Powder Puff Football Comes to Life at Gables


Gabriela Blanco

Power Puff Flag football made its debut at Gables on Feb. 1.

Fighting for bragging rights and a chance at victory, girls across all grades put on their fiercest game faces and prepared for war.  For the first time in Coral Gables Senior High history, the football team sponsored a Powder Puff flag football event in which female athletes from all grades could play. The event took place on Feb. 1 and was organized into three games: freshmen against juniors, sophomores against seniors and the winners of each previous game against each other.

Gables’ Powder Puff game came to be thanks to football coach Welsh. He shared his idea with his football team and their positive responses led him to ask Ms. Suarez for her approval. On board with the idea, Ms. Suarez gained approval from Principal Ullivari and the games were on.

Before any activity took place, Powder Puff was announced midway through December via social media. Selected football players from each grade were responsible for mentoring their female counterparts. Each team scheduled practices and formed rosters heading into winter break.

“I loved yelling at my defense and making sure they stayed on point. I think they worked amazing as a team, though I wish we could’ve had more team practices. But for the second time playing together, I’d say we did pretty good,” junior Ahmad Fambro said.

Nearing the Powder Puff games, Coach Welsh sold tickets from his office for $5. The chance to support their respective grade levels along with the cheap price lured Cavaliers into attending the games during seventh period. Class sponsors Ms. Noval, Ms. Depaola, Ms. Monzon, Ms. Camacho and Ms. D’alemberte provided their players with jerseys.

After nearly eight weeks of practice, the battle finally came. Athletes left fifth period early and gathered in the gym to review strategies one last time. When the clock struck 12:45, hundreds of eager Cavaliers flooded onto the field, anxious to watch the battle of the classes.

To start the afternoon, Coach Welsh declared that the freshmen would first step foot on the turf against the juniors. Feeling confident, the freshmen met their rivals on the line of scrimmage and the game commenced.

“It was inspiring to see girls playing a sport like football and that representation in our school. Even though the juniors won, I honestly think the freshmen played better than the junior class and we are going to come back even better next year,” freshman Yara Korse said.

With set offensive, defensive, punt teams and plays, the freshmen functioned like clockwork. The juniors on the other hand used their superior speed and strength to make yards and evade the freshman defenders. Eventually, the juniors scored, with Audrey Noval running the ball for the touchdown. After their offensive success in reaching the end zone, the freshmen closely prevented their extra point leaving that game at 6-0, juniors ahead. For the remainder of the game the freshmen had many chances to score a touchdown and get ahead but the junior defense could not be beaten. This game ended with a close victory of six points for the juniors who celebrated with their class members in the audience.

I think Powder Puff was important to help the athletes build their skills but also to teach the football player to work as a team and organize themselves in football. I was confident the freshmen would win, but even though we lost I know every girl tried their best and that’s all that matters,

— freshman Joshua Markowitz

“The junior team had a great vibe and we were all very positive all around. Even though we had less practice time compared to the freshmen, we got the positive outcome of beating them by having positive attitudes and never giving up until the last second,” junior Catalina Quinteros said.

Next on the lineup, the sophomores were called upon next to go against the seniors. The seniors had the strength, speed and tactical advantage over the black uniforms. The first touchdown was run by senior Isabella Morales shortly after the game commenced. After halftime, the seniors cashed in a second touchdown with a pass to senior Audrey Simon. Extra points were secured following both of these touchdowns, putting them far ahead of their opponents. After their third and final touchdown they performed a coordinated celebration which earned them penalties from the referee. Ending the game with a score of 21 to 0, the beaming seniors took the win against the sophomores.

“I was actually very excited for Powder Puff because I hadn’t played flag football since middle school. All of the seniors all gelled very well for the little bit we got to practice together and it was a lot of fun,” senior Audrey Simon said.

The upperclassmen showed their younger opponents their flag football superiority in the Powder Puff games. However, the ultimate flag football team was never determined, as the final match between the winners of the first games was never held. In hearing this, the upperclassmen simply could not go on without the best team being decided, so they convinced Coach Welsh to hold the finals later on in this year. The overwhelming success and support shown by all grades in the school is likely to carry on this tradition for many years to come.

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  • Junior Catalina Quinteros dashes to the sidelines.

  • A defending junior interrupts freshman Yasemin Obuz’s dash to the endzone.

  • Freshman Marcella Wilde looks to the quarterback for her cue to snap the ball.

  • A quick junior dances through the crowd of freshmen attempting to pull her flag.

  • Freshman Lauren Puig almost snags an interception versus the junior Powder Puff girls.

  • Senior Isabella Morales escapes with the ball to make the seniors’ first touchdown.

  • Seniors ripped the flags from their opponents.

  • Seniors Audrey Simon and Beatrice Cruz celebrate after their second touchdown.

  • Senior Audrey Simon goes to great lengths to save her fumbled ball.

  • Power Puff Flag football made its debut at Gables on Feb. 1.

  • Senior …’s flag being pulled by sophomore Chiara Abad-Sanchez who followed close behind.

  • Seniors Isabella Morales, Alexa Monsalve and Aaliyah Fambro perform a “row the boat” celebration after their final touchdown, called for unsportsmanlike conduct.