Eight student-athletes who will be juniors at their schools in the 2022-23 academic year have been selected to serve for two years on the Michigan High School Athletic Association’s Student Advisory Council.
The Student Advisory Council is a 16-member group that provides input on issues impacting educational athletics from a student perspective, and is also involved in the operation of the Association’s championship events and other programs. Members of the Student Advisory Council serve for two years, beginning as juniors. Eight new members are selected each year to serve on the SAC, with nominations made by MHSAA member schools. The incoming juniors will join the group of eight seniors to be named a year ago.
Selected to begin serving on the Student Advisory Council in 2022-23: Kannon Duffing, Manchester; Claire Gorno, Gaylord; M’Khi Guy, Muskegon; Dawsen Lehew, Marcellus; Christian Sanders, Detroit Renaissance; Ben Sytsma, a Christian from Grand Rapids; Madeline Werner, All Saints of Bay City; and DaNia Womack, Dearborn Advanced Tech Academy.
These eight new members were selected from 115 applicants. This total of candidates was the second highest on record, with the past three years having the three highest totals.
The first Student Advisory Council was formed for the 2006-2007 school year. With the addition of this class starting this summer, members will have represented 129 schools from 48 leagues as well as independent schools that do not play in a league. Together, the new appointees have competed in nine MHSAA sports, and seven will be the first SAC members from their respective schools.
The Student Advisory Council typically meets seven times per school year and once more for a 24-hour leadership camp. In addition to helping to promote the educational value of interscholastic athletics, the Council discusses matters pertaining to the 4 S’s of educational athletics: scholarship, sportsmanship, safety (including health and nutrition), and reasonable scope of sports programs. There is also a fifth S discussed by the group – student leadership.
This school year, the Council selected the 2021-22 “Battle of the Fans X” champion, presented championship trophies at the finals, continued discussions on COVID-related issues, and provided feedback to the Representative Council of MHSAA on the proposed rule changes.
The new additions to the SAC will join members of the Class of 2023 who were selected a year ago: Sam Gibson, Plainwell; Brady Leistra, East Grand Rapids; Caroline Li, Okemos; Sam Matias, Catholic from Lansing; Zar’ria Mitchell, Saginaw Heritage; Carney Salo, Escanaba; Brandon Thompson, Petersburg Summerfield; and Keira Tolmie, Clarkston.
The MHSAA is a private, nonprofit voluntary membership corporation of more than 1,500 public and private high schools and colleges that exists to develop common rules for athletic eligibility and competition. No government funds or taxes support MHSAA, which was the first such association nationally to not accept membership dues or tournament fees from schools. Member schools that follow these rules are allowed to participate in MHSAA tournaments, which attract more than 1.4 million spectators each year.