Troy Athens' Winning Work Promotes Importance of Becoming MI HEARTSafe
By Geoff Kimmerly
MHSAA.com senior editor
July 22, 2022
Troy Athens, and more specifically its girls soccer team, has been selected as this year’s winner of the MI HEARTSafe School Video Contest promoting the importance of Michigan schools becoming an MI HEARTSafe school.
The Kimberly Anne Gillary Foundation partners with the MHSAA to promote cardiac awareness – and Athens’ student-produced video (above) earned the school $5,000.
Michigan has lost at least 81 students to sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) and related causes since 1999, according to data compiled by the Kimberly Anne Gillary Foundation. Randy and Sue Gillary lost their daughter Kimberly to a cardiac arrest in a high school water polo game in April of 2000. Randy and Sue Gillary founded the Kimberly Anne Gillary Foundation, a 501 (c)(3) charitable foundation within days of losing Kimberly. The mission of the Foundation is to donate automated external defibrillators (AEDs) to Michigan high schools and to advocate cardiac screening and testing of Michigan high school student athletes.
A major drive of the foundation is for every Michigan school to become an MI-HEARTSafe School. This is a designation given by the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHSS) when a school has met the criteria to demonstrate it is prepared to respond to a cardiac emergency on school property. Schools receive a banner and other materials that can be displayed in the school to let those who attend and visit know that the school is an MI-HEARTSafe School.
MHSAA, MHSFCA to Provide Spring Evaluation Camps for College Football Hopefuls
By Geoff Kimmerly
MHSAA.com 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.