Contact: Geoff Kimmerly
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EAST LANSING, Mich. – Feb. 17 – The Frankenmuth High School student cheering section has been selected as this year’s Michigan High School Athletic Association “Battle of the Fans VI” winner as the top student cheering section among member schools.
This was the sixth year for the contest, which was organized by MHSAA staff and its 16-member Student Advisory Council. Frankenmuth, which won the inaugural Battle of the Fans in 2012, is the contest’s first two-time champion.
Student sections from Boyne City, Charlotte, Frankenmuth, Petoskey 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 six 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 Monday 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 were excited to see during our trip to Frankenmuth the same kind of crazy, fun atmosphere that we remembered from our first Battle of the Fans visit in 2012,” said Andy Frushour, MHSAA director of brand management and advisor to the Student Advisory Council. “It’s an impressive accomplishment for a school to bring together such a high percentage of its student body to cheer with that level of enthusiasm and in a way the community supports.”
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://ow.ly/xpLV3096tNY. For links to stories and MHSAA-produced videos for all five finalists, click http://ow.ly/vX823096u1q. Video of all five sections will be played on the Breslin Center HD scoreboard during the Girls and Boys Basketball Finals in March. Frankenmuth will receive an MHSAA championship banner during a break in the Class B Boys Basketball Semifinals on March 24, and the other four finalists have been invited to Breslin as well to be honored for this season’s achievement.
Frankenmuth, on Feb. 3, was the final stop on the MHSAA finalists tour.
"It shows we had good leadership this year, and it sets the standard for next year," Frankenmuth senior leader Shafer Webb said. "It helps we won; now we have something tangible to show how good we were, and hopefully that will inspire them to continue next year.
"I think it would be a lot more fun that whoever we're playing had just as good a student section as us,” Webb added. “Hopefully this encourages other student bodies to participate in something like this at the other schools around us."
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.