Student Advisory Council Names Members From Class of 2024

Eight student-athletes who will be juniors at their schools during the 2022-23 academic year have been selected to serve two-year terms on the Michigan High School Athletic Association’s Student Advisory Council.

The Student Advisory Council is a 16-member group which provides feedback on issues impacting educational athletics from a student’s perspective, and also is involved in the operation of Association championship events and other programming. Members of the Student Advisory Council serve for two years, beginning as juniors. Eight new members are selected annually to serve on the SAC, with nominations made by MHSAA member schools. The incoming juniors will join the group of eight seniors-to-be appointed a year ago.

Selected to begin serving on the Student Advisory Council in 2022-23 are: Kannon Duffing, Manchester; Claire Gorno, Gaylord; M'Khi Guy, Muskegon; Dawsen Lehew, Marcellus; Christian Sanders, Detroit Renaissance; Ben Sytsma, Grand Rapids Christian; Madeline Werner, Bay City All Saints; and DaNia Womack, Dearborn Advanced Tech Academy.

Those eight new members were selected from 115 applicants. That applicant total was the second-most ever, with the last three years featuring the three highest totals.

The first Student Advisory Council was formed for the 2006-07 school year. With the addition of this class beginning this summer, members will have represented 129 schools from 48 leagues plus independent schools that do not play in a league. Combined, the new appointees have participated in nine MHSAA sports, and seven will be the first SAC members from their respective schools.

The Student Advisory Council generally meets seven times each school year, and once more for a 24-hour leadership camp. In addition to assisting in the promotion of the educational value of interscholastic athletics, the Council discusses issues dealing with the 4 S’s of educational athletics: scholarship, sportsmanship, safety (including health and nutrition) and the sensible scope of athletic programs. There also is a fifth S discussed by the group – student leadership.

This school year, the Council selected the 2021-22 “Battle of the Fans X” champion, handed out championship trophies at Finals events, continued discussions about COVID-related issues and provided feedback to the MHSAA Representative Council on proposed rule changes.

The new additions to the SAC will join the Class of 2023 members who were selected a year ago: Sam Gibson, Plainwell; Brady Leistra, East Grand Rapids; Caroline Li, Okemos; Sam Matias, Lansing Catholic; Zar'ria Mitchell, Saginaw Heritage; Carney Salo, Escanaba; Brandon Thompson, Petersburg Summerfield; and Keira Tolmie, Clarkston.

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. 

The Michigan High School Athletic Association is seeking student-athletes to become members of its Student Advisory Council beginning with the 2022-23 school year.

Four boys and four girls from the Class of 2024 will be selected for two-year terms and will meet on matters related to maintaining and promoting a proper perspective and sensible scope for high school sports in Michigan. Eight members from the Class of 2023 already are serving on the Council, while eight members of the Class of 2022 are leaving the Council this spring.

To be eligible for the committee, candidates must:

  • be a member of the Class of 2024
  • complete the official application including answering the three short-answer questions
  • submit a letter of recommendation from a school administrator, and have a cumulative GPA of at least 3.0 (on a 4.0 scale)
  • be available for all scheduled meetings

In addition, candidates should show a history of leadership on athletic teams as well as with other extracurricular activities, community service projects, or in the workplace; and show an understanding of the role of school sports and have ideas for promoting a proper perspective for educational athletics.

Applications are due in the MHSAA office by 4:30 p.m. on April 25. Applications can be downloaded, filled out on the computer or handwritten, and returned to the MHSAA office by e-mail, fax, or any mail delivery service. In addition to the paper application, there will be a short video interview for the finalists.

The Student Advisory Council meets six times each school year, and once more for a 24-hour leadership camp. In addition to assisting in the promotion of the educational value of interscholastic athletics, the Council discusses issues dealing with the 4 S’s of educational athletics: scholarship, sportsmanship, safety (including health and nutrition), and the sensible scope of athletic programs. A fifth S – student leadership – is also a common topic. Members contribute to planning Sportsmanship Summits, Captains Clinics, and other student leadership events, and assist with medal ceremonies at MHSAA championship events. The Council also judges the “Battle of the Fans,” which is created as a way to promote positive sportsmanship.

Newly-chosen members will join the following from the Class of 2022: Sam Gibson, Plainwell; Brady Leistra, East Grand Rapids; Caroline Li, Okemos; Sam Matias, Lansing Catholic; Zar'ria Mitchell, Saginaw Heritage; Carney Salo, Escanaba; Brandon Thompson, Petersburg Summerfield; and Keira Tolmie, Clarkston.

The eight new members of the Student Advisory Council will be notified by May 6. The 2022-23 meetings are tentatively scheduled for Aug. 28, Oct. 2, Dec. 4, Feb. 12, April 23, and May 14. Meetings will take place at the MHSAA Office in East Lansing.

For more information, contact Andy Frushour at the MHSAA – 517-332-5046 or SAC@mhsaa.com.

Student Advisory Council Belief Statement

Adopted Nov. 2007


As the voice of Michigan’s student-athletes, the Student Advisory Council’s role is to convey the message of how high school sports are supposed to be played.  We are responsible for helping the MHSAA maintain a positive and healthy atmosphere in which interscholastic athletes can thrive.
 
We believe athletes should be competitive, sportsmanlike and excel academically.  We believe students in the stands should have fun, but not take the focus away from the game.  We believe coaches should act as teachers, helping student-athletes develop while still keeping high school sports in perspective.  We believe that parents should always be positive role models and be supportive of their child’s decisions.  We believe officials commit their own time to high school sports and respect should always be shown and given to them.
 
The most important goal for student-athletes is to enjoy high school sports while keeping a high level of respect between all those involved in the games.

 
- Written by the Student Advisory Council, adopted by MHSAA Representative Council in Nov. 2007

Online Captains Course Teaches Students Nationwide

The valuable lessons student leaders have received over the last decade during Captains Clinics presented statewide by Michigan High School Athletic Association staff are now available to students nationwide and beyond as part of an online Captains Course produced by the MHSAA and available from the National Federation of State High School Associations on its Learning Center website.

The Captains Course, created over two years with assistance from Michigan State University’s Institute for the Study of Youth Sports (ISYS), is broken into 10 segments providing instruction on leadership styles and skills to how to handle situations faced by leaders of teams in any sport. A total of 20 past members of the MHSAA Student Advisory Council speak during the program, providing peer-to-peer guidance that has proven effective in student leadership campaigns.

Student Advisory Council Featured on Fox Sports Detroit

The MHSAA Student Advisory Council was recently featured on STATE CHAMPS!  Check it out!