Powderpuff girls take the field

Athletes and administration share their experiences with this year’s revived competition.

Katelyn Richards ‘22 and Raven Aliberto ‘22 following their Game 3 win.

Delaney Wildermuth, Staff Reporter

It’s Homecoming season, Palm Harbor! Time to show some spirit, watch some football, and dress to the nines. To prepare, Mr. Mullaney and the Powderpuff crew worked with the girls for weeks before their September 10 game. 

Until about 5 years ago, the girls flag football game at Palm Harbor was annual and highly anticipated for Homecoming week. Securing medical information and insurance for every athlete made the process difficult to manage, and the event wasn’t scheduled for several years following. This year, previous coordinators were able to step forward to give the girls this special experience once again.

“The girls that knew about it were excited… [they] had a good time, it’s something that will grow. The girls always look forward to it,” said Mr. Mullaney, Powderpuff coordinator.

There were few requirements to participate in Powderpuff; the girls could be in any class and in any program. Approximately 105 participants of all athletic backgrounds were included. This year, there was a high density of volleyball, soccer, and of course, flag football players. 

As Katelyn Richards (‘22) shares, “I played flag football last year and I thought it would be nice to play a game and not worry about winning and just have fun.” 

Due to a scheduling conflict with back-to-school night, only two practices were held prior to the game. Although practices were overseen by faculty, volunteer members of the football team conducted the coaching aspect per their grade level. Their job was to explain the dynamics of flag football and include everyone in the process.

Regarding the game itself, each grade was organized as one team. The Freshman team wore gray shirts, Sophomores wore white, Juniors wore maroon, and Seniors wore navy. The night consisted of four 30 minute games.

Game 1, Seniors vs. Freshman

– 10 minutes, Seniors lead 8-0

– 15 minutes, Seniors achieve a 2 point conversion from 14,0 (making the score 16,0)

– 21 minutes, the Senior defense carries out a pick-six interception and another 2 point conversion (Seniors win 24,0)

Game 2, Sophomores vs. Juniors

– 10 minutes, Juniors drive Sophomores near endzone, no points either team

– 15 minutes, Sophomores gain 70 yards into a near touchdown 

– 22 minutes, interception by Sophomore defense at 10 yards

– 30 minutes, tie game (0,0) goes into overtime, Juniors win

Game 3 (extra game), Freshman vs. Sophomores

– 7 minutes, Freshman offense runs the ball 20 yards

– 15 minutes, tie game (0,0) goes into overtime, Sophomores win

Game 4 (Championship game), Juniors vs. Seniors

– 10 minutes, successful plays carried out by both teams, neither endzone tempted 

– 13 minutes, Senior offense runs the ball 30 yards; periodic offense control by either team

– 29 minutes, Juniors gain 40 yards towards opposing endzone 

– 3 seconds remaining, Senior interception, no yards gained due to buzzer interruption 

– 30 minutes, controversy over turnover to Juniors in overtime; Seniors take the win soon after

As it stands, The Powderpuff game is on the PHU calendar for next year’s Homecoming week. The girls had a spectacular time participating in the event. 

“Yes [I would do it again], I was nervous this year because I didn’t know how it worked, but I think next year will be even more fun,” said Richards.

The 2019 Powderpuff game was a major success; those involved shared a fun time and a great experience. Much anticipation can be foreseen for future games.