Seniors take Powder Puff crown to end Spring Fling

April 20, 2009 — by Kevin Mu and Ren Norris

It was a cool evening, but the crowds that filled the Saratoga High football stands erupted with energy, as the seniors faced the juniors in a battle royale for the title of Powder Puff champions. At the end of the highly anticipated match on April 16, the senior class claimed the Powder Puff crown, clobbering the juniors 14-7 and asserting their dominance as the rulers of the school.

The first half of the game was scoreless and both teams looked evenly matched. Early in the second half, the crowd went wild as senior running back Claire Marsh ran 40 yards to score a touchdown. The juniors retaliated when junior quarterback Annie Lee made three completions before the seniors halted the juniors’ advance on a fourth down.

On their fourth possession, the seniors were determined to score again and ensure a victory. After a few successful short runs, quarterback Katie Gasik again handed the ball off to Marsh, who ran to the outside and opened up the field for a 60-yard touchdown.

“Scoring both touchdowns was probably one of the biggest adrenaline rushes of my life,” said Marsh.

At the end of the game, the juniors were looking to mix it up. Junior Sara Knysh stepped in as quarterback and threw to Lee for a reception and touchdown, making the final score 14-7 in favor of the seniors.

“We lost because we couldn’t pick it up in the first half, but we pulled through and dominated in the passing field,” said Knysh. “I don’t count it as a loss.”

The seniors credit their victory to the athleticism of the team and the last-minute changes to the offense.

“We have a lot of fast girls on our team, so that’s part of the reason we won,” said Gasik. “We also changed our entire offense the day after barely winning the game against the sophomores.”

The seniors felt that it was finally their turn to win the Powder Puff championship, as it was their third year making it to the final game.

“This is our senior year and we were expected to beat the people in classes underneath us,” said Marsh, “but the juniors showed some great competition.”

Students showed their interest this year, with enthusiastic attendance to the lunch games as well.

“Every Spring Fling event was exciting to watch,” said sophomore Arianna Paranzino, “Every class got really into the competition.”

This year, the second round of Powder Puff games were played on the full 100 yards of the football field, instead of half the field as it has in past years.

“We just decided to try it that way. It wasn’t really a big decision,” said Spring Fling head commissioner junior Natalie Tkalcevic. “It just kind of happened.”

The minor decision, however, caused some not-so-minor scoring issues for the players

“It would have been much easier to score if we had been playing on a modified field,” lineman senior Alison Norris said, “and the games would have been more exciting to watch since there would have been more touchdowns.”

Earlier in the week, the juniors pummeled the freshmen in a comfortable 14-0 win at lunch on Tuesday, April 14. The game began with a quick touchdown by junior Sam Li, and after that Emily Baba scored another touchdown for the juniors after Nicole Gragnola ran it down the field. Ally Doles also had an interception.

The seniors won a close game against the sophomores during lunch on Wednesday. No touchdowns were scored on either side, but the seniors had three first downs, which earned them a 3-1 victory and a spot in the finals.

“We did much better than expected,” said sophomore running back Colleen Garland. “We didn’t practice much and didn’t have many subs, so it was shocking that we held the seniors to no touchdowns.”

This year there was another game to decide third place, also on April 16, for the losers of both lunchtime games. The freshmen pulled an upset, defeating the sophomores with an early touchdown by quarterback Anna Ashe after Courtney Brandt ran it down the field. Sophomore McKenzi Crase responded with a 50-yard run, but the freshmen held off the storming sophomores at the one-yard line.

“We had an awesome game,” said freshman Chloe Knight. “It was a great way to redeem ourselves from the game against the juniors.”

The freshman, sophomore and junior male cheerleaders cheered for their respective classes Thursday at lunch, drawing a large crowd in the quad.

“It was really fun to perform our cheer, and the energy of the crowd was great,” said sophomore cheerleader Jason Shiuan. “I think our routine was the best.”

The senior cheerleaders will perform at the rally today during tutorial.

The traditional Battle of the Boom was not held this year due to a lack of participants, and there was no dunk tank because of issues and injuries last Spring Fling, according to Tkalcevic.

All in all, Spring Fling succeeded in boosting school spirit by initiating class rivalries.

“We had a great turnout for all the activities and a great response from the students,” said Tkalcevic. “Spring Fling turned out to be very successful.”

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