A student’s story: Thursday night lights
While thinking about this week’s column, I considered Powderpuff, but dismissed the idea because I worried it was too cliche. Yet it seemed that in every one of my classes, people were excited about Powderpuff. So excited that I could no longer ignore it.
The excitement begins in October when juniors and seniors sign up to participate in the
Powderpuff game. “It gives girls a chance to play a sport that is otherwise exclusively for males,” senior Katie Meale explained. Junior Kalindi Maggs also appreciates the unique opportunities Powderpuff presents. “I really like that some classmates of mine play who usually don’t play sports,” said Kalindi. Senior quarterback Elaina Stone also enjoys the different role she plays in this game compared to her other team sports. “It gives me a sense of leadership being the quarterback,” she explained.
The most overwhelming feedback, though, was about the sense of community fostered by this event. “It’s a great way for kids in our grade to do something together,” said Kalindi.
Elaina felt similarly. “Powderpuff is awesome because it gives me a chance to hang out with some girls in our class that I don’t normally because our class is so big,” she said. “It is such a cool bonding experience.”
That’s not to say the game won’t be competitive, though. “The game is going to be very competitive, but it brings out so much support from the school,” Kalindi continued. “We all want to win so badly,” Elaina said, “but honestly, we just want to have fun and enjoy our senior year.”
One of the most fond memories for the seniors is decorating the school the night before the game for the rest of the students. Streamers, balloons, and posters fill the hallways on the morning of the game when students arrive. “The night before the game is always the most fun because every player is pumped to play and everyone is having fun,” said senior Alexis Carnevale.
The girls aren’t the only ones that get to take part in the fun. In the same way that they get to play a sport that is mainly played by boys, junior and senior boys who are daring enough, dress in cheerleaders’ uniforms to cheer on their classmates in the game. Even though many come to watch the annual senior girls versus junior girls showdown, the senior cheerleaders give a halftime performance that always leaves the crowd wanting more.
Senior Leo Daverio is excited to cheerlead for the second time. “Powderpuff has been a great experience through these past two years. It’s a great group of guys who are dedicated and willing to do whatever it takes to put on a good show for everyone,” said Leo.
Brian Bond is another second-year Powderpuff cheerleader. “My experience with Powderpuff has been super rad! Being able to work with a lot of friends and step out of our comfort zone to learn cheerleading routines and make an entire dance routine is very fun and exhilarating!” said Brian.
The coaches are just as excited and committed as the students. “With the energy Mr. Gossner
displays while coaching, it feels like real football,” said Desiree Aversa. “Mr. Gossner is really
serious about it. It has definitely allowed us to focus and get stuff done opposed to a coach
that wouldn’t care,” stated senior and first-year Powderpuff player Madison Marchese. “I don’t
play football, so I didn’t know how they were going to run practice and how they were going to
decide who plays what. He has a great coaching method to help us learn everything. Our
practices don’t feel like two hours because we are always running a play or getting something
For history teacher Mr. Gossner, this year as coach is even more meaningful to him than past
years. This is the first year that he has coached the same group of girls two years in a row.
“It’s more special on years like this when I get to spend two years with the girls,” stated Mr.
Gossner. “It makes the wins that much more sweet and important.” Mr. Gossner made clear
that the seniors “expect to win.”
Not only have the girls enjoyed their time preparing for the big game on November 8, but the
excitement continues for the Williamsport seniors when they face Loyalsock in the Battle of
the Beltway on November 14. “The Loyalsock game is going to bring out my crazy competitive
side because I seriously want to win that game,” stated Elaina Stone. “I have so much love for
my school, I just want us to represent Williamsport well and be classy… and win.”