Tough Enough for Powder Puff

For fundraiser, DECA hosts powderpuff football game

Ashlynn Holbrook
Jerry Cooper (left) scaling the pyramid

JT Jackson

by Patrick Benedict, Web Designer

The SCHS Powderpuff Football Game, which took place Sept. 14 at the Stadium, was a DECA-sponsored game wherein underclassmen played against seniors in a gender-swapped version of flag football, where girls reigned over the field as players while the boys toted pom-poms and tried their hands at cheer stunts. Teacher Patrick Gebhard coached the underclassmen girls at meets and practices but was unable to make it to the final game. However, he noted how these girls were much tougher than the Class of 2019 boys he coached last year.

“I was a little surprised by how little some of the girls knew about football,” Gebhard said. “One of the girls was on offense and tried to take the flag off the defender.”

For some of the girls, there seemed to be a bit of a learning curve in the rules of the game, as senior player Virginia Werth remarked.

“After having the perspective of a football player, my view of the game has changed tremendously,” Werth said, “Before Powderpuff, I did not understand the rules of the game very well. After the many practices, preparations, and pep talks that led up to the big night, I was ready to tackle anything that the game might bring.”

Teacher William Hippe, with help from co-coaches Simon Fernandez and Caleb Irons, was excited about this curve and how inquisitive the team was toward picking up the basics of the game.

“Coaching is teaching,” Hippe said, “and Powderpuff really is starting from square one. What really got me fired up was how much the Seniors kept asking questions about how and why they were going to do things. They all really wanted to learn the game. A few girls have told me since we started they are watching football. That is awesome for me.”

“Coach Hippe was an amazing coach,” Werth said. “I was so thankful for his patience when teaching us the basics of the game: He started Powderpuff practices with teaching us the rules of football, then practices evolved to learn how to catch and throw. As the practices continued, he taught us different routes and before long we started to establish positions and plays.”

On the flip side was the boys as the cheerleaders, who tried to form a pyramid.

“The halftime show got off to a slow start,” Hippe said, “but when the pyramid got started I had high hopes. Jerry Cooper almost made it to the peak but alas they were one short.”

“At half time,” Werth said, “they performed a scene in which they did cartwheels, dance moves, and even constructed a giant pyramid formation. When the athletes would sub off the field, the cheerleaders were very positive and gave high fives to our players. The support from the cheerleaders was so nice to have, and their cheers could be heard even from the opposite side of the field.”

Gebhard regretted not being able to see the cheerleaders in action, but the thought brought up memories of his own 1999 Powderpuff game where he was captain of the cheer team and “looked great in a cheer skirt”.

At halftime, the score was 6-0, but by the end, the senior team ended up winning 22-6.

“The cheerleaders did an amazing job and showed lots of team spirit.” Werth said. “With the coaches, support from parents and fans on the bleachers, the athletes, and the cheerleaders, the Powderpuff game was an exciting experience that I’ll never forget.”