MHSAA Women In Sports Leadership Conference to Celebrate Multiple Milestones

By Geoff Kimmerly senior editor

September 14, 2022

A pair of milestones will be celebrated by the Michigan High School Athletic Association during this year’s Women In Sports Leadership Conference, to be presented Sunday, Oct. 9, and Monday, Oct. 10 at Crowne Plaza Lansing West for 600 participants, most of them high school female student-athletes from across the state.

A theme of “Power of the Past – Force of the Future” will recall opportunities created during the 50 years since the enactment of Title IX in 1972. This also will be the 25th WISL Conference, which remains the first, largest and longest-running program of its type in the country.

This year’s edition again will feature three keynote speakers and a variety of workshops. The opening address will be delivered by Ashley Baker, who serves as the chief diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) officer at Michigan State University. Baker, originally from Pontiac, earned bachelor and master’s degrees from Bowling Green State University and a doctorate in sport management and policy from the University of Georgia. She came to MSU in December 2020 from Xavier University (Louisiana) where she most recently had served as assistant vice president for student affairs and chief inclusion officer/deputy Title IX coordinator.

First-year Spartans softball coach Sharonda McDonald-Kelley will speak during the Oct. 9 evening general session. She coached Campbell University (N.C.) to back-to-back NCAA Tournament appearances and was a four-time all-Big 12 selection as a player at Texas A&M, appearing in the College World Series before playing professionally for seven years. McDonald-Kelley was named Big South Conference Coach of the Year in 2021, and previously also coached professionally and as associate head coach at Texas Tech University after serving as an assistant for multiple prestigious college programs.

University of Michigan women’s basketball coach Kim Barnes-Arico will speak during the morning session Oct. 10. She led the Wolverines last season to their first NCAA Tournament Elite Eight and is nearing 500 career victories, having won a U-M program-record 218 during her 10 seasons. She’s a two-time Big Ten Conference Coach of Year and was a semifinalist this past season for the Werner Ladder Naismith Coach of the Year honor. Michigan is her fifth college coaching stop; she came to Ann Arbor after 10 seasons at St. John’s. She played basketball one season at Stony Brook University (N.Y.) and then her final three including two as captain at Montclair State University (N.J.).

Workshops offered during the WISL Conference include topics on coaching, teaching and learning leadership; sports nutrition and performance, and injury prevention; and empowerment and goal-setting. Presenters are accomplished in their fields and represent a wide range of backgrounds in sport.

A complete itinerary is available on the MHSAA Website.

The Oct. 9 evening general session also will include recognition for the 2022 Women In Sports Leadership Award winner – recently-retired Livonia Stevenson athletic director Lori Hyman. A basketball standout at MSU during the second half of the 1970s, Hyman went on to coach college basketball for 17 years and then serve as a highly-regarded athletic director for 27 years including the last 22 at her alma mater Stevenson.

Follow the #WISL hashtag on Twitter and Instagram to learn more about the conference’s activities.

Performance of the Week: Hemlock's Regan Finkbeiner

March 24, 2023

Regan FinkbeinerRegan Finkbeiner ♦ Hemlock
Senior ♦ Basketball

The 5-foot-6 guard capped her high school career at Breslin Center over the weekend with team highs of 24 points and four steals in Thursday’s 57-26 Division 3 Semifinal win over Hart and the team-leading 19 points and four assists in the 59-43 win over Blissfield on Saturday that clinched the Huskies their first MHSAA Finals championship in girls basketball.

Finkbeiner played all but four minutes of 64 total over the two games, and she made a combined 15 of her 27 shots from the floor and 9 of 10 free throw attempts, plus four 3-pointers in the Final. She had entered the season’s final week averaging 17.1 points, 3.5 assists and 4.8 steals per game and in February became the program’s all-time leading scorer breaking the previous record of 1,302. A standout in multiple sports, she’s committed to continue playing softball after high school at Madonna University. Her basketball team finished 26-3 this winter.

@mhsaasports 🏀POW: Regan Finkbeiner #performanceoftheweek #basketball #champion #congrats #huskies #hemlock #letsgo #moana #MHSAA #highschoolsports #tiktalk #interview #TikTok#mistudentaid #fyp ♬ Beat Automotivo Tan Tan Tan Viral - WZ Beat

Follow the MHSAA on TikTok.

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2022-23 Honorees

March 16: Alaina Yaney, Grand Ledge gymnastics - Report
March 9:
Braeden Davis, Dundee wrestling - Report
March 2:
Gabriel Sanchez-Burks, Ann Arbor Pioneer swimming - Report
Feb. 23:
Grace Sobczak, Marquette swimming - Report
Feb. 16:
Kaitlynn Demers, Gibraltar Carlson competitive cheer - Report
Feb. 9:
Indya Davis, West Bloomfield basketball - Report
Feb. 2:
Braydon Sorenson, Onekama skiing - Report
Jan. 26:
Shayne Hruska, Iron Mountain wrestling - Report
Jan. 19:
Kayla Tafanelli, Warren Woods-Tower bowling - Report
Dec. 20:
Brenden Paden, Riverview Gabriel Richard hockey - Report
Dec. 16:
Tuff Scott, Holton bowling - Report
Dec. 9:
Macey Fegan, Standish-Sterling basketball - Report
Dec. 2:
Treyton Siegert, Gladwin football - Report
Nov. 24:
Lily Witte, Dexter diving - Report
Nov. 17:
Navea Gauthier, Shelby volleyball - Report
Nov. 10:
Derek Huisman, Holland Christian soccer - Report
Nov. 3:
Thomas Westphal, New Baltimore Anchor Bay cross country - Report
Oct. 27:
Justin Wickey, Colon football - Report
Oct. 20:
Owen DeMuth, Bloomfield Hills Cranbrook Kingswood tennis - Report
Oct. 13:
Mia Melendez, Ann Arbor Greenhills golf - Report
Oct. 6:
Shawn Foster, Grand Ledge football - Report
Sept. 30:
Hannah Smith, Temperance Bedford swimming - Report
Sept. 22:
Helen Sachs, Holland West Ottawa cross country - Report
Sept. 15:
Nina Horning, Lake Orion volleyball - Report
Sept 8:
Arturo Romero, Muskegon Oakridge soccer - Report
Sept. 1:
Austin King, Midland Dow tennis - Report
Aug. 25:
Olivia Hemmila, Troy Athens golf - Report

PHOTO Hemlock's Regan Finkbeiner drives to the basket during her team's Semifinal win over Hart. (Photos courtesy of the Hemlock girls basketball program.)