Powder Puff

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Powder Puff

Kamryn Whiteside, Staff Writer

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Photo Credits: gotoleftfield on instagram

October 7th marked Manteo High School’s annual powder puff game: a face-off between seniors/freshmen and juniors/sophomores. Everyone, including the football players turned cheerleaders, practiced after school and sometimes on weekends. The student coaches prepared both teams in a way that allowed them to have fun while on the field.

Senior Ashanti Pledger and freshman Taryn Booth were part of team seniors/freshmen. We were able to talk to both players about the outcome of the game and how they enjoyed replacing the regular football players for a night. 

Pledger, playing many positions in the game, claims she felt very prepared to win the game: “I was very prepared for the game and prepared to get the win.” This preparation paid off with a win of 38 to 22.  

Practices, according to both Booth and Pledger, were taken seriously by players and coaches alike. “We would practice plays…over and over again until we got them,” said Pledger. While the practices and the game were generally taken seriously, there was also some playing around: “It was kind of a mix of both.”

 Both of the players we interviewed affirmed that football was not as difficult to play as they thought. Pledger stated that “It came pretty naturally.” She even went so far as to say it was “easy.” 

While Booth and Pledger became comfortable playing football, there were a few surprises that took place in the game. “I wasn’t expecting to get a yellow flag,” said Pledger. She claimed that she tackled someone, possibly a bit too enthusiastically, and the referees called it. 

Along with the few surprises, everybody involved had a great time. Pledger and Booth enjoyed different aspects of the game, however. Pledger’s favorite part, she claimed, was “tackling people,” while Booth said that “Getting to know other people that I’ve never met was the best part.”

The cheerleading squad, made up of male athletes from various teams, had prepared too. Freshman Riley Perciful compared the respective practice opportunities for the players and cheerleaders. As opposed to the amount of time the girls had to prepare, Perciful noted that they only practiced for three days. They did a series of different stunts in preparation for the game, and they were surprisingly successful for neophyte cheeleaders. 

“The fact that we actually did cool stunts, like cartwheels and things like that was surprising,” said Perciful. 

While playing football was apparently easy for the two female players, cheerleading was slightly more challenging than Perciful originally thought. “My job, I thought, was harder than I expected,” he said. Being a flyer, he claimed he had to put a lot of trust in his teammates. 

Perciful noted that nobody took the cheering opportunity lightly. “Everyone took it pretty seriously, because if someone drops you, you could get really hurt,” he said. 

Perciful and Booth claimed that “the family that you kind of made” through the experience was the best part of being a powder puff cheerleader.

   Although powder puff can get quite competitive, it is a great opportunity to make new friends and connect with people whom one wouldn’t necessarily meet anywhere else. All those who participated had a great time and made memories that will last for years.

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