Powderpuff Tournament to Take Place Nov. 20

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Matt Austin

Lodestro’s team practices plays leading up to the tournament on Saturday.

Hannah Elbogen and Matt Austin

Typically around this time of year, Pascack Valley seniors conclude their high school football careers, whether it be as a player or a fan. However, the student body is not ready to close that chapter. Enthusiasm prevails as the Class of 2022 has created a powderpuff league.

You may be asking yourself, what is powderpuff?

According to The State Journal Register, “The tradition began in 1945 [in] South Dakota. While the peace treaty with Japan that ended World War II was signed in September, most young men had not yet enrolled in the fall semester of college. Homecoming weekend approached, the school decided to cancel all homecoming sporting events due to the lack of males at the school. But the girls of the school suggested that they play in place of the boys.”

Today, powderpuff is a team, or several teams, of girls who compete in a series of flag football games, whether it be within the same school or against other schools.

The PV league consists of five teams, with about twelve girls per group. The tournament will take place on Nov. 20 at PV.

The senior football players will be taking on new roles as coaches, responsible for holding practices for their teams and leading them to victory.

Thomas Lodestro, who has been playing football since his freshman year, is optimistic about his new position.

“[Being a coach is] fun, it’s different, it’s a good point of view [of] a coach’s standpoint, how frustrating it can be when people aren’t doing their jobs, and how happy you can be when someone does it right,” Lodestro said. “[You can really feel a connection with the players], it’s a great time.”

The first practices were dedicated to finding the players’ strong suits, and assessing who is the best fit for each position. Once this was decided amongst the coaches, teams could begin rehearsing their plays.

“We start [practice] with the dynamic warm up, we stretch, we get everyone ready, and then we work on our offense,” powderpuff coach, James Perrone said. “We run routes, we have our quarterbacks throwing, and then we’ll go into defense, we’ll do something called ‘Aunt Ruth’.”

“‘Aunt Ruth’ is a classic tackling drill that [is used] in football [to prevent other players] from going outside of you,” Lodestro said. “Even if you miss the tackle, it’s important that you miss [in] a specific way [in order to] stop their feet.”

The randomized powderpuff teams allow for new bonds to be created, but nonetheless, the competitive spirits are prevalent.

Kaleigh Higgins is one of many senior girls participating in powderpuff.

“There’s been a lot of trash talking when there’s two different teams on [opposite] sides of the field,” Higgins said. “There’s been a lot of yelling at each other. It seems like [it’s] all in good nature, but when it comes to playing [against] each other, there’s going to be a lot of disagreements.”

Higgins is looking forward to the tournament and believes it should be something that continues in the future as well.

“I think it’s really fun and it’s something to look forward to senior year,” Higgins said. “I like how it’s only for seniors because when there’s the [stress] of college and [everybody leaving soon], it’s nice that we all get to be together. I definitely think that it should continue on in the future. We haven’t had the actual tournament yet, I’m sure it will be a bit rocky and [there will be faults], but as the years go on, I’m sure [the PV seniors will] perfect that.”

The Class of 2022 will be collecting proceeds from players and spectators, and donating it towards their class cause, West Bergen Mental Healthcare.