Evelyn Ruan also contributed to this article.
Before Thanksgiving break on Tuesday, November 21st, the annual tradition of the Powderpuff flag football game, between the junior and senior girls, returned to Macdonald Stadium in full force as both classes were hungry for the win.
The Powderpuff game has always been a commemorated and valued event throughout the Malden High community that brings students and staff closer together by incentivizing some friendly competition. “I think that upholding fun traditions like Powderpuff, junior varieties, and spirit week are what make high school the most memorable,” Courtney Braz, one of the junior class advisors who took part in the planning of the game, shared.
On its third year back at Malden High School since the tradition was revived in 2021 after a break because of Covid, the excitement that anticipated the game was unmatched and the girls wanted to put their best foot forward out on the field. Being an all-girls game, Powderpuff contributes to the representation of women in a male-dominated sport and has become a favored tradition because of this. “Girls can do anything guys can do and it’s something fun for everyone to enjoy right before break,” Braz added.
Last year, the juniors demolished the seniors in an 18-0 win and allowed that experience to fuel their performance this year, as many of them wanted to play again as seniors. “I think that we’re going to win since we won last year, so it’s looking good. I’m not worried,” Giselle Dessert, a returning player who is now on the senior team, exclaimed.
Before the game got started, senior class advisor Shannon Votaw said, “I think it's going be fun, I think both classes, the juniors and seniors, are excited to play.”
As the game began, students and teachers cheered for their favored team. Both classes came close to scoring the first touchdown of the game, but by the end of the first half, the seniors ended up taking the lead 7-0.
The seniors felt confident and chose to mostly celebrate their small victory instead of taking strategizing seriously like how the juniors were during halftime. “I hope seniors win, if we don’t win it’ll be kind of embarrassing,” Marianne “Mari” Rivadeneira, a participating senior, commented before the game resumed for the second half. “We have a plan now and we’re making movement,” Ina Tolete, a participating junior, stated during halftime.
Just when the juniors were starting to lose hope, they were able to score a touchdown and tie their score to the seniors’. Neither side seemed to be satisfied, resulting in each team scoring touchdowns one after another to tie the score once again at 14-14.
Time was running out and the tension on the field grew heavier, but with a last minute play, the seniors were able to secure a touchdown and win the title of Powderpuff champions.
Both teams celebrated the results of the close game and showed excellent sportsmanship by speaking highly of each other’s performances and congratulating each other.
“It’s really important to maintain these events because it contributes to the culture of the school and it contributes to building community by making everyone feel like this isn’t just a place to learn academically, but you’re learning emotionally,” Braz concluded.