SI Honors Belding SAC Member Wilker

May 11, 2016

By Geoff Kimmerly
Second Half editor

A nationally-known media giant like Sports Illustrated can seem worlds away from a town of fewer than six thousand just left of middle in Michigan’s Lower Peninsula.

Belding senior Greta Wilker figured the New York-based magazine would never find someone like her. But it did, and this week readers all over the world have the opportunity to find out why.

Wilker was chosen as SI’s High School Athlete of the Month for May, with the video below appearing at SI.com and an article to follow, she believes, later this week or soon after. Wilker was nominated for the award – she’s not sure by whom – and was first contacted by Sports Illustrated near the end of her basketball season in March.

A camera crew came to Belding in mid-April and spent two days shooting video of Wilker at school, training dogs at her Paws with a Cause class and then during her softball game and track & field meet. Another reporter came out the next week to spend a few more days reporting for the written story that will appear on the website and in part in the magazine this month.

“When you watch the other kids who got picked … some of the things other kids are doing are ridiculous,” Wilker said. “To think I was up at the same level as those other kids, it’s pretty cool.”

Wilker, a member of the MHSAA Student Advisory Council, has some pretty “ridiculous” achievements herself. She’s her class’ top student with 4.2 grade-point average weighted to include Advanced Placement classes, and she’ll graduate with 16 varsity letters – four each in volleyball, basketball, softball and track & field. In her spare time, she trains service dogs that are placed to assist people with hearing and other disabilities.

She will study and play softball next at Emory University in Georgia with another big goal in mind – she hopes to eventually become a pediatric orthopedic surgeon.  

MHSAA Student Advisory Council Names Members from Class of 2024

By Geoff Kimmerly
MHSAA.com senior editor

May 9, 2022

Eight student-athletes who will be juniors at their schools during the 2022-23 academic year have been selected to serve two-year terms on the Michigan High School Athletic Association’s Student Advisory Council.

The Student Advisory Council is a 16-member group which provides feedback on issues impacting educational athletics from a student’s perspective, and also is involved in the operation of Association championship events and other programming. Members of the Student Advisory Council serve for two years, beginning as juniors. Eight new members are selected annually to serve on the SAC, with nominations made by MHSAA member schools. The incoming juniors will join the group of eight seniors-to-be appointed a year ago.

Selected to begin serving on the Student Advisory Council in 2022-23 are: Kannon Duffing, Manchester; Claire Gorno, Gaylord; M'Khi Guy, Muskegon; Dawsen Lehew, Marcellus; Christian Sanders, Detroit Renaissance; Ben Sytsma, Grand Rapids Christian; Madeline Werner, Bay City All Saints; and DaNia Womack, Dearborn Advanced Tech Academy.

Those eight new members were selected from 115 applicants. That applicant total was the second-most ever, with the last three years featuring the three highest totals.

The first Student Advisory Council was formed for the 2006-07 school year. With the addition of this class beginning this summer, members will have represented 129 schools from 48 leagues plus independent schools that do not play in a league. Combined, the new appointees have participated in nine MHSAA sports, and seven will be the first SAC members from their respective schools.

The Student Advisory Council generally meets seven times each school year, and once more for a 24-hour leadership camp. In addition to assisting in the promotion of the educational value of interscholastic athletics, the Council discusses issues dealing with the 4 S’s of educational athletics: scholarship, sportsmanship, safety (including health and nutrition) and the sensible scope of athletic programs. There also is a fifth S discussed by the group – student leadership.

This school year, the Council selected the 2021-22 “Battle of the Fans X” champion, handed out championship trophies at Finals events, continued discussions about COVID-related issues and provided feedback to the MHSAA Representative Council on proposed rule changes.

The new additions to the SAC will join the Class of 2023 members who were selected a year ago: Sam Gibson, Plainwell; Brady Leistra, East Grand Rapids; Caroline Li, Okemos; Sam Matias, Lansing Catholic; Zar'ria Mitchell, Saginaw Heritage; Carney Salo, Escanaba; Brandon Thompson, Petersburg Summerfield; and Keira Tolmie, Clarkston.

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 1.4 million spectators each year.