Photo by Piper Hansen.
Photo by Piper Hansen.

R/W Week 2017: Seniors surpass the juniors in powderpuff

Tonight, the senior powderpuff team won the annual game with a final score of 30-18.

First half

During the first half of the game, the juniors had a lead of 12-0 following two touchdown by Meryck Hardley (#24, 11) within the first five minutes.

Shortly after, senior running back Maddison Ellis (#7, 12) scored two touchdowns, which kept the score tied 12-12 until half-time.

Half time

The roles in powderpuff are reversed, in that girls play football and boys cheerlead, some junior and senior boys were coached by members of the Dazzlers to create a half-time performance.

“The best part about powderpuff cheerleading is that you can just do whatever, be really weird and no one cares,” Meyer Mercker, (12, MST) senior powderpuff cheerleader, said.

The juniors are already talking about being on the cheerleading squad again for their senior year.

“It was a blast. Every practice we had was so much fun with all the boys hanging out and dancing,” Andrew Baker, (11, HSU) junior powderpuff cheerleader, said. “Manual has been doing [powderpuff] for so long so it’s a great thing to keep doing over and over again just like our parents did when they were our age. I will definitely be doing it again next year.”

The junior and senior powderpuff cheerleaders will perform at the R/W Week pep rally Friday afternoon.

Second half

After performances by both the junior and senior powderpuff cheerleaders, seniors had possession of the ball. Ellis showed continuous aggressive play during the second half, bringing the seniors back for redemption.

Within the first five minutes of the second half, Keely Boldin (#6, 12) scored a touchdown for the seniors. 

The score being 18-12, seniors leading, the juniors made a first down and followed it with a touchdown making the score a tied at 18.

The game continued with serious defense from both teams, until Grace Tatro (#30, 12) carried the ball into the end zone, making the score 24-18, seniors.

With only 15 minutes left in the game, the seniors played with intense offense until Ellis was able to get past the juniors to score another touchdown for the seniors, making the score 30-18, seniors.

The last 10 minutes of the game was full of incomplete plays and passes by both junior and senior teams. Both teams played up until the clock, trying different plays and switching in and out their players. No points were gained by either team, leaving the remaining score 30-18, seniors.

Seniors run the flag down the field after their victory. Photo by Piper Hansen.

The players and the coaches

Through weeks of preparation, coaching and repetition, both teams’ coaches were proud of how their teams played.

“The junior girls were phenomenal, they’re a really great group of girls,” Regis Wilson, (11, HSU) junior powderpuff coach, said. “They worked hard everyday and always came to practice ready to go.”

While the senior coaches focused more on their defensive line and passing the ball, the junior coaches practiced the same plays over and over again.

“We really focused on repetition and making sure everyone knew what they were doing so when it came to game time, we could be confident,” Million Greenlee, (11, MST) junior powderpuff coach, said.

The intensity of the senior team gave them an advantage in the game and pulled them to a win in the second half.

“We got to the second half and we gave even more than we did in the first and we really blew them out of the water,” Nate Barber, (12, HSU) senior powderpuff coach, said. “The juniors were talking smack all week on the football team so we really had to show them who’s boss, and we did,” Barber said.

Everyone involved in the annual powderpuff game believes that the tradition is really good for the school and allows girls to participate in a game of football during the week of festivities.

“It’s important because it gives the girls a chance to show that they can play a sport that guys play. It is important for tradition to show the spirit of Male/Manual and it’s very fun for girls to play powder puff,” Ellis said.

Powderpuff not only brought together people in each grade but it brought Manual students together as a whole because of the competitive nature of the game.

“I was able to be competitive and have fun all at the same time and I loved it,” Gracie Pounders, (#20, 12) the senior quarterback powderpuff player, said.

Overall, the powderpuff game, just like most Red/White Week festivities, was all about fun and being school spirited.

“It was more fun than I expected because we came in not knowing any plays and we just went for it,” Karrington Jackson, (#15, 11) junior powderpuff player, said.

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