Naperville Central High School's award-winning newspaper.

Central Times

Naperville Central High School's award-winning newspaper.

Central Times

Naperville Central High School's award-winning newspaper.

Central Times

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Seniors organize Central ‘Powderpuff’ flag football tournament

Junior+Brooke+Bilik+runs+the+ball+at+a+%E2%80%9CPowderpuff%E2%80%9D+flag+football+tournament+organized+by+two+Central+seniors+on+Nov.+12.
Sam Lockhart
Junior Brooke Bilik runs the ball at a “Powderpuff” flag football tournament organized by two Central seniors on Nov. 12.

For the first time in nearly a decade, Central juniors and seniors competed in a “Powderpuff” football tournament on Nov. 12. The event was not sponsored by Central, instead being run independently by seniors Natalie Richards and Anna Dougherty.

The five-team girls flag football tournament ran from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Naperville Yard Indoor Sports Complex, with 94 upperclassmen signing up for the event. The teams were made of junior and senior girls and coached by varsity football players.

“We all got it as a group of friends and we all got to hang out together,” said senior Brooke Sawatzky, a wide receiver for the Joe Burrow Fan Club. “It was a really fun memory to share with everyone.”

Despite attempts by Senior Class Council, the event didn’t obtain school sponsorship, leading to organizational challenges. Although they raised over $1,200 in entry fees from the tournament, Richards and Dougherty lost $20 putting on the event.

“It was definitely hard because we had nobody to look to [and tell us] how you do it,” Richards said. “We were kind of making things up as we went.”

Those challenges were highlighted by a sprained ankle suffered by junior Emily Patton. After two student athletic trainers and a nurse who were attending the event administered care, she was taken to the hospital and is now “all good,” according to Richards.

“That was definitely a bump on the day, but she’s good now so that’s all that matters,” Richards said. “We did all the things that we knew how to do to prevent any further [injury].”

Central’s powderpuff games were based on the rulebook from Neuqua Valley’s games, but there were some adjustments made both before the games and mid-tournament. The first game, for example, didn’t include extra points after touchdowns, but that rule was added shortly afterwards.

Despite some struggles, Richards believes the tournament was a “good time.”

“Getting to play a fun game with friends was definitely the highlight,” Richards said. “It was a day for all of us [to] have fun, going crazy, celebrating and playing a fun game.”

Sawatzky said her favorite part was working together alongside her teammates in practices and celebrations.

“At the end of our last practice, we practiced some celebrations, so [when] we scored a touchdown we all sat down and rowed the boat. Our last game we all walked out holding hands with partners [and] playing music with the speakers,” Sawatzky said. “It’s just really fun getting to spend time with everyone and [watching] the games.”

Richards and Dougherty are planning on running a second powderpuff tournament during second semester, currently scheduled for April 28.

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About the Contributor
C.J. Getting
C.J. Getting, News Editor
C.J. is a junior entering his third year on Staff for the Central Times. He’s always loved writing news, and is excited to work as the News Editor this year. When he’s not writing for CT, C.J. can be found captaining the Debate Team or helping out SAC or JSA. He also desperately needs to detox from volunteering. After graduation, C.J. hopes to major in Political Science and spend too much money on Law School someday.
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