Powderpuff Preview


Preston Willis

Last year the seniors won, and this years senior class looks to get revenge.

As fall sports wind down at the Academy, the 800 Sporting staff decided that one of the most important upcoming events on the calendar worth covering was the annual Powderpuff Football Game between the Juniors and Seniors.

For those who don’t know, here’s some context. Powderpuff is a 7-on-7 flag football game played by girls and coached by boys. At Westminster, the game is played between the Juniors and Seniors and happens around the end of October every year. This year, the game was originally scheduled for October 27th at 2:30 p.m, but the scheduling of the District Varsity Football game for the same time has moved the game to Friday the 26th at 5:15 p.m. Teams usually practice for a couple weeks prior to the game to sort out their offensive and defensive formations, figure out the best positions for their players based on strengths and weaknesses, and get a general feel for the game before it actually happens. The game is played on the Westminster football field.

There are rumors that the Powderpuff game is solely played for the purpose of fun. The better word for these rumors is probably “myths.” While Powderpuff certainly is a fun, entertaining, and team-spirit building event, the outcome is critical to everyone involved. There is only one Powderpuff game played per year, which means that there’s only one winner for the entire year. Bragging rights and pride are deeply entangled in the spirit of the Powderpuff game.

While everyone will get to play and the enjoyment of all the girls involved is the leading factor, the game will be played in order to achieve victory by both sides. Pillar 5 states that “We will run the race to win.” There is nothing wrong with a strong will to win and a competitive spirit in athletics, even when it comes to a somewhat trivial event such as Powderpuff.

“I love it when it serves the purpose it’s supposed to, of building class community and having a good time and doing something just for fun,” said Ms. Woodall.

Last year, the Juniors lost. It was a close, high-scoring game that the Juniors led throughout with a controversial call at the end that swung the result in favor of the Seniors. The Juniors gained one important thing from their Junior-year powderpuff game: experience. Now, as Seniors, they understand the game much better than the Juniors. They don’t have to go through the first couple practices simply learning how to line up and which way to run. The Seniors know what positions they are going to play, as well as which offensive plays worked well for them last year and which ones didn’t. Of course, this experience also has one positive effect for the Juniors, too.

The Juniors know far more about the Senior team than the Seniors know about the Junior team. The Juniors know who will quarterback the Seniors, who the main offensive threats are, and who played the best last year. For the Seniors, the Junior lineup will be largely a mystery. Of course, they have an idea of which players will be most important to take note of, but the Seniors will have to make educated guesses when making their game plan for the most part.

Perhaps the most invested and competitive Powderpuff player for either side is Senior Hannah Sturr. Last year, she played linebacker and running back for the Juniors. She is fired up for this year’s game and will not be satisfied with another loss for the Class of 2019.

“I’m really excited for the game this year. We’ll see a lot of skill on both teams, but hopefully, the Seniors will pull through,” said Sturr.

Without giving away too much valuable information, the Junior team says that it will be just as well prepared as the Seniors are when the game takes place. Through just a few practices, the players have made tremendous strides in not only their understanding of the game but also their physical skills, including catching and route running.

The Seniors are led by Isaac Johnston, Jerram Adams, Zion Thompson, and Kyle Dolan, all of whom are football players. They remember well what happened in their game last year and are looking to finish their Powderpuff careers with at least one win.

“We expect a big turnaround this year. We played well last year, but didn’t finish,” said Johnston, “We’re proud of our girls, but we will finish this year.”

On the Junior side, the coaches are Ben Straub, Lane Davis, and Brennan Orf. The Juniors are confident in the athleticism of their team, and specifically in the speed of their running backs and height and catching abilities of their wide receivers. They think that size will give them the ultimate advantage that will eventually lead to a Junior win and a 0-2 overall record for the Class of 2019.

“We might be the underdogs this year, but we have pretty good chemistry when we’re practicing together as a team,” said Junior Grace Dempsey.

“Our grade has a rare connection and a family feel. I think the Juniors are going to dominate,” said Junior Evie Cunningham.

As part of Westminster’s Athletic Office, Coach and Mrs. Brown, as well as Ms. Woodall, have been gracious enough to help with the setup of this year’s contest. They’ve set guidelines for the rules, helped organize the jersey ordering process, and found a date that would work for both sides. They understand the perceived importance of the game to the coaches, players, and students from both classes, but remain adamant that the number one priority of the game is that everyone on both sides get the chance to play and that everyone walks away remembering Powderpuff as a positive experience.

“I love the excitement of the event. I love that the girls have the chance to learn something about to boys when it comes to football. What I don’t like is when the competition goes over the top and the boys make it more about their coaching than the girls having too fun,” said Mrs. Brown, “You have to have a certain level of seriousness to it, but there’s a balance that sometimes gets lost.”

“Powderpuff is meant to get as many girls involved as want to be involved. It’s not meant to be highly competitive in that sense. Anytime you compete against somebody, you want to win, but I would say that the goal is not as much the competition as it is to bring the class together,” said Ms. Woodall.

Powderpuff is an annual event that provides a great memory for both players and coaches. Over the years, the game has come to mean more and more in the Westminster community, but not in a way that makes the game overly competitive or no longer fun for the players. The 800 Sporting staff encourages everyone to attend the game and support their grade. Some boys will be cheerleading and there will be a Blue Crew for both sides. At the conclusion of the game, cookies will be served not just to the winners, but to both sides to represent the sentiment of community even though the competition.

800 Sporting Staff Score Predictions:

Thomas Shultz, Senior:
Seniors 42, Juniors 36.

Thanny Sems, Senior:
Seniors 34, Juniors 26.

Tommy Briner, Junior:
Seniors 29, Juniors 32.

Jimmy Obertop, Senior:
Seniors 30, Juniors 21.

Pearson Georges, Junior:
Seniors 24, Juniors 48.

Bennie Anderson, Junior:
Seniors 7, Juniors 14.

Koby Schmer, Junior:
Seniors 7, Juniors 21.