ST. ALBANS — Senior girls from MVU and BFA St. Albans took to the football field on a soggy Saturday night to participate in one of Franklin County’s most beloved events.
The annual Powderpuff football game, a two-school extravaganza that draws hundreds of fans and raises over $20,000 every year for local charities, celebrated its 11th year on Saturday, September28th.
BFA earned the win 42-22 on Saturday, but smiles abounded on both sidelines as the girls enjoyed the game they’ve all been waiting for throughout their high school years.
Each year, senior boys from the football teams at their respective schools come out to help coach the girls on the Powder Puff teams.
“The girls played hard and they did really well,” said MVU football player, Ethan Kelleher. “I’m very happy that everyone came out to do this for a great cause.”
MVU’s seniors shared their thoughts on flag football and the great cause Powder Puff represents.
MVU’s Julia Horton spoke in the true spirit of the game.
“It’s such a good experience, and regardless of the score, I had a great time playing for such a great cause!”
“Our principal, Mr. Hartman, always says that the game is great but the cause is greater,” said Ellie Bourdeau.
“It’s so much fun to bring everyone together and support this great cause,” said Serena Power.
BFA’s senior girls, glowing with the excitement of the win, shared their thoughts on the evening.
“I’ve been waiting for this night since I was a little girl watching the older girls play,” said Kaylee Green. “Everybody on this team has been affected by cancer in one way or another. We all came together as a team–two teams, and had this great night for all of us.”
May Gratton, who scored BFA’s final touchdown of the night, smiled as she spoke of the night’s events.
“Everyone worked as a team to get a touchdown and our blockers really worked to make it happen,” said Gratton. “I was surprised at how loud the crowd was and how much energy was around us. It was so much fun!”
Maya Perrault, who plays soccer and lacrosse for BFA St. Albans, has waited for years to play in the Powder Puff game.
“I’ve looked forward to this throughout all of high school. It’s the peak of senior year!” said Perrault. “And the fact that it’s for a great cause made it even more rewarding. Everyone was so positive and there was so much great energy.”
Perrault enjoyed the trip to Kamp Ta Cum Ta and remembered the trip on Saturday.
“Seeing how large and amazing the camp was pushed me to play even harder. It’s all for them, and I was thinking of that tonight,” said Perrault.
Mike Antoniak and Isaac Ryea joined the BFA Powder Puff football coaching staff this year.
Antoniak lost his father and mother to cancer, giving the game personal meaning.
“These girls raised so much money and really grasped the spirit of the event. It’s been an honor to coach these ladies,” said Antoniak.
“There’s so much support from the community, and my heart is so full for all that took place tonight.”
For Ryea, who graduated in 2014, seeing the game from the sideline as an adult coach was rewarding.
“In high school, the cause is on your mind, but you are also really into the game. Coming back, I can see that it’s so much bigger than the game.”
Neyna Minert, who’s currently battling cancer, spoke to the girls before the game.
“I was an athlete as well, so it was really nice to be out here and be reminded of my days playing sports,” said Minert. “I encouraged the girls that in every bad situation they can look for hope to hold onto. Here I am two years after my diagnosis still fighting and still finding hope.”
Kaylee Green scored five touchdowns for BFA. May Gratton scored the final touchdown of the game with 1:53 remaining in the fourth quarter.
Serena Power of MVU scored two touchdowns in the first, the last coming with nine seconds on the clock before the teams broke for half time.
Danielle Cummings of MVU added a third touchdown for MVU with 2:42 remaining in the third.
Rain or shine, win or lose, BFA St. Albans and MVU, along with the generous support of the community, never fail to put on a great show and raise an incredible amount of money to help those in need.