SAC Sound-off: The Sixth Man

February 14, 2012

It's double overtime and your legs are exhausted. The score is tied with 10 seconds left. Your team needs that key play to win the game. It’s do-or-die, and all the while there are fans screaming so loud your ears are ringing.

I don’t know about you, but most athletes get a much-needed boost in adrenaline when they hear this. I know I have.

Crowd noise plays a huge factor in deciding the outcome of the game. It doesn’t necessarily have to be that “double-overtime buzzer-beater” moment. Steady cheering throughout the game can help a team gain momentum and push through while the other team is near exhaustion.

Once in a while, when I’m playing, I’ll glance up at the crowd. Just to see the excitement on their faces gives me the extra drive. They are there to watch you. YOU are the showcase, the main event, the entertainment.

The MHSAA Student Advisory Council has been featuring the best student sections in the state with our “Battle of the Fans” contest. The fan bases for some of the schools in Michigan is incredible. They all have one goal – help their team to victory.

I attend Rudyard High School in the Upper Peninsula. I come from a small area, and the population is much smaller than many communities down-state. Life is a little slower up here, but the townspeople all have one thing we can do to get away from everyday stress – go to the big game.

Whether it be Friday night football, or District Finals in basketball, you can expect to see Main Street empty and the school parking lot full of cars.

One game I will always remember for lots of fans and noise was our basketball Quarterfinal in 2010. I was a sophomore, brought up to varsity toward the end of the regular season. I had gotten more playing time in the playoffs and got to play some solid minutes in the Quarterfinal. We ended up losing the game, but the atmosphere was exhilarating. To step on the court, and look up and witness 3,000 fans going absolutely nuts gave me an experience I will never forget. Keep in mind, Rudyard’s population is a whopping 500 people.

For me, there are those certain fans for whom you always want to perform well. I am always working hard to impress my grandparents. They live more than 100 miles away and still manage to attend a good portion of my games. They always have been supportive, and I always try my best to win for them and for my team.

Then there are the young ones who look up to you. Just this year, my basketball coaches started a youth basketball camp, and every Saturday we open the gym and kids as young as 3-years-old get their chance to be like us. They bounce the ball with the biggest smiles on their faces, and we know that they are always watching us on and off the court – and always learning from us.

I once had a young boy ask me, “Can you slam dunk it during a game for me this year?” He had been attending camp every Saturday and watched some of our practices. Just knowing how much of an influence we have on the youth of our town makes me want to be even better, and work even harder.

Young or old, sold-out house or not, fans always will be essential in supplying the home team advantage and deciding the outcome of the game. And they’ve left me with more sports-related memories than just those made on the court.

Tyler Wilson, Rudyard senior

  • Sports: Football, basketball, baseball
  • Non-sports activities: Student Council, band, drama, National Honor Society
  • Favorite class: AP government
  • Must-see TV: "Pardon The Interruption"
  • One shining moment: When we made the football playoffs this year after starting the season 2-3.
  • What's next: I plan on attending college and playing a sport. I’m not exactly sure where, but I have been narrowing it down. I plan on studying pre-med.
  • My favorite part of game day is: ... spending time with teammates. Sometimes we will have a team breakfast on game day. We’ll get together during lunch at school, etc. Just the feeling you get when you walk around the halls wearing a jersey or being dressed up.

PHOTO courtesy of Tyler Wilson.

Breslin Bound: 2023-24 Boys Report Week 1

By Geoff Kimmerly senior editor

December 4, 2023

We've got a long way to go before the stories of this season conclude with four MHSAA boys basketball champions crowned March 15 at Michigan State University's Breslin Center.

BMI Student Aidut the first week of the 2023-24 regular season gave us plenty to fill our first installment of “Breslin Bound” – our official tip-off to following more than 700 boys basketball teams through those final buzzers in East Lansing.

“Breslin Bound” is powered by MI Student Aid and based on results and schedules posted for each school at

Week in Review

The countdown of last week’s five most intriguing results:

1. Flint Carman-Ainsworth 46, Flint Beecher 44 This was their first meeting since January 2022 and it provided a memorable start as the Cavaliers downed the reigning Division 3 champion.

2. Bloomfield Hills Brother Rice 75, Ferndale 66 These two both have several new contributors, but big things will be expected again as well as Brother Rice regularly contends in Division 1 and Ferndale is the reigning Division 2 champion.

3. Lansing Waverly 58, Detroit Martin Luther King 57 Waverly took major strides last season doubling its win total from 2021-22 and could be on the verge of more coming off this impressive victory at the Detroit Douglass Tip-Off Classic.

4. Norway 49, Munising 48 After the Knights gave Munising a tough final regular-season test last season, the Mustangs went on to claim the Division 4 championship. Norway will attempt to build off back-to-back 15-7 seasons starting with this win.  

5. Wyoming Tri-unity Christian 64, Grandville Calvin Christian 44 These two combined to finish 46-9 a season ago, when Calvin defeated Tri-unity 63-42 in the regular-season finale (although the Defenders rebounded to finish Division 4 runners-up).

Bath defenders surround a Charyl Stockwell player during the Sentinels' 63-55 victory.

Watch List

With an eye toward March, here are two teams in each division making sparks:


Rochester Adams (2-0) The Highlanders provided one of the best late-breaking stories of last season, reaching the Division 1 Quarterfinals after finishing fourth of five teams in a strong Oakland Activities Association Red that also featured North Farmington and Ferndale. The momentum started rolling again with wins last week over Milford 52-48 and Macomb L’Anse Creuse North 74-59.

Utica (2-0) Last season’s co-champion in the Macomb Area Conference Blue defeated MAC White reigning champion Port Huron Northern 68-49 in their opener and then Utica Eisenhower 56-41 at the MAC Champions of Champions event at Center Line. Utica improved to 15-7 last season after finishing 7-14 in 2021-22.


Dundee (2-0) After holding its own last season in a strong Lenawee County Athletic Association and finishing 13-12 overall, Dundee is hoping to turn a fast start last week into a climb up the standings with league play starting Friday. The Vikings doubled up East Jackson 52-26 and downed Milan 67-37 to start things off.

Goodrich (1-0) A 22-5 finish last season included a shared championship in the Flint Metro League Stars and a run to the Division 2 Quarterfinals, where the Martians fell by only five to eventual champion Ferndale. The second-to-last of those five losses came to Flint Beecher, 70-55, but Goodrich avenged it Friday with a 58-55 win over the Bucs.


Hillsdale (2-0) The Hornets finished just 4-19 last season, their second sub-.500 in a row. But the turnaround may be starting. Hillsdale is halfway toward last year’s win total after defeating Union City 53-45 and Jonesville 50-40 – and after losing to Union City 52-36 and Jonesville 39-23 last season, with Jonesville going on to finish 19-6.

Royal Oak Shrine Catholic (2-0) This is another team well on its way to bettering last season’s success by Jan. 1. After going 3-19 last winter, Shrine defeated Bloomfield Hills Roeper 48-30 and Utica Ford 55-52 in overtime last week. Ford had defeated the Knights 63-50 last season, and the 55 points Shrine scored this time would have been their second-highest total of 2022-23.


Adrian Lenawee Christian (2-0) Lenawee Christian finished last season on an 11-5 run after a 2-7 start, and might be rolling that right into this season as well after opening with a 74-60 win over Blissfield and 73-58 overtime victory over Hanover-Horton. Blissfield was among teams to deal the Cougars a loss during last season’s tough early stretch. Lenawee Christian is playing in the Tri-County Conference this winter after playing previously as an independent.

Wakefield-Marenisco (2-0) The Cardinals were a solid 13-10 last season, with the final week including a third win over Bessemer as they faced off in a District Semifinal, followed by a third loss to Ironwood in the District championship game. This season’s first week saw the same schedule, but a better outcome – Wakefield-Marenisco edged Bessemer 60-57 and this time defeated Ironwood 48-30. Ironwood was first and W-M third last season in the Copper Mountain Conference Porcupine Mountain.

Can’t-Miss Contests

Be on the lookout for results of these games coming up: 

Tuesday – River Rouge (1-0) at Ferndale (1-1) – As noted above, Ferndale was last season’s Division 2 champion, and defeated Rouge 72-60 in last winter’s meeting.

Friday – Kalamazoo Central (0-0) at Battle Creek Central (0-0) – These longtime rivals finished first and third, respectively, in the Southwestern Michigan Athletic Conference East last season.

Saturday – Detroit Cass Tech (0-0) at Holt (1-0) – The Rams host the reigning Division 1 champion Technicians in the 4:30 p.m. game of the Moneyball Classic.

Saturday – Grand Rapids South Christian (0-0) vs. Rockford (1-0) at Calvin University – This will be the 10 a.m. opener of The Invite at Calvin University, with the reigning Division 2 runner-up Sailors taking on a Rockford team coming off an 18-win season.

Saturday – Grand Rapids Catholic Central (0-0) vs. Grand Rapids Northview (1-0) at Calvin University – This will cap off The Invite tipping approximately 7:35 p.m. and pitting last season’s Ottawa-Kent Conference Gold co-champion and White outright champion, respectively.'s weekly “Breslin Bound” previews and reviews are powered by MI Student Aid, a part of the Office of Postsecondary Financial Planning located within the Michigan Department of Treasury. MI Student Aid encourages students to pursue postsecondary education by providing access to student financial resources and information. MI Student Aid administers the state’s 529 college savings programs (MET/MESP), as well as scholarship and grant programs that help make college Accessible, Affordable and Attainable for you. Connect with MI Student Aid at and find more information on Facebook and Twitter @mistudentaid.

PHOTOS (Top) A Westland John Glenn player gets to the basket during U-D Jesuit's season-opening 83-48 win over the Rockets. (Middle) Bath defenders surround a Charyl Stockwell player during the Sentinels' 63-55 victory. (Top photo by Olivia B. Photography; middle photo by Click by Christine McCallister.)