MHSAA Announces Revised Wrestling Schedule, 2021 Finals Site
By Geoff Kimmerly
MHSAA.com senior editor
March 2, 2021
The Michigan High School Athletic Association has revised its 2021 Wrestling Tournaments, scheduled for the final three weeks of March and first weekend of April, in an effort to reduce the mixing of communities and spread of COVID-19. The MHSAA also has selected Wings Event Center in Kalamazoo as this year’s host site for the Teams Finals on March 30 and Individual Finals to be wrestled April 2-3.
As in non-COVID seasons, the wrestling postseason will be divided into separate tournament tracks for teams and individuals, with competition at the District, Regional and Finals levels. Competition at the District and Regional levels for both the team and individual tournaments will follow the MHSAA’s traditional formats, which is possible due to the COVID-19 rapid testing required of each participating wrestler. Districts will be wrestled during the week of March 15, with Regionals the following week.
However, a number of changes for this season’s Finals have been put in place to provide the same experience for qualifying athletes but with more precautions to limit possible exposure to the virus.
Team Wrestling: Quarterfinals, Semifinals and Finals will be wrestled Tuesday, March 30 at Wings Event Center, with all rounds over one day instead of the traditional two. Two areas within Wings Event Center – the “Valley” and “Arena” – will host matches for Quarterfinals and Semifinals, with all four championship matches wrestled simultaneously in the Arena to conclude the event. Divisions 2 and 4 will compete in the Arena, and Divisions 1 and 3 in the Valley prior to the title matches.
Individual Wrestling: All rounds of the Individual Finals will be wrestled at Wings Event Center over the course of one day – Divisions 2 and 3 will compete Friday, April 2, and Divisions 1 and 4 will wrestle April 3. Both arenas within Wings Event Center will be used each day – one for each division – with all rounds including championship matches wrestled in that specific area. Divisions 3 and 1 will compete in the Arena, and Divisions 2 and 4 will compete in the Valley.
Determinations of which divisions were assigned to wrestle in Wings’ Arena and Valley were made by a blind draw conducted by the MHSAA in partnership with the executive board of the Michigan Wrestling Association, the statewide coaches association for the sport. Teams scheduled to wrestle in the Valley during the Team Quarterfinals and Semifinals automatically were selected to wrestle in the Arena for all rounds of the Individual Finals.
Spectator limits at Regionals and Finals will be determined locally following Michigan Department of Health and Human Services orders and will not exceed one per participant.
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.