Our Best and Brightest

April 12, 2015

The best two hours of each work year are those spent with the MHSAA Scholar-Athletes and their parents on the last Saturday of the winter tournament season.

This is a happy and pardonably proud group who epitomize the best of what our schools and school sports produce because of the giftedness of the student-athletes and their grit to maximize those gifts with the help of family and the faculty of member schools.

This year’s 32 recipients of $1,000 scholarships represent 22 of the 28 MHSAA tournament sports. The 32 recipients average 2.56 sports per person, and their average GPA is 3.95.

Five of this year’s class have won MHSAA state championships as individuals or members on a team. Nineteen of this year’s class have perfect 4.0 GPAs.

Over the years, 323 MHSAA high schools have been represented with scholarship winners; and this year, 10 students were first-time winners for their schools.

This is the 26th year of this program, underwritten since its inception by Michigan Farm Bureau, which has now invested $652,000 in MHSAA's scholar-athletes. The longevity and generosity of this sponsorship is Michigan at its best.

And these 32 students are among our state’s most precious resources for creating a better future for our state, nation and world.

Cheering for Sportsmanship

July 31, 2018

(This blog first appeared on MHSAA.com 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.