Bucks finalists in ‘Battle of the Fans’Published 12:33pm Wednesday, January 23, 2013
BUCHANAN — As a finalist in the Michigan High School Athletic Association “Battle of the Fans,” the high school will find out after a site visit Jan. 31 that coincides with wearing Mean Stinks anti-bullying shirts whether the boisterous Bucks stop here.
After seeing Buchanan’s YouTube video, it’s hard to imagine a more fired-up forum than The Herd. Welcome to the Wood! And Fear the Deer!
The only downside so far, according to Athletic Director Fred Smith, is that no one leaves the standing-room-only stands during basketball games, so concession sales suffer.
Battle of the Fans began last year to encourage sportsmanship among student bodies.
“As an AD of many years, I struggle with some of the cheers directed at opponents,” he said at January’s Perc Breakfast Friday in Buchanan High School’s cafeteria.
“The MHSAA Battle of the Fans is trying to bring positive cheers. Nineteen schools entered the first contest last year. We did not participate. However, this fall we identified some student leaders at our volleyball games and took eight students and our student xouncil adviser, Stacey Carlin, to a November conference in Kalamazoo with the support of Mrs. (Principal Sharon) Steinke. A lot of young staff members got excited, and the students got excited. I just led them to water. They started drinking.”
On Jan. 31, the district will also be paying tribute to wrestling coach Frank Mucha for his 500th win.
Twenty-seven schools submitted videos this year, although seven were eliminated based on negative chants.
To Smith, Buchanan’s student body is a “game within the game. They have so much fun, adults tell me they enjoy watching our student body as much as the game.”
In fact, parents arrayed on the east side of the gymnasium, filming the color-coordinated student section — The Herd — singing or gyrating Gangnam Style on the west side with their phones, become “oblivious to what’s going on on the floor,” Smith said.
The spirit team meets twice a week. Sarah Barker and Tony Morrone (Signco Inc.) donated three banners.
Athletic Boosters gave Buck Power towels and neon hats and bandanas.
To view all BOTF views, go to www.mhsaa.com/Schools/Students/BattleoftheFans and click on “All Video Applications.”
Smith said he still dreams of opening a bakery when he retires.
“I’d like to leave the legacy my parents left,” he said. “They taught me that it’s better to serve than to be served. And it’s better to give than to receive.”
“There are good things happening in Buchanan Community Schools,” Supt. Dr. Andrea van der Laan said. “This started very small and is growing very quickly. I’ve never seen anything like it, and we rate in the top 10 percent.”
Buchanan ranked 38th of 560 Michigan public and charter schools.
The next Perc Breakfast Feb. 15 takes place at the senior center.