Students flip places for annual PowderPuff game

Aloera Ostermann, Staff Writer

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While football players are mostly boys and cheerleaders are most often girls, Manhattan High reversed these roles Wednesday for the PowderPuff football game.

Senior girls paired up with sophomores to face the juniors and freshmen in the annual Homecoming event. The teams practiced about eight times to learn a few plays and grasp the concept of the game.

“I thought it’d be a great experience to do football… I wanted to try something new and since I’m a freshman and all I got to try something fun.””

— Bentley Murrell, freshman

This year the participation from the junior class was very minimal, so the junior-freshman team consisted of nearly all freshman.

“We had a lot more freshmen.” freshman Bentley Murrell said. “We had like five juniors.”

This put the team at a slight disadvantage and resulted in the senior-sophomore team beating the junior-freshman team 14-0, but to most people that didn’t matter because they weren’t there just to win.

“We lost big time but I still had fun doing it,“ Murrell said. “I thought it’d be a great experience to do football… I wanted to try something new and since I’m a freshman and all I got to try something fun.”  

The game brings together so many different types of people to do something that is unfamiliar to all of them.

“It’s super fun and it’s not as serious as people think it is,” senior Kara Kennedy said. “You won’t make a fool of yourself. It’s actually a lot more fun than you think.”

While the girls geared up in cleats and flags, a group of boys pulled on some booty shorts and tank tops to perform a cheer. They put together many routines and a halftime performance to help fulfill their duties as cheerleaders.

“My freshman year we saw it so a lot of us guys and my friend group that we’re still in we agreed to join PowderPuff our senior year,” senior Zachary Payne said. “A lot of us went through with it but some of us didn’t…but that’s what got us really interested.”

They first performed for the student body during the Wednesday pep rally but later put their cheering skills to the test while the girls played football.

They cheered on the sidelines during the first half of the game, sometimes making up their own stuff, other times copying the cheers they hear the actual MHS cheerleaders do on Friday nights. While some guys were there for various reasons the majority of them joined because they were looking for an opportunity to have fun.

“I joined because when I was a freshman and I first saw it I just thought it was really cool,” senior Kevin Kilner said. “It was just a way to have a fun senior year.”  

They all had fun performing in the gym with their whole team but actually had to adapt some of their performance to make up for missing people during the halftime show.

“Some of us weren’t able to make it and that’s understandable you know you got things going on you’re busy or whatever,” Payne said. “We kind of knew they weren’t coming. It was kind of already planned… [senior] Ruiz [Walker] went ahead and tried to do the splits that [senior] Quincy [Saddler] did during the pep rally.”

Each student was able to try a new role during the halftime show if they desired.

The Tribe members and cheerleaders had a big part in the performance as well. They came up with most of the routine and did nearly all of the organizing to get the boys ready in such a short amount of time.

“The Tribe people they come up with it and we try to get them to change it and sometimes it works sometimes it doesn’t,” Kilner said.

Because of the rules,the Kansas State High School Athletics Association has placed on the event, the choreography is limited to exclude lifts, stunts and tumbling. Regardless of the restrictions the boys still have a fun time participating, even without the entertainment value of the stunts.

“I recommend anyone should do it even if they aren’t athletic,” Kilner said. “If they want to do it I think they should, I think anyone should.”


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