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Girls flag football makes long awaited return after three years – The Sagamore

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CONTRIBUTED BY OLEG SHCHAPOVA

The seniors and juniors faced off during the long awaited return of Powerpuff. Powerpuff, a longtime tradition before Thanksgiving break, returned after a three year hiatus due to COVID-19 restrictions. The seniors won 14-0 on Tuesday Nov. 22 at Parsons Field.

After a three year hiatus due to COVID-19 restrictions, the annual girls flag football match known as Powerpuff made its long awaited return to the high school. Following the long-standing pattern, the seniors defeated the juniors 14-0 on Tuesday, Nov. 22 at Parsons Field.

Anticipation for Powerpuff’s comeback was high with students displaying support for the seniors and juniors by wearing blue and red respectively. Students also showed their spirit by decorating portions of the school with their team’s color— the third floor was accessorized with the juniors’ red while the second floor displayed the seniors’ blue.

In the first half of the game, tension rose as both teams engaged in a determined battle to score the first touchdown of the game. Yet, neither the juniors’ nor the seniors’ offense was able to breach the opposing team’s defense to score points.

Both teams covered a lot of ground despite the game’s first half ending in a stalemate. At one point, junior and quarterback Brianna Robinson handed the ball to junior and running back Amara Ukomado, who ran for over 30 yards before her flag was pulled with only 55 seconds left in the first half.

Dance group Cantico put on a lively halftime show with a medley of hip hop songs like “Stir Fry” and “Bonfire.” As they danced, cheers erupted from the stands and from across the field where the players stood.

Within the first minute of the second half, senior and wide receiver Margo Mattes scored the game’s first touchdown. Mattes snaked through defenders and managed to find an opening to the end zone. This triggered a surge of cheers from the spectators sporting blue clothes and a choir of boos from those wearing red.

Just a few minutes later, senior Sari Frankl ran into the end zone, scoring another touchdown for her team and making the score 14-0.

With over 20 minutes left, the juniors continued to play fiercely. Despite their attempts to catch up, the seniors were equally determined to secure their win, and the score remained 14-0 until the clock ran out.

Throughout the whole game, the spirit at Parsons Field was lively. Bleachers divided the sophomores and seniors in blue from the freshman and juniors in red. Some came with flags, signs and even face paint. Chants like “I believe that we will win” and “you can’t do that” ramped up the crowd.

The teams’ performance’ reflected the audience’s intensity. Senior Gianna Pentland said she played physically and felt satisfied with the results.

“I was happy. We should have scored way more touchdowns. I was surprised that the juniors didn’t throw the ball at all; we were much more offensive,” Pentland said.

Despite the juniors’ loss, Ukomadu said she felt content with her team’s effort.

“Our performance as a whole was really good. Obviously we came away with a loss, but it was a really hard fought game. It was really close; it could have gone either way,” Ukomadu said.

Clifton Jones, longtime Powerpuff coach and guidance counselor, said he was proud of the seniors for their win after seeing how hard the players pushed for the tradition to be revived.

“For these seniors, since they saw the game before, they wanted to work really hard at bringing the game back,” Jones said. “I’m very excited for them because after two years of work, they were able to restart a great tradition. Because of how well it went this year, hopefully we’ll continue to do this.”

This year’s senior team didn’t have the usual advantage of playing as juniors, which past teams had. Senior Phoebe Shay said she felt content about finally being able to honor her grade.

“It meant a lot to me and was a huge full circle moment for me,” Shay said. “I think because of that, it was sort of our motivation to play for our freshman selves who wanted this for so long.”

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Travis Burnett

Travis Burnett

A pioneer in the flag football community, Travis helped co-found the Flag Football World Championship Tour, FlagSpin and USA Flag. Featuring 15+ years of content creation for the sport of flag football, creating and managing the largest flag football tournaments on the planet, coaching experience at the youth and adult level as well as an active player with National and World Championship level experience.

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