The 2019 Powderpuff Football Tournament ended Wednesday night with a victory for the underclassmen after seven overtimes. The season was regarded as a success by several coaches and players alike, but it wasn’t without its struggles. There were a few issues including the coordination of practices, as well as the uncooperating weather. The game alone was rescheduled three times.
Mr. Fender knew that there would be some changes to the game since the school split, but wasn’t quite prepared for what happened. Typically, there are four teams, with one for each grade level. But this year, they had to cut it down to two. With there being only two teams, they just had the championship game.
Regardless, the girls played on. The game had two teams: underclassmen in blue and seniors in red. Powderpuff is coached by members of the Scott County Varsity Football team. Additionally, it is overseen and refereed by Robert Fender, a Business and Marketing teacher at Scott County High School.
DECA, the Distributive Education Clubs of America, hosts the tournament every year to raise money for the Muscular Dystrophy Association (MDA), specifically to send kids with the disease to summer camp. This year, the powderpuff team raised $800, which is enough to send one child to camp. The National DECA and the MDA have been partnered for over 30 years, and have raised $5 million to help kids suffering with muscular dystrophy, ALS, and other life-threatening diseases that limit muscle strength and ability.
This isn’t your traditional football game, though. It’s a game of flag football. Blue Team coach, Silas Emongo said “I’m not going to lie, this year I saw so much physicality. A lot from my team, and the other team. Within like five minutes of the game, the girls just started going at each other and tackling.” Additionally, it’s played on a 60-yard field as opposed to a 100 yard, and there isn’t much protective gear, since it’s a very low-contact sport.
Seniors Savannah Reeves and Ashley Adkins, were mentioned by both coaches Silas Emongo and Sam Daniel as two big players this season. Reeves has been playing since her freshman year, and has “made so many friends through it”. Additionally, Mr. Fender was really impressed with Anika Kuden, a German foreign exchange student, who has never played American football before. He says that she was “really good for someone new to the game.”
Every single one of the players worked their hardest this season out of their sheer enjoyment of the game. Powderpuff isn’t an overly competitive sport. The game is more about going out, having some fun, and building relationships.
Emma Price, Sophomore, from the Blue team explained Powderpuff as a carefree time. “…Just don’t worry about trying to win, just go out there and have fun.” Everyone on the team, Fender included, believes it’s more than just a sport. It’s about going out, having fun, and raising money for a good cause.
Next year, Fender wants to start recruitment much earlier in the year, to let the underclassmen know what powderpuff is about, and how it helps the community. A few suggestions from players include scheduled practices, playing rain or shine, and starting earlier in the year. Regardless, everyone hopes for more players, more practice, and better weather next year.