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Michigan Army National Guard Signs On as the Official Military Branch Supporting MHSAA Championship Events

Contact: John Johnson or Geoff Kimmerly
517.332.5046 or media@mhsaa.com 

EAST LANSING, Mich. – Feb. 24 – Sharing in the values of leadership, sportsmanship and ethics emphasized by the Michigan High School Athletic Association, the Michigan Army National Guard is serving as the official military branch supporting MHSAA events and digital initiatives through the 2015-16 school year.

The Michigan Army National Guard provides trained and ready forces in support of the National Military Strategy, and responds as needed to state, local, and regional emergencies to ensure peace, order, and public safety. Guardsmen typically train one weekend per month and two weeks in the summer, and soldiers are eligible for educational benefits including state and federal tuition assistance programs, the G.I. Bill and grants at Michigan colleges and universities that combined usually exceed the total cost of tuition, books and fees at most Michigan post-secondary institutions.

The Guard adds value to our communities through continuous interaction. National Guard soldiers are part of the local community. Monthly and annual summer training maintains readiness when needed, be it either to defend our nation's freedom, or protecting lives and property of Michigan citizens during a local natural disaster.

“The National Guard provides opportunities for young men and women to mature into productive citizens,” MHSAA Executive Director John E. “Jack” Roberts said. “The emphasis the Guard puts on physical fitness, leadership and doing things the right way parallels what we strive to teach in school sports.”

The Guard has served as presenter of the MHSAA Cross Country Regionals and Finals and Football Playoffs during the fall, and this winter of the MHSAA Wrestling Tournament, which will conclude with the Team Wrestling Finals hosted Feb. 26-27 at Central Michigan University’s McGuirk Arena and the Individual Wrestling Finals scheduled for March 3-5 at The Palace of Auburn Hills. Guard recruiters also have been on-site attending numerous District, Regional and additional Finals events during the first half of the 2015-16 school year.

The Guard also is featured prevalently as part of the MHSAA’s online presence on both MHSAA.com and the MHSAA mobile app, and supports the “Michigan National Guard Performance of the Week” honoring a successful student-athlete on the MHSAA’s Second Half website.

“The Michigan Army National Guard is proud to support the MHSAA and student-athletes across Michigan,” said Lt. Col. Scott L. Meyers, who serves as recruiting and retention battalion commander for the Guard. “The Guard not only plays a key role in our national defense; we have a responsibility to serve our communities during times of state emergencies. As individuals, we are stewards in our communities and have an inherent responsibility to support our community in that role. One way to do this is to encourage student-athletes to live up to the ethics, values, and positive life choices common to the MHSAA and the Michigan Army National Guard.

“The National Guard is actively seeking these student-athletes to join our team. Their dedication combined with our education benefits and leadership training will provide the tools needed for them to become future leaders of Michigan’s communities.”

For additional information on the Michigan Army National Guard, go online to http://www.miarmyguard.com.

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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