GRAND RAPIDS – Creative Technologies Academy in Cedar Springs has absolutely no hope of winning MLive’s statewide best gymnasium contest.

Nowadays, high schools are building gyms that feature spacious grandstands, running tracks, weight rooms, comfortable lockerroms and fancy scoreboards, all luxuries that CTA doesn’t have.

In fact, if your school has a gym, then you have CTA beat because CTA doesn’t have a gym. The Chargers play all 16 of their games on the road, and when it comes time to practice, they head to either a public elementary school gym in Cedar Springs or a nearby church gym.

It’s a challenge, but it’s one that the Chargers continue to embrace.

“As coaches, we try to teach them about overcoming adversity and rising to the occasion,” CTA assistant coach Austin Armstrong said. “That’s something we told the players early on this year, that the reward for those who persevere far exceeds the pain that precedes the victory.”

Armstrong was a member of CTA’s first team seven years ago, back when he was in the eighth grade. CTA is so small that it permits players in grades seven-through-12th. Armstrong graduated from CTA in 2013, and after a year of attending college in the Chicago area, he decided to return to West Michigan this year and begin coaching under second-year coach Scott Bultman.

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