The 2004 state championship softball team co-captain Rachel Sabol Tindall shares memories during the Hall of Fame ceremony.

The 2004 state championship softball team co-captain Rachel Sabol Tindall shares memories during the Hall of Fame ceremony.

Photo by Donna Dalziel

Ceremony honors Regina Hall of Fame inductees

By: Maria Allard | Warren Weekly | Published June 23, 2023

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 Retired teacher Michele J. Robertson was one of this year’s Hall of Fame honorees.

Retired teacher Michele J. Robertson was one of this year’s Hall of Fame honorees.

Photo by Donna Dalziel

WARREN — On Sept. 17, when the Regina High School seniors took on Bloomfield Hills Marian in their annual powder puff football game, they played with heavy hearts.

Just one month earlier, one of their coaches, William Madek, passed away. They felt his spirit, and won the game. He will never be forgotten. On the evening of June 14, Madek was among those who were inducted into the school’s Hall of Fame.

Other inductees were cross-country and track coach Gregg Golden, Class of 1960 graduate Janet Leze, former social studies teacher Michele J. Robertson, and the state championship softball teams from 1989 and 2004.

The school opened in 1956 in Harper Woods, and moved to Warren several years ago. The Hall of Fame was created in 2022 with its first inductees.

Channel 7 weekend sports anchor Jeanna Trotman emceed the event held at Regina, which included dinner, several speeches and a video in which graduates spoke about the honorees.

Madek’s family attended, and his sons Drew and Sean spoke on his behalf.

“Every year he’d ask me, ‘When are you going to come coach?’ I’d tell him, ‘I don’t know anything about coaching.’ His response was, ‘I don’t care. You’ll learn,’” Drew said. “I think that was one of the hallmarks of Dad’s coaching. It didn’t matter if you were fast, slow, big, small, whatever. He wanted you out there to experience the powder puff. It wasn’t all about winning.”

According to Drew, his dad always asked the students, “Why do you want to play powder puff?”

“The answers they usually came back with were to learn the game of football, to prove how tough they are and, of course, to beat Marian,” Drew said. “But the one that always stood out to him was to grow closer as a class and to grow closer as sisters.”

Golden said he was “humbled” to be inducted in the Hall of Fame. Golden led Regina to five county championships in cross-country, seven Macomb County Team of the Year awards, six cross-country regional championships, and six track and field regional championships.

“It’s been my privilege and my honor to be associated with so many great student athletes and their families,” Golden said. “I’ve made so many friends. Getting the job here was truly a life-altering experience. I can’t thank those students and their families enough.”

Leze, an alumna of the school’s first-ever graduating class, was an integral part of creating the Regina Alumnae Association.

“Thank you to the nominating committees and everyone responsible for me being here tonight. I am beyond honored to be entered in Regina’s Hall of Fame,” Leze said. “My parents knew the value of a Catholic education. In September of 1956, 310 freshmen young women and I entered Regina High School on Kelly Road. Some of them are here tonight with me. We are very proud to say we are part of Regina’s first graduating class.”

In the 1980s, Leze began volunteering for the newly formed Regina Alumnae Association.

“From that many of us graduates worked in various capacities to continue the legacy of Regina,” Leze said. “I’ve truly enjoyed learning and interacting with everyone along the way. It’s been very rewarding. Congratulations to all the Hall of Fame inductees.”

Students who studied under Robertson knew they had a dedicated and supportive teacher. Robertson retired 10 years ago, but still has dreams about being in the classroom. While on stage, Robertson recalled some of the assignments she gave her students over the years.

“One of them was the clock where you had to draw 24 hours of the development of the earth with the last nanosecond being the first farming communities to the Nuclear Age,” Robertson said. “Maybe you remember ‘Feast and Famine: The Limestone Legacy.’ There was the Renaissance and Reformation project, which probably gave many a parent a nightmare or two, but they were beautifully, beautifully done.”

She said Regina “was such an important part” of her life, as were the students.

“This is a wonderful honor and I’m so glad to be here,” she said.

Retired Regina coach Diane Laffey, inducted into the Hall of Fame last year, introduced the 1989 state championship softball team. Laffey coached the ’89 team with assistant coaches Jack Dailey and Maureen Carvill. According to Laffey, Dailey was known as JTRM, which stood for “Jack The Real Man.”

According to the Regina Hall of Fame tribute booklet, the ’89 softball team was “the start of the softball legacy at Regina.” After a tie that took both teams into a 17-inning game, it was student Christie Burley who hit a triple. That scored Regina’s winning run, and they beat Milford-Lakeland 5-4.

“As the first ever Regina state championship team, these women walked so the next generation of Saddlelites could run into athletic excellence,” the booklet stated.

Rachel Sabol Tindall, team co-captain for the ’04 championship, addressed the crowd.

“Why was this team special? This team had some good players. We had great parents and fans. We had an overall winning mentality,” she said. “This team had coaches that had a lot of confidence in them. Ms. Laffey and Jack knew we were good. They knew we could do it. They had faith in us, and therefore we had faith in ourselves. I want to thank the Hall of Fame committee. This is really awesome. I’m so honored to have this incredible memory with these incredible teammates and these two legendary coaches.”