Contact: Geoff Kimmerly
517.332.5046 or firstname.lastname@example.org
EAST LANSING, Mich. – Jan. 14 – Five finalists have been selected for the Michigan High School Athletic Association’s “Battle of the Fans II,” which for the second year will recognize the top student cheering section from among member schools and culminate in a video presentation including all five finalists during this season’s Girls and Boys Basketball Finals at Michigan State University’s Breslin Center.
Frankenmuth won last season’s inaugural “Battle of the Fans” and is again among finalists, joined by Ann Arbor Gabriel Richard, Buchanan, Vandercook Lake and Zeeland East.
The contest, organized by MHSAA staff and its 16-member Student Advisory Council, will reward the cheering section that best creates the positive and festive atmosphere made possible when students show enthusiasm, togetherness and sportsmanship while rooting for their team. MHSAA staff and Student Advisory Council members will visit all five finalists for home games during the second half of this regular season, with coverage and video from those visits and the announcement of the winner all to be published on the MHSAA Second Half website (http://secondhalf.mhsaa.com).
Schools were invited in December to submit short videos, via YouTube, of their cheering sections in action. The winner will be announced Feb. 22, and video of all five sections will be played on the Breslin Center HD scoreboard during the Finals in March. The champion also will be recognized during the Boys Semifinals on March 22.
“We were ecstatic with the positive buzz generated by last year’s contest, and this year’s got rolling quickly with a 42-percent increase in applicants,” said Andy Frushour, MHSAA director of brand management and advisor to the Student Advisory Council. “We are thrilled to see the excitement students have generated at each and every one of those schools. They should be proud of their entries, and more importantly, proud of the positive impact they are having on their schools and student bodies.”
Video submissions included explanations on how each section met the following contest criteria: positive sportsmanship, student body participation, school spirit, originality of cheers, organization of the group, student section leadership and overall fun.
A total of 27 sections – including 24 first-time applicants – submitted videos by last week’s deadline. The finalists were chosen by the Student Advisory Council, and the winner will be selected based on the results of a public Facebook poll and another Advisory Council vote.
Finalists will be visited for the following home boys basketball games:
Jan. 18: Frankenmuth vs. Bridgeport
Jan. 31: Buchanan vs. Cassopolis Ross Beatty
Feb. 1: Vandercook Lake vs. Michigan Center
Feb. 5: Ann Arbor Gabriel Richard vs. Madison Heights Bishop Foley
Feb. 8: Zeeland East vs. Muskegon Mona Shores
Ann Arbor Gabriel Richard just missed being included among last year’s finalists, finishing sixth when the Advisory Council chose the 2012 group. Warren Woods-Tower, Beaverton, Schoolcraft, Wyandotte Roosevelt and Rockford placed sixth through 10th, respectively, in this year’s initial balloting.
Other 2013 applicants were Bear Lake, Bridgman, Clarkston, Clio, East Grand Rapids, Hemlock, Kalamazoo Loy Norrix, Muskegon Mona Shores, Grand Rapids Northview, Pinconning, Royal Oak, Sparta, Sterling Heights Stevenson, Saginaw Swan Valley, Traverse City Central, Traverse City West and Warren DeLaSalle. To view all applications on YouTube, click on http://bit.ly/TUkHeI.
The online Facebook vote will take place Feb. 18-21. Rules plus links to last year’s coverage of the contest can be found on the MHSAA site at http://www.mhsaa.com/BOTF.
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.