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Panther Puff: Sophomore/Senior Team Dominates 26-6

Shruti Pai, Writer

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Powder Puff football has been a tradition in high schools all across America since the 1930s. Essentially, it’s a flag football game with all female players, putting a twist on a popular American pastime.

Over the years it has become a huge event for girls to spend time with their friends and be able to experience a typically male-dominated sport.

Presentation has recently taken on this tradition with their annual Panther Puff game. Panther Puff is a popular event amongst the Presentation community, and always generates a lot of excitement in the midst of end-of-semester stress.

Panther Puff attracts many Pres girls to the field, and most join for the team experience and to get involved while spending time with friends. Junior Gabrielle Smullen believes that playing with friends encouraged her to get more into the game and made the whole experience more memorable.

“I want to be more involved with the school, and it’s a fun way to spend time with other class levels, and not just my own,” said junior Abby Montgomery.

The teams for Panther Puff are split into freshman/junior and sophomore/senior, and this class level mix allows players to meet people they typically wouldn’t have known otherwise.

I think that it is such a fun way to get to know and bond with classmates, members of other class levels, and even faculty members,” senior Reagan Milligan said. “It is really funny to see the teachers and faculty, especially Mr. Saldivar, my coach for the past two years, get so into it.”

Panther Puff can also be a stress-free way to experiment with a new sport. The players have a wide range of abilities, with some coming in with no prior knowledge about the sport whatsoever. Sophomore Carolyn Skotz believes that being able to play on an unofficial team with your friends lets you learn all about a new sport in a recreational rather than competitive way.

“We had players on both teams that didn’t have a lot of athletic experience, and that challenges me as a coach to cater to all different types of skill levels and personalities,” said Panther Puff Coach Kellen Lee.

Lee, the coach for the freshman/junior team, hopes for all his players to learn from each other and grow comfortable with the sport, regardless of what athletic background they had. “It was nice to see that balance of different skill levels and different knowledge on both sides of the spectrum.”

The Panther Puff teams differ slightly from normal football teams, having only nine players compared to the usual 11. This smaller size allows for more player rotation and gives each athlete the most amount of playing time possible. Lee was focused on making sure all his players got an equal chance to play, and took a very educational approach to the game.

Despite the existence of many stereotypes regarding girls and their ability to play tough sports, Panther Puff can get very intense. “It got pretty aggressive out there, and a lot of girls walked away with bruises and scratches,” junior Marissa Proost said.

“At first, the game was just for fun, but then the juniors and freshmen started to get a little aggressive and that’s when my team got competitive. They put up a good fight, but us seniors were in it for the win,” senior Charlize Murray said.

The sophomore/senior team, coached by Saldivar, pulled through and won Panther Puff 2016, but Lee is not the least bit discouraged. “The way I define success is the girls had a good time, they enjoyed being on a team with each other, and they had the opportunity to really learn a new skill. I think we accomplished that on Friday, and that’s how I define success.”

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The School Newspaper of Presentation High School.
Panther Puff: Sophomore/Senior Team Dominates 26-6