Warriors Continue Fight Against Cancer

September 26, 2014

By Geoff Kimmerly
Second Half editor

An exemplary effort that has raised more than $200,000 for cancer research and awareness will continue tonight at Walled Lake Western when the Warriors take on Waterford Mott in its annual “Warriors for Warriors” game.

This is the fourth season Western has hosted the event, which benefits the Susan G. Komen Detroit Race for the Cure, St. Baldrick’s Foundation for Pediatric Cancer and the American Cancer Society. Fans will be wearing pink shirts designed for the event, with more than 1,000 sold as of two weeks ago.

Last fall, “Warriors for Warriors” was recognized by the NFL and featured in a 30-second commercial shown during NFL football games, and the team was hosted and honored by the Detroit Lions (see below).  

“We continue to be grateful for the selfless dedication of parents, staff members, community members and all of the countless volunteers who support the fourth annual Pink Out effort,” Walled Lake superintendent Kenneth Gutman said. “Breast cancer and all cancers continue to challenge thousands of people, and we will continue to work together to eradicate it.”

A “Warriors’ Survivors Parade” will kick off the event at 6 p.m. and include patients, survivors and others who wish to honor those who are fighting or have died after battling cancer of any form. The parade will continue into the stadium. 

Prior to the 7:30 p.m. kickoff, Western’s players, wearing pink jerseys sponsored in honor of those who have fought the disease, will line the field from end zone to end zone with jersey honorees and their families. More than 170 people have been honored during the first three years of the event.

The game’s honorary captain is Commerce Elementary fifth-grader Sydney Balzer, who has fought leukemia twice and founded a community service project, Colors for Cancer Kids.  

For information, click for the Warriors for Warriors website and follow the effort on Twitter @WLW_W4W.

PHOTO: Walled Lake Western’s Kyle Bambard and 7-year-old Akayla Hodgins call the coin flip during the 2013 Warriors for Warriors game.

MHSAA, MHSFCA to Provide Spring Evaluation Camps for College Football Hopefuls

By Geoff Kimmerly
MHSAA.com senior editor

March 27, 2023

The Michigan High School Athletic Association, in partnership with the Michigan High School Football Coaches Association (MHSFCA), will be hosting first-ever Spring Evaluation Camps to provide athletes with aspirations of playing college football opportunities to show their skills and abilities to college coaches at one of five locations.

The one-day camps will take place between May 15-18 at Jenison High School, DeWitt High School, Jackson High School, Brighton High School and Detroit Country Day High School. The MHSAA’s involvement will allow for the opportunity for Division I college coaches to attend, and representatives from college football programs at all levels are expected.

Athletes who will be juniors or seniors in Fall 2023 may register to participate via a link on the Football page.

“This is an attempt by the MHSAA to help our athletes get exposure during the spring evaluation period in a way that does not intrude on spring sports,” said Brad Bush, an MHSAA assistant director and past high school and college football coach. “We are working with the MHSFCA to help put together a first-class experience for the athletes and college coaches.”

Cost is $20 per player, and each registrant will receive a shirt to wear based on the athlete’s graduation year and registration number so college coaches in attendance can monitor their camp performance. College coaches also will receive registration information for each athlete in attendance.

All athletes must have a coach from the athlete’s school staff present at the camp, and that coach must be a member of the Michigan High School Football Coaches Association.

MHSFCA executive director Andrew Pratley called the Spring Evaluation Camps a tremendous opportunity for high school athletes in Michigan.

“We are very excited with the partnership with the MHSAA that allows our kids the opportunity to wear a helmet and do drills in front of college coaches in the spring at a minimal cost,” Pratley said. “College coaches are thrilled, and it's a unique opportunity to have the rules waived by the MHSAA at these events only in order to showcase the tremendous talent all over the great state of Michigan.”

The Michigan High School Football Coaches Association (MHSFCA) has been devoted to the promotion of high school football since its inception in March 1972. The MHSFCA has more than 2,500 members and provides several educational and development opportunities for members and their athletes, including an annual coaching clinic, an annual leadership conference for coaches and potential team captains, and the annual summer East-West All-Star Game for graduated seniors. Additionally, the MHSFCA’s Leadership Development Alliance is in its third year of training coaches and offering veteran members of the association as mentors.

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 1.3 million spectators each year.