New Legacies

September 30, 2015

For nearly two dozen years, the MHSAA has conducted its “Legacy” program through which high school students are welcomed into high school sports officiating and mentored by approved MHSAA officials. This has given these students a jump start in officiating and in life. For example ...

  • Zach Kemp and Aaron Wieber, both honored as legacy officials in 1992, are now NCAA officials in football and basketball, respectively.
  • Brent Sorg, 1993, is now the soccer coach at Williamston High School and a former MLS soccer official.
  • Dan Carmichael, also 1993, has worked MHSAA Finals in both basketball and football.
  • Bill Parker, 1994, has umpired both Minor League baseball and MHSAA Baseball Finals.
  • Carmen Kennedy, also 1994, is principal at St. Clair Shores South Lake High School and serves on the MHSAA Representative Council.
  • Matt McDermott, 1995, has officiated MHSAA Finals in both football and basketball, and has been a longtime NCAA basketball official.
  • Ryan Negoshian, also 1995, has officiated MHSAA Softball Finals.
  • Jeremy Valentine, 1998, has worked the MHSAA Football Finals and an NCAA Division II National Championship game.
  • Jon Studley, 1999, is now athletic director at Caro High School.
  • Nathan Taylor, 2000, has worked MHSAA Finals in both football and basketball.
  • Sara Tisdale, also 2000, worked MHSAA Finals in volleyball and she’s now a college lacrosse coach.

That’s just a dozen examples from the Legacy program’s first decade, making a difference in Michigan schools and sports. Adding to the pleasure of living in Michigan and loving school sports.

Cheering for Sportsmanship

July 31, 2018

(This blog first appeared on on January 8, 2013.)

I try to start each new school year at the Michigan Interscholastic Press Association summer camp at Michigan State University. I talk briefly about who the MHSAA is and what it does; and then two or three dozen high school newspaper editors and writers ask me questions; and in doing so, they give me clues to what’s going on in our schools and what’s important to our students.

Several years ago, when I opened the session to questions, one young man asked: “Mr. Roberts, what’s your job?” I paused, and then said, “I guess I’m the head cheerleader for high school sports in Michigan.”

So then this precocious student asked: “Okay, what do you cheer for?”  With a briefer pause, this is some of what I said:

  • I cheer for sportsmanship that’s not merely good, but great.

  • I cheer for sportsmanship, not gamesmanship.

  • I cheer for playing by the rules, both the letter and the spirit.

  • I cheer for maximum effort to try to win each and every contest.

  • I don’t cheer for winning at any cost; I do cheer for learning at every opportunity.

  • I cheer for losing with grace and for winning with even greater grace, with humility and modesty.

  • I cheer for the lessons of victory and the even greater lessons of defeat.