Powderpuff practice restrictions stem from safety concerns


Lilly Lim

Senior Spirit: Senior boys Powderpuff (above) assemble a pyramid formation during their halftime performance. Senior Heather Tarabi- ni (below) runs past the juniors’ defense during the Powderpuff foot- ball game. The game took place on November 8 after over a month of practice, with the seniors winning 26-6.

Joseph Manivong, Staff Writer

With new restrictions on when and where Powderpuff practices can occur, students found themselves scrambling to fit practices into their schedules. Stemming from an accident last year in which Bear Creek alumnus Alex Flores broke his ankle during a practice held at Baxter Park, administration required all Powderpuff practices to be held on campus and supervised by staff members or authorized parents — that is, parents who are fingerprinted with the district and have filled out the necessary forms. Powderpuff practices also had a set time, which some students had trouble working with due to other activities, such as sports.

In the past, Powderpuff participants practiced at various parks near Bear Creek. The junior cheerleaders and football players practiced at Michael Faklis Park on Consumnes Drive, while the senior cheerleaders and football players practiced at Baxter Park on Whistler Way and Laughlin Park on Estate Drive, respectively.

In past years, practice times were determined by the coaches to accommodate for players’ and cheerleaders’ schedules; this year, all practices took place from 3:30-6:30 p.m. Many students participated in sports and had practice from 3:30-5:30 p.m., forcing them to miss two-thirds of Powderpuff practice. Some students responded negatively to this change.

“I am unable to go to half of the practices due to water polo,” senior Ethan Mc-

Laughlin said. “I am rushing to make the practices, making stunts very difficult.”

Powderpuff practices were limited to weekends until the week of the game, in which practices occurred the entire week; there were a total of fifteen practices. Coupled with the set practice times, students worried there wasn’t enough time to prepare for the game.

“[They] limited our practice more than last year, causing a sense of panic that wasn’t previously there,” McLaughlin said. “It’s not enough time to perfect our performance.”

Although some were averse to the new practice times, some students preferred having a set schedule to plan around.

“Compared to the seniors’ practices last year, I like the [set] practice times more, because there is more of an actual schedule,” junior Donald Nguyen said.

Principal Hillary Harrell clarified that Powderpuff should have been supervised from the beginning.

“Powderpuff has been done in a way it should not have been done,” Harrell said. “Practices were happening all over the place, all over different parks, areas not supervised by adults.”

Harrell says the change was largely due to her safety concerns for the students — both the cheerleaders and foot- ballplayers.

“[Safety] is my chief concern about Powderpuff,” Harrel said. “Things have happened over the past couple of years where students have gotten seriously hurt.”

Administration strictly enforced the new rule, threatening to cancel Powderpuff if it wasn’t followed