As the annual powderpuff game between Marblehead and Swampscott high school inches closer, Magicians coach Jacqueline Bouchard is looking forward to see if this year’s group of girls and student-coaches can extend the Magicians’ four-year winning streak.
“I’ve been coaching this game since 2007,” Bouchard said. “We’ve won the game the last four years so I’m definitely looking to keep the streak going and we are all really excited. I have had players from past years texting me saying that we have to keep the streak alive this weekend and they are serious.”
The Magicians will look to captains Amanda Schillinger, Lexi Samora, Jessica Whitney, Amanda O’Brien, Katherine Palmer and Gabby Goldwasser to keep their winning formula alive.
“All these girls have had a great attitude so far and have been doing a good job all week getting along and working well together as a team,” Bouchard said. “They’re all really excited for the game and have been putting in hard work at practices in preparation.
“We also picked the charity ‘Arms Around Sophia’ to support this year,” Bouchard added. “So that has been really important to us and helps motivate the team as well.”
“Arms Around Sophia” was started to support the late Sophia Smith, a Marblehead resident who died earlier this month after a 20-month battle with a rare brain tumor. Smith was 12 years old.
Coaching alongside Bouchard are some members of the class of 2019 including student Billy Ackerman, who is very familiar with the Marblehead-Swampscott rivalry.
“The Marblehead-Swampscott rivalry games have always been huge around here,” Ackerman said. “The rivalry is something that is talked about a lot. My parents grew up here as well so I’ve been aware of it since I was born. The powderpuff game can get a little chippy sometimes, but it’s always a lot of fun.”
Ackerman, who is joined by seniors Leon McCarthy, Jack Curran and Joe Ferrutci in helping coach the Magicians, is excited to have the chance to get in on the rivalry by being apart of the coaching staff for the powderpuff game.
“I’m totally excited,” Ackerman said. “The coaches are based on kids that don’t play football, but I’ve always loved the sport. It’s a great way for me to get involved this year so I’m really looking forward to it.”
With some great players on both sides of the ball, Ackerman and the Magicians are confident heading into Saturday’s game.
“We really have a great set of girls out there this year,” Ackerman said. “We put a lot of athletes on both side of the ball and should have a great year. Having home field advantage this year is also something we are all excited about.”
On the Swampscott side, head coach Joe Tenney and his group of seniors will look to end the drought.
“I’ve taken a few wallops over the years,” Tenney said. “Obviously the girls want to win every year but one of the things this group had stressed is to just be one solid unit and enjoy this together.”
The Big Blue have their own group of athletes that have been working hard for Saturday’s matchup.
“On offense we have two of our quarterbacks, Sydney Cresta and Katie Watts, who have done a great job,” Tenney said. “Ally Hartmann is one of our backs that has done well for us and I would definitely say that one of our main blockers is our center Julia Carbone.
“On the defensive side we have Fiona Herring at cornerback and she is actually one of our captains,” Tenney added. “One of our best defensive players is safety Chloe Howe.”
Along with the funds from ticket sales going to charities, Tenney and a group of players have also taken the chance each year to give back to the community.
“Every year on Veterans Day I take a group of girls and we go to My Brothers Table to volunteer,” Tenney said. “Nobody wants to lose this game but there is a larger purpose here which I think is great.”
Marblehead and Swampscott will face off in the powderpuff game Saturday 10 a.m. at Piper Field. Tickets are $10 and will be sold at the game.