Powderpuff trophy goes to senior girls in annual fastpitch softball fundraiser


Sarah Sutley

Freshman, decked in pink, square off against the juniors in lime green.

Sarah Sutley, Reporter

Seniors take home the coveted pink powderpuff trophy after a fun night of girls football, which served as a fundraiser for the NC fastpitch softball program on April 30.

“Powderpuff is a long-standing tradition here. It is an event that the girls always look forward to, so I do my best to make it as fun and safe as possible,” softball coach and powderpuff director Jo Beth Weaver said.

Although the event gains substantial popularity among students, many remain unaware of the premise behind powderpuff football. Tracing its history back to 1972, many high schools established an opportunity for girls to experience a typically male-dominated sport. The term itself comes from the “powder puff” used in womens’ cosmetics. The first game took place at Pope John XXIII High School in Massachusetts, attempting to increase female participants in various athletic activities at the school. Since then, several schools across the country began implementing powderpuff events for the sake of enjoyment and friendly competition between grade levels.

“My favorite part of playing powderpuff is seeing the tables turn. It is funny to see the football players that we are accustomed to seeing on the field over on the sidelines while we play the games! Overall, powderpuff is a great way to take part in something you would not normally have the opportunity to,” senior Akilah Alwan said.


Sign-ups for the eleventh-annual event took place on Wednesday, March 18. Participants gathered to try on shirts and reserve their spots on their grade level’s team. As Coach Weaver worked to set up the rosters, practices began after school. Players participated in six practices beginning March 31, perfecting their plays and strategies with the help of the football players as their coaches.

Thinking about starting your own powderpuff team? Consider these tips and tricks.
Sarah Sutley
Thinking about starting your own powderpuff team? Consider these tips and tricks.




























The grade level teams practiced separately, but often came together for scrimmages. “I think a lot of people just assume that we all show up for the event and the girls toss the football around with no prior knowledge of the sport. That is definitely not the case. We teach them some of the same plays we run in a real game. These girls are out here running hitch routes and reverse plays, and it is really awesome to see them execute them,” sophomore coach Stephen Jacobs said.

On the other hand, many fail to realize the work required to make powderpuff a success every year. From ordering shirts and equipment to coordinating the ROTC members and administrators, powderpuff demands time and energy from all involved. In fact, Coach Weaver credits many students and fastpitch booster club parents with the seamless execution of the annual event, claiming she “could not do it alone.” Weaver also tries her best to keep the players opinions in mind throughout all of her planning. She interviews the seniors to decide T-shirt colors and styles and even asks for student input on practice dates.

“The players are really the reason this event can happen, so I like to include them in as many decisions as possible. This year we tested a completely new T-shirt design and it ended up looking great! Also, their excitement is what entices other students to join powderpuff and so I owe a lot of credit to the players,  student coaches, and managers,” Coach Weaver said.

Traditionally, the goal of NC’s powderpuff stands as promoting good sportsmanship and competition. Although the program has faced some adversity in the past, Coach Weaver and others involved give their best efforts to ensure the event runs smoothly every year. Powderpuff aims to provide girls the opportunity to showcase their athletic abilities in an unconventional way, while fostering positive attitudes and spirit. “Sometimes the games get really intense and competitive, but that can be the best part if everyone keeps their emotions under control and realizes the true purpose of the game is to have fun with other girls in your grade,” freshman Sara Cook said.

The Games

The crowd starts to gather in the stands.
Sarah Sutley
The crowd starts to gather in the stands.

With all preparations completed, the teams emerged on April 30, ready to showcase their newly-acquired football skills. NC powderpuff is typically organized as a four-game tournament.


Juniors play freshman first, with the senior and sophomore game following.

The winner of each game moves on to the championship game, while the losers play for third and fourth place.

The juniors, dressed in lime green, and freshman, decked out in pink, entered the field to begin the first game of the night. The juniors led by six points at the half, but the freshman never backed down, giving the upperclassmen a tough game until the last minute. But ultimately the juniors prevailed with a 12-0 final score, sending them directly to the championship game later that night.


The freshman vs, junior game served as a surprising nailbiter until the last minute.
Sarah Sutley
The freshman vs, junior game served as a surprising nailbiter until the last minute.Students from all grades gathered in the stadium to watch the tournament.

“I did not think the freshman would be as good as they were! We expected to go out there and beat them easily, but they really surprised us,” junior Hannah Ross said.

Next, the seniors, wearing blue, defeated the confident sophomores, sporting purple, in a slim victory, with seniors Reagan Jackson and Mimi Nguyen leading the team in running and passing plays. Later, the consolation game proved just as strategic as the championship game, with touchdowns coming from both teams. In the end though, the freshman upset the sophomores, earning them the third place spot.

“In the past, the freshman team has a history of taking home fourth place, simply because the other teams are older and more experienced. I am really glad that we could break that tradition and take third. Also, I feel that we played a great game against both the juniors and the sophomores,” freshman coach Gabe Lawrence said.

Freshman in pink lines up in formation.
Sarah Sutley
Freshman in pink lines up in formation.

Finally, the anticipated championship game against the juniors and seniors began with both teams chanting and gathering excitement for the match. Although the juniors dominated on defense, the girls failed to make many offensive plays, leading the seniors to a 12-0 victory.

“The last game was definitely intense. You could tell that both teams really wanted the win, likely for bragging rights in school the next day. Luckily, we were able to finish strong and come out with the win,” senior Danielle McClarty said.

In all, the event proved another wild success, bringing in funds for the softball program and providing a friendly competitive experience for everyone involved. Coach Weaver hopes that she can continue powderpuff for many years to come, giving future students the chance to take part in a one-of-a-kind sporting event. As for the NC student body, many look forward to the annual games and want the tournament to become a lasting school tradition.