The Powder Puff football game is an iconic staple of Heritage’s homecoming week. In the game, female students from grades 9-12 participate in flag football games, facing off against each grade. While all upper school girls are encouraged to participate in the games, there are a few sports who do not allow their varsity players to participate.
Girls who are on the soccer or track and field varsity teams are told not to partake in the games, so they can avoid injuries that could take a player out for the season.
“Enforcing this is something I wanted because I had one of my seniors break her nose [in a past game] – she missed the season. I had another one of my top players that injured her knee, had to have surgery and missed my season,” said varsity soccer coach Cindy Marcial.
Few serious injuries have occurred in the past years; however, Coach Marcial and coach Thomas Johnson would rather not take chances.
“I prefer them not to play, but in their senior year I don’t want them sitting out. But, we’ve had too many injuries, and it’s for fun so there’s not a lot of supervision out there. These girls are trying to get scholarships, and it did hurt girls previously,” Coach Marcial said.
Other sports, like lacrosse, do not enforce this recommendation, as their season only occurs at the end of the school year, and if any of the players injure themselves, they will have enough time to recover. That, however, is not the case for cross country.
“For our girls, we are in the season, and typically it happens around the state championship series. So the girls play Powder Puff football and sustain an injury, and that ruins everything,” varsity track and field Coach Johnson said.
Powder Puff, along with various other activities offered by the school, creates great memories for the students.
“At the end of the day, [they] are all in high school and this should be a fun time for [them]. Enjoy it,” varsity girls lacrosse coach Corey Engelhard said.
Some girls have voiced their disagreement with their track and field and soccer coach’s request, but others have voiced their concerns with the problems playing in the games may bring.
“In the end it’s about keeping yourself healthy and being able to play for the school,” sophomore and varsity soccer player Rachel Kessler said.
Since the athletes are aware of the injuries that may occur, they usually choose to do what’s best for the team and for themselves; however, that choice still depends on the athlete.