Bridgman Bees win Proos’ spirit tournament

LANSING — Sen. John Proos announced today that the champions of the inaugural Michigan’s Great Southwest Spirit Tournament are the Bridgman Bees.

“I sponsored this competition to inspire students, schools and communities throughout Southwest Michigan to show off their school pride in fun and imaginative ways,” said Proos, R-St. Joseph. “The response we received was better than I could have possibly hoped for, with thousands of area residents participating and submitting more than 5,000 photographs and dozens of videos.”

The social networking tournament began on March 18 with 32 area high schools, which were divided into four brackets named for features identifying the Southwest Michigan region.

“Congratulations to the Bridgman Bees for winning this year’s championship. Their overwhelming display of school spirit should make us all proud,” Proos said. “I want to say thank you to the students and supporters of Bridgman and Watervliet high schools and all of the other outstanding schools that made our inaugural spirit tournament such a tremendous success.

“I hope that you have enjoyed this competition as much as I have for the past month, and I look forward to hosting it again next year. Great job, everybody.”

Proos said that Bridgman won the title over runner-up Watervliet by a final score of 74,012 to 59,950. Supporters could earn their favorite school points in several ways, including submitting videos and photos via Twitter. Once images were submitted, they were posted on Proos’ Facebook fan page, where the school earned a bonus point for each person who ‘Liked’ it.

“Each week, the schools with the most points moved on, and most of the match-ups came down to the wire,” Proos said. “The tournament was designed to foster creativity and showcase our region’s school pride, and the response was amazing. Yet no one responded better than the supporters of these two schools. They both submitted roughly 2,000 photographs — accounting for about 80 percent of all the photos entered in the competition.”

As the tournament champion, Bridgman High School will receive a special tribute commending the school for the spirit of its students and community. The tribute will be signed by Proos, state Rep. Al Pscholka, Congressman Fred Upton and Gov. Rick Snyder.

Residents may see all the submitted videos and photos by visiting Proos’ Facebook fan page, “John Proos Southwest Michigan Page.”

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Editor’s Note – A video of Proos congratulating the Bridgman Bees that also includes a montage of submitted images from throughout the contest is available by visiting the senator’s webpage at www.SenatorJohnProos.com. Click on the Video tab.