Southwest Michigan’s Elite 8

LANSING — Sen. John Proos announced on Thursday that Michigan’s Great Southwest Spirit Tournament is down to the Elite Eight and the current round has been extended to midnight on Sunday, April 7 due to Spring Break.

So far, thousands of Southwest Michigan residents have participated, hundreds of photos have been submitted and dozens of videos have been posted.

“It is wonderful to see the outstanding response from people throughout Southwest Michigan to this school spirit tournament,” said Proos, R-St. Joseph. “The purpose of this competition was to engage our community in the spirit of ‘March Madness’ in a way that would inspire creativity in our youth and enable students and alumni to show their school pride. Based on the responses we have seen, this has already been an overwhelming success.”

The tournament began on March 18 with 32 area high schools competing in four brackets that were named for features that identify the Southwest Michigan region.

“Each week, the schools with the most points have moved on, and we are now down to the Elite Eight,” Proos said. “Since the Elite Eight also coincides with Spring Break for many schools, I have decided to extend the deadline to earn points for this round until midnight on Sunday.”

Proos announced that the schools that advanced to the Elite Eight are the Eau Claire Beavers, Marcellus Wildcats, South Haven Rams, Bridgman Bees, Watervliet Panthers, Constantine Falcons, Paw Paw Redskins, and Hartford Indians.

“Although the voting has been extended, I encourage you to submit your photos or video early,” Proos said. “Once they’re submitted the images will be posted on my Facebook fan page, where your school will earn a bonus point for each person who ‘Likes’ it.”

Residents are reminded that there several ways to earn their favorite school points, including voting in the online polls and posting videos about why their school should win and submitting them via Twitter.

Sending a tweet to @JohnMProos or posting a tweet that includes the school name and #SWMISpirit will also earn a school points.

For complete rules and information, visit Proos’ website at or Proos’ Facebook fan page, “John Proos Southwest Michigan Page.”

The entire competition will end at noon on Friday, April 19, and the champion will receive a special tribute commending their school for showcasing their spirit. The tribute will be signed by Proos, Congressman Fred Upton, Gov. Rick Snyder and the school’s state representative.


Editor’s Note – Audio comments by Proos are available on the senator’s webpage at Click on “Podcasts.”

Photos and videos are available on the senator’s Facebook fan page: John Proos Southwest Michigan Page.