By Sean Budlong
Each year, Schoolcraft’s senior class students and parents spend hours planning and fund raising for Project Graduation. This year, they added a little extra fun by hosting a powder puff competition at Schoolcraft’s football field. The senior girls faced off against the sophomores, while the juniors played the freshman. The seniors won the “championship” by beating the juniors.
Jolie Warnaar is President of the Project Graduation board, and she fought for the opportunity to play the powder puff games. “Last year it was not approved,” she explained. This year the seniors approached me and I talked to Dr Stitt (Schoolcraft’s Superintendent) about the possibility. He (Stitt) gave me a list of issues that we needed to overcome. I did the research and presented our answers and received approval.”
Powder puff football is flag football played without pads or helmets. The girls are coached by members of the football team. While this may sound “cute,” it is serious business for the players. “The coaches were amazing,” Warnaar explained. “They taught the girls real plays and the athleticism of the girls was obvious in the way they ran the plays.”
Amber Overley played for the seniors, and wishes she had the chance to play before her final year of high school. Overley plays basketball, softball, and runs cross country for Schoolcraft. “The competitiveness was great,” she said. “It was so different from the other sports I play, it was just fun to get out on the football field and compete.”
While many schools host a powder puff game, Warnaar changed things up by incorporating the entire school. “It’s more fun to have all grades compete,” she explained. “It’s a great fundraiser because the entire community can enjoy watching someone they know instead of just two grades.”
Warnaar hopes to add another new event to the Project Graduation schedule – boys volleyball coached by the girls volleyball team. If the boys play with the same spirit the girls showed, it would be a great night. “Playing with girls that I don’t usually play a sport with was fun,” senior Madie Saxman said. “We had a great time as a class and raised money for the last activity we will participate in as high school students.”
The Project Graduation board has many fundraisers. It sells value cards, Traverse City Pie Company food around Christmas, hosts fundraisers at local restaurants, and works concessions at Schoolcraft volleyball matches.