By: John Raffel
Kramer coming up big for Cedar Springs football
It's been a memorable season for Brandon Kramer and the Cedar Springs Red Hawks.
The Red Hawks finished the regular season 6-3 to make the playoffs and get a first-round date at East Grand Rapids. Thy flinched a playoff spot with a 56-12 victory over Ottawa Hills to end the regular season.
Cedar Springs also enjoyed wins over Lowell 28-14, Grand Rapids Forest Hills Northern 44-21, Northview 48-20, Greenville 48-7 and Battle Creek Lakeview 60-14.
Kramer, a senior lineman, has had an enjoyable season in his second varsity year.
“Last year was a developmental year for me,” he said. “I was behind two amazing players on the depth chart, and both deserved to start. Through watching them, I’ve been able to tweak my game which is part of the reason I’ve been fortunate enough to start the past three weeks.”
It's been a season Kramer won't soon forget.
“It’s been a ride this year,” he said. “We’ve been put to the test against some really good schools. I’ve had to block great players from teams and I feel like every play that I line up against those guys I’m getting better myself.”
Kramer said he's improved immensely.
“Looking at the film from my junior year and comparing it to this season, I feel like I’m watching two completely different players,” Kramer said. “I’m stronger, faster, and more experienced than I was last season.”
He's been a starter on offense.
“But I also have the role of a senior leader and because of that I truly try to set this program up for long term success,” Kramer said. “I want to come back from college in a few years and see Cedar Springs High School doing even better than we’ve done so far this year.
“I feel like my awareness of the game is truly what sets me apart from the other tight ends in the OK White. Being able to work with Paul (Duran) week in and week out is certainly a bonus as he has a one of a kind football mind that is truly hard to find anywhere else”
The Red Hawks were down after the 50-12 loss to Zeeland West in the opener but came back impressively against Battle Creek Lakeview.
“Taking those final knees to run the clock out against Lakeview was something special,” Kramer said. “To have completely turned things around between weeks one and two was important for us as a team. I feel like what happened week one made us stronger and brought us closer. To come back and win against a team like Lakeview was important. It gave us momentum going into conference play.”
Kramer said he put more work in the weight room than he ever has.
“Of course there was the sessions in the weightroom as a team, but on top of that I was going to the gym almost daily,” he said. “Being able to work with Legacy Football on the east side of the state also helped set me up for the season. Having the ability to go to camps on a snowy weekends allowed me to stay in shape throughout the offseason and into the preseason.”