By Geoff Kimmerly
Second Half editor
The remaining 32 teams in the Michigan High School Athletic Association Girls Volleyball Tournament and individuals from 128 schools who have qualified for the Lower Peninsula Girls Swimming & Diving Finals will restart their postseasons Monday, Jan. 4, with championship events for both concluding Jan. 16.
Participants in both sports must take part in a rapid testing pilot program created by the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS). Athletes, coaches and other team personnel directly involved in practice and competition must test three times per week using BinaxNOW antigen tests that produce results within 15 minutes. Teams and individuals in both sports must complete one round of negative COVID-19 tests before beginning practice. Football teams still participating in the MHSAA Football Playoffs also are taking part in the rapid testing pilot program and scheduled to begin full-contact practice as soon as they complete a round of negative testing this week.
The Girls Volleyball Tournament will pick up with Quarterfinals on Jan. 12, followed by Semifinals on Jan. 14-15 and Finals on Jan. 16. Semifinals and Finals will be played at Kellogg Arena in Battle Creek.
The Girls Swimming & Diving Tournament will conclude with Finals during the weekend of Jan. 15-16 at three sites – Division 1 at Hudsonville High School, Division 2 at Grand Rapids Northview High School and Division 3 at Lake Orion High School. The Diving Finals will take place Friday, Jan. 15, followed by all Swimming Finals on Jan. 16.
Spectators will not be allowed at competitions for either sport. Spectators also are not being allowed at Football Playoff games, which are scheduled to begin again Jan. 9.
Elections were completed recently to fill positions on the Michigan High School Athletic Association’s legislative body, its Representative Council, with six members receiving re-election, another rejoining the Council after previously serving and two being selected for the first time – one of those two as part of a special election.
Five of the six re-elected members ran unopposed. Midland athletic director Eric Albright was re-elected to continue representing Class A and B schools in the northern section of the Lower Peninsula, Portage Northern athletic director Chris Riker was re-elected to continue representing Class A and B schools in the southwestern section of the Lower Peninsula, and Brighton athletic director John Thompson was re-elected to continue representing Class A and B schools in the southeastern section of the Lower Peninsula.
Calumet faculty member and past athletic director Sean Jacques was re-elected to continue representing the Class C and D schools in the Upper Peninsula. Vic Michaels, director of physical education and athletics for the Archdiocese of Detroit, was re-elected to continue representing private and parochial schools. Grand Haven superintendent Scott C. Grimes was re-elected for a statewide at-large position from an original pool of four candidates.
Bangor athletic director Fredrick J. Smith will be rejoining the Council after previously serving from 2005-17 while athletic director at Comstock, Buchanan and Benton Harbor. He was elected to represent junior high and middle schools. Harbor Springs athletic director Anna Rigby will join the Council for the first time and was elected to represent Class C and D schools in the northern section of the Lower Peninsula. All eight were elected to serve two-year terms.
Camden-Frontier superintendent Chris Adams also will be joining the Council for the first time. He was selected as part of a special election to serve a one-year term representing Class C and D schools in the southeastern section of the Lower Peninsula. He will finish the term of former Ottawa Lake Whiteford athletic director and coach Jason Mensing, who now serves at Class A Westland John Glenn.
The Representative Council is the 19-member legislative body of the MHSAA. All but five members are elected by member schools. Four members are appointed by the Council to facilitate representation of females and minorities, and the 19th position is occupied by the Superintendent of Public Instruction or designee. The Council meets three times annually, and these elections take effect with the Fall 2022 meeting. Five members of the Council convene monthly during the school year to form the MHSAA’s Executive Committee, which reviews appeals of Handbook regulations by member schools.
Additional elections took place to select representatives to the Upper Peninsula Athletic Committee. Lake Linden-Hubbell athletic director and varsity girls basketball coach Jack Kumpula was elected to represent Class D schools, and West Iron County principal, athletic director and varsity football coach Mike Berutti was elected to represent athletic coaches. Powers North Central principal David Florenski was selected in a special election to serve a one-year term representing Class D schools.
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.