Winters High School juniors and seniors went head to head in their 112th annual Powder Puff flag football game on Wednesday, Oct. 27.
This annual tradition is always taken very seriously by both grades. Victory and success is the ultimate goal for the ladies on the field, the male cheerleaders are there for pure entertainment and encouragement.
The juniors cheer squad was made up of Augustin Covarrubias, Esai Garcia, Jack Bryant, John Lopez, Logan Crabtree and Nathan Vigil. They had a very well choreographed routine and were heard loud and clear from across the field as they cheered their team on. Their coaches Lupita Tovar, Anahi Garcia and Janiya Garcia were extremely proud of them.
The senior cheer squad was made of AT Garcia, Easton Rivera, Joe Aguiar, Jayden McNeal, Kaden Tuttle and Logan Spears. While both teams performed excellent halftime performances the seniors had some very impressive stunts and dance moves that left the crowd wanting more. Coaches Jasmine Jimenez, Aislynn Trojanowski and Brooklyn Mariani definitely used their combined years of cheerleading to provide their squad with the skill they needed to nail their halftime show.
While seniors are notoriously deemed to dominate the game, this year it was the junior class who took the victory winning by a score of 19-14.
The juniors started the game off with Mickayla Passantino as quarterback. Within three minutes of the game Passantino quickly handed the ball off to Lilianna Rodriguez who used her impressive speed to run in a 60 yard touchdown for the junior class. This type of play seemed to be the theme of the night with Passantino and Rodriguez dominating the game for the juniors.
Passantino and Rodriguez easily gained the most yardage for the juniors using their speed to their utmost advantage. In addition to their great offensive game, Passantino and Rodriguez were also extremely instrumental on the defensive side of the ball, stopping any attempts the seniors made to score in the first half of the game.
Passantino demonstrated her athleticism by completing some very long and precise passes to her teammates. Isabella Mehl and Lisa Garcia were two players on the receiving end of passes from Passantino who were able to capitalize on and turn into touchdowns, winning the game for the juniors.
“Their hard work paid off. The girls didn’t have to be out there, but they were out there and they wanted to win. All the girls really stood out and surprised me,” said junior coach Justice Madsen.
The first half of the game had the seniors worried about what the outcome of the game was going to be. Shelby Boykin was in as quarterback for the seniors and was doing her best to get the ball up the field, but the junior’s defense was extremely quick. Jozlyn Rooney was also attempting to cross into the senior end zone but faced the same problem.
The speed and persistence of the junior class was making it impossible to put points on the board. With their backs against the wall Rylie Schroeder made a long run with four minutes left in the first half giving the seniors the momentum they needed going into the second half of the game.
Schroeder was finally able to score a touchdown for the seniors after a long run from Rooney who put her team into the optimal position for scoring. Schroeder and Rooney continued to lead the team offensively, while Boykin and Jewelee’ah Garcia were valuable players for the defense team, breaking up critical plays the juniors were attempting.
These four players were consistent in making good plays but it was Leva Zielmele, a foreign exchange student experiencing Powder Puff for the first time, who made the most memorable play of the night with a 90-yard run on an interception. Unfortunately, Danielle Johnson was able to stop Zielmele before she crossed into the end zone but Rooney was able to make up the additional yardage with two minutes left in the game.
While the seniors had an exceptional second half, the juniors’ consistency throughout the entire game is what gave them the advantage and ultimately led them to their victory.