Athens Drive brings back Powderpuff football

 

Most high schools are known for Friday night lights. But what does it look like when Powderpuff is brought to a high school? Athens Drive High School is one of few schools that participates in powderpuff, where the roles are reversed in the game of football. The girls are the football players, the football players are the coaches, and some guys volunteer to be cheerleaders. 

 Oct. 21, 2021 Athens Drive’s powderpuff tournament took place in the school’s Jag Stadium. They started off the night with Juniors versus sophomores. This varied from previous years because normally the two games are between the freshmen and sophomores and the seniors versus the juniors. 

“I knew it would be a very fun experience; I’ve wanted to do it since middle school,” said Emani Vaughn, junior powderpuff player.

Even though not all schools take part in powderpuff, Athens has participated on and off for the past couple of years. Junior Zoe Politis was the student organizer of this year’s event. She worked alongside Chris Remaley and other staff members to put together this awaited event.  

“They didn’t know how to play football but when they got the basics down, they were able to play better,” said Junior team coach Caleb Lynch.

 For the powderpuff team to prepare, they spent hours training. The individual teams and their coaches practiced what they felt was necessary before the big game, from line ups to footwork and techniques. 

Dwiki Abidin shares his words about being one of the coaches for the juniors: “It was really fun being able to work with the people I did, and they were motivated to learn the game of football and they made me proud.”

To show team spirit, the teams wore their team jerseys to school as if it were a regular Athens football game. Not just the players, coaches, and cheerleaders were excited for the afternoon, but the students were too. 

Alayna Arellano, a student at Athens Drive said, “I was excited for the school day because at the end of the day I got to support and watch my friends at the Powderpuff game.”

 Players, coaches and cheerleaders began meeting at school at 5 p.m., where they got ready in the parking lot in front of the Jag Stadium. Students braided each other’s hair, painted their faces and legs, listened to music, and exchanged friendly competitive words between the junior and senior teams. 

The day of the game, the eager crowd of students and parents waited for the game to begin, while the football players, coaches and cheerleaders prepared for the big game.

“I was always hoping for a large turnout since all the proceeds were going to charity. I wasn’t expecting it to be as big as it was so I was very excited,” said Politis.

“The best part of this experience is being able to do this with my friends, especially during covid right now because nothing is granted,” said Vaughn. 

Powderpuff not only brought a new sense of school spirit to Athens, but it also helped form new relationships. The participants spent hours with people who had a shared interest in competition and sports with each other. As a result of this, new friendships were formed. 

The school encourages as many powderpuff players to participate in the game next year as they can to share the experiences of high school. 

“Powderpuff was a fun way to be active and work as a team. It was fun to be able to bond with my classmates as well as compete against opposing classes,” said Francesca Brady.