It’s Powder Puff season at Harker Heights High School, but don’t let the name fool you.
The annual gridiron face-off will pit senior girls against juniors in a tag football game after school April 11.
“I’m surprised at their athleticism and speed on the field,” said Steven Edwards, one of the senior football players charged with coaching the junior team to its first victory.
In its third year, the team composed of senior girls has taken home the “w” for the past two years, but the juniors are hoping to change their standings.
“I’m ready to whoop on the seniors a little bit,” said Najala Shabazz, a Crimson Belle dancer turned linebacker. “I love competing; it’s my thing. This game is really just about having fun.”
While the females suit up, Knights football players will man the sidelines acting as coaches, complete with a male “spirit squad” to keep morale high.
Korey Sloan, head coach for the junior squad, said his coaching tactics center around getting the pigskin to the ball carrier and getting his defenders to guard the pass.
“Getting them to channel their aggression is probably our biggest challenge,” he said.
The senior team is also looking for some payback, since they were on the losing junior team last year.
“I like football and since I played last year and lost, I’m looking for redemption,” Dajsha Smith said.
Masnari Howell, assistant defense and offense coach for the seniors, said his coaching staff is focused on teaching the girls the fundamentals of the game.
“They need to stay organized and execute the plays we have been practicing,” he said.
Madison Scar, a freshman member of the junior varsity cheerleading team, has her hands full trying to teach boys how to cheer.
“It’s hard to teach senior boys who have short attention spans,” she said of her five-cheer goal.
The annual match-up is a major event for the student council’s School Spirit project.
“The game is friendly competition between the students,” said Kathie Thomison, student council adviser. “It teaches the students good sportsmanship.”
Kickoff is at 4:30 p.m. April 11 on the football field.