Three Michigan High Schools to Add Field Hockey Programs in 2023
by USA Field Hockey
CHELSEA, Mich. - Great Lakes Regional Field Hockey (GLRFH) announces the expansion of the Michigan High School Field Hockey League (MHSFHL) to include three new programs. The MHSFHL will grow to 35 high schools in 2023 as Grand Blanc, Hudsonville and Northville join the league. As the game continues to spread across Michigan, high school athletes and parents are advocating for new programs. From 2017-2019, six high schools added field hockey: Clarkston, Pinckney and Ann Arbor Father Gabriel Richard, Bloomfield Hills, Plymouth-Canton and Rockford. The impact of the pandemic paused growth from 2020-2022, but projections for 2023-2024 will put the league back on track for continued expansion.
The Michigan High School Field Hockey League is divided into two Divisions (determined annually, by school size) and four Conferences: Catholic, KLAA, Independent and the SEC. The League runs two Divisional State Championships and the Michigan High School Field Hockey Coaches Association offers support to all high school coaches through GLRFH.
Grand Blanc High School is MHSAA Class A, with 2,738 students currently enrolled. Grand Blanc will be the first high school in the Saginaw Valley Conference to add a field hockey program.
“Along with learning field hockey, Grand Blanc Girls Field Hockey will strive to instill the values of sportsmanship, respect, teamwork, fair play and a love for field hockey, teammates, coaches and officials.” - John Wainio, GBGFH Varsity Lacrosse and Field Hockey Coach
Hudsonville High School is MHSAA Class A, with 2,043 students currently enrolled. Hudsonville will join East Grand Rapids, Forest Hills and Rockford as the fourth OK Conference Team to offer high school field hockey. Many players currently participate in Hudsonville Lacrosse and have asked their coaches and their school district for the opportunity to try field hockey at their local high school.
“Hudsonville Field Hockey is forming a team this fall to provide an opportunity for more girls in West Michigan to expand their athletic options.” - Jolie Meza, Hudsonville Lacrosse and Field Hockey Coach
Northville High School is MHSAA Class A, with 2,463 students currently enrolled. Northville will be the sixth team in the KLAA to offer high school field hockey, joining Brighton, Dearborn, Hartland, Novi and Plymouth Canton. Head Coach, Grace Gagliardi was approached by the Athletic Director to start a program after more than 40 female athletes showed interest in playing for a high school team. For Gagliardi, accepting the opportunity to start a program at Northville High School was the obvious choice.
"After just finishing my collegiate field hockey career (at Central Michigan University), I was inspired to give back the sport I love so much by providing a positive and uplifting sport experience for those that were interested in playing field hockey.” - Grace Gagliardi, Northville Head Field Hockey Coach
Each year the MHSFHL sends seniors on to play field hockey collegiately. In 2022, the league celebrated 20 senior female athletes, all committed to play at the college level. Commitments to schools like Northwestern, Michigan, Michigan State, California-Berkeley, James Madison, and Ohio State, as well as regional Division III schools such as Wooster, Wittenberg, Concordia-Wisconsin, Ohio-Wesleyan and Denison, represent accelerated field hockey development among our athletes, both locally and regionally. Key stakeholders in Michigan also predict continued growth across youth programming, middle school teams, high school programs and collegiate commitments for 2023-2024, and beyond.
Send GLRFH an email to firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like to discuss adding field hockey at your high school, college, university or organization.
GLRFH is committed to growing field hockey at all levels and across all ages. We serve and support field hockey in the region by providing the foundation for a network of thriving field hockey communities. Great Lakes Regional Field Hockey is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization.