Partners in Promotion

March 28, 2017

The Michigan High School Athletic Association and State Champs Sports Network are joining forces during the coming school year to define what school sports are, defend what they stand for, and distribute that message on a collective platform across the state every weekend, 12 months a year.

Beginning this fall, State Champs Metro Detroit-based high school football show “Extra Point” will move to Fox Sports Detroit on Saturday mornings and become the “MHSAA Extra Point.” Throughout the entire football season, this 30-minute show will feature a variety of statewide football highlights utilizing the expansive bank of State Champs Sports Network camera crews. This will also give a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for students to have specially selected highlights reaching as many as 3.5 million homes. But only those MHSAA member schools participating in the School Broadcast Program will have that exclusive opportunity.

The longest running all-sports high school sports show in state history, “State Champs High School Sports Show” on Fox Sports Detroit, airs Sunday morning, nearly 40 times a year. Now, every episode will feature the MHSAA Minute – talking everything in the life of the association from coaches education to health and safety, officiating, breaking news and more.

We’ll also have special programming where we dig into the MHSAA vaults to bring old games, coaches and players back to life on State Champs Legends. We’ll also tackle important topics and issues in school sports, with the first special coming this August when “Concussions and the Modern Athlete” will focus on head injury and its impact in high school sports.

Every football Friday night, “State Champs Scoreboard” radio show airs on the number one ranked 97.1 – The Ticket in Detroit. Now, in partnership with the expansive MHSAA Network, affiliate stations across the state will jump on board to simulcast. During the winter we’ll take it all online for a Friday night statewide basketball show on Facebook live.

Finally, plans are in the works to further grow the next generation of sports media and production professionals. Working in conjunction with PlayOn Sports, a State Champs Sports Network crew will work hand in hand with high school students, conducting live demonstrations of the MHSAA School Broadcast Program by live streaming an event from their school.

In an era where high school sports coverage is at its lowest point in state history, a new team will continue to spotlight the life lessons school sports teach our children. This partnership between the State Champs Network and the MHSAA will do more than ever to champion that message.

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.