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Order On The Court


CTA wraps up up the basketball season

Varsity Girls Basketball: Front (L to R): Jayda Schreiber, Ruby Tompkins, Taylor Dells, Alison Fisk, Nadelynn Brinley. Back (L to R): Assistant Coach Ben Perry, Danielle Piskun, Analiese VanHarten, Molly Wortz, Alyssa Shelagowski, Lydia Romancky, Coach Lisa Perry.

The 20-21 season for the Varsity Lady Chargers was a great one filled with many learning opportunities. The Lady Chargers started the season with five returning players. Many players were new to basketball or had to fill new roles. Overall, the girls learned a lot as a team and their unity remained strong and spirits were high, despite the many challenges. Captains Ruby Tompkins and Molly Wortz led the Chargers with their positive energy and focused on the job ahead of them. Sophomore Taylor Dells stepped into the point guard role and led the Chargers in scoring. Alison Fisk led in rebounds, and first year player Lydia Romancky earned herself a starting role. The Lady Chargers look forward to working hard for next season, as well as learning and growing together as a team. All-conference Awards went to senior Ruby Tompkins, junior Molly Wortz, and junior Alison Fisk.

Varsity Boys Basketball: Front (L to R): John Elliott, Parker Tompkins, Jake Perry, Alexander Toth, Jacob Jaggers, Ethan Watson. Back (L to R): Assistant Coach Ben Perry, Damien Pohl, Evan Besmer, John Wortz, Jordan Brown, Cameron Haan, Coach Eric Besmer.

The 20-21 CTA boys Varsity basketball team endured injuries and missing players throughout the season to persevere through practices and games. Coach Eric Besmer had one returning starter from last year: senior John Wortz. Besmer noted that several players including juniors Evan Besmer and Ethan Watson; sophomore Parker Tompkins; and freshman Jake Perry stepped up their game this year in various ways. “We had newcomers this year that showed lots of growth, and I am looking forward to the years ahead,” shared Coach Besmer. CTA had a 2-8 league record and 1-1 tournament record.

Middle School Girls Basketball: Front (L to R): Natalie Reichelt, Zoi Devries, Calyssa Brinley, Natalie Haan, Penelope Rose. Back (L to R): Coach Justin Harding, Manager Grace Middlebrook, Sydnee Shepherd, Alyssa Bishop, Katie Christie, Assistant Coach Tori Wierda.

The 2021 CTA middle school girls basketball team had a great season for their second year in the program. The girls finished 4-4 and 1 tied game. Coach Justin Harding was impressed with how the girls responded to the challenges of having minimal practice time and so many games in a short time span. The Middle School Lady Chargers were led by team Captains, eighth graders Alyssa Bishop and Katie Christie. “I am proud of the team,” commended Coach Harding. “They stayed focused in every game and they never stopped giving 100%. I look forward to the future of the Lady Chargers Basketball program at CTA”.

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Local man to be inducted into NCCAA Hall of Fame


Gary Bailey, the Grace Christian University’s men’s basketball Head Coach and Athletic Director, has been announced as an inductee to the 2021 class of the National Christian College Athletic Association Hall of Fame. 

Bailey, a long-time Cedar Springs resident, was inducted into Grace’s Hall of Fame in 2013 for his winning record, and now will be honored on the national level.

Beyond his coaching accolades, which include 335 wins (most all-time at Grace) and 6 National Championships, the recognition is also a reflection of Bailey’s impact within the NCCAA in mentoring other schools and serving in volunteer leadership positions within the organization for the past two decades. Bailey joins Dr. Rick Wright from Manhattan Christian College (KS) in the class of 2021, as they enter a Hall of Fame that currently consists of 61 other members for an NCCAA organization that has had a rich history since its inception in 1968. 

“Gary Bailey has been a great influence on coaches, staff, and so many students who participated in athletics in any way here at Grace Christian University,” said Grace President Dr. Ken Kemper. “He’s led a coaching staff in basketball and other sports to prioritize godly character building in the lives of those at Grace which will transcend their playing days and make better men, women, spouses, parents, Christ-followers, and citizens. This is a well-deserved recognition by a National organization which is committed to athletics for the glory of God and serving others. We could not be more proud of Gary and congratulate him and his always faithful wife Danette.” 

When Bailey started with Grace, it was just supposed to be temporary.

“When I started coaching, it was really just filling in until they did a coaching search at Grace Christian University. Somehow it turned into a career,” Bailey told the Post in a written statement. “My goals were always to help my student athletes to learn about life more than basketball. Getting an honor like this was never even a thought. Grace Christian University has been so wonderful to me and my family. The honor of the Hall of Fame only has my name on it but it is truly all of my assistant coaches, the players that have played for me and the entire GCU family.  I am pretty humbled by all of this.”

The official induction ceremony will take place at the Hall of Fame Dinner on June 3, 2021 during the annual NCCAA Convention in Virginia Beach, VA. 

See the original press release and find more info on Gary Bailey’s accomplishments at gracetigers.com.

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Amanda Larson produces double-double in Albion College basketball win



Amanda Larson, of Howard City

ALMA, Mich. – Trailing by double digits on the road Saturday, the Albion College women’s basketball team faced as much adversity as it has all season.

The Britons, however, had the appropriate response.

Amanda Larson, of Howard City, and a Lakeview High School graduate, scored 12 of her career-high 20 points in the second quarter as Albion rallied for a 65-63 victory over Alma College in Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association action.

Larson grabbed 10 rebounds to complete her first double-double at the collegiate level. She was an efficient scorer, hitting 8-of-9 shots from the field and 3-of-4 from the line.

“It’s probably the best I’ve seen from Amanda in a while,” Albion Head Coach Doreen Carden said. “It was great to see her step up.”

Albion trailed by 11 early in the second quarter, but Larson trimmed the deficit to 29-25 by scoring on three consecutive possessions.

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Taylor receives athletic honors from MCC


Samantha Taylor, a 2016 graduate of Cedar Springs Public Schools,
received multiple athletic honors for her basketball career.

Samantha Taylor, a 2016 graduate of Cedar Springs Public Schools, completed her sophomore year at Muskegon Community College (MCC) recently and received multiple athletic honors for her outstanding two-year basketball career as a Jayhawk. 

Taylor, a 5’8 shooting guard and two-time team captain, averaged 6.8 points per game and 2.6 rebounds per game, earning her MCCAA Western Conference All Defensive Team and All-Western Conference Honorable Mention. The MCC Women’s basketball team’s historic season came to an abrupt end, losing a heart-breaker 66-57 in the NJCAA Regional Semifinal game held at St. Clair Community College located in Port Huron, MI. 

Taylor certainly left her mark at MCC, as she was a key part in the Jayhawks recording back-to-back 20-win seasons, the 2018 MCCAA Western Conference Championship and the MCCAA State Championship. Taylor capped off her basketball career being named the 2018 Muskegon Community College Female Athlete of the Year. 

“Sam was a great example of what being a student athlete at MCC is all about. She not only excelled on the basketball court but excelled in the classroom as well. She had a great work ethic and attitude and represented both the MCC Athletic Department and the Women’s Basketball program proudly,” said Jimmy Booth, Muskegon Community College Assistant Athletic Director. 

Taylor will finish her academic studies at Grand Valley State University pursuing a bachelor’s degree in the healthcare field.

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Successful Season for Charger Basketball Teams


The boys basketball team pose with their first place post-season tournament trophy.

Seniors line up on the court with their parents to commemorate their final year in sports.

The CTA Charger boys ended the basketball season with a record of 15-4. After a rough 2-3 start in 2017, the Chargers went on an impressive 12-game win streak to start off the 2018 part of the season. After suffering a tough loss in the final regular season game, the Chargers bounced back to win their first post-season tournament in school history with a combined score of 142-45 in two games.

In addition to one of the best seasons the team has ever had, numerous records were broken for scoring, rebounding, assists, steals, and blocks for both individual seasons and for players’ careers. Some of the records that were set include: Career Scoring, Single Season Assists, and Single Season Steals by Dawson Armstrong; Single Season and Single Game Scoring by James Hofstra; Single Season Rebounds by Collin Bishop; and Single Season Blocks by Charles Wortz.

The Lady Chargers wrapped up a great season and ended on two back-to-back wins. Their overall record was 5-11. However, the true victories for the team came from their progress as a team and the sportsmanship they exhibited. High school sports have so much to teach about life, and this team came together and learned lessons that many teams never learn about: attitude, teamwork, work ethic, and sportsmanship. Our team was led by senior captain Autumn Watson and junior captain Brin Calkins. The team will lose two seniors as well as two first year, foreign exchange students. All four will be greatly missed, but the rest of the team is excited to continue their growth next season. High scorers for the season were sophomores Faith Watson and Hannah Hofstra and junior Brin Calkins. Great defensive efforts were shown by senior Autumn Watson and 8th grader Molly Wortz. In the words of our team: “T.E.A.M., together everyone achieves more!” Great job, Lady Chargers!

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Chargers Up Their Game In 2018


chargers basketball: Front (L to R): Tony Buchanan, Avery Bishop, Casen Armstrong, Jordan Brown, Ivan Winters, Landon Winters. Back (L to R): Assistant Coach Kyle Knarr, Tobius Potter, Luke Hubbard, James Hofstra, Dawson Armstrong, Charles Wortz, John Wortz, Collin Bishop, Head Coach Todd Bowmar

Lady Chargers: Front (L to R): Haven Nguyen, Hannah Hofstra Middle (L to R): Gam Puttakerd, Elizabeth Jahns, Ruby Tompkins Back (L to R): Head Coach Lisa Perry, Tori Wierda, Brin Calkins, Autumn Watson, Faith Watson, Molly Wortz, Assistant Coach Kyle Knarr

The Chargers have entered 2018 on a tear, winning all eight games they have played, including a nail-biter against Big Rapids Home School. The Chargers are paced on offense by Seniors James Hofstra and Dawson Armstrong, while Junior Charles Wortz commands the defense from the middle. Sophomores Luke Hubbard and Collin Bishop have provided the team with a balanced scoring attack. With five regular season games left, the Chargers are in a great position to finish the season off strong with a strong showing in a post-season tournament in Lansing the weekend of March 3rd.

With two weeks left in the regular season, the Lady Chargers have come a long way. They had a big win over the Big Rapids Homeschool team. The girls have been working hard on finishing shots and have increased their team shooting percentage. The Lady Chargers have also caused a lot of turnovers for opponents on a scrappy defense. As the season draws to a close, seniors Autumn Watson and Haven Nguyen look to finish strong. Both seniors have contributed a great deal to the team and will be missed next year. The Lady Chargers hope to add a few more wins to their record in these last two weeks of the season and finish strong.

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How basketball games should be


The Hawks Nest student section during the pink out game against Lowell last Friday, January 26. Photo by K&R Lalone.

By Judy Reed

The Cedar Springs Red Hawks’ student section—the Hawks Nest—just barely missed making it as a top three finalist for MHSAA’s Battle of the Fans VII. But they are winners none-the-less.

“Our student body has been absolutely fantastic this year. In fact, I believe it has been the best it has been in many years,” said teacher and coach Justin Harnden, who has been working with the student Athletic Leadership Council to create a culture that positive and supportive for all fans and teams. “A large amount of students have taken the challenge of changing the culture of our student section and making it a positive experience for everyone.”  

Cedar Springs was chosen as one of nine semi-finalists and one of three in Class A, on January 16. They then had 12 days to step up their game and show what they could do, and record it on social media. On January 23, almost 1,000 students cheered on a Special Olympics basketball game between Cedar Springs and Sparta—and they cheered for both sides. They also cheered at pink out games for girls and boys basketball. During last Friday’s pink out boys basketball game against Lowell, the positive spirit they showed made a big impact on at least one of the opposing team’s fans.  

Joel Fritsma, a Red Arrow fan, posted this on Twitter: “Shoutout to @CedarALC for the hospitality Friday night! The pink out was really fitting. Quite the SS you guys have put together this year! Keep up the great work, and best of luck towards moving on in the #BOTF rankings! – A Lowell Student #HowBasketballGamesShouldBe”

Harnden said that sentiment really exemplies all that they have done this year. 

“There have been a large amount of great moments the past two sports seasons that are highlighted with one of the largest sections we have ever had for our Lowell football game, and partnering with the school Be Nice campaign for our Glow Out Bullying basketball game,” he said.

“While we were disappointed that we didn’t make the finals, everyone here is extremely proud of all the we have done and we absolutely will try again next year. The upperclassmen that we currently have put forth so much effort into the shift and they have laid the groundwork for everyone else to follow.”  

Harnden hopes the positive impact of the campaign extends beyond school walls. “I hope that the positive shift resonates with not just our students, but our community as well. Everyone leading and pushing in a supportive way makes the games so much fun to be a part of and when we can lead the shift out of the student section we can make a much bigger difference in the lives of many other people,” he explained. 

Boyne City, Buchanan and Petoskey were selected as finalists by MHSAA’s Student Advisory Council. Voting among the top five semifinalists was particularly close, according to the MHSAA. Cedar Springs and Charlotte just missed earning spots among the top three. Munising, Negaunee, Pellston and Traverse City West also were among the semifinalists.

“Charlotte and Cedar Springs were very close to becoming part of this year’s finalists tour,” said Andy Frushour, MHSAA director of brand management and advisor to the Student Advisory Council. “Both have established incredible fan cultures, and we certainly plan on seeing them in this contest again next year.”
Harnden agrees. 

“This year semi-finalists; next year champions,” he said.

Visit CedarSpringsTV on youtube.com to see several examples of the Hawks Nest in action during Battle of the Fans VII.

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Chargers Take Charge of the Courts


Senior James Hofstra shoots a 3-point.

Team captain, Brin Calkins runs the ball down the court to run the next play.

This year’s Chargers are led by Senior Captains James Hofstra and Dawson Armstrong, and Junior Captain Charles Wortz. The Chargers opened up the season with a 10-point victory over Algoma Christian and a thrilling 1 point loss to Wellspring Prep. The Chargers play 17 more games this season.

The Lady Chargers are focusing on fundamentals and what it means to play as a team. There is so much potential on the team that it will be exciting to watch the growth throughout the season. The team unanimously picked junior Brin Calkins and senior Autumn Watson as team captains, and they will be a positive influence on the team with their skill sets both on and off the court.

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CTA 2017-18 Basketball Game Schedule


 

Varsity Girls Games at 5:30 p.m.

Varsity Boys Games at 7:00 p.m.

*Unless otherwise noted in schedule below

12/5 vs. Algoma Christian School @ TBD

12/8 vs. Wellspring Prep @Grace Bible College

12/15 @ West Michigan Aviation Academy

12/19 @ West Michigan Academy of Environmental Science

12/21 @ Hornets Home School – TBD

1/04 vs. Calhoun Christian @DeltaPlex (girls only – 2:00pm)

1/05 @ West Michigan Lutheran (girls only – 6:00pm)

1/09 @ Wellspring Prep – (girls)  @ Pineview – (boys) *6:00pm

1/12 vs. West Michigan Lutheran @ Cedar Springs Middle School

1/16 @ Flat River Academy (boys) • OPEN girls

1/17 @ Black River Public School

1/19 @ Algoma Christian School

1/23 vs. Big Rapids Home School @ TBD

1/26 vs. West Michigan Lutheran @ St. Mark Lutheran (5:30pm boys, 7:00pm girls)

1/30 @ Flat River Academy (boys) •  OPEN girls

2/2 @ Pineview – (boys) – *6:00pm •  OPEN for girls

2/5 @ Calvary

2/9 OPEN

2/13 vs. Black River Public School @TBD (Senior Night)

2/15 @ West Michigan Academy of Environmental Science

2/21 OPEN

2/23 @ West Michigan Aviation Academy

 

CTA 2017-18 Basketball Rosters

Boys Basketball

Dawson Armstrong

James Hofstra

Tobius Potter

Charles Wortz

Collin Bishop

Luke Hubbard

Casen Armstrong

Tony Buchanan

John Wortz

Jordan Brown

Ivan Winters

Avery Bishop

Landon Winters

Head Coach: Todd Bowmar

Girls Basketball

Autumn Watson

Haven Nguyen

Brin Calkins

Elizabeth Jahns

Hannah Hofstra

Gam Puttakerd

Faith Watson

Cameron Medwayosh

Ruby Tompkins

Tori Wierda

Molly Wortz

Head Coach: Lisa Perry

Manager: Sierra Medwayosh

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Nick Wolfe joins basketball staff at Grace Bible


 

The Grace Bible College men’s basketball program is excited to announce the addition of their newest Assistant Coach, Nick Wolfe.

Nick had a storied career as a player, beginning at Cedar Springs High School from 1990-1994, where he earned First Team All-State honors in Class B in his junior and senior years and averaged 31 points per game. He then went on to the Upper Peninsula and Lake Superior State University (NCAA DII), continuing to make an impact on the basketball court from 1995-1999, closing his career as the Lakers’ career 3-point leader. He was also a two-time captain and a two-time All-League selection. His 1996 team brought home the GLIAC League and Tournament Championship.

Nick spent the year in 2000 as a Graduate Assistant at LSSU before returning to the court as a professional player in Portugal in 2001 and 2002. He then returned to the coaching ranks just recently at Cedar Springs High School as the Varsity Assistant in 2016.

Grace Head Coach Gary Bailey has known Nick for decades, and he attested that he will be a fantastic addition to the men’s basketball program.

“Nick brings a wealth of experience and knowledge to the team. I have known Nick since he was a kid and he is a great person to have around our staff and our players. He had an outstanding basketball career in college and overseas. The players will benefit greatly from having Nick with us.”

Nick has been married for 15 years to his wife Krista and they reside in Rockford, MI with their two children – Sienna (9) and Eli (7). He currently is a Senior Case Director at The Robison Group and owner of Enviro-Master of West Michigan, a commercial hygiene company.

“I’m thrilled for the opportunity to be a part of the Grace basketball family,” commented Nick. “Coach Bailey and his staff have done an amazing job with this program and I’m honored to be a part of it.”

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