SAC Sound-off: We Won Our Battle

February 28, 2012

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.

It worked.

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.

Performance of the Week: St. Johns' Isabel Thelen

May 23, 2024

Isabel Thelen headshotIsabel Thelen ♦ St. Johns
Senior ♦ Tennis

Playing as part of St. Johns’ singles lineup for the fourth season – and at No. 1 singles for the second straight – Thelen will bring a 22-1 record into next weekend’s Lower Peninsula Division 3 Finals at Kalamazoo College and Western Michigan University. Thelen won her Regional last week, giving up only five games total in sweeping all three matches that day while also helping the Redwings finish runner-up to advance to the Finals as a team.

All of Thelen’s wins this spring have come in two sets, and her only loss was to Battle Creek Lakeview’s Maddy Simonds, who will be playing in the Division 2 Finals next weekend. Thelen also claimed the No. 1 singles championship at the Capital Area Activities Conference Red Tournament on Tuesday, winning both matches 6-0, 6-0. She’s a combined 91-10 during her high school career, and she also capped her basketball career this winter earning all-area and all-league honors. She will study next at Lansing Community College, possibly health sciences.

@mhsaasports 🎾POW: Isabel Thelen #tennis #stjohns #letsgo #champion #part1 #highschoolsports #tiktalk #interview #performanceoftheweek #mistudentaid #fyp #MHSAA ♬ original sound - MHSAA

@mhsaasports 🎾POW: Isabel Thelen #tiktalk #questiontime #part2 #culvers #cat #airheadextreme #night #sand #beach #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

May 16: Ally Katinas, Novi lacrosse - Report
May 9:
Peter Roehl, Rochester Adams - 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

(Action photo by Alex Parsons; headshot by Iryshe Photography.)