Juniors Win Powderpuff, Earn Bragging Rights


Hope Barington evades freshmen defenders on the way to a 2021 Powderpuff Championship

Kylie Callaway, Staff Writer, Advanced Journalism

Powderpuff has been going on for several years. This event allows girls, about thirty-four from each grade (twenty actively participate), to participate in a seven-on-seven flag football game. 

Powderpuff,  a free event, took place last Thursday at Ted Frisch Field. The event, a part of Student Government’s Fall Fest Week, included a mandatory meeting and review of the rules. This way, the coaches, teams, and refs were on the same page. 

Although Powderpuff first came to NDA when homecoming switched to Fall Fest Week (25 years ago), the event had gone to the wayside until one NDA student asked Frau Laaksonen for the chance to bring it back. 

“Andrew Gruesen, brother of Anna and Nicholas Gruesen,” said Frau, “came to me and said ‘I think we can do this if you let me take control. I will plan it. I will get it put together.’”  

“Follow through on what you’re saying,” said Frau, and the rest is history..

After Andrew’s years at NDA, Student Government has relied on student leadership like his to keep Powderpuff ongoing. This year’s organizer or commissioner was senior Max Rader, who selected the coaches (football players) for each team.

The coaches for the senior class were Sam Smet, Keegan King, Braedon Curtin and Jay Strain. The junior coaches included Jason VandenHouten, Blake Osbahr, Henry Weber and Owen Wery. Sophomore coaches were Micah Marzec, Brady Laviolette, Brayden Davis and Henry Streckenback. The Freshman coaches were Andrew Rader, Danny Gagan, Nic Gruesen and Drew Suidzinski,” said Rader.

Rader helped Frau facilitate the four games played. Every team played two games to get to the final bracket. This year, everyone played every other team grade. Joey Bonadonna provided play-by-play commentary from the booth. 

The winning team, the juniors, received a trophy, bragging rights and photos that they will have forever. 

Students and teachers alike enjoyed the ongoing action.  “I think our team is different because we were very determined to win,” said Lauren Limoni, whose junior team did exactly that.

Frau loves to see the excitement and energy that all the girls have. She recognizes the willingness of the coaches to work with the ladies and to put the girls first. This year, each team was unique and had different techniques and talents.

As one teacher commented, “It’s just so much fun to experience.  The football players are such intense coaches while most of the girls are just laid back and having fun. The camaraderie instilled is priceless.”