Powder-puff canceled after years of tradition


Photo Nicole Malvasio

The 2017-2018 Junior Class powder-puff squad

After 23 years, the traditional WHS powder-puff football game that pits junior girls against senior girls was canceled due to lack of participation. The WHS football players usually serve as both coaches and cheerleaders for the event.

This game, scheduled for the half-day before Thanksgiving break, was canceled after only 12 of 234 senior girls signed up. This is a significant decline in participation from last year when 67 senior girls signed up.

Even though the total numbers decreased from last year, the junior class still had 27 girls sign up.

Senior Class Co-advisor Nicole Malvasio did everything from homeroom announcements to distributing flyers and recruiting girls during her free periods. “We did everything we could in order to get everyone excited,” said Malvasio.

But according to Ana Fowler, the recording secretary of the SGA, it was not enough to attract more people.

“There was a lack of information being spread about how to sign up,” said Fowler. “Since nobody really knew what was going on, it was hard for people to get excited about signing up.”

Even after extending the deadline a week and a half, there still wasn’t enough interest from the senior girls.

Junior Faith Dobosiewicz said, “I was disappointed because I was looking forward to playing against the seniors and playing with some of my classmates.”

However, some current seniors who participated in the game last year did not have a seemingly positive experience. Senior Ellie Curry said that last year’s game was “kind of unorganized.”

Still, Curry was 1 of 12 seniors who signed up to play this year. “I don’t play sports anymore so I thought it would be fun to be part of a team again,” said Curry.

Senior Maddie Reynders said that the problem for senior girls was the disinterest among their friends.

“I didn’t sign up this year because it sounded like no one else was doing it,” said Reynders. “The best part was doing it with all my friends, so without them it would not be as fun.”

Similarly, senior Greta Horn attributes the lack of interest to a mentality in the senior class that “someone else will sign up so I don’t have to.”

“Last year’s senior class was responsible for the large turnout for powder-puff,” according to senior Emma Herber. “The senior class last year had a lot of spirit and it bled into us,” said Herber. “Now this year we don’t have as much spirit.”

Horn agreed that the senior class this year does not have a lot of school spirit. “We can’t all rely on everyone else to show school spirit but not do anything to contribute to the school environment ourselves,” said Horn.

Aside from lack of school spirit, some senior girls believe that powder-puff promotes sexist stereotypes. Senior Julia Burk said, “I believe that the whole situation is very sexist and misogynistic.”

Senior Julia Rickert echoed this sentiment.  “Powder-puff has a negative connotation and enforces the stereotype that girls don’t know anything about football,” she said.

Although there is no powder-puff this year, many hope that it will come back in future years. “It’s always a fun event that brings the class together,” said Malvasio.