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      Two local schools recognized for as top student cheering sections

      A video tribute to the finalist student sections will be played at the Girls and Boys Basketball finals at Michigan State University this spring.

      Two northern Michigan schools have been selected as finalists for the MHSAA Battle of the Fans.

      Traverse City West and Frankfort are two of the five finalists for the award.

      Other schools include Beaverton, Bridgman and last year's winner, Buchanan.

      The Battle of the Fans recognizes the top cheering section from among member schools. Finalists were chosen based off of school's YouTube video submissions of their cheering sections in action.

      The contest is designed to reward the cheering sections that create "the positive and festive atmosphere made possible when students show enthusiasm, togetherness and sportsmanship while rooting for their team."

      Officials from the MHSAA and its Student Advisory Council will be visiting the finalists for home games during the rest of the regular season.

      "The Battle of the Fans continues to influence positive cheering at schools throughout the state, and we were excited to see videos come in both from first-time applicants and schools that were not selected in 2013 but came back with strong efforts again this winter," said Andy Frushour, MHSAA director of brand management. "These student sections create a buzz that takes hold of the entire community. The finalists tour is something MHSAA staff look forward to every January, and we're excited to see what schools have come up with for 2014."

      MHSAA officials will be at the February 3 Frankfort vs. McBain game as well as the February 7 Traverse City West vs. Petoskey game.

      A winner will be announced February 21.