The Iliad

The Student News Site of Poway High School

The Student News Site of Poway High School

The Iliad

The Student News Site of Poway High School

The Iliad

Football is for the Girls

PUSD introduces girls flag football teams
Gabriel Stamat
Running with ball, senior Teya White evades her opponent Violet Santiago.

Football has historically been a male-dominated sport, but Poway is ready to make a change. Starting next year, Poway High is introducing girls’ flag football teams as a fall sport, given enough interest. Although Poway has the annual tradition of the Powder Puff game, a seniors vs. juniors flag football game where the winners play Rancho Bernardo, its being taken to the next level by making it a CIF sport. 

In March, the state CIF board approved flag football for the 2023-24 school year. While some schools have adapted their club teams to join the CIF sport, Poway Unified School District has decided to hold back on playing this year, as they want enough time to hire coaches and purchase uniforms and equipment. 

Out of the North County conference team, seven out of 23 high schools have a girls flag football team and more are planning to join if there are enough girls willing to play.

“We are excited to bring on an additional sport where girls can get connected and involved,” Executive director of Learning Support Services for Poway Unified School District Dave LeMaster, said.

The already existing ‘Powder Puff’ flag football team is not played at the same speed as normal seasonal sports. Last year’s flag football teams practiced just 4 weeks before the games.“Practices were either before school or during lunch. We just went through a lot of practice plays and focused on playing at game speed,” senior Lydia Manly said.  

Creating a flag football team for girls may raise some controversy, as making girls play non-contact may be perceived as sexist. However, other women’s sports, like lacrosse, also have adjusted rules that limit contact. 

Junior Hailey Vermilyea has been playing on the football team since her freshman year. Though the football team is primarily males, Vermilyea has become accustomed to playing contact football.

 “I don’t really understand why they don’t want girls playing contact. I’ve been tackled a few times, but with padding and helmets it’s totally normal. Especially since girls would be at the same physical level. I don’t see why playing contact wouldn’t be okay,” Vermilyea said.

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