The annual Powder Puff football game adjusts practices to conform to COVID-19 regulations

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Courtesy of Yena Son ('22)

Powder puff players remain safe during the game on November 1st. Devyn Levin (’22) pictured above.

On November 1st, Cherry Hill East had their annual Powder Puff football game between the seniors and the juniors. Traditionally, the anticipated Powder Puff football game is what gets the students excited for spirit week. Even though spirit week was not the same this year, the junior and senior girls were still determined to play the game. “As long as I’ve heard about it I wanted to play,” Hannah Leibowitz, (‘22) says. Kristen Eng (‘21) says, “Powder Puff is what hypes both seniors and juniors, and it is a great way for everyone to get to know each other.”
Leading up to the game the juniors and seniors practiced over the course of four weeks. They were each around an hour-and-a-half-long, and there were two to three practices a week. Out of all the practices, the players were required to attend at least 4 practices to play in the game. “It really didn’t take up that much of your time,” Eng commented. “You could go to as many practices as you want, or just do the three and play.” But these practices were no walk in the park. Devyn Levin (‘22) says, “The offense would run some plays and then the defense [coach] would give instructions like how to pull the flag, what you should do on defense plays. Then we would get together and run a scrimmage…to experience what it would be like during an actual game.” Leibowitz adds, “…but it was just a lot of fun; talking with friends, getting to play all different positions, [and] seeing what you liked.” The practices followed the basics to prepare the players for the games, but generally, they were just full of chaotic and fun energy.
Just like the other East sports teams, the girls were required to follow regulations. Before they left for the practices, the players had to fill out a health form, questioning any symptoms or any contact with a person who contracted covid. Then when they arrived, their temperatures were checked. The girls had to wear the masks the entire time, and during water breaks, they were socially distanced from each other. They even had their own equipment (the flags) to prevent the spread. Levin says they did as much as they could to ensure everyone’s safety, but then again, “…when you play football it’s hard because it’s a contact sport.” As the wide receiver for the junior team, Levin practically runs back and forth. With the running and the mask, Levin says she usually ended up being out of breath.
But strangely enough, the masks stayed on during the game. While other sports like soccer had games where the masks were off, the seniors and juniors were covering their faces. The Powder Puff players were given the option to take off their masks, and they choose to keep it. Eng explains, “As a personal choice, everyone wanted to wear their mask.” But the masks were forgotten as soon as the game started. Levin says, “[At the practices] I ended up being out of breath most of the time…But at the game, I had so much energy and didn’t even notice that the mask was on.”
Although the ongoing pandemic brings up new difficulties, morale remains strong. It’ll take a lot more to stop the Powder Puff spirit.