On Thursday, December 1, 2011, at Rumson Fair Haven Regional High School, the freshmen and sophomores faced off in a daunting game of Powder Puff football. Fans emerged from left and right to show their support of their grade’s team and support of local charities. The freshmen and sophomores played the first game—-till death do they play. Afterwards, the juniors and seniors faced off in their own struggle to show their domination as a class and in Powder Puff football.
Besides the freshmen v. sophomores and juniors v. seniors rivalry, the Powder Puff game has another purpose. RFH has discovered an interesting way to help charities— with girls playing football. Mrs. Nill, the school nurse, and Mrs. Maglione, the Spanish teacher, run various fundraisers each year to raise money for charities, including the Powder Puff Game which is one of their most profitable fundraisers as it makes approximately five-thousand dollars for charity each year. All aspects of the game, including profits from t-shirts for players and fans and admission fees are donated to charity. The only exception is the food from the Dawg House, RFH’s local snack bar, which is a fundraiser for the junior class.
Every year the health club and student government are in charge of selecting one or two charities, but all students are encouraged to offer suggestions. For example, last year, at a student’s request, the profits of the Powder Puff game went to Monmouth Medical Center for brain cancer research.
This year, the profits will be split evenly between Lin’s Linens and the Juvenile Diabetes Research Organization. Lin’s Linens is a charity dedicated to helping women with cancer by creating a private sanctuary in their home that they might not be able to afford otherwise. It is a strictly volunteer based organization where interior designers, electricians, and construction workers work for free; therefore, money raised for them will go only to supplies needed. The Juvenile Diabetes Research Organization was chosen since November is Diabetes Awareness Month, and juvenile diabetes affects many students. Mrs. Nill has high expectations and wishes that this Powder Puff game will be the best year ever for charity.
Mrs. Nill stated, “Our hope is to help local families and create awareness.”
Every fan and player who froze that night might be wondering why the game was postponed until December. The school tries to choose a date where they will raise the most for charities while keeping players safe. However, the game was previously planned November 17, 2011 and was then cancelled due to unexpected bad weather conditions. Although the game was originally postponed to November 22, it was again cancelled because many students would not be able to play or attend due to their Thanksgiving plans. It finally took place on December 1st although many athletes on winter sports teams, especially on the basketball team, were not able to play or attend. Therefore, if you want to blame someone for your frozen hands, feet, and face, blame the weather.
Before the game, the freshman coaches seemed awfully confident based upon my interview with Henry Goodwyn, Powder Puff coach and starting wide receiver for the RFH freshman team. He told his team to “deal with adversity!!!” and wanted to announce to all sophomore Powder Puff players and fans out there, “We’re gonna win!!!” Although Henry admitted that the freshmen team would lose as freshmen always do, he thought that they had “a pretty good chance this year” because of the team’s great coaches and knowledge of the game, When I asked whether the sophomores should be scared, he replied “yes, very!!!”
Did Henry’s predictions come true? The breathtaking game ended in a very close score between the sophomores and freshmen. The final score was 14-6 with a sophomore victory. Well, for all of you who’ve missed this event or need a recap, here is the play-by-play. Janie Devito, running back for the freshman team, scored the only touchdown. The sophomores became the champions with the help of running back, Aly Riley, scoring both touchdowns for the sophomore team. The defense for the freshmen was extremely effective in stopping the sophomores from scoring more touchdowns. Defensive players included Kimmy Drastal, d-end, Alexandra Siwulec, d-middle, and Anna Finn. All freshmen team members would like to thank their coaches Henry Goodwyn, Lucas Seckler, Charlie Volker, and Jackson Reid for their time and dedication to the team. Although the freshmen were not successful in their attempt to take down the sophomores, they were fortunate enough with the help of their coaches to avoid being massacred.
Although the freshman did not win, their coaches are quite pleased with the results and not at all surprised. They believe that the lack of tackling during the game, the basketball players’ inability to come, and the high intimidation from the sophomores led to the freshman downfall. However, they think that their team members played well. Lucas Seckler wants to tell the sophomore Powder Puff players, “next time, we’ll ‘mow’ them!” and is confident in winning next year as “this year’s eighth graders are frail.”
Even though the freshmen team did not get the results they were hoping for, the Powder Puff game turned out to be a very enjoyable event with parents, faculty, and students all taking part in the excitement. Many are eager to see what happens next year and hoping their grade and team will prevail.
If you are curious about these charities, below are their websites and/or location:
Lin’s Linens, Inc.: PO Box 808 Island Heights, NJ 08732, linslinens.org
Juvenile Diabetes Research Organization: http://www.jdrf.org/