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Cedar Springs loses heartbreaker to Catholic Central

By Judy Reed

Red Hawk senior quarterback Aiden Brunin runs with the ball. He had 98 yards rushing against Catholic Central. Photo by Brandon Kramer Photography.

The win (and possible share of the conference title) was within their grasp. It was so close that the Red Hawks and their fans could taste it. With 38 seconds left on the game clock, Ryan Miller scored the touchdown that brought them within one point of the Catholic Central Cougars. Would they get the 2-point conversion to seal the win?

In what was being called a showdown for the title in the OK Gold conference, Cedar Springs hosted Catholic Central at Red Hawk Stadium last Friday, October 15. Both teams were 5-0 in conference. The Cougars have not lost a conference game since 2016, and were state champions in Division 5 in 2020, and in Division 4 in 2019, 2017, and 2016.

But no team since 2018 has scored as many points against Catholic Central as Cedar Springs did Friday night.

“I thought our offensive line played one of the best games I’ve ever witnessed,” said Cedar Springs Coach Gus Kapolka. “They were dominant from beginning to end. Our special teams were solid as well, with a kick return for a TD, and two blocked PAT’s (point after touchdown kicks).”

Red Hawk junior Antwuan Nicholls scored on an 80-yard kick off return against Catholic Central. Photo by Brandon Kramer Photography.

Cedar Springs hit the scoreboard first, when with 6:52 left in the first, Ryan Mitchell ran 10 yards to the left to score. The 2-point conversion was no good.

Catholic Central then scored with 2:40 left in the first, when quarterback John Passinault ran right for a four-yard touchdown. The point after kick by John Meyer was good.

With 2:27 left in the first, Catholic Central then kicked off to Cedar Springs. Antwuan Nicholls got the ball on the Cedar Springs 20-yard line and ran it 80 yards down field to score the next touchdown. Alex Ream’s run for two more points was good.

With 1:23 left in the first, CC scored again, when Passinault threw to Nolan Zeigler for a 14-yard touchdown. The Red Hawks didn’t allow Meyer to attempt the point after kick.

At the end of the first quarter, it was CS 14, CC 15.

Cedar Springs scored twice more in the second quarter, on a 10-yard run by QB Aiden Brunin and a 1-yard run by Alex Ream. Brunin ran in the 2 points after Ream’s TD.

Catholic Central scored again, when Passinault threw to Devin Fridley-bell for a 25-yard touchdown. The Red Hawks blocked Meyers point after kick.

The score at half was CS 28, CC 23.

Catholic Central held the Red Hawks at bay in the third and came back with three touchdowns. Passinault scored on both a one-yard run and a 67-yard run and threw a pass to Fridley-bell for a 7-yard touchdown. They scored 2-point conversions after two of the touchdowns.

Catholic Central runs with the ball. Photo by Brandon Kramer Photography.

After three quarters, it was CS 28, CC 41.

In the fourth quarter, Cedar Springs not only had to play catch up, they had to hold back Catholic Central. Cedar Springs drove down the field and scored on a two-yard run by Brunin with 8:26 left on the clock. Brunin’s pass to Josh Kriekaard for extra points was no good. It was now CS 34, CC 41.

Catholic Central started their next drive on their 20-yard line. They made it to the Cedar Springs 33-yard line, and on 4th down and 3, Passinault tried to run up the middle but was stopped by Antwuan Nicholls for no gain. Cedar Springs took over on their 33-yard line.

Cedar Springs drove down the field and made it the Catholic Central 3-yard line. Ryan Mitchell ran left for the 3-yard touchdown. It was now CS 40, CC 41, with 38 seconds on the clock. Cedar Springs called their third time out. They needed a two-point conversion to win the game, and a possible share of the conference title.

Brunin rolled out with the ball but couldn’t make it in to the endzone.

Cedar Springs kicked off, and tried an onside kick, but it was picked up at the 50 by Catholic Central. They made one play to lose two yards, and the game was over. Final score CS 40, Catholic Central 41.

“I’m proud of the way our guys battled all the way down to the final play on Friday night,” said Kapolka.   “We are obviously disappointed with our effort, but I am pleased with how we competed. The game came down to us making 2-3 critical plays at crucial times, and we just couldn’t make them.”

Cedar Springs racked up 327 yards on the ground. They were led by Aiden Brunin with 98 and 2 TDs, Ryan Mitchell with 72 and 2 TDs, Carter Falan with 57, Antwuan Nicholls with 52, Alex Ream with 39 and one TD, and Kyle Hoort with 9. Nicholls also had an 80-yard TD run on a kickoff return.

The Cedar Springs Red Hawk senior football players made their walk across the football field Friday night. From L to R: Jacob Rocafort (32); Carter Bayink (2); Landon Demorest (31); Jordan Victorson (67); Kyle Hoort (15); Alex Ream (20); Brennen Porter (58); Tate Ringelberg (50); Aiden Brunin (28); Cam Heiss (75); Alex Kramer (51); Logan Johnson (52); Blake Scheer (81). Photo by Brandon Kramer Photography.

Catholic Central had 170 yards rushing between three players: John Passinault had 104, Jack Rellinger had 53, and Ronin Russell Dixon had 13.

Passinault also threw for 256 yards, including three touchdowns.

Cedar Springs is now tied for second place in the OK Gold with South Christian High School. They will battle them this week at East Kentwood High School.

We asked Coach Kapolka what challenges that game will bring to the Red Hawks.

“South Christian will present similar problems to Grand Rapids Catholic Central. They are big and athletic, and they will try to spread us out and throw the ball,” he explained. “We have to fix some things defensively this week to be ready for their dynamic attack.” Make the trip Friday to East Kentwood High School to cheer on your Red Hawks! Game time is 7 p.m.

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Kent County breaks ground on north campus

Kent County ceremonially broke ground on the new north campus Wednesday, which will house a new Kent County Sheriff’s north substation and health department clinic. Courtesy photo.

New Facility Will Enhance Access to County Services

Kent County ceremonially broke ground Wednesday, October 13, on the North County Campus located at 4191 17 Mile Road in Cedar Springs (next to Taco Bell).

On Jan. 23, 2020, the Kent County Board of Commissioners initially voted to approve $12.5 million for the development of this campus along with two other capital improvement projects. An additional $630,000 was appropriated on Aug. 26, 2021, to address the increased cost of construction. Funding for this project was allocated from the County’s Capital Improvement Program Fund, which was established to reduce the size of debt associated with large capital projects.

“It is essential that we address the needs of our growing community,” said Kent County Board of Commissioners Chair Mandy Bolter. “This facility will offer more efficient and accessible services to northern Kent County residents and alleviate the need for them to go downtown Grand Rapids for some vital in-person services.”

The 30,000 square foot campus, which is scheduled for completion in April 2023, will include a North Sub-Station for the Sheriff’s Office, Health Department clinic, and ‘hoteling’ space for other County services.

“This facility is a great opportunity for the County to increase access to services, improve response times by the Sheriff’s Office, and create a more functional environment for our employees,” concluded Bolter. “We are completing this project without the need to issue bonds, which is a testament to the Board’s commitment to wisely invest taxpayer dollars.”

Sitework and structural foundation are currently underway, but a pause in construction will take place until the spring due to global steel and other material shortages.

Kent County has contracted with DLZ Michigan Inc. for architecture and engineering and Owen-Ames-Kimball Co. for construction.

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Get ready for Halloween fun

This was taken at the Pumpkin give away in Morley Park in 2019. Post photo by J. Reed.

By Judy Reed

Are you ready for some Halloween and Harvest time fun? Have your kids get their costumes ready for this weekend’s annual Community pumpkin giveaway, put on by Green Family and Friends, the Cedar Springs Area Chamber of Commerce, and City Impact.

The event will take place on Saturday, October 16, in the Heart of Cedar Springs park, behind the Cedar Springs Public Library, from 2-6 p.m. There will be a costume contest, pumpkins to give away, food, games and live music. 

For more Halloween fun, CLICK HERE to see some of the other Halloween and harvest events coming up.

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Teen builds sandbox for Eagle Scout project

Nolan Russo with the sandbox he built for preschoolers. Courtesy photo.

Preschoolers at Red Hawk Elementary have a new sandbox to play in, thanks to a local high school student.

Nolan Russo, a junior at Cedar Springs High School, completed his Eagle Scout Project last weekend by building a sandbox for the preschool playground at Red Hawk Elementary. Nolan is a member of BSA Troop 222. He was able to complete the project with the help of donations from local businesses.

Nolan joined Cub Scouts as a Lion Cub in Kindergarten and worked his way up through Boy Scouts to where he is now. He is also a member of the Order of the Arrow, Scouting’s National Honor Society. 

We asked why Nolan chose this particular project. “To give the kids more to do on the playground,” he explained.

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Mobile food pantry

If you need a little extra food to help you get by this month, you will want to check out the mobile food pantry coming to Cedar Springs Public School’s Hilltop Administration building’s south (lower) parking lot on the third Monday of each month. The next one will be this next Monday, October 18, at 5 p.m. Registration begins at 4:30 p.m. 

Drive Thru: At 5:00, cars will drive up by the tables and food boxes will be loaded in their vehicles.

Feeding America offers fresh produce (usually local and seasonal), dairy products. and other food and grocery products. You may get foods such as asparagus, cabbage, potatoes, onions, apples, breads, pastries, milk and craisins.  

There are no requirements to receive the food, other than the person must deem they are in need. No proof of income is required. 

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Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over results released

Officers made 10,000 traffic stops and took 200 impaired drivers off roads

From the Office of Highway Safety Planning

Law enforcement officers from 102 police departments, sheriff offices and Michigan State Police (MSP) posts recently increased patrols across the state during the end-of-summer Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over enforcement campaign that ran from August 16 to September 6.

Preliminary reports indicate officers made 10,370 traffic stops and arrested 200 impaired drivers, including 166 for Operating While Intoxicated (OWI) and 34 for Operating Under the Influence of Drugs. The stops also resulted in 370 seat belt citations; 35 child restraint violations (age 7 and below); 2,417 speeding citations; 846 other moving violations; and 1,122 other non-moving violations, as well as 807 misdemeanor arrests and 167 felony arrests.

“Motorists were asked to make responsible decisions as they celebrated the end of summer and the Labor Day holiday weekend,” said Michael L. Prince, director of the Michigan Office of Highway Safety Planning (OHSP). “If you are impaired by any substance you shouldn’t drive, which puts yourself and others at risk. There are no excuses.”

In Michigan, it is illegal to drive with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08 or higher, although motorists can be arrested at any BAC level if an officer believes they are impaired. Michigan’s drunk driving law contains a zero-tolerance provision for drivers with certain illegal drugs in their system. The same penalties for drunk driving also apply to those convicted under the zero-tolerance drug provision.

During the enforcement campaign, the Ottawa County Sheriff’s Office reported an OWI arrest of a female driver whose arrest included four child-endangerment charges since her four children were also in the vehicle. Officers also stopped numerous speeding drivers, including one for traveling 105 mph in a 55-mph zone.

In an incident in Macomb County, an OWI arrest included a drunk driver who hit a house and fled, then struck a parked car and fled again before driving into a pole.

The Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over campaign is supported with federal traffic safety funds and is coordinated by the OHSP.

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Hornet hive

Friends Carol Tewksbury and June Brunett were out Tuesday when they spotted this large hive north of Cedar Springs.

June took a photo of it, and Carol sent it to us. “This is on the north side of Egner Rd. just off Cedar Springs Avenue,” wrote Carol. “The hive hangs over the road and it’s an impressive sight.” 

We asked our local nature expert, Ranger Steve Mueller, what kind of hive he thought it might be.

“This is a hornet’s or yellow jacket’s nest,” he wrote. “The nest increases in size all summer. But with fall cold, all members of the colony die except for the queen that will over winter in a protected location like under bark or in ground burrow. Usually, yellow jackets are considered to have ground nests, and hornets have their nests suspended from branches or under building eves. The hornets and yellow jackets are somewhat difficult to separate. Hornets are insect predators that help control insects from becoming too abundant.”

Thank you to Carol and June, for sending us the photo!

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National comedian and magician coming to the Kent Theatre

Mark your calendars for Saturday, November 6! That’s when Andy Gross—a nationally known comedian, magician, ventriloquist and internet sensation—will be live on stage, for one night only, at the historic Kent Theatre in downtown Cedar Springs. Show is at 7 pm. Tickets are $25.00 each and will be available for purchase through the Kent Theatre Facebook page, or reserve your tickets by contacting Len Allington at 231-750-2337. Check out videos of Andy Gross by going to andygrosslive on You Tube. 

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State police warn of phone scam

SIXTH DISTRICT, MI.  Troopers from the Michigan State Police Lakeview, Hart, Mount Pleasant, and Grand Rapids Posts are cautioning individuals on a phone scam that is occurring in West Michigan.  Scammers are calling citizens stating that they are with the Michigan State Police and giving various reasons, such as they missed a court date and there is a warrant for their arrest, and they need to send money.  The Michigan State Police will NEVER call and solicit money!  If you receive these calls, never give your personal or banking information, and hang up.  For more information on scams, visit:  www.usa.gov/common-scams-frauds.

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Eastern Equine Encephalitis continues to pose a threat

The mortality rate of EEE in horses can be as high as 90 percent. 

LANSING, MI—The Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development confirmed the discovery of three new cases of Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE) in horses from Genesee and Shiawassee (2) counties. These findings highlight the mosquitoes carrying EEE are still alive and active, and Michiganders still need to take precautions to safeguard their animals and themselves.

EEE is a dangerous, zoonotic mosquito-borne disease which is typically seen in the state from late summer to early fall. Even though it is now October, the mosquitoes that carry EEE will continue to pose a threat until there has been at least one hard freeze where the temperatures fall below 28 degrees Fahrenheit for several hours. Due to this year’s mild fall temperatures, the mosquitoes are continuing to circulate in the environment and spread the virus.

With the addition of these newest cases, Michigan has experienced a total of eight cases of EEE in animals for 2021: one deer from Livingston County and seven horses from Barry, Genesee, Livingston (2), Otsego, and Shiawassee (2) counties. There was also the discovery of one EEE-positive mosquito pool in Barry County.

Fortunately, no human cases of the disease have been identified this year. Overall, while case numbers are down from the total seen in 2020 (41 animal cases and four human cases), there is still a need for Michiganders to actively protect their animals and themselves from EEE.

“When combatting EEE, the date on the calendar is not as important as the temperatures being experienced,” said State Veterinarian Nora Wineland, DVM. “Our current mild temperatures mean horse owners should not ease up on taking precautions, including vaccination. Since the mortality rate of EEE in horses can be as high as 90 percent, it is important for owners to work with their veterinarian to ensure their animals are properly vaccinated.”

To further protect horses and other domestic animals (such as dogs, sheep, and goats) from the mosquitoes that carry EEE, owners are encouraged to eliminate standing water on their property, place livestock in a barn under fans from dusk to dawn to avoid peak mosquito activity, use insect repellants that are approved for the species, and contact a veterinarian if an animal displays any sign of illness, fever and stumbling, which can progress to being down and struggling to stand.

“Michiganders need to continue taking precautions against mosquitoes as they take advantage of our current mild weather conditions and enjoy outdoor activities,” said Dr. Natasha Bagdasarian, chief medical executive at the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services. “People can also be infected with EEE from the bite of a mosquito carrying the virus, which can lead to serious health impacts and even death.”

Applying insect repellants, wearing long-sleeved shirts and long pants, maintaining window and door screening, and following other precautions can help Michigan residents avoid mosquito bites and stay healthy.

For more information about EEE, please visit Michigan.gov/EEE.

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