New Britain Powder Puff Dominates Southington 40-7
It was obvious from the first set of downs that the New Britain High School Powder Puff team meant business. With just 6:46 left in the first quarter Victoria Germano scampered for two yards to open the scoring.
The first two times Southington had possession they failed to make positive yardage as New Britain got into the backfield quickly.
Desiree Bumanglag scored a second touchdown with 2:49 remaining in the first quarter and it was a romp from then on.
A crowd of about 500 people saw touchdowns from Nina Altieri, Stephanie Carrasquillo, two from Kayla Jones and a TD pass from Jen Roman to Amanda Garcia,
Southington got its lone score on the last play of the game from Christie Freer.
The team, consisting of all seniors, had been practicing since the beginning of school on Thursdays and Saturdays. It started out with 150 girls and finished with 58 dedicated players.
This is the Third Annual Powder Puff Flag football game between the two schools. New Britain has won each one.
“The first year we had a team there were 36 kids,” said Coach Carlos Pina Jr. “The second year there were 49 and this year nearly 60. Never in my wildest dreams did I think this would get so big.”
Many students play other sports and have other activities such as band.
“I told them to make those things their first commitment,” said Pina. “The hardest part is we have to start from scratch every year.”
The coaching staff breaks football down each year teaching the girls the game.
“They can now sit down with their boyfriends, fathers and brothers and watch a game,” said Pina.
Co-captains were Garcia, Chelsey Alicea, Gilmary Gonzalez, Altieri, Germano, Jessica Chudy, Amanda Potvin and Paulina Banach.
At a pre-game dinner last Saturday night at Roma Restaurant the girls got their jerseys and expressed what playing on the team meant to them.
“It is more physical than any other sport I played,” said Germano, a captain who played quarterback and linebacker. “It’s a lot more of a team sport and you have to rely on your teammates.”
“As a freshman I tried a lot of sports. None of them meant anything,” said Cassandra Cummings a corner. “This is my thing. I made new friendships, had great experiences. You get the chance to talk to people you never thought you would. This is life changing.”
“It is a lot harder than it looks,” said Angelica Tomaszewski, who was a captain and played defensive end and linebacker for the team in 2010. “I was very shy and I learned how to be a leader. I’ve become really dedicated to the other girls.”
One student Jen Roman, who played quarterback, was found watching the girls practice. She is deaf and not from New Britain High School. Pina said they found the rules and since she was from New Britain, she was allowed to play. Most of her teammates never even realized she was deaf.
Other girls at the dinner said the game changed their life in many ways. Some spoke of the unity it brought. One student said she was the girl no one liked. And now, the other girls saying “hi” to her in school has made a huge difference in her life.
“When I was called the first year do this I thought ‘right this is a joke’. I came down and watched and said I would do this,” said Chris McWilliams, defensive coordinator. “Now I know the girls take this with them the rest of their life.”
“The girls see us at practice and we are arguing. It gets intense. This is real for us,” said Coach Justice Hairston, offensive coordinator. “We enjoy it so much. The girls need to seize the moment. I’m glad to have the opportunity to coach these girls.”
The money raised from the game goes towards a variety of senior class events from the senior prom to the grad party and more.