Contact: Geoff Kimmerly
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EAST LANSING, Mich. – Dec. 12 – The Michigan High School Athletic Association’s Student Advisory Council will host its seventh “Battle of the Fans” contest this winter to award the top high school student cheering section in Michigan, and will choose the winner based on an expanded format built to allow for more schools to remain in the running longer and with more opportunities to show how they support their teams in a fun, positive way.
Frankenmuth was named last year’s champion and presented with a banner during the MHSAA Boys Basketball Finals at Michigan State University’s Breslin Center. Sections from Boyne City, Charlotte, Petoskey and Traverse City West also were finalists.
Schools 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 noon Jan. 13. Nine semifinalists then will be chosen – three each from Class A, Class B and Class C/D – to partake in a two-week challenge where each will be required to complete 10 tasks further showing why they should be chosen as Michigan’s best student section. From those nine, three finalists then will be selected by the Student Advisory Council 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 activity on the MHSAA’s social media sites.
This year’s winner will be announced Feb. 23 and recognized March 23 at the Breslin Center.
“Battle of the Fans has enjoyed a great run these first six years and provided plenty of examples that help us teach students statewide how to celebrate school spirit,” said Andy Frushour, MHSAA director of brand management and advisor to the Student Advisory Council. “By putting a fresh spin on the contest this winter, we’ll be able to have more schools involved in the competition for a longer period of time, and we’re looking forward to the creativity of our students as they complete these challenges – which will allow us to showcase more of the great work so many are doing to support their classmates not just on one night, but all school year long.”
Rules, directions for submitting videos, plus links to coverage of finalists from the first six years of the contest can be found on the MHSAA Website at www.mhsaa.com/BOTF. This year’s finalist videos, plus the announcement of the 2017-18 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 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.