By Geoff Kimmerly
Second Half editor
Sharing in the values of leadership, sportsmanship and ethics emphasized by the Michigan High School Athletic Association, the Michigan Army National Guard is serving as the official military branch supporting MHSAA events and digital initiatives through the 2015-16 school year.
The Michigan Army National Guard provides trained and ready forces in support of the National Military Strategy, and responds as needed to state, local, and regional emergencies to ensure peace, order, and public safety. Guardsmen typically train one weekend per month and two weeks in the summer, and soldiers are eligible for educational benefits including state and federal tuition assistance programs, the G.I. Bill and grants at Michigan colleges and universities that combined usually exceed the total cost of tuition, books and fees at most Michigan post-secondary institutions.
The Guard adds value to our communities through continuous interaction. National Guard soldiers are part of the local community. Monthly and annual summer training maintains readiness when needed, be it either to defend our nation's freedom, or protecting lives and property of Michigan citizens during a local natural disaster.
“The National Guard provides opportunities for young men and women to mature into productive citizens,” MHSAA Executive Director John E. “Jack” Roberts said. “The emphasis the Guard puts on physical fitness, leadership and doing things the right way parallels what we strive to teach in school sports.”
The Guard has served as presenter of the MHSAA Cross Country Regionals and Finals and Football Playoffs during the fall, and this winter of the MHSAA Wrestling Tournament, which will conclude with the Team Wrestling Finals hosted Feb. 26-27 at Central Michigan University’s McGuirk Arena and the Individual Wrestling Finals scheduled for March 3-5 at The Palace of Auburn Hills. Guard recruiters also have been on-site attending numerous District, Regional and additional Finals events during the first half of the 2015-16 school year.
The Guard also is featured prevalently as part of the MHSAA’s online presence on both MHSAA.com and the MHSAA mobile app, and supports the “Michigan National Guard Performance of the Week” honoring a successful student-athlete on the MHSAA’s Second Half website.
“The Michigan Army National Guard is proud to support the MHSAA and student-athletes across Michigan,” said Lt. Col. Scott L. Meyers, who serves as recruiting and retention battalion commander for the Guard. “The Guard not only plays a key role in our national defense; we have a responsibility to serve our communities during times of state emergencies. As individuals, we are stewards in our communities and have an inherent responsibility to support our community in that role. One way to do this is to encourage student-athletes to live up to the ethics, values, and positive life choices common to the MHSAA and the Michigan Army National Guard.
“The National Guard is actively seeking these student-athletes to join our team. Their dedication combined with our education benefits and leadership training will provide the tools needed for them to become future leaders of Michigan’s communities.”
Click for additional information on the Michigan Army National Guard.
The MHSAA is a private, not-for-profit corporation of voluntary membership by more than 1,400 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.
1. WRESTLING All four 2023 champions – Detroit Catholic Central, Lowell, Dundee and Hudson – repeated at the weekend’s 2024 Team Wrestling Finals – MHSAA.com
2. COMPETITIVE CHEER Rochester Hills Stoney Creek edged Adams by less than a point to win their Division 1 Regional – Oakland Press
3. COMPETITIVE CHEER Allen Park outpaced Gibraltar Carlson by just more than two points to win their Division 2 Regional – Southgate News-Herald
4. BOYS SWIMMNG & DIVING Lower Peninsula Division 1 top-ranked Ann Arbor Pioneer held on against No. 2 Saline to win the Southeastern Conference Red championship – Saline Post
5. HOCKEY No. 9 Flint Powers Catholic advanced to a Division 3 Regional Final with a 4-3 triple-overtime win over No. 8 Jackson Lumen Christi – WJRT
7. BOYS SWIMMING & DIVING Bay City John Glenn won the Independent Swim Conference title, ending Essexville Garber’s championship streak at three – Bay City Times
8. BOYS SWIMMING & DIVING Midland Dow held off Grand Blanc to win the Saginaw Valley League title; they are honorable mentions in LPD2 and LPD1, respectively – Midland Daily News
9. BOWLING Zeeland’s Rylee Smith clinched her Division 1 Regional singles title with a 300 in her final game – Holland Sentinel
10. BOYS SWIMMING & DIVING Owosso finished a season sweep of the Flint Metro League – Owosso Argus-Press
Also of note …
GIRLS BASKETBALL Bark River-Harris downed Munising 52-31 to clinch the Skyline Central Conference Large schools title – Escanaba Daily Press
GIRLS BASKETBALL Hart clinched a third-straight league title outright by downing Holton in the West Michigan Conference Rivers – Ludington Daily News
BOYS BASKETBALL Parker LePla reached 1,000 career points in Goodrich’s 57-52 win over Lake Fenton in the Flint Metro League Tournament final – Mid-Michigan Now