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Juniors win 2018 Powderpuff game

Kiana Subia runs towards the end zone while avoiding the seniors’ defense. Photo by Eden Marshall

The Atascadero High School junior girls rivaled the seniors to seize a victory in the annual Powderpuff football game played on Nov. 14. The game ended 7-0, and during halftime, senior Wyatt Marshall was announced as Mr. Greyhound, culminating a weeklong competition for that title.

The junior team gained yardage throughout the first quarter, but were kept from scoring by the seniors’ strong defense. One highlight was an impressive interception by junior Anneline Breytenbach, which caused a turnover and a change of possession for the juniors. The game took off as a close race with the first quarter ending at 0-0.

In the second quarter, the juniors continued to advance towards the end zone until Kiana Subia scored the first touchdown of the game. Subia ran the touchdown for the juniors and Mackenzie Wright scored the subsequent field goal. This brought the juniors to their seven point lead against the seniors going into the third quarter. “We had very skillful players but I think what it came down to was who wanted it more and who was willing to give it their all,” said Subia.

At the half, senior Wyatt Marshall was crowned Mr. Greyhound during halftime after a rigorous, week-long competition. The other competitors included junior Luke Olson and seniors Jacob Winch and Huy Vu. The title of Mr. Greyhound is voted on by students and awarded to the most well-rounded candidate who demonstrates pride in and invests in the school community. Contestants also participated in interviews, tests, and even dance competitions.

Also, volunteer male “cheerleaders” performed an enthusiastic halftime routine. Despite the cold weather, these “cheerleaders” worked hard supporting and encouraging the Powderpuff players throughout the game. Adorned in orange and grey, the juniors’ and seniors’ cheerleaders even sprinted around the track in a race.

Back out on the field in the third quarter, the juniors fought to gain yardage and make their way down the field, but the seniors’ strong defense continued to keep them at bay. Both sides had very evenly matched defenses which led to a close struggle up and down the field.

The fourth quarter began with the score still at 7-0. The juniors made their way down towards the end-zone, but seniors kept them from scoring. Eventually, the seniors fought their way back down the field, and were only a few yards from scoring, but never did. Nevertheless, all the players were happy to have joined the game.

“The best part of powderpuff was playing with my classmates and friends. I felt that my team was determined and hyped. We were ready to give it our all and try our best,” said senior Natalie Derose. Senior Cristina Mansir had a similar outlook. “I’m glad I got to play with such a fun group of girls! I’m also grateful that our coaches took time out of every day to teach us the sport they love. My favorite part about the season was after our last practice. We all got in a big circle, blasted music, and danced; it was so funny,” Mansir said.

The junior team was coached by Ryan Cooper, and Alex Cooper coached the senior team. The girls had worked hard practicing for weeks in preparation of the game, and it was overall a close match but a victory for the junior team. Senior Jacklyn Winch summed up the experience by saying, “The best part of being on the team was how much fun we all had. I loved the team because they were all so nice and encouraging to one another.”

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