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Tag Archive | "soccer"

Full Speed Ahead with Soccer and Cross Country

Staff and coaches at CTA are looking forward to providing student-athletes as traditional of an experience as possible this season. CTA provides two fall sports for students. The Boys and Girls Cross Country team is coached by Nancy Freyling and is open to 6th-12th grade students. “ This year we have a couple of seasoned runners, but the majority of the team is new to cross country,” stated Freyling. “I was a little shocked and excited to see so many new runners. It is great to see these kids get out there and push themselves, and learn how running is a great outlet. The experienced runners have taken the new runners under their wings, helping encourage and lead them. They are a young, fun group, keeping me on my toes and always making me smile.”

The CTA Boys Soccer team is coached by Mark Winters and is open to 6th -12th grade. “This is our third year of CTA soccer. We started out as a very young Varsity team and the boys have grown in size, speed, and as a team, shared Winters. “We have put in a lot of hard work and can’t wait for the season to start.”

CTA is prepared for a fun, and perhaps unpredictable, Fall Sports Season, and is committed to working together to provide a safe and exciting experience for its student-athletes.

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Soccer teams win championships

Over the Memorial Day Holiday weekend, two local soccer teams played in the GRIT tournament at Northview High School. 

The U12 team swept their division and went 4-0. 

The U11 team won 3 and tied 1 game, taking them into the championship game where they played their best game of the tournament taking the championship 3-2. 

Both teams are coached by Adam Petty and Dustin Ingersoll. 

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Two CS soccer players compete in Orlando City Winter Classic

ABOVE: Picture from Left to Right: Emerson Andino, Kendal Brown, Olivia Sherman, and Karim Hussian.

Two Cedar Springs girls traveled with their soccer teams to Orlando, Florida to play in the Orlando City Winter Classic on January 26-27.

Kendal Brown scoring the winning goal against Midwest United 04 Academy Team.

Kendal Brown, an 8th grader at Cedar Springs Middle School, plays on Midwest United 05 Royal Team, which is ranked #8 in the State of Michigan. Her team plays in the National League Conference with teams from Minnesota, Missouri, Wisconsin, Nebraska, Iowa, and Illinois.

 Olivia Sherman playing for Midwest United. 

Olivia Sherman, a 10th grader at Cedar Springs High School, plays on Midwest United 03 White Team which is ranked #7 in the State of Michigan. Her team plays in the P1 Division of the Michigan State Premier Soccer League, which travels weekly to play teams from the Detroit area. Olivia’s team will be moving up into the National League Conference next fall, after winning the P1 Division last fall. Olivia also plays on the Cedar Springs Varsity Girls Soccer team in the spring.

Both girls began playing soccer at a young age with the local AYSO organization.

Emerson Andino and Karim Hussian both coach the teams the girls play on. Kendal has been training/playing for Emerson and Karim for 4-½ years, and this is the first year for Olivia.

The girls’ teams both came home Orlando City Winter Classic Champions. Kendal’s team beat the Orlando City 2005 ECNL team, which is ranked #2 in the State of Florida, 2-1 in the Championship game. Olivia’s team won all 4 of their games by scoring 9 goals, and not allowing any goals to be scored against them.

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Soccer Team Wraps Up First Season

Front (L to R): Joey Hanes, Austin Fisk, Evan Besmer, Aaron Wright, Carson McSorley, Jesse Benson, Sawyer Marek, Ivan Winters. Back (L to R): Assistant Coach Kyle Knarr, Tom Guerrato, Jeff Marek, Avery Bishop, Kaden Winters, Jake Perry, Landon Winters, Ryan Rypma, Matt Willis, Parker Tompkins, Head Coach Mark Winters. Not pictured: Binh Nguyen.

The soccer team had a good run for its first-ever team in school history. The team, comprised mostly of underclassmen, went up against some tough varsity teams and held their own. Under the direction of coaches Mark Winters and Kyle Knarr, the team has improved tremendously this season both offensively and defensively. We look forward to the team growing together over the next few years and becoming a leading competitor. We are very proud of the first-ever soccer team at CTA!


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Soccer team takes second in tournament


On Saturday, October 21, five boys from Cedar Springs (making up the team Blue Thunder) played in Grant in a 4 on 4 Halloween tournament and took second place in the U10 age division.  They played a total of five games, staying undefeated until the final game, where they lost. Pictured from left to right (with trophies) back row is Keenan Ingersoll, Jacob Smith, Jax Shotko; and front row is Avery Umphrey, and Blake Schultz.  Coached by Dustin Ingersoll and Stacy Shotko.

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Cedar Springs grad selected to U.S. Youth Futsal team

Northern Kentucky University freshman Isaiah Schatz, with Keith Tozer, who is the coach of the Men’s U.S. Futsal National Team. Courtesy photo.

By Judy Reed

Isaiah Schatz, 17, a 2017 Cedar Springs graduate and freshman goalkeeper on the Northern Kentucky University men’s soccer team, was selected to play for the national U.S. Youth Futsal team, after participating in the national futsal i.d. trials earlier this month.

Futsal is the official indoor soccer game. It is small sided (5v5), played on a smaller pitch (roughly basketball court sized) and with a smaller ball.

Schatz is currently in Costa Rica with the team, where they will train and play three international matches between July 23 and July 30.

“Anytime someone is called up to represent their country, it is a great honor, and I have no doubt Isaiah will benefit greatly from this experience ahead of his freshman year at NKU,” said head coach Stu Riddle.

“I think it speaks volumes to the caliber of players we are recruiting to NKU, and I certainly expect to see plenty more National Team representation from members of this year’s incoming class and in future years.”

Schatz excelled in soccer while at Cedar Springs High School, and also was a member of the track and field team.

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Soccer player commits to Northern Kentucky University


2017 graduate Isaiah Schatz and his family. He recently committed to playing soccer at Northern Kentucky University as goalkeeper.

Also trying out for national Futsal team

Isaiah Schatz, a 2017 graduate of Cedar Springs High School, recently committed to a Division 1 soccer program at Northern Kentucky University as a goalkeeper.

He also has been invited (based on an earlier trial in South Carolina) to attend the final U.S. Youth Futsal National I.D. trial that brings together the best youth Futsal players in the nation as judged at all State Futsal I.D. Trials earlier in the year. Top players at the U.S. Youth Futsal National I.D. Trial will be selected for U.S. Youth Futsal National Teams. The final trial is in Kansas from July 13-15.

Players are evaluated throughout the event, with top players chosen for U.S. Youth Futsal Teams that will train together and travel internationally. Those chosen will travel to Costa Rica for three international matches from July 23 to July 30.

Futsal is the official indoor soccer game. It is small sided (5v5), played on a smaller pitch (roughly basketball court sized) and with a smaller ball.

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Soccer team pulls out victory as ONE

s-soccer1s-soccer2Being part of a team means sacrificing yourself for what is best for those around you. This year, the Cedar Springs boys soccer program is finding out what that means on and off the field. The idea of coming together as ONE has meant more to these players than ever before. After their teammate #1, Brison Ricker, was diagnosed with a rare form of brain cancer in the late months of 2015, their goal became very clear; be one. This means more than simply playing together on a soccer field. For the Cedar Springs boys soccer program, this means honoring Brison by exemplifying the qualities that he showed on the field and continues to show every day in his battle against cancer. Being ONE means showing perseverance, positivity, high work ethic, and an unconquerable spirit on and off the field.

Any coach will tell you that success begins to happen when everything your team has worked for culminates in a game. On Thursday, September 8, this happened for the Cedar Springs boys soccer program when they traveled to Greenville High School. At half time the Varsity scoreboard showed a 2-0 deficit against the Red Hawks. Heads were hanging and spirits were low as the half-time whistle blew. When the second half began, they stepped on the field with 40 minutes on the clock. The team had a choice; Give up, or work. They decided to make a conscious decision to try to come together as ONE. In a hard fought battle for the next forty minutes, each player began to discover what ONE truly meant for them. Things like grit, passion, sacrifice, leadership, and unity suddenly became real. When the final whistle blew, their grit and sacrifice paid off. The team was able to pull off a 3-2 victory over Greenville High School after coming from behind 2-0.

“The players from both the JV and Varsity soccer teams walked away on Thursday night with more than just a win,” said Kyle Avink, Varsity Soccer Coach. “They walked away with a new meaning for what it meant to be part of a team. They have begun to truly understand the sacrifice it takes to be ONE. They showed that no matter what they face, together they are strong…Rickerstrong.”

#one #Rickerstrong

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Community shows outpouring of support for teen with cancer


Fundraiser Aug. 23 to help with treatments

Brison Ricker, 15, was on the Varsity soccer team at Cedar Springs High School last year, before being diagnosed with a brain tumor.

Brison Ricker, 15, was on the Varsity soccer team at Cedar Springs High School last year, before being diagnosed with a brain tumor.

By Judy Reed

The greater Cedar Springs community and beyond has wrapped its arms around the family of a local teen with a rare brain tumor, and the alternative cancer treatment they are working so hard to help raise funds for is showing signs of working—something that conventional cancer treatment did not do. In fact, the latest MRI on 15-year-old Brison Ricker shows that the tumor has shrunk to 1/3 the size it was previously.

It’s definitely a miracle—especially when you find out that Brison’s parents—Brian and Kim Ricker, of Nelson Township, were told less than two months ago by their conventional oncologist to take Brison home and call in hospice because he didn’t have long to live.

Before symptoms began last fall, Brison was a happy, well-liked and athletic teen, who loved riding dirt bikes with his younger brother Preston, and playing soccer. According to Kim, Brison raced motocross and supercross, and came in second place in the state for the two classes he raced in. He also was on the Varsity soccer team as a freshman, and voted offensive player of the year.

His symptoms started around Thanksgiving time with dizziness. “He’s extremely active, so I told him to drink enough water, not to get dehydrated,” explained Kim. The symptoms continued and progressed to blurred vision and seeing double, so she made an appointment with their pediatrician after the first of the year. “They said it was an eye issue and sent us to an eye doctor, who prescribed him glasses. “We got those and they didn’t work,” said Kim. “I had a feeling they wouldn’t. I suspected it was something major.”

Kim asked the pediatrician to schedule an MRI to see what was going on, but he didn’t think it was anything major. “I had to fight with him about it. I finally said I’m taking him to the ER to get an MRI then, and he said o.k.” Brison had the MRI and they got the diagnosis on January 22: the MRI showed a rare and deadly childhood brain tumor called Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine glioma (DIPG), which is nearly always fatal and lacks an effective treatment, according to Stanford University.

According to a news article from Stanford’s medicine news, DIPG affects 200-400 school-aged children in the United States each year and has a five-year survival rate of less than 1 percent; half of patients die within nine months of diagnosis. Radiation gives only a temporary reprieve from the tumor’s growth. In addition, it is inoperable. It grows through the brain stem, where breathing and heartbeat are controlled, “with the healthy and diseased cells tangled like two colors of wool knitted together,” said Michelle Monje, MD, PhD, assistant professor of neurology at Stanford.

Brison Ricker (seated) with Dad (Brian), brother Preston, and Mom (Kim).

Brison Ricker (seated) with Dad (Brian), brother Preston, and Mom (Kim).

The news of Brison’s tumor was devastating for the family. “There’s not words to describe how it felt. We were horrified. Our whole world was crashing down,” shared Kim. She said she also questioned God about it. But Brison’s faith and the support of family and friends helped keep them steady. “He has handled it like a champ. We get strength from him. He has a very strong faith, as do we. And, as soon as we found out, our room was filled with friends from church who came to pray. It helped our focus to be on God’s word and not what the doctors are telling us; to focus on God’s promises and not the diagnosis,” explained Kim.

A Gofundme page was set up for donations, and Team Brison (you can find them on Facebook) began putting together numerous fundraising events to help the family. And people began to pray.

Brison first underwent radiation, and did several alternative treatments at home to help fight the cancer, including eating a strict, healthy, organic diet. Kim said they wanted to go to the Burzynski clinic in Texas in March, when Brison’s radiation was done, because they offered an alternative treatment that had had some success with patients. But she said that the oncologist recommended against it, because he said he had seen people do that and waste their money.

The cost for the first month of treatment down there would be $30,000, and it would be a minimum of $17,000 per month after that. None of it would be covered by insurance. Not to mention the loss of income they would suffer. Faced with that and the fact that the oncologist recommended against it, they didn’t go.

But Brison continued to deteriorate. He lost 25 pounds, and his liver was under stress. The steroids he was on for inflammation broke down his muscle and skin and contributed to fatigue. By the end of April, he needed help to stand, sit, and walk. And his tumor had grown 6mm bigger, and there was swelling in his brain. He continued on steroids and the alternative treatments he was receiving locally.

On June 18, Brison went to the ER because his symptoms were progressing, and had another MRI. The news was devastating—his tumor had doubled in size from just six weeks before and was spreading to other parts of his brain. “The doctors say there are no clinical trials available anywhere for him and there is nothing left that they can do for him, and sent us home to cherish the precious time we have together. They suggested that we call Hospice and said at the rate the tumor is growing they believe his time is very limited,” wrote Kim in a Gofundme update on June 19.
“We went home and called the Burzynski Clinic right away,” said Kim. She researched a few other clinics, but the Burzynksi Clinic was the only one that had any success with treating that type of tumor. And Kim was able to talk with the mother of a 14-year-old that had been treated there, which helped them make their decision. “We prayed about it and felt this is where God was leading us,” she wrote. Additional gene-targeting meds were going to add another $40,000 to the cost, and they didn’t know how they were going to be able to keep the treatments going, but they trusted God and went.

They originally thought they would be there a month, but came back a bit sooner. Some additional new meds the clinic wanted to start him on wouldn’t have been covered there, but the oncologist here agreed to work with them and offered to give them to Brison here, which meant they would be covered by insurance. They still, however, have thousands and thousands of dollars in expenses to be met for other meds.

On Thursday, August 8, they received some amazing news: not only was the tumor one-third the size it was, but it was dying from the inside out. His oncologist here was surprised. “He said he’d never seen any results like this, that basically we were in a gray area of medicine from a regular oncologist’s point of view, because they hadn’t seen this combination of treatments before,” said Kim.

She also spoke with Dr. Burzynski this week, and he wants to continue with the treatment and get an MRI in four weeks. “There is some controversy between the doctors on how treatment will go moving forward but we’ll work it out,” she said. “The main thing is Brison had great results. He is tired and worn, but holding steady. Steady is good. If he was not on this treatment, he would not be with us.”

Kim said that the family has been overwhelmed with the support that they have received, even from people they don’t know. Brison is in awe of it all, especially the little notes or gifts he gets from people. She hopes people will continue to show Brison how much they care about him. “He thinks those gifts and notes are pretty awesome,” she said.

One of the ways their faith in God has helped them through this, is to see how it has affected other people. “A ton of people have said how our faith has strengthened them. It’s amazing to see how through all this we are touching and encouraging people and making their faith stronger,” remarked Kim.

While Brison received good news about his tumor, he is not out of the woods and will need more treatment, which means continuing expenses for the family, and they can only continue the treatments with your help. Another fundraiser has been set for August 23 at Cedar Springs High School at 6:30 p.m. All proceeds will go to benefit Brison. Speakers are Tracey Casey-Arnold, founder/CEO of W.I.T. Wellness Consulting, founder of WIT Ministry and Whatever it Takes Radio Network; and Matt Lehr, former NFL football player, NPC Super Heavy Weight and GASP athlete, and NPC Texas Judge. Arnold will speak about using faith to help win in life; Lehr will speak about overcoming adversities. Tickets are $25 each, with the option to donate more. They ask that you please purchase tickets ahead of time at: http://www.eventbrite.com/e/brison-ricker-fundraiser-event-with-tracey-arnold-and-matt-lehr-tickets-26959235800. Or go to eventbrite.com and search for Brison Ricker.

For info on this and other fundraisers for Brison, search for the Team Brison page on Facebook.

To donate directly to Brison, visit https://www.gofundme.com/brisonricker or send a check to Brison Ricker, 5370 Dio Dr., Cedar Springs, MI 49319.

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Algoma Christian grad makes athlete of the week

Charisa Becker, an Algoma Christian grad and freshman at Grace Bible college, was named student-athlete of the week in Div. II by the NCCAA.

Charisa Becker, an Algoma Christian grad and freshman at Grace Bible college, was named student-athlete of the week in Div. II by the NCCAA.

Charisa Becker

Charisa Becker

Charisa Becker, a woman’s soccer player from Grace Bible College, was named Div. II student athlete of the week by the National Christian College Athletic Association (NCCAA) last week.

Becker, a 2015 Algoma Christian grad, scored the game tying goal in a 1-1 tie with Andrews University on October 22, and played solid defense throughout the match. The freshman defender/goalkeeper from Algoma Township was sent forward late in the game and responded by beating the Andrews keeper after a nice move in the penalty area. On Saturday, October 24, Charisa stepped into the goal and held a tough Cleary team to 2 goals, making 10 saves along the way.

Becker is the daughter of Tod and Rebecca Becker, of Algoma Township.

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U14 Lady Tri-Hawks remain undefeated


CASSA was founded in 1998 to help area soccer players who had played recreational soccer advance their game to a higher level known as “Select.” This U14 Elite Girls Team, comprised of 16 players and 3 coaching staff, not only took their play to the next level but also made CASSA history in the process. For two   consecutive years, they have remained undefeated in their league play. Headed into this season as Elite they remained undefeated, and on September 19, they won their game against a tough club from St. Joseph, Mich., to become the most winning team in CASSA history. Go lady Tri-Hawks!

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Scott Hazel Memorial Game 

The Cedar Springs Varsity Soccer Team will play the Rockford Rams in a purple game on April 16 to commemorate the memory of Scott Hazel.

The Cedar Springs Varsity Soccer Team will play the Rockford Rams in a purple game on April 16 to commemorate the memory of Scott Hazel.

Cedar Springs and Rockford soccer teams honor teacher

The Scott Hazel Memorial Game will be hosted by the Rockford Rams on April 16 at 7 p.m. (The JV game will be played immediately prior to this game.)

Scott Hazel lost his battle against cancer last summer. The Rams and the Red Hawks are coming together to raise money for the Purple Community in his memory. Mr. Hazel coached soccer at both Rockford and Cedar Springs at various levels, and was a well-known and much loved teacher in Cedar Springs.

Yes, there will be a game but this night will be so much more as both communities come together to honor Scott Hazel and raise money for cancer research in memory of him.

Rockford’s school colors are orange and black and Cedar Springs are red and black. However, on April 16, both communities will come together in a sea of purple for the man who influenced so many.


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