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Red Hawks kick off season at Wayne State

The Cedar Springs Red Hawks are back and shooting for another great season in the Ok Gold. 

By Judy Reed

The Cedar Springs Red Hawks will kick off the 2022 football season this Saturday at 4 p.m. when they take the field against River Rouge, at Tom Adams Field at Wayne State University, in the Xenith Prep Kickoff Classic.

The 2022 Xenith Prep Kickoff Classic is described as the premier season-opening high school football showcase in Michigan. Six games will highlight the event over three days, including teams from multiple divisions and powerhouse conferences. The game between River Rouge and Cedar Springs, both Division 3 teams, is the event finale. 

The Red Hawks are back after a great 2021 season, and The Post asked Coach Gus Kapolka about what this season’s team looks like.

“We hope to continue the success we’ve had the past several years and the outlook is good based on who returns and how hard our guys have worked in the off season,” he said.

They have six players returning on defense and four on offense.

“Our strong point is our offensive skill,” said Kapolka. “We return all three running backs—Antwuan  Nicholls, Carter Falan, and Ryan Mitchell—and Ryan West slides into the quarterback spot.”

They also have added some new faces to the coaching staff. “Joe Testerink joins our staff as the JV coach. He coached football in North Carolina for 9 years and has most recently coached at East Kentwood.  Brad Austin will be the freshman coach after coaching the 8th grade the last two years,” he explained.

The Red Hawks have a rough road ahead, with the first four games being some of their toughest—River Rouge, Zeeland West, Catholic Central, and South Christian. We asked Kapolka how they are preparing for that.

“We are trying to improve every day and focus on small immediate goals rather than obsessing over the first 4 games,” he explained.

How does the coach feel about this Saturday’s game against River Rouge? “River Rouge is elite,” remarked Kapolka. “They have Nick Marsh, who recently committed to MSU, and several other highly recruited players. They are the toughest test we’ve had since we played Muskegon in a Regional Final in 2018.”

If you’d like to travel to Wayne State University to cheer on the Red Hawks in the Xenith Prep Kickoff Classic, on Saturday, Aug. 27, at 4 p.m., tickets are $12.00 and can be purchased at detroitsports.org. A portion of the ticket purchased will benefit the school. The ticket is good for both games that day.

You can also watch on the NFHS Network.

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