Senior Powderpuff cheerleading team loses interest

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photo by Angel Norris

Juniors from last year's Powderpuff game cheer on their team.

Males dressed in short skirts, makeup and wigs raise their pom poms in the air as they perform chants and cheerleading moves for their class’s female football team.

This has been a common sight at the Powderpuff football game during Homecoming week, but this year Powderpuff will different for the senior boy’s cheerleading team.

When sign-ups opened after school on Oct. 1 in Lauren Bachand’s room, the senior men’s numbers of only three students paled in comparison to the junior mens’ sign-ups. The only requirements for sign-ups were to attend the mandatory rehearsals and pay a $25 fee. The sign-ups remained open for the following week, but after consideration, it was decided to close sign-ups with the only seniors to sign up being Jake Arthur, Nolan Riccard and Trenton Foster.

Due to the small numbers, many changes were implemented. It started with no senior cheerleading team and then became an unofficial team that would organize routines among themselves. However, it was eventually decided by Brittany Campbell to give the senior boys the option of dressing up as coaches for the girl’s football teams and then changing into women’s clothes and wigs to perform in the halftime show as cheerleaders along with the members of the senior football team.

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Powderpuff began in 2008 and, since then, the junior and senior classes have always had two teams of at least 10 people, one for females and one for males. The junior and senior female teams would face off on the field at Sam Momary Stadium in a game of flag football, while the males would attempt to out-cheer each other in choreographed cheer routines on the sidelines.

In the past, the teams would work with their coach on choreographing cheer routines and feminine lessons for the men and flag football plays for the women. The senior men were originally scheduled to practice with science teacher Marc Pooler on choreographing routines, learning how to act feminine and what to wear. Since they are no longer performing a routine, they are not working with a coach.

The low numbers of those interested were a continuation of last year’s attendance. Last year, there was a full list of sign-ups, but as rehearsals progressed the numbers decreased and, at the time of the game, there were six junior boys that showed up.

“Some of the guys from junior year didn’t like the concept of being embarrassed,” Riccard said.

Last year’s senior cheerleading team was full to capacity and preformed cheerleading stunts like the pyramid structure adorned in pink tights and gaudy makeup.

“I’ve wanted to do Powderpuff since freshman year,” Riccard said. “I saw seniors dressed as women and at that moment, I knew I was destined to be that weird cross-dressing kid shaking pompoms my senior year.”

The game, scheduled for Oct. 21 at 6:30 p.m., will still be a top event of homecoming week despite the lack of senior cheerleaders. The female teams’ sign-ups closed the day they opened and have, since then, been enthusiastically working on their plays for the game with their coaches: Campbell and social studies teacher Isiah Cabal.

Powderpuff has provided the different groups an opportunity to mock their opposite genders stereotypical behavior, meaning the girls acted manly and gruff while the guys embraced their inner divas and ignored the fear of embarrassment. The winners earned bragging rights while bringing the school together and promoting school spirit.

“It’s all about having fun, so just go out and dress up and cheer your class on,” Pooler said.

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