Eight student-athletes who will be juniors at their schools during the 2021-22 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 2021-22 are: Sam Gibson, Plainwell; Brady Leistra, East Grand Rapids; Caroline Li, Okemos; Sam Matias, Lansing Catholic; Zar'ria Mitchell, Saginaw Heritage; Carney Salo, Escanaba; Brandon Thompson, Petersburg Summerfield; and Keira Tolmie, Clarkston.
Those eight new members were selected from 114 applicants. That applicant total was 40 percent more than the total number of applicants who 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 122 schools from 46 leagues plus independent schools that do not play in a league. Combined, the new appointees have participated in 12 MHSAA sports, and five will be the first SAC members from their respective schools.
The Student Advisory Council generally meets seven times each school year, and once more for a 24-hour leadership camp. This school year, due to COVID-19, the Council met nearly twice as many times, but virtually all but once when members met for an outdoor, socially-distanced session.
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.
The new additions to the SAC will join the Class of 2022 members who were selected a year ago: Brinlee Barry, Caledonia; Faith Breinager, Frankenmuth; Amina Ferris, Dearborn; Nico Johnson, Britton Deerfield; Brenna Kosal, Peck; Ashton McNabb, Three Oaks River Valley; Brock Porter, Orchard Lake St. Mary's; and Melik Williams, Ypsilanti Lincoln.
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.