LANSING, Mich. — State Sen. John Proos announced on Tuesday that the champions of the annual Southwest Michigan Spirit Tournament are the Watervliet Panthers.
“I want to extend my congratulations to the Panthers for winning this year’s school spirit championship,” said Proos, R-St. Joseph. “In the final round, Watervliet defeated last year’s champions, the Marcellus Wildcats. To earn the title, 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.
“I sponsor this competition throughout Southwest Michigan every year because it gives students an opportunity to showcase what makes Southwest Michigan so awesome and the pride we have in our communities.”
The social networking contest spanned five weeks and featured 31 area high schools, which were divided into four brackets named for features that characterize Southwest Michigan. Thousands of students participated and submitted photos on Facebook, Twitter and Proos’ website to score points for their team.
“I am beyond thrilled at the number of participants in this year’s competition. Every year the number of students participating, along with the volume of photos uploaded, drastically increases,” Proos said. This further illustrates that no one has more school spirit than those of us here in Southwest Michigan.”
As the champion, Watervliet High School will be presented with a traveling trophy from Proos and will also receive a special tribute commending the school for the spirit of its students and community. The tribute will be signed by Proos; Rep. Kim LaSata, R-Bainbridge Township; Congressman Fred Upton; Lt. Brian Calley and Gov. Rick Snyder.
“I want to say thank you to everyone who participated in making yet another spirit contest a tremendous success. It really shows the pride students have in their communities,” Proos said. “The community of Watervliet should be proud of the spirit and teamwork they displayed throughout the competition.”
Residents may see all the submitted videos and photos by visiting Proos’ Facebook fan page, John Proos Southwest Michigan Page.
Editor’s note: Audio of Proos congratulating the Watervliet Panthers on their victory is available at www.SenatorJohnProos.com/Audio.