PROOS: The 2018 #SWMISpirit tournament is underway

Published 8:24 am Wednesday, March 14, 2018

am proud to once again sponsor the Southwest Michigan Spirit Tournament to foster creativity and give students and alumni an avenue to showcase their school spirit and tell everyone what makes their school great.

The 2018 competition began on March 5 and will span five weeks, ending at noon on Friday, April 6.

The champion will receive a special tribute from the governor and area legislators commending their school and will house an engraved trophy until the following year. Currently, the trophy is held by the Watervliet Panthers.

The 31 high schools in the tournament were divided into four brackets that were named for features that characterize Southwest Michigan. Like in the NCAA basketball tournament, the schools compete in a single-elimination bracket contest with those with the most points moving on to the next round each week.

The first round was last week, so here are the matchups for the Sweet 16: Bridgman vs. Michigan Lutheran; New Buffalo vs. Lake Michigan Catholic; Watervliet vs. River Valley; Brandywine vs. Grace Christian; Buchanan vs. Berrien Springs; Centreville vs. Coloma; Cassopolis vs. Edwardsburg; and Marcellus vs. Howardsville Christian.

For the bracket, complete rules and information, visit There are several ways to earn points for your school, such as voting in polls or submitting unique photos about your school.

Visitors to the John Proos Supporters Page on Facebook can also upload photos and earn bonus points when others “like” their school’s photo album. Another way to earn points is to follow me on Twitter and send a tweet to @JohnMProos that includes the school name and the hashtag #SWMISpirit.

Fans can also earn 10 points for sharing my posts about the contest on Facebook or quoting my tournament-related tweets and include the school name. Residents can also earn a point by voting in the polls at

Over the years, the response to this competition has been phenomenal. I encourage everyone to show once again that no one has more school spirit than southwest Michigan.

JOHN PROOS, R-St. Joseph, represents the 21st District, which includes Berrien, Cass and St. Joseph counties.