Southwest Michigan’s Sweet 16

Proos announces schools moving on in spirit tourney

LANSING, Mich. — Sen. John Proos announced on Monday the schools that have advanced to the Sweet 16 of the 2017 Southwest Michigan Spirit Tournament.

“Once again, 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 is 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. I am proud to see school spirit illustrated in a wide range of activities, from band and athletics to academics and community events.”

The tournament began on March 20 with 31 area high schools competing in four brackets named for features that characterize Southwest Michigan.

“Each week, the schools with the most points have moved on, and we are now down to the Sweet 16,” Proos said. “In the first week, fans of area schools submitted lots of great photos and videos and more than 1600 people voted in online polls. Congratulations to the Coloma Comets for earning the most points in the first round. Very impressive!”

The matchups in the Sweet 16 will be Lakeshore vs. Bridgman; New Buffalo vs. Michigan Lutheran; Watervliet vs. Sturgis; Brandywine vs. Dowagiac; Niles vs. Centreville; Buchanan vs. Three Rivers; Marcellus vs. Ross Beatty; and Coloma vs. Eau Claire.

Residents are reminded that there are several ways to earn points for their favorite school, including voting in online polls or submitting unique photos about their school.

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

For complete rules and information, visit the Spirit Tournament page on Proos’ Senate website at

The Sweet 16 round will go through noon on Friday, March 31. The entire competition will span five weeks, ending on Friday, April 21. 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.


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