ASHLAND The ladies of Ashland Middle School took the field at Putnam Stadium for the 10th Annual Powder Puff Football Game Friday afternoon.
Students gathered in the stadium in maroon and white as the girls began their pregame warm-ups. Meanwhile, eighth-grade boys donned tutus, pompoms and hair bows as the cheerleaders for the event.
The participating students are a part of the advanced physical education class at the middle school. Each player and cheerleader had their chosen nickname between their shoulder blades.
The game was Team Maroon versus Team White with fellow students and parents sitting in the stadium cheering on the girls while music played from the press box.
Lil Red, aka Olivia Wiley, of Team Maroon was the first to catch the pigskin in the end zone. Her quick hands got her team off to an early lead. However, it wouldn’t stand for long as Tank, aka Grier Campbell, of the Team White, answered with a touchdown of her own.
Following a quick water break after the first quarter, The Flash, aka Team White’s Hannah Allen, showed just how accurate her nickname is and ran the ball past everyone going almost all the way down the field to step into the end zone and give her team the lead.
The cheerleading boys took the field for halftime and completed flips, stunts and pyramids. Their show was complete with jumps, booty-shaking and TikTok dances.
Team White’s Mallory Caudill and Team Maroon’s Mena Pittman scored touchdowns for their teams.
A fast play from Team Maroon tied the game back up. Team White’s Sm(ash)ley, or Ashley Ingram, took the ball for multiple plays and with the help of her team carried the ball to another touchdown for her team. Kar the Killer, aka Karley Sperry, completed the 2-point conversion.
Maroon made consistent progress back toward the end zone, but failed to cross the goal line before the clock ran out. Team White walked away with the victory.
After about four to six weeks of hard work, the teams saw each other for the first time Thursday, said Ashley Ingram.
“We learned all the plays, a couple plays per week and then we ran them together and we tried them in different positions,” said Sarah Hicks.
“Then we picked our positions and yesterday (Thursday) we scrimmaged and practiced how it would be like,” said Ingram.
The ladies were prepared and the play knowledge was evident as they seamlessly worked together to execute.
The crowd was booming along with the music from the speakers. The teams screamed for those on the field and cheered each other on .
The best part of the game for Hicks was “being able to cheer on our team and watch them.”
The girls all had their faces painted and showed abundant energy throughout the whole contest.
“Seeing all my team being hype for each other and getting ready for the game,” said Ingram on her favorite parts of the event. Her touchdown was up there, too.
The crowd continued to cheer the ladies, and the cheerleaders, on throughout the afternoon.
“I think it definitely helped especially when … even the chain men, the guys moving the chains, were hyping us up,” said Ingram. “It was a great feeling that even if you didn’t do great … people were cheering for you.”
Hicks said they played well, some things went better in practice “but the other team was really good, too.”
The ladies said it might seem embarrassing to get out there, but they both encourage other girls to try out advanced PE and powder puff football.
“I know it's scary … you definitely want to do it,” said Hicks. “It might seem embarrassing, but it’s so much more fun if you actually give everything and not just have do it.”
The advanced PE class learns more in depth about different sports and turn that learning into action, one lesson is football. They said advanced PE is a lot more fun and they get to stay in the class for a full semester rather than nine weeks.
“It’s more intense,” said Ingram about the level the class is able to take their learning.
“It’s super fun,” said Hicks.