You Can Create a Thriving Cheer Section

January 8, 2013

By Carly Joseph
Pontiac Notre Dame Prep senior

This time last year, I spent an entire cold winter evening alone in my room on the computer watching the surprisingly large number of Battle of the Fans entries. 

I remember being amazed not only by the number of entries, as it was the first year of BOTF, but by the spirit, participation, and positivity of those schools as well.

Though it was both exciting and inspiring to witness such an overload of school spirit all at once, a hint of jealousy crept into my mind. “My school could never do this,” I thought.  

I wondered what it would be like to be part of a school that actually had a decent student section. Throughout my first three years of high school, it seemed as if most kids were usually too busy to come to football and basketball games, myself included. Especially since students attending my school, Notre Dame Prep, come from all different cities, the drive back out to school for the game was always a convenient excuse not to attend.

Even with a slightly pessimistic approach for changing my school’s general attitude toward attending games for this year, I learned that with the help of other students and a lot of organization, the student section at NDP could be transformed from essentially non-existent to the place to be on a Friday night. 

Aided by the success of our football team and a group of junior and senior boys who really started to embrace the idea of having a good student section, everything really started to pick up. We held weekly Varsity Club meetings to decide the theme for each game, and even formed a designated group of student section leaders called the Irish Guard, who are responsible for leading cheers and keeping everyone paying attention to the game. We also started to promote the games and the theme for each game on Twitter, which really helped remind students to come out to games and get excited to support our teams.

The NDP student section has by no means reached its full potential, but it is definitely moving forward and will only improve in the years to come. Despite the fact that our student section may not be the best in the state (yet) or even have enough organization to create an entry for this year’s BOTF competition, I think that our transformation truly shows that any school can create a thriving student section – if they really want it to happen.  

Whether your school has an impressive student section or maybe needs a little help starting up, keep in mind that organization and positivity are the keys to making it better.

Click for more information on the Battle of the Fans contest. Deadline for school entries is Saturday. 

Carly Joseph, Pontiac Notre Dame Prep senior

  • Sport: Cross country
  • Non-sports activities: Varsity Club, Spanish National Honor Society
  • Favorite class: AP Spanish
  • Up next: Joseph will attend Michigan Technological University and study biomedical engineering.
  • Career sports highlight: Running a personal best at my cross country Regional (21:15) this fall.
  • Pump-up jam: "Round and Round" by Imagine Dragons
  • Must-see TV: "Dexter"
  • Favorite film: "She's the Man"

PHOTO: The Pontiac Notre Dame Prep student cheering section roots on its football team during "Neon Night" this fall. (Photo courtesy of Carly Joseph.)

Performance of the Week: Hudsonville's Ava Snip

June 20, 2024

Ava Snip headshotAva Snip ♦ Hudsonville
Senior ♦ Softball

The Eagles' senior standout threw a complete-game one-hitter Saturday as Hudsonville defeated Lake Orion 5-0 in the Division 1 Final at Secchia Stadium, not only clinching the program's first championship since 2012 but also finishing a perfect season at 42-0. Snip struck out eight batters, walked three, and allowed just a fifth-inning single before getting out of that inning with a flyout and double play.

Snip finished this season with a 19-0 record, 0.54 ERA and 208 strikeouts over 129 2/3 innings pitched while splitting starts with senior Elly Koopman, who finished 18-0 and threw a shutout against Farmington Hills Mercy in the Semifinal. The team's 42 wins are tied for 10th-most for a single season in MHSAA history, and Hudsonville is the only team to win at least 42 games and finish undefeated. Snip was one of five Eagles selected to the Division 1 all-state first team. She next will attend Western Michigan University and study occupational therapy.

@mhsaasports 🥎POW: Ava Snip #softball #hudsonville #letsgo #champion #pitcher #part1 #highschoolsports #tiktalk #interview #performanceoftheweek #mistudentaid #fyp #MHSAA ♬ original sound - MHSAA

@mhsaasports 🥎POW: Ava Snip #tiktalk #questiontime #part2 #outerbanks #zachbryan #chickfila #nighttime #performanceoftheweek #mistudentaid #fyp #MHSAA ♬ original sound - MHSAA

Follow the MHSAA on TikTok.'s "Performance of the Week" features are powered by MI Student Aid, a division within the Department of Lifelong Education, Advancement, and Potential (MiLEAP). MI Student Aid encourages students to pursue postsecondary education by providing access to student financial resources and information. MI Student Aid administers the state’s 529 college savings programs (MET/MESP), as well as scholarship and grant programs that help make college Accessible, Affordable and Attainable for you. Connect with MI Student Aid at and find more information on Facebook and Twitter @mistudentaid.

Past 2023-24 Honorees

June 13: Claire Marosi, Grand Rapids Catholic Central lacrosse - Report
June 6:
Emmry Ross, Onsted track & field - Report
May 31:
Isaac Sturgess, Flint Powers Catholic baseball - Report
May 30:
Abby Russell, Allen Park track & field - Report 
May 23:
Isabel Thelen, St. Johns tennis - Report
May 16:
Ally Katinas, Novi lacrosse - Report
May 9:
Peter Roehl, Rochester Adams golf - Report
May 2:
Lilah Smith, Richland Gull Lake soccer - Report
April 25:
Mason Mayne, Lawton track & field - Report
April 18:
Alli Wright, Jenison softball - Report
April 11:
Chloe Wishart, Trenton soccer - Report
March 28:
Jenna Maki, Ishpeming basketball - Report
March 22:
Jaremiah Palmer, Niles Brandywine basketball - Report
March 15:
Leah Hodge, North Farmington gymnastics - Report
March 8:
Darius Marines, Detroit Catholic Central wrestling - Report
March 1:
Rylee Smith, Zeeland West bowling - Report
Feb. 22:
Caleb Lewandowski, Traverse City West skiing - Report
Feb. 15:
Jadin Mix, Onaway basketball - Report
Feb. 8:
Onalee Wallis, Cadillac skiing - Report
Feb. 1:
Abbey DeGraw, Rochester Hills Stoney Creek competitive cheer - Report
Jan. 25:
Ewan Todd, Riverview swimming - Report
Jan. 18:
Ashley Weller, Jackson Northwest basketball - Report
Jan. 11:
Michael Baldwin, Saginaw Arthur Hill wrestling - Report
Dec. 15:
Jena Fijolek, Fenton bowling - Report
Dec. 8:
Sophia Wagner, Escanaba gymnastics - Report
Dec. 1:
Isaiah Marshall, Southfield Arts & Technology football - Report
Nov. 24:
Sarah Bradley, Clarkston Everest Collegiate volleyball - Report
Nov. 17:
Kalieb Osborne, Waterford Mott football - Report
Nov. 10:
Tekalegn Vlasma, Muskegon Western Michigan Christian soccer - Report
Nov. 3:
Colton Kinnie, Birmingham Seaholm football - Report
Oct. 27:
Lauren Timpf, Macomb Lutheran North golf - Report
Oct. 20:
Alena Li, Okemos golf - Report
Oct. 13:
Seth Norder, Grand Haven cross country - Report
Oct. 5:
Paige Anderson, Muskegon Reeths-Puffer golf - Report
Sept. 29:
MacKenzie Bisballe, Lake City volleyball - Report
Sept. 22:
Jhace Massey, Gladwin football - Report
Sept. 15:
Kaylee Draper, Sturgis swimming - Report
Sept. 8:
Owen Jackson, Traverse City St. Francis tennis - Report
Sept. 1:
Rachel Forsyth, Ann Arbor Pioneer cross country - Report