By Mary Rozembajgier
This year, juniors Arya Narayanan and Hallie Harrison created University High School’s first Powderpuff Football League, where all-girl teams play flag football while being coached by fellow students. Leader Arya explains this league was created so everyone could have fun and “get a new perspective on football”. The two teams, a freshman and sophomore team and a junior and senior team, will compete on March 23rd.
Sophomore Jacob Sager decided to be a powderpuff coach for the freshman and sophomore team for the sake of having fun. He feels his team has a very welcoming atmosphere and that “we bonded not only as a team, but as friends in our community and our hard work will pay off”. While Jacob takes his role as coach seriously, his first priority is to make sure the girls have fun. When commenting on his team Jacob said, “They can all catch. We have spirit. We have a good attitude. We don’t let anything get us down. And our main goal is to have fun.”
And fun they have. Sophomore Olivia Hakes of the freshman and sophomore team expresses that the very reason she joined the team was to have a fun experience. “I basically joined the team for a chance to spend time with my friends and have fun. I’ve had a good experience because our coaches actually knew what they were doing and we had fun while actually practicing at the same time.” Olivia’s teammate, Lindsey Syrek, who joined the team for the opportunity to play a new sport with her friends, has enjoyed the practices as well. “The two practices we’ve had haven’t been super hard or anything, but I’ve enjoyed doing it.” Practices that consist of warm-ups and scrimmages are serious but also fun. The spirits are always high, and it’s normal to see players laughing and cheering each other on. Coach Jacob remarks that these practices have given his girls “a sense of team-ship”.
With football being a predominantly male sport, the girls on the powderpuff teams are excited to have an opportunity to play football. When asked how he felt about coaching a team, Jacob exclaimed, “It shouldn’t be any different than running a boy’s flag football team. Why would it be any different?” Jacob later emphasized his team would be “just as good if they had testosterone”. Player Grace Rozembajgier of the junior and senior team is very excited to play in the powderpuff league. “Football has always been my favorite sport and I think it’s really cool we have a mini powderpuff season I can participate in”. Leader Arya also comments that “it’s a fun way for girls to become more involved in sports, especially if they don’t want to play competitively.” Arya also mentions the excitement of actually getting out on the field. “I personally haven’t played football before, but I’ve watched my whole life and it’s so different actually playing.”
After just three practices, the two teams will compete on March 23rd. Be sure to come out to support these teams!