Warren Regina beats Bloomfield Hills Marian in annual powder puff game

By: Mark Vest | C&G Newspapers | Published September 16, 2017

STERLING HEIGHTS — For those who like their football game-day experience to include a festive atmosphere, Runkel Field in Sterling Heights would have been a good place to be Sept. 16, as the girls teams from Warren Regina and Bloomfield Hills Marian met in their annual powder puff game.

Face paint, costumes, tailgating and the wave were all part of the experience.

As for the result on the field, the championship trophy is once again in the possession of Regina, as the Saddlelites beat Marian 21-14.

Marian beat Regina 14-11 last year.

Only seniors can play in the game, and this was a day Regina’s Samantha Arnone said she has been waiting for since her freshman year.

“It’s finally here,” Arnone said after the game. “It was very, very special.”

For all the other girls who have also been waiting for their chance to be part of the game, Regina coach Bill Madek said it was their time.

“This game is always special,” he said. “I’ve had two girls that graduated from here. One won, one has lost. The one that has won never lets the one that lost forget about it. … These girls put in eight weeks of hard training (and) intense work. And so for them to walk away with the championship trophy is marvelous.”

With one touchdown apiece in the first and second quarter, Regina took a 14-0 lead into the half.

The Saddlelites scored their first touchdown on a pass from quarterback Meghan Berlin to Melina Livingston, with the second coming on a pass from Betsy Lueck to Erin Hallman.

After Marian got a touchdown run from Julia Surratt in the third, Regina answered back with one of its own, when Lueck connected with Rileh Shock, increasing the Saddlelites lead to 21-7.

The game’s final score came via a touchdown pass from Marian quarterback Emme DeConinck to Megan Riddle late in the fourth.

Although Marian coach Mike Milczarski said it was a tough way to lose, given that it was his 10th year coaching the Mustangs, he can appreciate how meaningful it is to be part of the rivalry.

“This is the 38th year of this rivalry, so it’s a big rivalry,” Milczarski said. “The seniors have a great time. … It means a lot to both schools. Both schools did a great job presenting it.”

One of the participants in the game was Delaney Hart of Regina. Her dad, Dan, said she has been talking about the game for a year and a half.

With all the emotions and tradition involved, an argument could be made that the games between the two schools are tougher for parents than the players themselves.

“I’m probably more nervous than she is,” Hart said before the game. “I think (it) might be a little bit of a let down after the game; got nothing else to look forward to now.”

Pasqualina Laderosa said she has been a teacher at Marian for seven years. After starting her tenure, it didn’t take Laderosa long to realize the significance of the powder puff games.

“It’s a huge deal,” she said prior to the game. “The seniors have been excited all week. They have been celebrating all week in the hallways; they’ve been wearing their jerseys all week. They are pumped.”

Marissa Dudek, who graduated from Regina in 2016, said nothing can compare to being part of the tradition.

“Powder puff’s one of the best experiences you get at Regina,” Dudek said. “It really brings the whole class together. Everyone bonds through the experience of playing the sport. It’s an awesome experience to be a part of.”

Amy Foret is the mother of a current freshman at Marian. This year was her first time attending a game, and she was impressed with the atmosphere surrounding it.

“It’s amazing,” Foret said. “There’s a lot of energy here. It’s a beautiful day. … I think it’s (a) wonderful way to inspire the girls with school spirit at the very beginning of the year.”

Anna Steenland is a 2014 graduate of Regina. She said she came home from college and got her sister, Julia, who was part of this year’s team, pumped up for the game.

“It was (an) amazing tradition,” Steenland said. “My sister watched. … She loves it just as much as I did.”