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‘Battle of the Fans II’ Again Seeks Michigan’s Top High School Cheering Section

Contact: Geoff Kimmerly  

517.332.5046 or media@mhsaa.com

EAST LANSING, Mich. – Dec. 4 – Following up on its successful inaugural contest last school year, the Michigan High School Athletic Association’s Student Advisory Council again will host a “Battle of the Fans” to reward the top high school student cheering section in Michigan this winter.

Sections 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 Jan. 12. Five finalists including at least one Class C or D school will then 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 a public vote to be conducted on the MHSAA’s Facebook page, www.facebook.com/MHSAASports.

A total of 19 sections submitted videos for the 2011-12 contest. Frankenmuth was named champion and presented with a banner during the MHSAA Boys Basketball Finals at Michigan State University’s Breslin Center. Sections from Grand Rapids Christian, Reese, Petoskey and Rockford also were finalists.

This year’s winner will be announced Feb. 22 and recognized March 22 at the Breslin Center. The “Battle of the Fans” was a main focus during this fall’s MHSAA Sportsmanship Summits conducted at four sites, serving as a tool to further teach students how they can support their teams in a positive manner.

“We saw enthusiasm and excitement from both students and administrators during last year’s contest, and there was a real effort of sportsmanship put forth by our schools that participated. ‘Battle of the Fans’ helped create a culture of change at those schools, and that’s the exciting part,” said Andy Frushour, MHSAA director of brand management and advisor to the Student Advisory Council. “It has allowed us to take a topic, sportsmanship, that often makes students roll their eyes, and turn it into something fun. During last year’s visits, administrators from athletic directors to superintendents told us how positive an impact this had on their student bodies.”

Contest rules, directions for submitting videos, plus links to last year’s coverage of the finalists can be found on the MHSAA Web Site at www.mhsaa.com/BOTF. This year’s finalist videos, plus the announcement of the 2012-13 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 schools 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 1,500 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 approximately 1.5 million spectators each year.

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