Proos’ 2018 #SWMISpirit tournament starts Monday

Senator John Proos

Senator John Proos

LANSING, Mich. — Sen. John Proos on Friday announced that the popular Southwest Michigan Spirit Tournament is back and will start on Monday.

“This spirit tournament is designed to foster creativity by giving students and alumni an avenue to showcase their school spirit and tell everyone what makes their school great,” said Proos, R-St. Joseph. “School spirit encompasses a wide range of school activities, such as band, drama, robotics, athletics and art. Over the years, the response to this competition has been phenomenal, and I am proud to once again encourage fans of area schools to show that no one has more school spirit than Southwest Michigan.”

The first round of the 2018 competition begins on Monday, March 5 at noon and will go through noon on Friday, March 9. The entire competition will span five weeks, ending at noon on Friday, April 6.

The champion will receive a special tribute from the governor and area legislators commending their school and will house an engraved trophy until the following year. Currently, the trophy is held by the Watervliet Panthers.

To earn the title last year, Watervliet scored a total of more than 100,000 points and submitted more than 2,700 photos, which received more than 86,000 likes on Facebook.

“Like in the NCAA basketball tournament, schools will compete in a single-elimination bracket contest,” Proos said. “Those with the most points will move on to the next round each week. There are several ways to earn points for your school, such as voting in polls or submitting unique photos about your school.”

The 31 high schools in the tournament have been divided into four brackets that are named for features that characterize Southwest Michigan. School matchups were chosen at random.

For the bracket, complete rules and information, visit

Visitors to the John Proos Supporters Page on Facebook can also upload photos and earn bonus points when others “like” their school’s photo album. Another way to earn points is to follow Proos on Twitter and send a tweet to @JohnMProos that includes the school name and the hashtag #SWMISpirit.

Fans can also earn 10 points for sharing Proos’ posts about the contest on Facebook or quoting his tournament-related tweets and include the school name. Residents can also earn a point by voting in the polls at

Residents with any questions are encouraged to contact Proos’ office at 1-517-373-6960 or by email at


Editor’s note: Audio comments by Proos will be available at

For a full-sized bracket, visit