By Geoff Kimmerly
Second Half editor
Eight student-athletes who will be juniors at their schools during the 2016-17 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 2016-17 are: Sydney Hanson, Alma; Jordan Tirico, Ann Arbor Skyline; Danny deForest, Holland West Ottawa; Darby Dean, Lowell; Rachel Cummings, Mayville; Grace Reetz, Mount Pleasant Sacred Heart; Aaron Fahmer, Owendale-Gagetown; and Hunter Gandee, Temperance Bedford.
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 87 schools from 44 leagues plus independent schools that do not play in a league. Combined, the new appointees have participated in 13 MHSAA sports, and all eight will be the first SAC members from their respective schools.
The Student Advisory Council 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 judged the fifth “Battle of the Fans” after creating the contest during 2011-12 as a way to promote positive sportsmanship. The Council also began updating the “Captains 101” leadership guide that was published in 2009 and has been distributed throughout Michigan and also, by request, to other states and internationally.
The new additions to the SAC will join the Class of 2017 members who were selected a year ago: Alex Janosi, Dexter; Lindsay Duca, East Grand Rapids; Meghan Boyd, Kent City; Marissa Immel, Munising; Jordan Walker, Muskegon Mona Shores; Jack Donnelly, Ottawa Lake Whiteford; Van Nguyen, Plymouth; and Cade Smeznik, Yale.
The MHSAA is a private, not-for-profit corporation of voluntary membership by more than 1,400 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.