Ottawa Hills, as part of OK Conference realignment that happens every four years. Besides Ottawa Hills, they will face teams such as Kenowa Hills, Middleville, Forest Hills Eastern, Wayland, Catholic Central, and South Christian.

How does Coach Kapolka feel about the move? “We are excited about the move to the OK Gold, but we will miss the rivalries that we’ve developed with FHN, FHC, Northview, and Greenville,” he said.

Congratulations on a great season, Red Hawks!

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