It was a battle to the bitter end for the Evergreen High School Cougars last Wednesday night. Only this football game was between the senior and junior girls.
The annual powder-puff flag football game, a mainstay of EHS homecoming week, was intense, exciting and competitive.
The boys played a similar game, peach-fuzz volleyball, during homecoming, and players and fans agree that game was just as intense as the girls’ football game.
The girls played on the EHS field in front of several hundred fans.
The senior girls won 14-0.
The girls, who sign up to be on the teams, have several practices before the big game. They learn plays and have specific positions.
It didn’t matter that the game didn’t always follow all football rules. Girls on both teams were there to win.
The players were “frienemies” — hugging players from the opposing team before and after the game but fierce competitors on the field.
The players also acted as their own cheerleaders, cheering on their teammates and extolling class pride.
The seniors scored early in the first of two 20-minute halves, and with a two-point conversion, the score remained 8-0 until they scored again with 6 seconds left in the game. The juniors made a final attempt to score but failed.
On most plays, the teams’ coaches — boys varsity football players — stood in the backfield to ensure things were being done correctly.
For the seniors, it was a matter of class pride. The girls lost last year when they were juniors.
Senior Ande Hessen called the game the highlight of the year.
Senior Alicia Ziff added: “It’s our senior year. We either go big or go home. This is the best part of homecoming.”
Senior quarterback Gretchen Shephard said it was an adrenaline rush to play.
“I love football,” she added. “I wish we had a powder-puff football team in Evergreen.”
Junior Lauren Russell, a junior team quarterback, said the girls take the rivalry seriously.
Senior Kaia Noonan, a wide receiver, was glad her team won and said winning was the perfect way to end this rivalry. She said the seniors were much more organized this year compared with last year.
Carter Barnett and Erik Hooks, senior team coaches, were proud of their team.
“They were vicious and relentless, and they had the determination to win,” Carter said. “It was phenomenal execution all around.”