Seniors defeat juniors to win PowderPuff

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Junior Jillian Larkin narrowly dodges a freshman trying to pull her flag. Escaping the close call, Larkin made it all the way to the 10 yard line before losing her flag. The junior PowderPuff team won this game, but ultimately lost to the seniors.

Audrey Snyder

The football field was filled Thursday, Nov. 14 as 20 senior girls, five football coaches and a few enthusiastic fans danced in a halftime huddle to their anthem: “Boyfriend” by Big Time Rush. Spirits were high for the group of seniors as they got pumped up pregame. Success was expected for them having won PowderPuff during their sophomore yearthe youngest winners ever. 

In PowderPuff the freshmen play the juniors first, the sophomores play the seniors after, and the ensuing winners playoff in a championship game.

Twelve points ahead at half-time, the juniors held a comfortable lead against the freshmen in the semifinal match. In the 13 years of PowderPuff tradition, no freshman class has ever won. 

“Walking in we assumed we’d lose to the juniors,” freshman team captain Paige Sells said. “[The] team only prepared by having two 90-minute practices and making multiple group chats.” 

With the odds already against the freshmen, the juniors consistently targeted freshman player Abby Hay while trying to run the ball on offense. Calling a timeout, freshman coaches came up with a few trick plays to free up the pressure on Hay and to strengthen the defense. Ultimately losing, Sells said the coaches “told the freshmen to give it their all and not worry about the score.” 

As the freshman team left the field, the Bruin Boys, a group of senior guys, walked on braving the 30 degree cold clad in robes and boxers. Performing a nearly four minute dance routine choreographed by senior Delaney Fuller, their dance exuded charisma and comedy. Smiling the whole time, the Bruin Boys slapped one another’s butts during “Black Skinhead,” twerked to “Truth Hurts” and showcased tumbling tricks such as cartwheels, wheelbarrows and piggyback rides. 

Stripping their robes and strutting toward the crowd, all 10 boys stepped into a handstand, grinding and thrusting onto the turf to “Grind With Me.” Sitting up, they rubbed their chests seductively, then stood up, grasped each other’s hands and skipped in a circle to “Unwritten.” Disbanding their circle, the group lifted senior Preston Fancher into a stunt and twirled him around, his figure silhouetted by the stadium lights. Setting him down, they got into formation for a kickline.

Click images below for a slideshow of the Bruin Boy dance

For the finale, the Bruin Boys ended on a romantic note, splitting into pairs and kissing one another on the cheek before running off the field, leaving their robes to roaring laughter and applause. 

Senior Bruin Boy Luke Simon stood out to the crowd with his bright galaxy boxers and expressive style of dancing. 

“I love being a Bruin Boy because it’s a fun way for us guys to be creative and think of funny ways to entertain people through our dancing,” he said. “It’s fun to perform because I love dancing and being goofy, and [I] always have a great time doing it.” 

Shortly after the Bruin Boy performance, the sophomores took the field against the seniors. Though the sophomores played hard, their defeat came from falling into an early deficit. In the first play, senior Mya Drayton sped through the team’s defense to score a touchdown. Sophomore wide receiver Kate Lopez said Drayton was the downfall of the sophomores. 

Senior Mya Drayton dodges a junior in the championship game, sprinting past her to a touchdown. “[Drayton] is really fast,” competitor Kate Lopez said, “and it was tough to catch some of the [senior[ receivers as well.”
“One of the lowest points of the game was our inability to stop the senior team’s running back from scoring,” Lopez said. “[Drayton] is really fast, and it was tough to catch some of their receivers as well.” 

Fresh off their win, the seniors moved on to the championship game. Enlisting the help of football players Jaden Schimke, Brett Mooney and Will Norris, the coaches split the seniors into offense and defense and the team took position for the first play. Taught by this experienced group of coaches, PowderPuff preparation for the seniors included a couple practices to go over positions, develop offensive plays, set up a defense and learn the basics. 

Some attribute the senior class’s success to practice, smart tactics and strategic coaching. Taught by an experienced group of coaches, PowderPuff preparation for the class of 2020 consisted of three practices to go over positions, develop offensive plays, set up a defense and learn the basics

“Our biggest strength [was] that all of us knew what our jobs were and how to execute them well, thanks to our coaches,” senior player Mary Kate Grossman said. “The offense was really well prepared. The defense knew how to react no matter what and we weren’t afraid to be a little aggressive.” 

Among the seniors were varsity soccer players Luly Frey, Morgan Boussad and Natalie Peng; four year track members Mya Drayton and Georgia Godier; varsity softball girls Ella Boswell, Madison White and Mackenzie White and varsity tennis player Gabi Tella. Soccer player Peng thought the secret to winning was their athletic ability and compatibility as a class. 

As music blasted from the speakers, the seniors and juniors swarmed to the middle of the field. PowderPuff ended with a collective dance party. In the center of the dance party was proud coach senior Will Norris, visible by his cowboy hat and extreme excitement. Photo by Audrey Snyder.

“We won because we were better, period.” Peng said. “We were confident in ourselves; we trusted each other, and we worked together as a unit. The offense scored points and the defense shut the other team down. We dominated, and there’s no question about it.”

The seniors beat the juniors 30-0, running down the clock before celebrating their landslide win. As music blasted from the speakers, the seniors and juniors swarmed to the middle of the field and PowderPuff ended with a collective dance party. In the center of the dance party was proud coach Norris, visible by his cowboy hat and extreme excitement.

“The whole game was a highlight,” Norris said. “They all played so well, and I’m proud of them for winning it.”  

Both teams beamed as they shook hands afterwards, smiling having won or lost. Running across the field to hug her friend and competitor junior Olivia Hake was Grossman. 

“The highlight of PowderPuff is getting to play with and against your friends,” Grossman said. “Everyone gets really into it, and the fact that all of the players and coaches are having such a good time makes it worth it even when it’s freezing cold. You could feel the love.”

Leaving the Thursday night lights for warmth, hand warmers and hot cocoa, the senior class walked away from their last football game victorious. 

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