OPINION: Powderpuff game should be open to all in-season athletes


This year’s Powderpuff Game is the first in DePaul Prep history. (Graphic courtesy of Desiree Dollak.)

Estie Katz, Staff Writer

As the men’s football season is becoming more and more appealing to the Ram Fam, we have made the decision to establish the addition of a powderpuff game to the women’s athletics roster. Powderpuff is an iconic yet rambunctious tradition that is finally making its way to DePaul Prep. 

Powderpuff is a special event where the senior girls go head to head with the junior girls in an intense game of flag football that is coached by members of the men’s football team and cheered on the sidelines by the junior and senior boys. 

Usually, this event would land over Homecoming spirit week, but don’t fret, because the time has finally come. On October 20th, 2022, DePaul Prep commemorated sign ups for their first ever powderpuff affair that will take place on Tuesday, November 15th, 2022. When this news came out, the junior and senior girls got their fight faces on and those who were interested immediately went to sign up.

The thought that DePaul Prep was finally getting involved in this astonishing tradition had the junior and senior girls pumped up and ready to play.

These feelings were ongoing, until they became aware of the “rule” that if you are playing an in-season sport at the time of the powderpuff game and a coach does not consent to you playing, you will not be allowed to play. 

Junior student athlete Charlotte Collins, who has been playing volleyball and basketball since freshman year, believes this rule is much less than satisfactory. 

“I feel really sad, because I was really excited. I’ve been looking forward to this powderpuff game for like a year, because we’ve been trying to do it for a while.”

Powderpuff should be a place where girls are able to have fun and DePaul Prep can have a roar of school spirit across the bleachers. If this supposedly no-cut team has girls being denied, that can take away a big load of fun out of it. 

Senior Shane Leonard expressed he was also shocked about this rule but also understood the reasoning behind it. “Our coaches don’t want us to get hurt, which makes sense to me. Especially playing powderpuff football.” Leonard is a member of DePaul Prep’s football team and was randomly selected to coach from a hat draw. 

It is important to take note that in the past, games, or events that took place during pep rallies were assembled through groups of students that were not involved in a sport at the time, which never seemed to be an issue. Although, as this is a new tradition being brought to DePaul Prep that was essentially begun by the encouragement of students, it is seen as a privilege being taken away from those who want to participate.

DePaul Prep’s Athletics Director Pat Mahoney acknowledged some student athletes are disappointed that they cannot participate.

“I think it has to be a good honest conversation between the students and the coaches. Now, in my role as athletic director, I can talk to coaches and say, coaches, let’s be practical about this and let’s be reasonable about this,” Mahoney explained. ‘

‘Let’s consider what they’re doing, how they’re doing it, and let’s not put barriers around these kids from having fun and being involved in new school activities.”

All seem to agree that Powderpuff is supposed to be a fun, light hearted activity for the girls to have their own special event. For example, according to Leonard, “It’ll be a good time, and I’m excited for that.” Mahoney also stated “Powderpuff to me is always meant just like a fun activity between the junior girls and the senior girls.” Collins asserted, “It’s going to be a fun way to bring everyone together, especially girls to do something as a group.”

With this, where is all of this “fun” going when there are girls eager to get involved being blatantly denied?

Powderpuff is an entertaining and (hopefully) harmless event that gives the women of DePaul Prep the opportunity to show their school spirit in a way that is fun and different.

This could become a memorable tradition to the up and coming face of DePaul Prep, but that cannot happen unless everyone who is interested has the opportunity to get involved.


Correction: An earlier version of this article incorrectly stated that all winter athletes in season cannot participate in the Powderpuff game. Winter athletes can participate if their coach gives permission.