Contact:  Geoff Kimmerly
517.332.5046 or [email protected]

EAST LANSING, Mich. – Feb. 20 – The Dowagiac High School student cheering section – the “Attack” – has been selected as this year’s Michigan High School Athletic Association “Battle of the Fans IV” winner as the top student cheering section among member schools.

This was the fourth year for the contest, which was organized by MHSAA staff and its 16-member Student Advisory Council.

Student sections from Beaverton, Buchanan, Dowagiac, St. Johns and Yale were selected as finalists from a pool of applicants. MHSAA staff and SAC members visited all five for home basketball games during the last five weeks and produced videos of each section for the MHSAA’s YouTube channel. A public vote was conducted on the MHSAA’s Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages beginning Tuesday and ending Thursday, and those results influenced the Advisory Council vote as members selected the champion.

The Student Advisory Council also based its vote on the following criteria: positive sportsmanship, student body participation, school spirit, originality of cheers, organization of the group, section leadership and overall fun.

“We’ve seen the impact this contest has made all over our state – and in some other states as well – and I look forward to hearing how this winter’s finalists influenced the creation of more improved student sections next year,” said Andy Frushour, MHSAA director of brand management and advisor to the Student Advisory Council. “Battle of the Fans continues to grow because we have four seasons of lessons we can now pass on to other schools working to create a fun and positive student section experience. This year’s finalists have played exciting parts in helping us send out that message.”

Students were invited in December to submit a short video, via YouTube, of their cheering sections in action. To view finalists’ submissions on YouTube, click on http://ow.ly/JlFXh. For links to stories and MHSAA-produced videos for all five finalists, click on http://ow.ly/JlG3T. Video of all five sections will be played on the Breslin Center HD scoreboard during the Girls and Boys Basketball Finals in March. Dowagiac will receive an MHSAA championship banner during a break in the Class B Boys Basketball Semifinals on March 27, and the other four finalists also will be invited to Breslin to receive awards for this season’s achievement.

Dowagiac, on Feb. 13, was the final stop on the MHSAA finalists tour.

“Before, everybody thought we were just a normal small town. But when everybody comes together – from this whole experience, we’ve learned teamwork,” Dowagiac senior Sydney Brooks said. “The whole town learned to work together, become united. We learned how much it pays off to work together, how much hard work can pay off.

“We worked so hard, and the community worked so hard. We’ve accomplished so much. I’m so proud of Dowagiac.” 

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.

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. 


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