Campus News

Senior girls dominate Powder Puff football competition

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Senior Powder Puff players prepare for the game that they would win by 27 points over the sophomores. (Photo by Yonathan Moya)
As senior Ashleigh Finley made her way onto the muddy, cold field for the start of the 2009 Championship Powder Puff game on Nov. 1, she said only one thing was running through her mind: winning. As she took her place next to her teammates in a group huddle, her face painted black and a look of fierce competition in her eyes, the brisk air and the fatigue from the day’s earlier match against the freshmen was far from her, or any of her teammates’, minds. The sophomores on the opposite side of the field did a team chant. Then, on the count of three, the senior class yelled, “Our time!” Finley made her way to the sidelines, shouting motivation to the offensive players who remained on the field. At resident director and official Bobby Morton’s call, the game started and the battle for the championship began. For Finley and many of her teammates, this scene was not new. As returners to the competition they had experienced what Powder Puff was like and knew the routines and procedures that go along with the game. Their 27-0 victory over the sophomores though was a scene they hadn’t encountered; this senior class has come up short the past three years in Powder Puff, getting second place in each championship match until Sunday’s game. “We as seniors knew that we didn’t win the last couple years because we ran out of time, but this year it was our time,” said senior corner linebacker Sarah Dalrymple. “We wanted to make sure that we made an impression on the other team so that they wouldn’t want to see our faces ever again.” Although the senior class won by a significant amount, the game was not void of excitement. In the first offensive play by the sophomores, Holly Weaver ran a 51 yards for a touchdown, a feat which both spectators and players consider the most exciting event of the night. “My most memorable moment of the game(s) would have to be Holly Weaver’s dominant speed all throughout,” said sophomore Karli Saner. “She is a pleasure to not only play sports with but also to watch as a competitor. Despite the bumps and bruises she probably has now she plowed through some ‘big people’”. The run was called back, but Weaver’s determination was not lost. Weaver had several other breakaway runs throughout the remainder of the game, but despite her efforts, the sophomores could not score on the senior defense. To Morton, this defensive squad, and one particular play by senior Melissa Gomez, was the highlight of the match. continued on pg. 3 “But for me, the most memorable play was made by Melissa Gomez who, after her defense had given up a big play to the sophomore offense, came back the next play to make a one on one, game-saving tackle against one of the fastest women alive,” said Morton. “It showed such great resolve on the part of the seniors and demonstrated what football is all about.” The game, although not as physical as contact football, still had a number of hard hits and tackles. Towards the end of the second half, a collision between senior wide receiver Mandy Cripe and sophomore linebacker Dori Walterhouse could be heard from the stands. “…I hit my head on the ground harder than I ever have before,” said Cripe. “At first I was a little scared, but did not want to come out of the game so I tried to get up quickly. I ended up having to sit out a play. I did not suffer any injuries, just had a headache.” For many of the participants, this year’s Power Puff competition was about much more than touchdowns and titles. “I loved playing Powder Puff because it not only gave me a chance to meet some other girls, but I miss being a part of a team,” said Dalrymple. “I mean, girls aren’t always given the chance to play football, so when the time comes I am in! I love competition, getting excited during plays and knowing that we are all working together as a team. It is also a time just to take a break from classes, forget about the homework, and just have fun with the girls.” Sophomore coach Zach Diller valued the character of his athletes more than anything. “They are awesome, beautiful inside and out,” said Diller. “I loved watching them cheer on and lead each other as well as cheering and congratulating other teams. These girls love to show up and play hard, not worrying about being hurt or getting dirty.”
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