2019 Powderpuff Game: Distinct Winner or Controversial Loss


Photo Courtesy of Alex Payne '20

As part of Homecoming tradition, girls from the junior and senior classes have the opportunity to participate in the powderpuff game – a game similar to flag football. Being the last game for the seniors and the first game for the juniors, a lot was at stake as they walked onto the field. After 30 minutes of play, the score was unsatisfactory: 6-6. The game went into overtime, causing one player from each team to kick a field to determine the winner. After a nerve-wrecking 10 minutes and mutual successes till the third kick, the junior kicker, Melanie Ng, scored the final goal, bringing a decisive victory for the junior class. 

However, contrary to the scores, the senior class was dissettled by the outcome. Some blame alleged cheating to be the root issue. Sofia Dragna ‘20 recalls, “I saw some cleats and some tying-of-the-flags in the other team. I’m not going to speak to any of the things the seniors did because, you know, we would never cheat.” One of the senior class’s coaches, Charlie McCormick ‘20, said a similar statement: “Apparently the juniors were allowed to have cleats, and we weren’t informed of this. But I won’t point any fingers.” However, many of the players themselves displayed discontent and blamed the lack of coaching and practices as a contributing factor for their ultimate loss. While McCormick believed the contrary, stating that “the team reached a decision that we were ready and didn’t need practice,” dedicated fan, Jack Crawford ‘20, thought the opposite: “Unlike Charlie, I would point the finger. I would have to say the coaching staff didn’t do their job. If Jack Crawford was the coach, then I think we would’ve dominated. It was just a poorly coached game, and we don’t have another chance to get ‘em back.” 

Another major point of controversy was the final score of 6-6 before overtime had to be called. Ani Bernardi ‘20 thought that she scored a touchdown, but the referee insisted that the point did not count. Recalling that anxious moment, Bernardi reflects that “[She] did not agree with the decision that was made. I clearly put my hand out with the ball before my flag was pulled. I thought it was, honestly, a little disrespectful. I was going to take it up to the officials of the Powderpuff League. It just hurt my integrity as a player.” Senior player, Molly Scott ‘20, felt extremely passionate about the play, stating that “[She is] furious – to put it lightly.”

On the other hand, the junior class was ecstatic with their new win. Junior player, Alexis Lara ‘21, remembers the overtime to be “exciting because it was tied to the end… it was anyone’s game. But [Melanie Ng] really won it for us.” When asked about the cleats that were used, Lara stated that the junior class wasn’t aware “that it wasn’t allowed.” Regardless of the senior class’s displeasure at the outcome, the juniors seemed to strive for something bigger than just a class win. Sofia Gonzalez ‘21 states that “[The win] was really empowering because there was this big rumor going around that the junior [class] hadn’t won for a while, and that pull out that [Melanie Ng] had at the very end was just great team effort. I loved it.” 

Regardless of differing opinions on the true winners of the game, both sides were able to take something away from the experience. As a veteran player, Dragna states that “I think there’s a real sense of community in being losers both years in a row. I think it really fosters strength and teamwork because we’re losing together and working hard together. We really almost had both years…” This long-held Prep tradition has obviously kept its purpose – to instill Prep pride and excitement before the homecoming weekend. Though this may be the last powderpuff game for the class of 2020, perhaps the seniors will come back as alumni to see another potential win from the class of 2021.