web analytics

Tag Archive | "Shae Brophy"

West Michigan Hawks call it quits

Three-year-old Libby Walla led the team onto the field to start the last home game they played on July 23. They raised $933 to help in her fight against periventricular leukomalasia.

Three-year-old Libby Walla led the team onto the field to start the last home game they played on July 23. They raised $933 to help in her fight against periventricular leukomalasia.

By Shae Brophy

In a surprising announcement, West Michigan Hawks owner David Lange has confirmed that the team has ceased operations after losing several players. Due to this, the team did not play in their scheduled playoff game on August 13 against the Battle Creek Coyotes. Their playoff spot was filled by the Lima Warriors.

“This stems beyond the issues that the Hawks had,” said Lange. “This is an issue with semi pro football in general. There are a lot of issues at this level that I do not find acceptable. Some examples include owners allowing their players to drink on alcohol free grounds; (players/coaches) starting fights with no consequence; players fighting with other players, refs, coaches, owners etc. These are only a few things out of many that cross my mind or that have happened. It was my dream and passion to not only put on a great family event, but to help those in need in the process. It takes a collective effort from all teams involved to make these things happen, and I do not feel that we can successfully do that, as there are only a handful of semi pro teams who aspire to do the same.”

The Hawks had a two-year run in the Minor League Football Alliance, which saw them win the league’s “Organization of the Year” award in 2015, the team’s first year of existence. The team won their first four games of the 2016 season, before dropping their last four to close out the regular season.

Over the course of their two years, the team was able to raise funds and awareness for numerous causes, including Brison Ricker (16 year old battling a brain tumor; Libby Walla (3-year-old battling Charlie Finch (who passed away in an auto accident); and Alan Beamer (suf periventricular leukomalasia); Shae Brophy (brain tumor); Stephanie Cornwell (breast cancer); the family of fering from advanced Alzheimer’s Disease).

“I’d like to sincerely thank every single person who helped with the organization over the last two years,” said Lange. “Everyone from those who ran the concession stands at our home games, to those who ran the chains during the games. Josh Morris, who controlled the audio/music at home games; Shae Brophy, who announced our home games; Scott Fuller, who painted the field for us before each game; Friends of Skinner Field for allowing us to play at their facility; all of our sponsors; the Cedar Springs Fire Department and medical response team; all the players who stuck it out until the very end; and coaches Rashaad Powell and Michael Henderson. And, last but most definitely not least, the fans/community. Without the support of the fans and the community, none of what we accomplished would have been possible.”

Lange has a unique appreciation for the game of football, and plans to continue getting valuable experience in the realm of coaching. “I am all about progression,” he said. “I will continue to learn the game of football, and continue to coach at the youth level until another progression opportunity arises. When one door closes another opens. I aspire to inspire.”

Posted in Featured, NewsComments Off on West Michigan Hawks call it quits

Hawks close out regular season with loss in Ohio

Photo by Marcie Crouch

Photo by Marcie Crouch

By Shae Brophy

In a game that made very little difference in the final standings, the Hawks traveled to Ohio on Saturday, July 30, to close out their regular season with a matchup against the Lima Warriors. With a berth in the playoffs already clinched, and a Battle Creek Coyotes victory on Saturday, the Hawks were already locked in as the five seed in the Big 8 division.

The Hawks battled in Lima, but ultimately came up on the short end of a 53-32 final score. Wide receiver Monta Swanigan led the way offensively for West Michigan, finishing with yet another three-touchdown game. One of Swanigan’s touchdowns came in the first quarter when he struck from 65 yards to give the Hawks their first points of the game. Running back Eric Woodfork also found the end zone in the first half for the Hawks, scoring on a three-yard run.

The Hawks trailed by a 28-16 margin at halftime, but were never able to get back into the game. Swanigan’s two second-half touchdowns kept the score respectable, but West Michigan would not see the lead again on the evening.

“This was a very tough game opponent in the Lima Warriors, and they played their hearts out,” said head coach David Lange. “We made some good plays, and had chances to make more plays, but in the end we were not able to make the big plays we needed to get back in the game.”

Despite the loss, the Hawks will make their first playoff appearance in franchise history. As the fifth seed in the Big Eight division, the Hawks will travel to Battle Creek for a rematch with the Coyotes. Battle Creek won the first contest earlier this season by a score of 30-20. The game will played on August 13.

Posted in Featured, SportsComments Off on Hawks close out regular season with loss in Ohio

Hawks fight elements to benefit Brison Ricker


By Shae Brophy

On a cold Saturday evening at Skinner Field, the West Michigan Hawks went to battle with a very game Lake Michigan Havoc team in a benefit game for Cedar Springs resident Brison Ricker.

A scoreless first quarter was highlighted by a blocked field goal by Hawks safety Robert Bell. The second quarter saw Lake Michigan jump out to a 12-0 lead, which they brought into the locker room at halftime. Bell had another highlight reel play in the quarter, however, when he intercepted a pass over the middle of the field.

The Hawks struggled to move the ball in the third quarter, as the Havoc opened up a 24-0 lead. Darius Bell recovered a fumble in the quarter for West Michigan, which was the lone highlight of the quarter for the Hawks.

The Havoc scored another touchdown early in the fourth quarter to extend their lead to 30-0. Darnell Madison gave the Hawks some momentum on the ensuing kickoff, as he rumbled all the way up to the Havoc 35-yard line before finally being caught. The Havoc also committed a personal foul penalty on the return, allowing the Hawks to start from the 20-yard line. Javon Welch got the Hawks on the board later in the drive on a seven-yard touchdown scamper, closing the gap to 30-6.

After a botched snap on an attempted Havoc punt, the Hawks recovered the ball in Lake Michigan territory on the next drive. Monta Swanigan capitalized on the good starting field position, reeling in a pass from Brant Brooks for a 22-yard touchdown. After the two-point conversion, the score was 30-14, which held up as the final score.

“We had a tough night,” said head coach David Lange. “We learned a very important lesson in this game. Hard work beats talent if talent doesn’t work hard, and we didn’t work hard enough. We made a lot of little mistakes on defense, and our offense wasn’t consistent enough.”

Despite the final score, the Hawks were able to raise $247 for Brison Ricker, as he continues his fight against a brain tumor.

The Hawks will be in action again this Saturday at Skinner Field, when they host the Indiana Wolf Pack. The team will be putting on another benefit during this game, as well. Stephanie Cornwell, who is battling breast cancer, will receive the benefits from a 50/50 drawing, as well as other giveaways. Gates open at 5 p.m. with kickoff scheduled for 6 p.m. We hope to see you there!

Posted in SportsComments Off on Hawks fight elements to benefit Brison Ricker

Meet the Hawks: Eric Freeman

West Michigan Hawks linebacker Eric Freeman

West Michigan Hawks linebacker Eric Freeman

By Shae Brophy

Meet West Michigan Hawks linebacker Eric Freeman. A 2007 graduate from Wyoming Park High School, Freeman has always stood out on the gridiron. After being named a captain in each of the first three years of high school, he took his senior year off to prepare for college ball. Freeman was a preferred walk-on at Michigan State University under defensive coordinator Pat Narduzzi. After careful consideration, Freeman decided to transfer to Grand Rapids Community College to not only be able to play, but also to see if he was mature enough for the college lifestyle.

Freeman’s biggest idol is his grandfather, German Lopez. “He worked at a camp in Cuba for two years basically for free so that he could legally come to the USA with my mother and grandmother,” said Freeman. “He came here knowing zero English, building his life from the ground up, allowing my siblings and I to live the blessed and fortunate lives that we live.”

When he isn’t laying devasting hits on the football field, Freeman enjoys trying to identify which sports his three-year-old son enjoys, lifting, playing basketball, and his PlayStation.

“Mr. David Lange is very serious about this organization,” he said. “I wanted to be a part of something bigger than myself and bigger than football. Mr. Lange and I had multiple conversations, and the simple fact that we play all of our games for a greater cause, whether it be Mr. Alan Beamer and his fight against Alzheimer’s Disease, or Brison Ricker and his fight against a brain tumor, made this a very easy decision. Every game is played for a much bigger reason than just the game we love.”

Head coach/owner David Lange sees something special in Freeman. “Eric is our run stopper without a doubt,” he said. “You’d have better success trying to run through a wall. He is very smart at his position and is a great teacher as well. He brings so much intensity and tenacity to our defense, it’s scary. Eric is a monster and a go-getter, exactly the type of player you want on your team.”

We hope to see you at Skinner Field on Saturday evening as the Hawks benefit Stephanie Cornwell in her fight against breast cancer. The Indiana Wolf Pack are coming to town, and the Hawks have vengeance on their minds!

Posted in SportsComments Off on Meet the Hawks: Eric Freeman

Meet the Hawks: Ryan Bell


By Shae Brophy

Meet wide receiver Ryan Bell. Originally from Howard City, Michigan, Bell is currently leading the Hawks in touchdowns, with two receiving touchdowns through three games. He has been involved with football since his days in high school, where he won numerous awards. Some of those awards included a four-year player award, a captain’s award, as well as the Hammer Award, for the hardest hit of the season. Bell is a veteran in the league, having played for the Grand Rapids Thunder last season. He holds the league record for most tackles in a season, with 103 total tackles last year—a year in which he was also chosen as the third overall draft selection in the league all star game.

Some of Ryan’s hobbies other than football include going to church and carpentry. Bell also dedicates a significant amount of free time to the Grand Rapids Recovery Committee, which is an organization designed to help those with drug addictions. A few of Bell’s idols include Tim Tebow, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr, and author James Patterson’s fictional character Dr. Alex Cross.

When asked why he chose to be a member of the Hawks, Bell had a very specific answer. “2014 was a rough rookie year (with the Thunder) having not won a game all year, and not to mention never being given a real chance to show my versatility and play offense, despite accumulating 110 yards and a touchdown in the final two games of the season. The Hawks gave me a fresh start and a chance to be an integral part in building a successful franchise from the ground up.”

Owner/head coach David Lange had this to say about Bell: “Ryan is a leader, point blank. He knows the game and does an awesome job with making sure everyone is on the same page. Ryan is what I consider our possession receiver. Though he may not be the fastest, he is definitely one that can always find a way to come down with the ball when it is sent his way.”

Shae Brophy is the Media/Public Relations Director for the West Michigan Hawks.

Posted in SportsComments Off on Meet the Hawks: Ryan Bell

Meet the Hawks: Kameron Snyder


By Shae Brophy

West Michigan Hawks' middle linebacker/halfback Kameron Snyder with ball.

West Michigan Hawks’ middle linebacker/halfback Kameron Snyder with ball.

Meet middle linebacker/halfback Kameron Snyder. Snyder, originally from Cedar Springs, is one of the rookies on the team this year. Having played football and wrestled in school, Snyder brings a lot of heart and leadership to the team. He is also a mixed martial artist.

Snyder’s idols include Barry Sanders; UFC fighter Georges St. Pierre; undefeated collegiate and US Olympic wrestler Cael Sanderson; and USA wrestling Hall of Famer Dan Gable. When he is not laying big hits on the football field, Snyder enjoys spending as much time as possible with his newborn son; participating in MMA, and being outdoors.

When asked what Snyder brings to the team, owner/head coach David Lange had this to say: “Kam has heart and he’s got power. He’s the kind of guy every coach wants on their team. He looks at everything as a challenge, as an opportunity to get better.”

When asked why he wanted to be a member of the West Michigan Hawks, Snyder has a very encouraging reason. “I wanted to be a West Michigan Hawk because I want to be someone for the younger, troubled generations in Cedar to look up to or come to if ever in need of anything, and also to show them that there is hope to change your outlook on life if you are ever struggling.”

To this point on the season, Snyder is leading the team in solo tackles.

Snyder and the West Michigan Hawks will be in action again this Saturday, when the team travels to Detroit to take on the Motor City Jaguars. Both teams will be searching for their first win of the season. Everyone is invited to travel with the team to cheer on the Hawks, as they make their way into enemy territory! For details on where the game will be played, be sure to follow the West Michigan Hawks on Facebook!

Shae Brophy is the Media/Public Relations Director for the West Michigan Hawks.

Posted in SportsComments Off on Meet the Hawks: Kameron Snyder

Meet the Hawks: Norman Colburn


By Shae Brophy

Meet center Norman Colborn. Norman was born and raised in Cedar Springs, and graduated from Cedar Springs High School in 2006. Colborn, one of the rookies on the team, played basketball and was on the bowling team in high school. His passion for sports has been fueled throughout his life by his role models, who are LeBron James, and (former Detroit Lions defensive end) Robert Porcher, as well as his grandfather.

When asked why he wanted to be a member of the West Michigan Hawks, his answer was simple: “I wanted to be a part of a new team, and make a statement, as well as a brotherhood. Being a part of a football team and joining the great group that we already have, and have a group that can stick together to become one.” In his spare time, Norman enjoys bowling and fishing.

When asked what Colborn brings to the team, owner/head coach David Lange had this to say: “He’s got tremendous heart. Quick at the line and though he’s not the biggest, he is one of the hardest working. He is a quick learner, and applies what he is taught about the game in order to better himself at the center position. He has gotten more vocal in the locker room over the course of the season, as well.”

You can see Norman and the West Michigan Hawks in action this Saturday, June 13. They will be hosting the top ranked Michigan Lightning at Skinner Field, in what will be the first regular season home game in the history of the Hawks franchise. Doors will open at 6 p.m., and the game begins at 7 p.m. Tickets will be $5 a piece, with children 8 and under getting in free. We hope to see you there!

“Meet the Hawks” is an article written about an individual who plays for the West Michigan Hawks. Every article will be focusing on a different player from the team. Shae Brophy is the Media/Public Relations Director for the West Michigan Hawks.

Posted in SportsComments Off on Meet the Hawks: Norman Colburn

CS grad starts sports talk radio show

Shae Brophy

By Judy Reed

A 2005 Cedar Springs graduate is beginning to live a dream that he didn’t even know he had.

Shae Brophy, 24, who currently lives in Grand Rapids, won a contest to help host the Huge Show with Bill Simonson, for a day last year. He met another college student, Aaron Smith, of Caseville, Michigan, who also won the chance, and the two worked with Simonson on the show. “Bill is a big name in our industry and it was very exciting to work with him for a day,” explained Brophy.

After that, Brophy went back to Colorado Springs where he had been attending school. But that didn’t stop him and Smith from talking through emails and texts about creating their own show. And then last fall, “Sports Now! With Smitty and Shae” was born, at blogtalkradio.com.

“We decided that this is something we both want to do because of our immense passion for sports,” explained Brophy. “Being able to talk about all things happening in the world of sports, as well as making different connections in the industry, has quickly made me realize that this is something I want to do with my life.”

One thing that makes the show unique is that the day on the Huge Show is the only time that Brophy and Smith, his on-air co-host, have ever met. But it hasn’t been an issue. “We exchange numerous phone calls and text messages everyday talking about different things happening in the sports world, as well as preparing for our show,” Brophy noted.

The show airs Monday through Thursday at 9 p.m. He said they don’t really have a format for the show, but if they have an interview lined up, they usually air it at 9:15. Some of the guests they have had include: Barry Melrose (former NHL player and head coach, works for ESPN right now), Mario Impemba (Detroit Tigers play by play voice), Dan Miller (Detroit Lions play by play voice), Trevor Thompson (Fox Sports Detroit reporter), Cameron Bradfield (current Jacksonville Jaguar, former stand out at Grand Valley), and former MSU Spartan and Cedar Springs Red Hawk, Austin Thornton.

They also try to cover the main stories going on not only in Michigan sports, but nationwide as well. The duo plans to continue on the same track, getting big name interviews, providing great content, and expanding their fan base.

Brophy is no longer attending college in Colorado Springs. Instead, he moved back to West Michigan to pursue a degree in Broadcast Journalism, and will take classes at Grand Rapids Community College in the fall.

“As for a career, I would love to make a living on the radio,” said Brophy. “One of our goals with the radio show is to end up working for ESPN in the future. They have many different radio opportunities, and we feel like our hard work now will pay off in the future.”

Brophy said he would be seeing Smith again in the near future. “I will be competing in an MMA (mixed martial arts) fight on April 28 for Ground n Pound Promotions at Klackle Orchard. That will be the 2nd time I have ever met my co-host, as he is going to be in attendance,” he explained.

Besides listening to the show on blogtalkradio.com, people can like their page on Facebook. Search “Sports Now! with Smitty and Shae.”





Posted in NewsComments Off on CS grad starts sports talk radio show



Get Your Copy of The Cedar Springs Post for just $40 a year!