The annual Powder Puff football tournament will be held from April 30 to May 2. Palo Alto High School Associated Student Body (ASB) announced the rosters for each grade on April 18. Unlike previous years, ASB determined the rosters randomly after girls in each grade put their names in a raffle, and then a random number generator chose the teams for each grade. ASB Sports Commissioner Alex Pelayo believes that the raffle made the team selections fair.
“We decided the fairest way in selection was choosing through the means of a raffle,” Pelayo said. “The raffle mathematically allows an equal chance of everyone to be selected.”
The tournament will be single elimination. The sophomores and juniors will play on April 31, and the freshmen and seniors will play on May 1. The winning teams will play against each other in the championship on May 2.
On April 31, the freshman team will face a tough opponent in an experienced senior team. It will take a strong effort from this freshmen team to upset the seniors. The freshmen cannot be intimidated, or else they will quickly fall to a faster and stronger senior team. Despite the odds, freshman coach Ben Cleasby thinks that his team has a chance against the seniors.
“Personally, I think we’ll do okay,” Cleasby said. “We have some solid talent on our team, but we definitely need to pull some tricks out of the sleeve. But I definitely think that [senior] experience will play a factor in the game.”
FRESHMEN KEY TO SUCCESS: TEAM UNITY
The freshmen must work together in order to defeat the seniors. They may not be able to beat them with talent, so they will have to beat them strategically. A few trick plays might help bring about an upset.
On May 1, the sophomores will play the juniors in a rematch of last year’s third-place game. The sophomore team has the most upside out of any team in the tournament, with several talented athletes, and if used to full potential, they could pose a major threat to the juniors. Sophomore Sophia Armitano has high expectations for her team this year.
“Our team is full of very talented players that are capable of competing a high level and hopefully winning,” Armitano said. “I was going to play last year but I was out with a concussion. I was disappointed with last years outcomes and don’t want history to repeat itself.”
SOPHOMORES’ KEY TO SUCCESS: STAYING LEVEL-HEADED
This rivalry extends back to Spirit Week, when the sophomores edged out the juniors for second place. It’s fair to say that this game will be intense. In a heated rivalry matchup, it’s important that the sophomores keep their composure. Failure to do so will result in their collapse.
The juniors come into this game with a chip on their shoulders after a disappointing showing last year. The juniors will look to bounce back with a win against the sophomores. The junior team is fairly athletic, but its size is its biggest advantage. Their matchup against the sophomores will be a relatively low scoring affair, as the juniors look to come strong with aggressive defense.
Roster: Bianca Aboytes, Priscilla Aboytes, Anna Dukovic, Tiffany Fields, Molly Fogarty, Jamina Kirkendoll, Tatiana Loops, Autumn Macareno, Sophia Robinson, Lisa Rogge, Adrianna Rositas, Tess Van Hulsen
JUNIORS’ KEY TO SUCCESS: SIZE AND STRENGTH
As pointed out above, the junior team has a strength advantage over the other teams. Strength plays an important role on defense. If the junior girls are able to use their size and strength to their advantage, they will be victorious against the sophomores.
The reigning champions are the clear favorites to win the 2014 Powder Puff football tournament. Experience goes a long way in sports, and this team certainly has experience. They are also well rounded with speed and strength. They should cruise to an easy win against the freshmen, and will most likely be victorious against either the sophomores or juniors in the final.
Roster: Hannah Bundy, Alex Grandy, Audrey Horn, Julia Kwasnick, Tara Lawrence, Vivian Laurence, Juelle Persad, Becca Raffel, Julia Saul, Elena Vasquez, Callie Walker, Michelle Yin
SENIORS’ KEY TO SUCCESS: SPEED AND ATHLETICISM
The seniors need to use their superior talent to their advantage. Unlike the freshmen, the seniors will not need any tricky plays to win. They should go straight at their opponents and use their experience to destroy the competition.
April 31: Seniors 28, Freshmen 7
This matchup will most likely be a blowout. Barring a surprise upset, the freshmen will be overmatched by a superior senior team. The seniors will take control from the beginning, scoring touchdowns and forcing turnovers, and the freshmen may score once at the end of the game. The seniors will show the freshmen why they belong at the bottom of the totem pole until next year when they will have a chance to beat the incoming freshmen.
May 1: Juniors 14, Sophomores 7
Despite a highly athletic sophomore team, the juniors will defeat the sophomores in a competitive rivalry matchup. The juniors will score early, but the sophomores will put up a strong effort in the middle of the game. The juniors will utilize their size and play with more heart than the sophomores, leading them to a late victory at the end of the game. After defeating the juniors in Spirit Week, the sophomores will return to their place in class hierarchy.
May 2: Seniors 21, Juniors 14
The junior class will surprise the seniors with a competitive game. The juniors will come out playing tough against the seniors, resulting in an early junior lead. However, senior athleticism will be too much for the junior team to handle. The seniors will come out on top in the end, winning both Spirit Week and Powder Puff and showing all other classes who is best.