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Eagles Athletics

Grand Rapids Christian High School

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Eagles Athletics

Grand Rapids Christian High School

Eagles Athletics

Grand Rapids Christian High School

Announcements and Important Events

Announcement

4 months ago @ 12:13PM

Our Winter Head Coaches!

Boys Basketball: Eric Taylor

Coach Eric Taylor is married to Megan Taylor and they have two children: Braylon and Kamryn. The family has a cat named Storm.

Coach attended Wyoming Park High School where he played basketball and football and ran track. He earned all-state honors in basketball and was a Mr. Basketball nominee.

At Oakland University, Coach Taylor earned All-Conference, All-Region honors. In addition, he earned All-American honors twice. 

After college, Coach went on to play professional basketball in Europe for 13 years! He played for Telekom Bonn in Germany for 7 years. (Coach Taylor also learned to speak German at the Inlingua Language School.) He spent 3 years in Sweden playing for the Solna Vikings, 1 year playing for the London Towers in Great Britain, 1 year playing for Topo Pojat in Finland, and 1 year for the Oberwat Gunners in Austria.

His coaching record: Grand Rapids Christian W 36 - L 8; Grand Rapids Community College W 39 - L 40 Western Conference Champions 2009-10 and Coach of the Year

Currently, Coach Taylor is employed as the Dean of Student Life here at Grand Rapids Christian High School.

Coach’s favorite Bible verse: “Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the LORD your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.” Deuteronomy 31:6

Girls Basketball: Crystal Strickland

Coach Crystal Strickland is married to Joel and they have two sons: Kaysan and Kaleb.

Coach attended Byron Center High School where she played girls basketball and softball. In softball, the team made it to the state finals and lost in extra innings. In basketball Coach’s team won districts all 4 years and she was the Class B Player of the year. Note that this past April, MLive named Coach Strickland one of the top five athletes of Byron Center High School since 2020.

Coach Strickland attended Grand Valley State University and was a part of the 2006 Womens Basketball National Championship team. She is a member of the GVSU Athletics Hall of Fame.

Her coaching record: Holland Christian 8 years — Conference Champions: 2 yearsl; District Champions: 4 years. Grand Rapids Christian 3 years — District Champions: 1 year

Currently, Coach Strickland is employed as a Physical Education teacher for Grand Rapids Christian High School.

Coach’s favorite Bible verse: “Do everything in love.” 1 Corinthians 16:14

Bowling: Dan VanderPloeg

Coach Dan VanderPloeg and his wife Jen have a daughter, Delaney, who is in 5th grade at Grand Rapids Christian Middle School. The family has a dog named Kali.

Coach graduated from Grand Rapids Christian High School in 1986 where he was co-captain of the Cross Country team as a senior. While still in 11th grade, coach enlisted in the US Airforce.

After attending Community College of the Airforce, Coach VanderPloeg also attended Grand Rapids Community College and Grand Valley State University.

Coaching Record: Started coaching bowling at GRCHS during the season of 2019-2020. Active bowler for over 40 years.

Coach retired from United States Airforce in 2007 and is currently Director of Facility and Maintenance at Bridge Pointe Office Park.

Favorite Bible Verse: “Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.” Deuteronomy 31:6

Competitive Cheer:  Celeste Johnson and Ashion Parks

Ashion Parks: Ashion was born and raised in Grand Rapids, Michigan, graduating from Grand Rapids Christian High School in 2013. Ashion participated in sideline and competitive cheer all four years. After high school Ashion attended Grand Rapids Community College. She is currently a nursing supervisor at a senior living community and a mother to an amazing 4-year-old boy. 

Ashion began coaching at Grand Rapids Christian Middle School during her senior year of high school. but then stopped to attend college. She came back to coaching, joining Celeste, in 2015 at GRCMS for both sideline and competitive cheer.  Last year she joined the high school coaching staff as an assistant coach to Jacquie DeJonge during the sideline and competitive season. We are excited to welcome Ashion as a co-head coach for the GRCHS cheer teams!

Ashion shared a favorite memory of Jacquie: Long days of hard-core practices that led our competitive cheer team to state finals in 2013! :)

Celeste Johnson: Celeste was born and raised in Grand Rapids, Michigan and graduated from Grand Rapids Christian High School in 2015.  During her four years at GRCHS, Celeste participated in sideline and competitive cheer. In 2019, Celeste graduated from Calvin University with a Major in Psychology and a Minor in Spanish, and currently works at a preschool as a Family Coach. 

Celeste has been coaching sideline and competitive cheer for GRCMS since 2015. Last year she joined the high school coaching staff as an assistant coach to Jacquie DeJonge during both seasons of cheer. We are excited to welcome Celeste as a co-head coach for the GRCHS cheer teams!

Celeste shared a favorite memory of Jacquie: Jacquie would incorporate ideas from the cheer team into competitive routines. These ideas made our cheer routines more personal and creative. 

Hockey: Shawn Zimmerman

Coach Shawn Zimmerman has a son Hayden (17) and a daughter Briawna (13). Their family has a Yorkie dog named Zoey (3).

While in high school, Coach Zimmerman played hockey during which time his team earned 2 Provincial (State) Championships. His last year of high school the hockey team went 41-1-1 and Coach had 256 points in 43 games! He also played Badminton (Provincial (State) Champion), Baseball, and Track and Field where he was the Regional Champion in Triple Jump, Long Jump, 100 Meter!

After high school, Coach Zimmerman played 1 year of hockey with the Hombolt Broncos in the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League where he was honored as the league's Rookie of the Year! In college (Western Michigan University) Coach played hockey from 1993-1997 and received these awards:

  • Hobey Baker Character Award Runner Up
  • Lois Ellis Scholarship Athlete of the Year

His coaching record: 132-81-10

Currently, Coach Zimmerman is employed as a Facility Liaison for FirstLight Home Care and Elite Care Nursing.

Coach’s favorite Bible verse is: "I can do everything through Christ who gives me strength.” Philippians 4:13

Downhill Skiing: Jim Styf

Coach Jim Styf has an awesome wife, Margie. Matthew and Kelly (and our 2 grandchildren, Kinsley and Boden), Thomas and Maizee, Caleb, and Maggie. The family has 2 pre-owned dogs, Smokey and Leia.

While in High School at Grand Rapids Christian Coach ran Cross Country and played Tennis, earning Varsity Letters in both. In tennis, he won the City League Championship at 2nd Doubles as a Junior.
Coach Styf was also a member of the GR Christian Math Relay Team where they competed against other schools at Ferris State University each year. They were State Math Relay Champs during his Sophomore season, beating Midland Dow HS in the finals.

Coach earned his Bachelor of Science at Calvin University, his BS in Electrical Engineering and his MBA at University of Michigan. Go Blue!

Coaching Record: 14th Season at GR Christian. 12 years as Head Coach, plus 2 years as Assistant Coach.

  • 4 State Qualifying Teams - Boys (2013, 2015, 2019, 2020)
  • 9 Individual State Qualifiers
  • Regional Runner-Up in 2015, 2019, 2020.

Currently serving as President of the Greater Grand Rapids High School Ski Conference

Coach Styf has worked for AT&T his entire 37 year career, and currently serves as Director of Construction & Engineering for the Michigan/Wisconsin region.

Favorite Bible Verse: "And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord's holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ." Ephesians 3:17-18

Boys Swimming and Diving: Jeremy Pyper

Coach Jeremy Pyper has been married to his wife Anne Pyper for three years. Coach is employed at GRCHS as the Facility Manager and has worked full time at the school since 2010. Anne teaches Physical Education at GRCMS. They love to spend time outdoors and have enjoyed hiking and exploring in 28 National Parks. They dog-sit often and look forward to getting a dog of their own sometime in the future.  

Coach Pyper graduated from GRCHS in 2007 where he played soccer as a Freshman. He participated in Swimming & Diving all four years and was selected as team captain and All-Conference in his final year. As a Senior he also was a member of the first Lacrosse (club) team in school history. After high school, he attended Calvin University for two years during which time he served as assistant coach for the GRCHS Boys Swimming & Diving team.

Coaching Record: Assistant coach at Grand Rapids Christian, 2009 - 2013, and head coach at Grand Rapids Christian, 2014 - present.  

  • 2 All-American Individuals
  • 13 All-Conference Individuals
  • 18 All-State Individuals
  • 61-50-1 (W-L-T) record
  • 6 Top-Ten finishes at Division 3 State Finals
  • 10 school records broken

Coach Pyper’s favorite Bible verse: “‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.’” Jeremiah 29:11

Wrestling: Greg Dykema

Coach Greg Dykema is married to Rachel Dykema and they have 5 children: Jarrett, Isaac, Derrek, Annelle, and Jakkin. The family has a dog named Dutch.

While attending Grand Rapids Christian High School (Class of 1993), Coach Dykema played football and he wrestled.

In college, Coach was the 1994 Michigan Tech Winter Carnival Broomball Champion!

Coaching Record: 10 years coaching at GRCHS. (29-166)

Currently, Coach Dykema is employed as a Manager at Dykema Excavators, Inc.

Coach’s favorite Bible verse: “Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.” Ephesians 3:20-21

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