LASATA: 2020 #SWMISpirit tournament nears tipoff

With March comes the longer, sunnier and warmer days of spring and the return of the beloved Southwest Michigan Spirit Tournament, which will tip off on Monday, March 2.

The #SWMISpirit tournament is a popular community wide event, bringing together students, parents, alumni and ordinary citizens in support of our great schools. Participants supporting all 31 area schools have submitted thousands of photos during previous competitions to showcase their outstanding school spirit and to determine the winning schools.

However, I am excited to announce that we are shaking things up a bit, to both make it easier to participate and to simplify scoring. So, while photo submissions will be still welcomed this year, they will not factor into the tournament outcome.

This year, as before, the 31 area high schools in the tournament will be divided into four brackets, like in the NCAA basketball tournament. The schools will compete in a single-elimination bracket contest with those earning the most points advancing to the next round each week. Voting will take place in either of two locations: Facebook.com/SenKimLaSata and at StateSenatorKimLaSata.com.

On Facebook, each matchup in each round will feature a graphic of the competing schools’ mascots. To vote, participants will “react” to the original graphic with a “Haha” to vote for one school or a “Wow” to vote for the other. Each graphic will indicate which reaction method to use for each school. This will provide a real time score for all to easily follow. Please note that while I encourage everyone to share the graphics, the official score will only be tallied from reactions to the original post on my Facebook page. The second way to participate will be on my website. Each week a new poll will be posted, allowing participants to select their favorite school in each round’s matchups.

At the end of each round, the votes from Facebook and from my website will be combined, and winning schools will advance to the next round until a winner is determined. This year’s tournament will begin on Monday, March 2 and will continue for five weeks, ending at noon on Friday, April 3.

Please visit my Facebook page for the bracket, tournament rules and, of course, to participate!

The #SWMISpirit tournament has been a great success, and I encourage everyone to join in and continue to show that no one has more school spirit than southwest Michigan.

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