Powder Puff is Kicked Out


Photo from Senior Nicole Booth. Junior girls before last year’s powder puff.

The Powder Puff football game has always been a part of spirit week at West Potomac, and within Fairfax County. It’s a game of Juniors vs. Seniors girls flag football where the boys are the coaches and cheerleaders. But this year, it is no longer an event at West Potomac in order to shy away from gender bias, according to Leadership teacher Ms. Nicole Borghard. 

Borghard explains, “I had a meeting with Mr. Aaron Helmick and Principal Millard, and we agreed to get a head start on the new county guideline about gender bias,” on how the decision was made. The superintendent’s office gave the county a verbal guideline. “The overall guidance was verbal stating that we need to have gender-inclusive activities not gender-specific,” according to Principal Millard. 

Other schools like Mount Vernon and Edison are still participating in the Powder Puff, but Ms. B emphasizes that West Po is getting a “head start” to the changes that the county is in the midst of making.

The junior class girls were especially broken up about it, junior Bell Andrejuuk claiming, “I think it’s ridiculous. The powder puff has been a tradition and is essentially a gender swap. Boys have a no cut football game and girls have the option to try out for the kicker. This is an opportunity for girls to play flag football and the boys coach. If this were a boys event, a similar flag football event would not be an issue.” 

Senior Nicole Booth played in the powder puff last year, saying, “ I really loved it [the game], it was really fun practicing and getting ready to play in the game. I wish it was happening this year because so many people wanted to play and it would be fun for the whole school.”

But in replacement of the Powder Puff this year, the leadership class (SGA) made a survey and put it out through social media on the alternatives for students to vote on, and SGA decided on a co-ed Junior vs. Senior class kickball game on Tuesday, October 15th.

“The biggest low is the backlash we have been receiving from students who don’t understand the reasons for canceling the game, but the faculty is really supportive of what we are doing,” Junior Rylie Heiser, the head of this committee explained. 

Junior leadership member Hailey Sherrer was one of the handful of students who attended the kickball game interest meeting. “I wanted to support my classmates for creating the event and I want to keep the powder puff legacy going,” she said.  According to Heiser, “we want 30 students for each team, but we have around 15 total people signed up.” She remains optimistic, saying “I think in the future it would be held just as high as powder puff it just depends on participation…if people hype it up as much as they did powder puff then it could really be a success.”