Muskegon Catholic Central is known for good sport teams, especially during football season. But it doesn’t always have a good reputation when it comes to the fans supporting them.
As a small school, MCC doesn’t attract many to its sporting events. In the past, my school’s student section was not something we could be proud of – with only three to four rows of students at home games, we hardly could be considered a student section at all.
The few people who did show up cheered only once in a while. Some didn’t stand up and cheer once during an entire game. A few times, we had a decent crowd – but the cheers were unsportsmanlike, and our school administrators weren’t too happy.
Those past student sections gave me little hope for this, my senior year. But "Battle of the Fans" renewed it.
As a member of the MHSAA’s Student Advisory Council, I had a role in designing the competition. I tried to rally my school to take part. I figured that by doing so, it might convince more people to come and participate in the MCC student section.
At the first game this basketball season, an entire section of the bleachers were filled with eager students ready to cheer on the Crusaders boys varsity team. The gym vibrated with cheers. Students no longer came just to socialize; they were there to cheer on their classmates.
That night was the match that started the fire. With the Battle of the Fans competition in mind, the student section finally got organized. We created a Facebook group to remind everyone when we had games and fill them in on the themes, new cheers, and posters being made. A group of senior and junior boys emerged as the section’s leaders. We became the Cioe Crazies, named after our gym.
Our leaders tried to make a video to submit to the Battle of the Fans. We missed the deadline – but that didn’t stop the Cioe Crazies.
Now, our student section is at every game, ready to be loud and enthusiastic. We no longer are known as the rude and obnoxious group of students from MCC – we are organized and creative, while also keeping our cheers positive. We have attracted many new faces to our student section; some famous (check out the big head posters), others our favorite faculty members. The Cioe Crazies’ enthusiasm has spread through the entire gym, and parents are even joining in on the cheers.
Our student section has changed drastically this year and will not go back to its old ways. The Crazies may have missed out on the Battle of the Fans this time. But the contest already has changed the face of Muskegon Catholic Central’s student section forever.
Alissa Jones, Muskegon Catholic senior
- Sports: Swimming, basketball and track and field
- Non-sports activities: YMCA volunteering, middle school girls anti-bullying group, National Honors Society
- Favorite class: World Literature
- Must-see TV: "How I Met Your Mother"
- One shining moment: This year, when I personally finished in first place in all my swimming events at the conference meet, and my team received second place for the first time in our school's history. I will always remember that day.
- What's next: I plan on attending a four-year college, but I am still currently in the decision process. I plan to continue my swimming career in college. I loved working with younger children this summer while I volunteered at the YMCA, so maybe (I'll major in) something along those lines.
- My favorite part of game day is: ... when the game is finished and I know I gave it everything I had for that game.
PHOTO courtesy of Alissa Jones.
Sophia Wagner ♦ Escanaba
Senior ♦ Gymnastics
In just her team’s second competition this season, Wagner set program records with a 9.8 on floor exercise and 37.380 all-around to finish first in both at the Escanaba Elks Invitational. The floor exercise record topped the previous Escanaba-best 9.7 scored by current senior teammate Sophie Lehto last season.
Escanaba’s gymnastics program has made major statewide strides over the last half-decade, and Wagner reached the Finals podium last season tying for fifth on Division 2 balance beam with a score of 9.025 while also tying for 22nd on vault. The week before, Wagner helped lead Escanaba to a sixth-place Regional finish against a field that included the last two Finals team champions. She also played tennis and was part of the No. 3 doubles runner-up as Escanaba shared the Upper Peninsula Division 1 team title this fall, and she finished second in pole vault and ran on the seventh-place 400-meter relay in the spring as Escanaba finished third at the UPD1 Girls Track & Field Finals.
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Past 2023-24 Honorees
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
(Photos courtesy of Victory Video and Photography.)