LANSING | Perhaps the key to victory in powder puff football is less emphasis on the football, and more on the excitement.
For the senior girls of Thornton Fractional South High school who beat up on their junior counterparts Wednesday could be seen spending their final moments before taking to the gridiron getting themselves worked up into a frenzy.
“There is no ‘if,’ we are going to win this game,” senior Sabrina Ferguson said. The game was part of pre-Homecoming festivities
By comparison, the junior girls could be seen trying to get in one last session of practicing passing and running with a football, prior to the game that was the major event of the pre-Homecoming ceremonies held Wednesday to get all T.F. South students excited about the “big game” Friday against Bremen High School.
Those events also included contests among students in events such as watermelon-eating and a tug-of-war – along with a parade around the football field of shopping carts that were decorated by various school clubs.
“The Braves may Howl, but Rebels Yell,” read a sign on one cart, decorated with a podium and submitted by the school’s speech team.
Students sitting in the stands of the football field seemed to get into the feel of the powder puff game, with most excited to see the senior girls emerge victorious. “When I say 20, you say 13, 20, 13, 20, 13” was one chant that could be heard coming from the stands, referring to the year of graduation.
Senior Riley Barnum called the game “fun,” adding with a gleam in her eyes, “especially because we won.”
Differing was junior Valerie Romo, who said prior to the game, “This is a big deal. People will remember it if we lose.”
The high school’s activities director, Nikki Modjeski, said the events were put together to enhance school spirit among the student body.
For her part, Anna Marie Padjen, the grande dame of the family that has either coached or played in the Rebels football program every year since 1959, said she thinks it has been successful.
“I think these students have a lot of school spirit, particularly compared to what they had a few years ago,” she said.
District 215 school board President Richard Dust said he likes the way these events help build up school spirit early in the week.
“It works better this way than trying to cram all the events in on Friday night,” he said.
And what thoughts does Dust have about the actual Homecoming game Friday night?
Victory “by two touchdowns,” he said.