PHOTO BY JOHN STEMBER

LPHS junior selected as 2022 MHSA student rep

Max Romney to serve on an eight student advisory council for Montana High School Association over next year

With a little help from athletic director John Hannahs, Max Romney applied for one of eight spots on a student advisory council for the Montana High School Association (MHSA). He was accepted as a Class C representative along with Ayla Janzen of the Twin Bridges Falcons.

The MHSA is a governing body for high schools across the state that oversees sport regulations and rule changes. According to their website, “Originally founded in 1921 to regulate athletic competition, the Montana High School Association strives to serve all member schools by governing high school interscholastic activities in Montana.”

In 2022, MHSA decided to create their first ever Student Advisory Council to provide a voice and avenue for students to get input into the decisionmaking process and help raise awareness about the organization.

To get the position, students had to be involved in sports, recommended by their athletic director, and then answer a few essay-style questions 300-500 words long. Max explained they had him write a short biography and talk about sportsmanship and leadership within a sports community. Max will be on the advisory council until he graduates in June 2023.

“I thought it’d be super cool to help build something that would hopefully be around and have an impact for the next little while at least in Montana. I thought it’d be super cool to get involved with something at the very beginning and kinda see how something like that gets started and help create change in Montana sports,” said Romney.

The first couple months the group will create a handbook and mission statement with the help of a faculty advisor. At the moment, they are meeting virtually every few weeks.

"Hopefully we will be able to kind of learn about some issues that MHSA is taking on, discuss it, talk about it, and then give an opinion for what we think would be the best course of action,” said Romney.

Most recently, MHSA voted to add a 35 second shot clock to high school basketball across the entire state. Max weighed in.

“The shot clock thing is going to be interesting for me. I feel like it kind of changes the identity of at least Class C basketball. It’s not as fast paced... It’s a lot of ball movement. The 35 seconds will change how a lot of teams have to play,” said Romney, who didn’t agree with some of the reasons MHSA implemented the shot clock.

Although he didn’t apply to the MHSA student advisory council for his high school resume, Max is starting to think about college.

“I think especially in Big Sky, where we have so many people going to good schools, there’s a lot of pressure to go somewhere good or get into a good school. I've definitely been thinking about that a little bit,” said Romney.

When Romney told his parents about the position, they weren’t sure what to think.

“It was a little bit like what is this thing? Just because it is kind of a vague name like Montana High School Association student advisory council. It’s like what do we do? They’d never really heard of it before obviously because it was the first year. … They were like, that’s awesome, but not really sure what it entails,” laughed Max.

Max explained, in an ideal world, he’d like to play professional basketball with the Utah Jazz.

“I’d want to play with Rudy Gobert, Donovan Mitchell, those guys. I’m a big Jazz fan. I remember we were driving back from Salt Lake, we’d gone to see one of the playoff games during a soccer tournament down there, and we listened to the Clippers beat us over the radio on the way back. It’s just like, oh my God, painful,” said Romney.

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