Sophomores Win Powderpuff Game

Jenna Nakanishi

     In an unexpected turn of events, this year’s annual Powder Puff game, held on Sept. 23, ended with the Class of 2020 emerging as champions.

     “It was just amazing, and it was so full of excitement, everyone was so hyped. It’s great, because [we] won championships, which has never happened in a long time, or maybe at all,” said Sophomore Amber Gilbert. Gilbert scored a total of three touchdowns, out of a total of five touchdowns made by the sophomore team that night.

     Powder Puff consists of three games: Freshmen vs Juniors, Sophomores vs Seniors, and a match between the winners from these two games that determines the overall champion. Kickoff for the first game was at 5:15 p.m., and ended with the victory of the juniors and a final score of 6-0. The next game between the sophomores and seniors ultimately ended with a score of seniors 0 to sophomores 14. The championship game between the juniors and the sophomores was a hard fought battle for both sides, with both teams putting in their best efforts and pushing their limits. “Everybody (worked) hard, and everybody had a lot of passion when they were playing,” said Gilbert. The game ended with a final score of juniors 6 to sophomores 22.

     Involving themselves with Powder Puff allowed the girls to not only strengthen bonds with peers, but also form new ones. “At first we don’t know each other very well, and then we learned that we have similarities in positions, and then we have similarities in our personal lives as well. And we just all have fun on the field, and we talk to each other and motivate each other to do good,” said Powder Puff Chairperson Senior Kailey Shook-Rogers. The friendships being made even extend past just the people you play with. Coach Senior Noah Williams said, “I felt we got closer as not just a team but as a family. I noticed girls taking other girls home after practices because I know they bonded more during practicing. I felt the girl’s got to know me more better not as a coach but as a friend.”

     These bonds helped the girls work together as a team while playing. “Just playing with everybody and winning after just playing two years with them—we won with teamwork and we wouldn’t be able to do this without the whole team,” said Gilbert.

     The girls aren’t the only people who find the experience of Powder Puff one that they can benefit from. Williams found the switch from player to coach challenging at first, however, it became an opportunity that he learned a lot from. “This experience helped me on the field by helping our coach. By listening to him—knowing the reason why he yells at us because we don’t pay attention—just like Powder Puff, we learned to focus and understand better so that our practices are good,” said Williams, “I would say the girls taught me more than I taught them.”

     It becomes apparent that switching from player to coach invokes a variety of reactions from the football players involved. “I would definitely recommend other football players to coach because it will teach them just like it taught me,” said Williams. The feelings of coaching are ones that Williams will take into account as he continues to play football.

     Powder Puff has proven to be a success in more ways than one this year, ranging from the experience the students involved have garnered to the audience turnout at the game. This success can be attributed to the extensive preparation that goes into it beforehand. Advisor Jamie Ludwig and Shook-Rogers start meeting and planning at the end of the last school year. “You have to make your shirts, the tickets, all the posters, everything to promote powderpuff. And then you have to [order] the steak, you have to order the t-shirts, you have to do sign-ups,” said Shook-Rogers. However, the funds raised by the game make it all worthwhile. The money raised helps pay for graduation and offsets some of the costs of senior activities to help them be a bit more affordable for students.

     The lessons learned from this year alone is enough to encourage people to continue to participate in Powder Puff activities in the years to come. Gilbert fully intends to play again next year, as will many other sophomores, ensuring that next year’s game, in which the Class of 2020 plays to defend their title, will also be one to watch.