Rally Finalists Prepped for Competition

August 16, 2013

By Geoff Kimmerly
Second Half editor

The MHSAA’s inaugural “Prep Rally” contest was born this spring to help us teach athletes the importance of staying in shape during the offseason – while showing them fun ways to do so.

And like with our MHSAA “Battle of the Fans” contest during the past two winters, we learned a few things from our Prep Rally participants – most notably, that athletes during the school year enjoy staying active during the offseason. And especially if that activity includes a creative challenge or two.

Following are brief stories behind our three finalists for this summer's contest, which was part of the MHSAA’s PLAY (Preparation Lasts All Year) initiative designed to encourage athletes to remain active during the offseason so they are prepared physically and acclimated to warm weather when practice begins in the fall.

Thanks to all who submitted applications – we hope this is just the start of your helping us tell more athletes the best and most enjoyable ways to stay in shape and get ready for competition. The inaugural Prep Rally winner will be announced Monday on Second Half and be awarded tickets to an MHSAA Final of their choice, at which they will be recognized for their accomplishment.

Not surprising given Michigan’s abundance of woods and water, outdoor activities were a dominant theme of the inaugural Prep Rally.

Here’s a look at our finalists:

Beal City: Game Changers

“For many students the summer is simply a time to kick back, relax, hang out on the couch and play video games. However, this is not the case for Beal City athletes,” sophomore Billy Chilman wrote.

“When we are not training for our championship teams on the field or in the classroom, we are always looking for new ways to stay fit and have fun. Whether it’s going to Coldwater Lake, to boat, knee board, ski or tube, we always seem to find something active to do.”

And that led to ATV tubing.

In essence, a four-wheeler on one bank of a small pond pulls the rider, sitting on a snow sled, across the pond. “It was also a great workout, improving our balance and upper body strength,” Chillman added.

Fenton: Into the Woods

A team that will spend all fall in the pool spends a valuable part of it offseason prep on dry land.

Fenton girls swimming and diving team journeys away from home leading up to every season. This summer it headed to Pigeon River Country State Forest near Vanderbilt at the northern end of the Lower Peninsula for a three-day “survival trip.” 

Plans included a four-mile hike to the first camp, followed by 4-5 mile hikes to each day to a new camp site.

The team also was divided into four smaller squads that competed in challenges as well as setting up camp, building fires and cooking meals.

“The purpose of the trip is to provide some physical conditioning as well as a team-building activity,” Fenton coach Brad Jones wrote in the Tigers’ submission.

Grosse Pointe Woods University Liggett: Crossing the Isle

Seniors Hannah Hodges and Danielle Lorant participate in three sports together during the school year – cross country, hockey and soccer – so staying in shape over the summer is especially key.

This summer, that included a five-day backpacking trip at Isle Royale National Park as part of a program hosted by Michigan Tech University.

The Knights’ pair hiked 45 miles while carrying 50 pounds of supplies in backpacks. To prepare for the trip, Hodges and Lorant went on weekly hikes closer to home at Stoney Creek Metropolitan Park, Island Lake State Recreation Area and Algonac State Park – which built endurance but also allowed for an opportunity to test their gear.

“Backpacking on Isle Royale granted the chance to interact in nature and connect with other Michigan high school athletes who also participated in the trip, and to stay in good physical condition,” Hodges wrote in her submission.

“This trip demonstrated that there are other ways to stay in shape over the summer besides participating in the sports that we play during the school year.” 

Follow the #PrepRally conversation on Facebook and Twitter @MHSAA

94 Schools Raise Trophies as Part of 2023-24 MHSAA Parade of Champions

By Geoff Kimmerly
MHSAA.com senior editor

June 19, 2024

A total of 94 schools won one or more of the 129 Michigan High School Athletic Association team championships awarded during the 2023-24 school sports year, with three teams earning the first Finals championship in any sport in their schools’ histories.

Southfield Arts & Technology celebrated its first MHSAA Finals team championship during the fall, winning the 11-player Division 1 football title. Evart and Watervliet closed this spring by celebrating their first Finals victories, Evart as champion in Division 3 softball and Watervliet as champion in Division 4 baseball.

A total of 25 schools won two or more championships this school year, paced by Marquette’s six won in girls and boys cross country, girls and boys swimming & diving, boys golf and boys track & field. Detroit Catholic Central was next with four Finals championships, and Bloomfield Hills Cranbrook Kingswood, Farmington Hills Mercy, Grand Rapids Catholic Central and Jackson Lumen Christi all won three. Winning two titles in 2023-24 were Ann Arbor Greenhills, Ann Arbor Pioneer, Bark River-Harris, Clarkston Everest Collegiate, Detroit Country Day, Escanaba, Flint Kearsley, Fowler, Grand Rapids Christian, Hancock, Hudson, Hudsonville Unity Christian, Ishpeming, Negaunee, Northville, Orchard Lake St. Mary’s, Rochester Adams, Traverse City Christian and Traverse City St. Francis.

A total of 25 teams won first MHSAA titles in their respective sports. A total of 47 champions were repeat winners from 2022-23. A total of 22 teams won championships for at least the third-straight season, while 11 teams extended title streaks to at least four consecutive seasons. The Lowell wrestling program owns the longest title streak at 11 seasons. 

Sixteen of the MHSAA's 28 team championship tournaments are unified, involving teams from the Upper and Lower Peninsulas, while separate competition to determine title winners in both Peninsulas is conducted in remaining sports.

For a sport-by-sport listing of MHSAA champions for 2023-24, click here (PDF).

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 1.4 million spectators each year.