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Nonnewaug High School's Chief News Source

NHS Chief Advocate

Nonnewaug High School's Chief News Source

NHS Chief Advocate

Nonnewaug Powderpuff Set to Return Nov. 21

A ball carrier gets tackled during the inaugural Nonnewaug powderpuff game last November. Many are looking forward to the action-packed game’s return – hopefully without the tackle aspect – which will see the Class of 2024 face off against the Class of 2025.

WOODBURY — Nonnewaug High’s stadium lights were on Nov. 22, 2022. The fans? Excited. The game? Surprisingly action-packed. The players? Nonnewaug’s first-ever powderpuff teams, composed of girls from the Classes of 2023 and ‘24.

The inaugural powderpuff game last fall was a last-minute idea, thrown together in a week before making its debut on the turf. This year, it will return as one of the most highly-anticipated sporting events of the fall season, expected to match the spectators seen at a regular Friday night football game.

“It’s going to be exciting,” Kyle Brennan, last year’s referee and the mastermind behind Nonnewaug powderpuff, said of the game’s return. “The Class of 2024 got the victory last year, so they are going to try to defend it, and we are building a little bit of a tradition so that this year’s juniors are already talking it up and trying to put their team together.”

Many were unsure of how last year’s game would be received by both the school community and the prospective players themselves. Despite the unease, Brennan worked with supportive members of the now-graduated class of ‘23 to figure out the logistics of the game.

“We just kind of figured out if there’d be enough people to play, and put it out there last year, and got probably 16 or 18 girls from the classes of ‘23 and ‘24,” he said. “And that’s how it started.”

Although athletic director and dean of students Declan Curtin “was very unsure about the whole thing,” according to Brennan, Curtin was converted once he realized that the turnout of the game had far exceeded expectations.

He wasn’t fully on board until he saw that there was a big crowd and that it was actually exciting, and then he was fully on board with it.,” Brennan said.

Brennan also added that although he “did a lot of the leg work,” it was easy to tell how much fun the players were having in anticipation of the game. As he put it, “It was pretty clear enough that it was going to be a tradition that was going to stick around.”

Sure enough, Nonnewaug powderpuff is back for year two in a commanding position. There are so many girls interested in playing that a Google Form, released Nov. 2, had to be created to create rosters.

Returning powderpuff veteran and senior Sam Duncan trusts that the class of ‘24 will once again come out on top in this year’s game, defeating their competition by a bigger margin than last year’s win. The now-senior class won the inaugural game, 29-27, with the win achieved in double overtime.

“I’m pretty confident in our ability to beat the juniors because we have the experience from last year and they are going to be learning the sport for the first time,” she said. “We are already going to have the basics down.”

Duncan added that for the junior class, “Ellie McDonald is going to be really fast, so she’s going to be a threat.” Duncan also cited twins Katie and Kelly Farrell as being players to watch.

For the seniors, Duncan mentioned that the team has assets such as returning players “Gianna Lodice, Layla Coppola, Maylan Hardisty, Skylar Chung, Juliette Nichols … the list goes on.”

Brennan believes that the game will be improved from last year in a few key ways.

“I think we’d like to try to practice a little bit more beforehand. We did last year; we had two practices, but you could tell during the game that everyone was still kind of learning and getting a feeling for it,” he said. “So I think being a little more prepared will improve everything about it.”

He also stated that “the fact that we’ll be able to build it up really for weeks leading up to the event will lead to a little more hype surrounding it and a good turnout that night. [It will be] a good way to start the holiday weekend.”

Another key draw to this year’s game will be the addition of a faculty-versus-student game, which is sure to draw a large crowd of both non-player teachers and students and set the stage for the main game.

“Mr. Gereg wanted to bring back the old Nonnewaug tradition of the Corn Bowl, which was a traditional Thanksgiving week touch football game between teachers and students,” said Brennan of the new add-on. “Anything we can do to make that day fun and get more people involved will be good for our school culture. Plus, I want to prove Mr. Denman wrong because he thinks the whole thing will end in disaster.”

The countdown to powderpuff is on, with the date set for Nov. 21 at 3:45 p.m. on the Nonnewaug turf. The faculty-student game will precede it, starting at 3. Duncan, among many of the other upperclassman girls participating in the game, is ready to play.

“Juniors, be ready,” she warned. “You’re in for a good game.”

About the Contributor
Gianna Lodice '24
Gianna Lodice '24, Senior Editor
Gianna Lodice is a senior at Nonnewaug and a first-year reporter for the NHS Chief Advocate, now serving as a senior editor. A three-season athlete, Gianna is captain of the soccer, indoor track, and outdoor track teams, a testament to her passion for sports. She is also serving as the president of Nonnewaug’s National Honor Society for this year, and she is a member of the agriscience program. After high school, Gianna aspires to run track at her dream college (wherever that is) and potentially major in history on her route to law school. She is excited to write about things that interest her and have new experiences.
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