By Geoff Kimmerly
Second Half editor
Eight student-athletes who will be juniors at their schools during the 2020-21 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 2020-21 are: Brinlee Barry, Caledonia; Faith Breinager, Frankenmuth; Amina Ferris, Dearborn; Nicolas Johnson, Britton Deerfield; Brenna Kosal, Peck; Ashton McNabb, Three Oaks River Valley; Brock Porter, Orchard Lake St. Mary's; and Melik Williams, Ypsilanti Lincoln.
Those eight new members were selected from a record-high 179 applicants, twice as many as generally apply for SAC positions every year.
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 117 schools from 45 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 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 2019-20 “Battle of the Fans IX” champion and presented Sportsmanship Summits in front of more than 1,000 students from across the state, handed out championship trophies at Finals events and provided feedback to the MHSAA Representative Council on proposed rule changes. The Student Advisory Council also provided a student point of view as the MHSAA considered how to progress after sports were halted in March because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The new additions to the SAC will join the Class of 2021 members who were selected a year ago: Pierre Brooks II, Detroit Douglass; Macy Brown, Cadillac; Lydia Davenport, Ithaca; Freddy Kopplow, Traverse City St Francis; Colin McAuliffe, Salem; Avery Peters, Mason; Abigail Pheiffer, Novi; and Landen Thompson, Stevensville Lakeshore.
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.