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LYNN — For the first time ever, Classical High School will be hosting a powderpuff game on Sunday where the junior girls will play the senior girls.
While the powderpuff game is a tradition in the Lynn Public Schools, it usually consists of Classical seniors playing English seniors in November before the renowned Thanksgiving Day-rivalry game.
Due to COVID-19, the traditional powderpuff game was canceled, but Classical seniors didn’t want to miss out on a game that many have looked forward to since their freshman year.
When the English senior girls opted not to participate this year — which Classical players said was due to them not wanting to take part in a game after graduation — three Classical seniors thought of a different way to continue the tradition.
The three seniors — Sailor Brinkler, Amelia Pedro, and Brooke Warren — decided that Classical could hold a powderpuff game on its own. The game, they decided, would pit the school’s juniors against its seniors, the latter of whom graduated earlier this week.
“We shouldn’t have to miss out on this just because of COVID-19,” Pedro said.
The two teams have been practicing for several weeks. Both sides said they are looking forward to playing against their classmates.
There are a few sets of sisters who will be playing each other, including Brinkler playing her sister, Reese, so the stakes are high.
“It’ll be fun because I’ll get to push my sister and not get in trouble for it,” Brinkler said.
Warren said it will be a “little weird” playing against people they see every day, which she feels will make it a little more personal. But she said the rivalry and excitement is still there.
Coaching the senior girls is Harold Watler and his daughter, Kianna; Lewis Reynolds; and Rob Smith. Coaching the junior girls is Rod Valrie Jr. and Derek Edmunds.
Valrie said a lot of these kids have lost out on a lot, explaining that the pandemic has canceled other traditional activities, such as prom, senior week and sports.
“A lot of these girls look forward to this from their freshman year and they can’t wait to play because they see how fun it is,” Valrie said. “We just wanted to keep the tradition going. We didn’t want to take another thing away from them.”
He said that while the game will not pit the Rams against the Bulldogs, tensions are still high as the juniors are playing to win.
Whatever happens, Valrie said the juniors have an advantage going into their senior year because of the experience they are gaining through learning the game of football and practicing for the competition.
“We didn’t want to let English not being able to play spoil the fun for us,” Valrie said.
Smith said he was disappointed to hear that the English seniors didn’t want to play, but the senior girls at Classical still wanted to do something.
“They wanted to just experience it,” Smith said. “We did it so they can be able to play some type of powderpuff game.”
With English not playing, Smith said it broke an inter-school tradition that so many look forward to, one that he hopes will return next year.
“I think this should be considered a forfeit and they should hand over the trophy that they won last year,” Smith said.
The Classical powderpuff game will be played at 7 p.m. Sunday at Manning Field. Admission is free. The two teams encourage everyone to come and watch them play, saying it will be a close and exciting game.