Fifth annual Battle of the Fans underway
Published 8:50 am Tuesday, December 29, 2015
EAST LANSING — The Michigan High School Athletic Association’s Student Advisory Council will host its fifth “Battle of the Fans” contest this winter to award the top high school student cheering section in Michigan and promote the opportunity for a fun, positive cheering experience for fans supporting their teams.
Dowagiac was named last year’s champion and presented with a banner during the MHSAA Boys Basketball Finals at Michigan State University’s Breslin Center. Sections from Beaverton, Buchanan, St. Johns and Yale also were finalists and recognized during the Breslin ceremony.
Schools are invited to submit a short video, via YouTube, of their cheering sections in action. Video submissions should be between 90 seconds and three minutes long and explain how that section meets the following contest criteria: positive sportsmanship, student body participation, school spirit, originality of cheers, organization of the group, student section leadership and fun.
The deadline for student-submitted video applications is noon Jan. 9. Five finalists including at least one Class C or D school then will be chosen and visited on a home game night by MHSAA staff and Advisory Council representatives. The MHSAA will produce a video of that finalist after each visit, with the champion being selected by the Student Advisory Council based in part on activity on the MHSAA’s social media sites.
This year’s winner will be announced Feb. 19 and recognized March 25 at the Breslin Center.
“The message of Battle of the Fans continues to reach more schools, students and communities as they embrace the idea of a fun, positive atmosphere at their sporting events,” said Andy Frushour, MHSAA director of brand management and advisor to the Student Advisory Council. “Battle of the Fans continues to be a driving topic of our fall Sportsmanship Summits, which have been attended over the last two years by nearly 200 schools – and more than 80 percent for the first time. We’ve already seen how anticipation of this year’s contest has spread as schools gear up and share their excitement with us on social media.”
Rules, directions for submitting videos, plus links to coverage of finalists from the first four years of the contest can be found on the MHSAA Website at www.mhsaa.com/BOTF. This year’s finalist videos, plus the announcement of the 2015-16 winner, will be published on the MHSAA Second Half site at SecondHalf.MHSAA.com.
The Student Advisory Council is made up of eight seniors and eight juniors, who each serve two-year terms. The Council acts as the voice of Michigan’s student-athletes; it serves as a student sounding board for the MHSAA’s Representative Council, assists in planning Sportsmanship Summits, Captains Clinics and other student leadership events; participates in a yearly focus group about the state of high school sports for Michigan State University’s Institute for the Study of Youth Sports and assists with medal ceremonies at MHSAA championship events.