November Issue
November 28th 2022
84°F in Pasadena, CA
Scattered clouds ↑92° ↓71°
November Issue
November 28th 2022
84°F in Pasadena, CA
Scattered clouds ↑92° ↓71°

Seniors Defeat Juniors 21-0 at 2022 Powderpuff

The preparation leading to victory


The crowd went wild as Nilah Okon ‘23 scored the winning touchdown, running untouchable from one end of the field to the other. Onlookers could only watch as the entire senior team—cheerleaders included—swarmed together in a pink hoard, smiling between chants of “SENIORS, SENIORS, SENIORS!”

To anyone else, the sight on PHS’s football field on December 8th might have been bizarre. The girls played football while boys stood on the sidelines in shimmery tutus, stacking themselves into pyramids and dancing in sync.

But for PHS, and many other high schools, the Powderpuff game is tradition. Every year, the junior and senior classes compete in a reversal of football norms. Boys cheer for the girls, who get to play on the field. The Powderpuff teams are selected through tryouts—then, the girls and boys are coached by Varsity football players and Varsity cheerleaders, respectively. Practice was held nearly every day during lunch.

For the boys, practice involved learning stunts and trying not to drop people. “We’re split into groups of four,” said Adix Hu ‘23, a Powderpuff cheerleader. “There are the bracers, who hold the person’s feet. Then the flyer—who is getting their foot held. As for me, I stand in the back and catch people when they come down.”

“They want us to dance and stuff, like zesty,” added Caden Sanford ‘23. “We also fall a lot [during practice]. But not me though. ‘Cause I’m different.”

One of the highlights of the Powderpuff game was the seniors’ halftime show, where cheerleaders combined synchronized dancing with cheer stunts. Thankfully, there were no falls during the actual performance.

The girls, on the other hand, spent their practices running. “There are different positions,” an anonymous ‘23 player explained. “Center, the front liners, wide receivers, and safety. Usually, I’m on the edges as a wide receiver or safety. The coaches are good. They motivate us, they’re really nice.”

But when game day arrived, the girls found that things were slightly different than what practice had prepared them for. “We didn’t have flags,” said the ‘23 player. The team had prepared to play flag football, but it was changed to touch football at the last minute. “So I was kinda confused. And the ref said we had to play 8 on 8, even though we were practicing 11 on 11. But once the game got started, it wasn’t that hard—I had a lot of fun!”

In the end, the game was a memorable experience, for seniors and juniors alike. “The whole atmosphere of the game was amazing, how everyone came together. And I’m pretty sure every girl got to play, which was great. Overall, just awesome vibes!”