By: Taylor Rigney
From the Ohio homecoming queen turned pink cleat-wearing field goal kicker to the many other high school girls across the nation who have traded in their heels for helmets, it’s within reason that football may not be a “guys-only” sport for much longer. All over the United States girls are stepping off the sidelines and taking over the sport yard-by-yard as more opportunities become available for women and girls to give football a try.
On Monday, November 1, junior and senior girls strapped on their cleats and pulled back their hair for the fifth annual Powder Puff football game. This tradition is always held during Homecoming week, and students from all four grades usually turn out to see which class will win the friendly rivalry. However, this year, the game was laced with controversy as soon as the girls started practicing.
Initially, the seniors began to feel robbed when they learned that the junior team was able to have one more practice than the seniors were allowed. However, this slight problem didn’t affect the seniors’ confidence for long. “We knew it didn’t matter how many practices they had; we were still going to win,” senior quarterback Ali Norman said.
And Norman was right about that: the juniors have won the Powder Puff game only once since Oak Grove started holding the yearly game in 2006, and the results of that game proved to be a huge disappointment for that entire senior class.
Once the game started, however, the tables quickly turned, and the juniors began to feel that they were being treated unfairly. The juniors still feel that some of the refs may have been partial to the seniors. “Some of the calls may have been in favor of the seniors, but the junior girls played their hearts out anyway. And that’s something to be proud of,” Trest Underwood, junior Powder Puff coach, said.
And the juniors certainly had much to be proud of concerning the way they played. When asked what the most challenging part of the game was, Ali Norman answered, “Kay Kay Hypolite.”
In the end, the seniors won the game when Brianna Blackwell ran in the last touchdown, making the final score 12-6.
Despite winning or losing, both the juniors and the seniors benefitted from the Powder Puff game in ways that will last much longer than Homecoming week. “We had girls from a variety of different social groups, so being put together on one team really gave us a chance to get to know one another,” Norman said.
Even so, the juniors are eager for next year so they can get a chance to redeem themselves against this year’s sophomores.