Stoney Creek Leaders Speak Up to Save Lives

May 26, 2017

By Geoff Kimmerly
Second Half editor

The crowd for Rochester Hills Stoney Creek’s boys basketball game against rival Rochester was as rowdy as could be hoped for most of the evening Feb. 28.

But it fell silent during halftime as Stoney Creek juniors Nate Davis, Kevin Price and Isabella Ubaydi spoke of how suicide had affected them and their community.

A student had committed suicide every year during their high school careers – including Price’s brother just six months before.

All three are members of the school’s Cougar Athletic Leadership Council, which put on the Suicide Prevention Awareness basketball game not only to raise money for the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, but also to start the conversation on a sensitive topic that has hit home.

“We wanted to get the word out that it’s OK to talk about these issues – help the topic get out of the dark,” Ubaydi said.

“It was insane. It was awesome. There were so many people. Our student section area where we all sit was filled up to the top row. There were a lot of people from the community who didn’t go to Stoney Creek, or have alumni (associated with the school) or anything like that. But they were at Stoney Creek, and it was great to show people actually care in our community.”

The leadership council is a club made up of Stoney Creek athletes who coordinate special events, including for athletics, with an eye especially on helping the community’s youth, elderly and those with disabilities. Ubaydi, Price and Davis are co-chairs of the CALC’s special events committee.

The tragic circumstances of the last three years led the group to bring suicide prevention to the forefront. While Ubaydi spoke mostly about why the event was held and how donations would be spent, Price and Davis (Price’s best friend) talked about how suicide had affected them personally. “You could hear a pin drop,” Ubaydi said. “After we were done, (the crowd) gave a standing ovation.”

CALC raised nearly $3,500 selling T-shirts that also included free student admission to the game. After Ubaydi, Price and Davis spoke, buckets were passed through the crowd during a “miracle minute” and filled with another $1,200.

All profits from the night, including $500 from concessions, were donated to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, and Ubaydi said the $1,000 from the Community Service Award also will be sent to AFSP.

She’s since heard stories from teachers of classmates coming forward to express worries about people in their lives, a sign awareness is paying off. At the same time, Ubaydi and her co-chairs are just as concerned about people who didn’t attend the Suicide Prevention Awareness game and might be experiencing troubles in their lives – but the hope is the event spoke loudly enough to be heard by anyone who needs help.

All three leaders are juniors beginning to contemplate their futures after high school; Ubaydi is leaning toward Roanoke College in Virginia to study political science and minor in theology, while Price is considering Michigan State to study environmental science and Davis is looking at options for pre-law or political science. They hope to host the suicide prevention event again as seniors before they graduate, with future CALC students then carrying on the mission. 

“Suicide is an uncomfortable topic to talk about. Since people saw us relating to how it has affected us personally, the community will become comfortable discussing mental illnesses together,” Ubaydi wrote in CALC’s award application.

“I wanted to have this event so people understand that the influence that one person can make may be life-changing. This then causes them to be there for others, see the signs quicker, and save more lives.”

PHOTO: (Top) Cougar Athletic Leadership Council leaders Kevin Price, Isabella Ubaydi and Nate Davis show their shirts from the school’s Suicide Prevention Awareness night. VIDEOS: (Top) State Champs! Network covered the event and interviewed its organizers. (Below) Davis, Ubaydi and Price speak during halftime, also filmed by State Champs! Network.

2017 Community Service Awards

Sunday: Colon "Yard Squad" - Read
Bailey Brown, Brighton - Read
Justice Ottinger, Newaygo - Read
Katie Sesi, Ann Arbor Huron - Read
Nikki Sorgi, Utica Ford - Read
Cougar Athletic Leadership Council, Rochester Hills Stoney Creek - Read

MHSAA, MHSFCA to Provide Spring Evaluation Camps for College Football Hopefuls

By Geoff Kimmerly senior editor

March 27, 2023

The Michigan High School Athletic Association, in partnership with the Michigan High School Football Coaches Association (MHSFCA), will be hosting first-ever Spring Evaluation Camps to provide athletes with aspirations of playing college football opportunities to show their skills and abilities to college coaches at one of five locations.

The one-day camps will take place between May 15-18 at Jenison High School, DeWitt High School, Jackson High School, Brighton High School and Detroit Country Day High School. The MHSAA’s involvement will allow for the opportunity for Division I college coaches to attend, and representatives from college football programs at all levels are expected.

Athletes who will be juniors or seniors in Fall 2023 may register to participate via a link on the Football page.

“This is an attempt by the MHSAA to help our athletes get exposure during the spring evaluation period in a way that does not intrude on spring sports,” said Brad Bush, an MHSAA assistant director and past high school and college football coach. “We are working with the MHSFCA to help put together a first-class experience for the athletes and college coaches.”

Cost is $20 per player, and each registrant will receive a shirt to wear based on the athlete’s graduation year and registration number so college coaches in attendance can monitor their camp performance. College coaches also will receive registration information for each athlete in attendance.

All athletes must have a coach from the athlete’s school staff present at the camp, and that coach must be a member of the Michigan High School Football Coaches Association.

MHSFCA executive director Andrew Pratley called the Spring Evaluation Camps a tremendous opportunity for high school athletes in Michigan.

“We are very excited with the partnership with the MHSAA that allows our kids the opportunity to wear a helmet and do drills in front of college coaches in the spring at a minimal cost,” Pratley said. “College coaches are thrilled, and it's a unique opportunity to have the rules waived by the MHSAA at these events only in order to showcase the tremendous talent all over the great state of Michigan.”

The Michigan High School Football Coaches Association (MHSFCA) has been devoted to the promotion of high school football since its inception in March 1972. The MHSFCA has more than 2,500 members and provides several educational and development opportunities for members and their athletes, including an annual coaching clinic, an annual leadership conference for coaches and potential team captains, and the annual summer East-West All-Star Game for graduated seniors. Additionally, the MHSFCA’s Leadership Development Alliance is in its third year of training coaches and offering veteran members of the association as mentors.

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 1.3 million spectators each year.