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‘Battle of the Fans VI’ to Recognize Michigan’s Top High School Cheering Section

Contact: Geoff Kimmerly
517.332.5046 or media@mhsaa.com

EAST LANSING, Mich. – Dec. 14 – The Michigan High School Athletic Association’s Student Advisory Council will host its sixth “Battle of the Fans” contest this winter to award the top high school student cheering section in Michigan and promote the opportunity for a fun, positive cheering experience for fans supporting their teams.

Traverse City West was named last year’s champion and presented with a banner during the MHSAA Boys Basketball Finals at Michigan State University’s Breslin Center. Sections from Charlotte, Munising, Muskegon Western Michigan Christian and Yale also were finalists and recognized during the Breslin ceremony. 

Schools are invited to submit a short video, via YouTube, of their cheering sections in action. Video submissions should be between 90 seconds and three minutes long and explain how that section meets the following contest criteria: positive sportsmanship, student body participation, school spirit, originality of cheers, organization of the group, student section leadership and fun.

The deadline for student-submitted video applications is noon Jan. 7. Five finalists including at least one Class C or D school then will be chosen and visited on a home game night by MHSAA staff and Advisory Council representatives. The MHSAA will produce a video of that finalist after each visit, with the champion being selected by the Student Advisory Council based in part on activity on the MHSAA’s social media sites.

This year’s winner will be announced Feb. 17 and recognized March 24 at the Breslin Center.

“Five years of Battle of the Fans have helped us set standards and expectations not only for this contest, but for student section sportsmanship overall,” said Andy Frushour, MHSAA director of brand management and advisor to the Student Advisory Council. “We’ve written about the best and the lessons they’ve taught us. We’ve shown videos of their work to students all over the state. Battle of the Fans has proven that school student sections can create a positive atmosphere and still have fun. We see it over and over again, and this year gives us another chance to see more fun student sections in action.”

Rules, directions for submitting videos, plus links to coverage of finalists from the first five years of the contest can be found on the MHSAA Website at www.mhsaa.com/BOTF. This year’s finalist videos, plus the announcement of the 2016-17 winner, will be published on the MHSAA Second Half site at SecondHalf.MHSAA.com.

The Student Advisory Council is made up of eight seniors and eight juniors, who each serve two-year terms. The Council acts as the voice of Michigan's student-athletes; it serves as a student sounding board for the MHSAA's Representative Council, assists in planning Sportsmanship Summits, Captains Clinics and other student leadership events; participates in a yearly focus group about the state of high school sports for Michigan State University's Institute for the Study of Youth Sports and assists with medal ceremonies at MHSAA championship events.

The MHSAA is a private, not-for-profit corporation of voluntary membership by more than 1,400 public and private senior high schools and junior high/middle schools which exists to develop common rules for athletic eligibility and competition. No government funds or tax dollars support the MHSAA, which was the first such association nationally to not accept membership dues or tournament entry fees from schools. Member schools which enforce these rules are permitted to participate in MHSAA tournaments, which attract more than 1.4 million spectators each year. 

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