Sugar, Spice, and Everything Nice: These Were the Ingredients Chosen to Create the Perfect Powderpuf
EHHS Juniors and Seniors prepare for the return of the Thanksgiving Powderpuff game on November 22nd at EHHS’ Crisafi Field and encourage everyone to come out. For the traditional Powderpuff event, junior girls compete against senior girls in a game of flag football. In the past, each team typically has consisted of thirty girls with eleven players on the field at a time. However, this year each team will only have seven girls on the field, as there are not as many players. Any junior and senior girls are welcome to join, even if they join midway through practices. This year the junior team is being coached by Mr. Belevich and Mrs. D’Amore, both math teachers of EHHS. The senior team is being coached by Mr. Perotti, EHHS’ football coach.
Mr. Belevich was the EHHS football coach eight years ago prior to becoming a geometry teacher and has been coaching powderpuff for a few years now. This year he is coaching the junior girls, who are on the lower side in numbers compared to previous years. According to Mr. Belevich: “Usually there’s about thirty [on each team], but this year we’re a little lower so I’m a little sad. This year we’re gonna change it, but usually there’s eleven people on both sides so we need at least twenty two because you need to do subs. I’d say thirty is the smallest amount [needed].” Despite the shortage of players, Mr. Belevich is still very excited for the girls to get on the field and is confident they can win. They have been practicing three times a week; Wednesday, Thursday, and Fridays for an hour and a half after school. In regards to practices Mr. Belevich says, “The girls don’t know football so we’re just trying to teach them the game, the basics, and then just going over plays like offense and defence, trying to grab flags, trying to catch the ball.” He also highlights that the junior girls are very athletic, “We have small numbers but the ones that are there are good.” Mr. Belevich states that he decided to coach Powderpuff because of his previous experience coaching the boys team and his love for football. He also says that the girls are very passionate about the game and actually want to come to practice and have fun. “Back in the day the juniors used to be scared to go against the seniors but it’s not like that anymore. Except for Kelly Nugent. Everyone’s afraid to go against her.” But he wants everyone to keep an eye out for junior Alexis Serafin. Overall, Mr. Belevich wants the girls to have fun and remember this experience after high school.
The senior team is being coached by EHHS’ football team’s very own coach: Mr. Perotti. This isn’t Mr. Perotti’s first time coaching Powderpuff; he coached the junior team two years ago in 2019. For those who may not know exactly what Powderpuff is, Mr. Perotti gives a brief overview, saying, “It’s a tradition that’s gone on in East Haven for a while as well as other schools. It’s evolved over the years. Back in the day we would do Powderpuff against Branford High School. It’s a Thanksgiving tradition at many schools.” He is currently practicing with the girls three times a week in preparation for the big game. They schedule practices around the girls’ availability, as many of them participate in sports outside of Powderpuff as well. Coaching the girls is a different experience than coaching the boys, Mr. Perotti says. “I definitely love the sport. It’s good to see it from a different perspective. The girls are really into the game and obviously a lot of them take the opportunity to join something other than the sports that they play. It’s a great atmosphere. There’s a lot of support at the game. I get the same adrenaline as I do coaching the boys but it’s different coaching the girls. I really like seeing the girls enjoy themselves and try something new.” He also adds that Powderpuff adds school spirit since there is always a lot of support from students and staff alike at the games. “The game is played the week of thanksgiving so there’s just a lot of excitement in the building.” Mr. Perotti emphasizes that he wants everyone to have fun whether they win or lose. He says it’s a great time and the teams get to bond with each other. He says he doesn’t want to give too much away before the big game, but to definitely be on the lookout for Emily Mazzucco, Emily and Kate Pycela, and Amanda Martindale.
The traditional Powderpuff game is normally a big deal for the senior girls. As it’s their last year at EHHS they use the Powderpuff game as an opportunity to represent their class and raise school spirit. Senior Kelly Nugent is on the field this year saying, “I decided to play because it’s my senior year and I wanted to go out on the field again.” Kelly played football with the boys team throughout elementary and middle school, so she is no stranger to the sport. She says that the team is working very well together and they appreciate Coach Perotti who wants them all to have fun. Kelly believes in her team, saying “I feel very confident in our team. We’ll win no doubt and no chance juniors are winning. Juniors I can’t wait to beat you.” She highlights her team’s running backs: “I would definitely be scared of me and Zayuri.” Senior Emily Mazzucco is also super excited to be out on the field with her team. She decided to play because she is a very active person, competing with EHHS’ soccer and track and field teams as well. “This seemed like a fun experience to try with my friends,” says Emily. She makes a point of the fact that many of the girls play sports for the school already which helps create great team work. “Our team has been doing really well in practice and I am confident that we will put out a solid performance. There are obviously some nerves when it comes to any game day, especially when it’s something new, but I am definitely excited for the game.” She also adds, “Our safety Morgan D’Auria has been working really hard during practice. Her speed makes her a good addition to our defense.” Emily says that she has no words for the other team: “They ain’t ready.” This year’s Powderpuff game will be a great experience for the entire school, not just those playing, so make sure not to miss out and bring your best school spirit.