By Geoff Kimmerly
Second Half editor
From the Indiana and Ohio borders to the Lake Superior shore, the buzz over this season's Battle of the Fans is reaching across Michigan like never before.
And we can't wait to showcase how Michigan's best are cheering on their classmates this winter.
The MHSAA and its Student Advisory Council will host its fifth “Battle of the Fans” contest this winter to again 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.
Battle of the Fans was started during the 2011-12 school year to 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.
Make sure to mark all social media postings regarding Battle of the Fans V with the hashtag #BOTF – and keep an eye out for more information on the MHSAA's Facebook, Twitter and Instagram sites. Click the links below to see the stories and videos from visits to our first four champions:
Frankenmuth (2012) - Buchanan (2013) - Beaverton (2014) - Dowagiac (2015)
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. This year’s finalist videos, plus the announcement of the 2015-16 winner, will be published on the MHSAA Second Half.
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.
See below for video featuring last year's finalists introducing this season's BOTF.
PHOTO: Representatives from Dowagiac's "Attack" receive the Battle of the Fans championship banner at the Breslin Center during the 2015 Boys Basketball Semifinals.