Contact: Geoff Kimmerly
EAST LANSING, Mich. – Feb. 21 –
517.332.5046 or firstname.lastname@example.org
The Beaverton High School student cheering section – “Bleacher Creatures” – has been selected as this year’s Michigan High School Athletic Association “Battle of the Fans III” winner as the top student cheering section among member schools.
This was the third year for the contest, which was organized by MHSAA staff and its 16-member Student Advisory Council.
Student sections from Bridgman, Beaverton, Buchanan, Frankfort and Traverse City West were selected as finalists from a pool of applicants. MHSAA staff and SAC members visited all five for home basketball games during the last five weeks and produced videos of each section for the MHSAA’s YouTube channel. A public vote was conducted on the MHSAA’s Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages beginning Tuesday and ending Thursday, and those results influenced the Advisory Council vote as members selected the champion.
The Student Advisory Council also based its vote on the following criteria: positive sportsmanship, student body participation, school spirit, originality of cheers, organization of the group, section leadership and overall fun.
“We couldn’t have been more impressed with this year’s finalists. They are fine examples to their schools, but their efforts also are carrying over to their leagues and the entire state and are being watched nationally as well,” said Andy Frushour, MHSAA director of brand management and advisor to the Student Advisory Council. “I can’t wait to talk about this contest when we meet with students over the next year, and I’m looking forward to seeing how much we can increase participation for BOTF IV.”
Students were invited in December to submit a short video, via YouTube, of their cheering sections in action. To view finalists’ submissions on YouTube, click on http://bit.ly/1aWRvIW. For links to stories and MHSAA-produced videos for all five finalists, click on http://bit.ly/1nTerin. Video of all five sections will be played on the Breslin Center HD scoreboard during the Girls and Boys Basketball Finals in March. Beaverton will receive an MHSAA championship banner during a break in the Boys Basketball Semifinals on March 21.
Beaverton, on Feb. 14, was the final stop on the MHSAA finalists tour.
“It’s such an honor to be involved with some of the other schools this year. And knowing how far we came, it’s just so awesome. Our dream came true,” said Beaverton junior Drew Porter, the school’s spirit club president. “When we got over 1,000 votes, that’s almost our whole town population, and that was just like, ‘Oh my God.’ It was a feeling that you only feel when you’re in a great situation, and we’ve got a great community here. They support us, and we support the basketball team.”
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 1,500 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 more than 1.4 million spectators each year.