On Wednesday, November 14th, junior and senior girls at NHS competed against each other in the Powderpuff flag-football game. The game was held under the lights at the Vito Capizzo football stadium, and ended with the seniors emerging victorious.
Initially, it seemed as though the juniors had the upper hand, with Junior Lauren D’Aprix scoring shortly after the start of the game, and Rosha Kelly winning the team a few extra points. The seniors fired back with Paige Albertson scoring a touchdown, and Jordan Perry securing the extra point. At halftime, the gap was starting to close, with juniors leading 9-7. An action-packed second half saw Niya Marret score twice for the seniors in a clutch comeback run. D’Aprix scored once again in the second half, but it wasn’t enough. Despite the juniors’ efforts, the game ended in a 21-15 win for the seniors.
For many years, the Seniors vs. Juniors powderpuff football game has been a tradition preceding the Island Cup football game. The tradition was revived this year after a short break due to injuries to players and difficulties with sportsmanship. Both staff and students put a lot of effort into making this year’s game the friendly competition it was intended to be.
The game was played in a fun and organized fashion, largely due to the work done by the student council and the athletic department. After a little back a forth with administration, student council got the go ahead for the game, which served as a fundraiser for the Harvey Foundation. Despite the ‘feels like 22’ degree weather, a good number of students shivered through the evening’s festivities, and the event brought in 406 dollars for the foundation.
“We would like to thank Mr. Maury in particular. The game could not have been nearly as successful without his help,” said senior student council member, Anna Steadman.
Powderpuff provides a great bonding opportunity for girls of the senior and junior classes. It’s a great chance for the girls to get together outside of the classroom, have a good time, and gain exposure to a game they may not have otherwise known much about. Despite this, some have expressed a distaste for the event.
“I’m certainly supportive of having fun and getting pumped up for the big game, but to me, the very name ‘powder puff’ brings to mind an outdated gender stereotype that women and girls shouldn’t be playing sports. A powder puff is an old fashioned method of putting on the powder that some women wear as makeup. That gender stereotyping is further reinforced by the football players dressing up as cheerleaders at the pep rally. I just think the time has come to change up those outdated traditions. I’d rather see a mixed gender group out there on the field.” sophomore English teacher, Martha Page Martineau said.
This sentiment was not shared by senior captain Paige Albertson: “I feel like it’s always been an event girls have participated in without looking at it in a negative sexist way. Most people play because it’s fun, if you read it to the literal meaning of powderpuff it may be viewed as sexist but that’s not what the game is about. It brings together the student body and community members that come to watch a fun school event. The guys helped us understand football better and taught us what it takes to be successful on the football field, there was never a time where they’d put as down and say were we bad players just because we are girls.” Moving forward, changing the name of the event may put these concerns to rest, while keeping the unifying and charitable nature of the event in tact.
“It was really fun to get together and the game was very competitive but also very friendly,” said Steadman. While the gameplay was very competitive, fun was had by all.
This sentiment was reiterated by senior player, Tahlia Francis. “It was great to get to play in the game. Everyone was excited and determined to make it a success,” said Francis.
Overall, the game was a success Despite the freezing temperatures, the game was well played and well attended. Players on both sides played very competitively and respectfully, which bodes well for potential future games.
By Stephanie Ryder