Powderpuff Palooza: Underclassmen Heroes vs. Upperclassmen Undefeated Champs

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A collection of advice and stories from senior Powderpuff girls

From TGIT to Party in the Park, there are many traditions that the University of Dallas follows during Ground- hog week. There is one women-dominated event, in particular, that is taken seriously. With chants prepared, lipstick or eyeliner marks under one’s eyes and secret practices, Powderpuff is one of UD’s most be- loved events for all.

In Powderpuff, underclassmen girls go against the undefeated upperclassmen girls in a game of flag football.

Will this be the year that the upperclassmen fall? Spoiler alert: no, it will not.

We will find out this Saturday, Feb. 3rd at the Rugby field near Madonna. Until then, let’s review some Powderpuff stories and hear some advice from a group of wise seniors.

Emily Elfelt, a senior English major, is the host and coordinator for this year’s Powderpuff. De- spite being the coordinator, Elfelt is a devoted Powderpuff participant throughout her four years at UD, with the exception of her Rome semester.

“Coordinating the game is a part of my job as the Rec Sports Intern for the Campus Activities Board,” Elfelt shared. “Thanks to student refs and scorekeepers, I am able to participate in the game, too.”

As the coordinator, Elfelt even gave a sneak peek on the Powderpuff shirt designs in respect to this year’s theme of “Academia.”

The uniforms for Powderpuff 2024. Photo courtesy of Emily Elfelt.

“The underclassmen will sport a maroon t-shirt showcasing a small stack of books, in honor of the few semesters they have under their belt,” Elfelt stated. “The upperclassmen will display a burnt orange t-shirt spotlighting an impressive stack of 12 books, thus asserting their academic prowess over the opposing team.”

With such stylistic and intentional designs, both upperclassmen and underclassmen girls will shine brightly. Upon signing up and picking up one’s shirt, all the girls stretch and practice drills and chants before the match.

“My favorite memories from Powderpuff are definitely the moments before the game starts,” Angelina Lucchetti, a senior art history major, said. “It’s always been a great time running around the field trying to practice plays beforehand and getting hyped up in team huddles.”

Although it is fun to be a part of the action like swiping a flag down, tackling or scoring a touchdown, it is also fun being a part of the crowd. Clarisa Duvvuri, a senior business major, found a unique way to be an essential part of the team on the sidelines: being the ‘team mom.’

Back in her freshman year, Duvvuri tore her ACL from a lacrosse match and was unfortunately not allowed to participate in Powderpuff.

Duvvuri, the “team mom,” providing
oranges and snacks for the team. Photo by Clarissa Duvvuri.

“One day I was talking to a friend about it and she said ‘Why don’t you come as moral support? You could be the team mom or something,’” Duvvuri shared. “It started out as a joke but I really did love being team mom and supporting the girls at the following powderpuff game. I’ve been “team mom” ever since and it’s been so much fun to join the cheerleading squad and coaches.”

Duvurri takes her role very seriously. She provides sliced oranges, reminds the girls to hydrate, brings a first aid kit and, most importantly, is the team’s biggest cheerleader.

These senior girls have grown into their upperclassmen roles within Powderpuff and outside of it. At the core of the event, Powderpuff is a game for every gal regardless of either team.

“On either [team], your friends are supporting you and you’re playing a fun game in the unique and passionate spirit of UD’s Groundhog,” Lucchetti shared. Elfelt commented, “Powderpuff is low stakes for those who want it to be and high stakes for those who need it to be. It’s for everyone.”

Advice for the underclassmen:

1) “The upperclassmen were in your shoes (cleats) not too long ago… greatness lies ahead of you, but victory might require a year or two of patience.” (Elfelt)

2) “Have a good time while you lose. It’s inevitable so just have fun!” (Lucchetti)

3) “Have some sort of hobby/outlet that is yours throughout college. It makes all that comes with these forming years so much easier and fun. It can look like anything from forming a relationship with God to practicing a sport or instrument. The key is making it yours and healthy.” (Duvvuri)

Advice for the upperclassmen:

1)“Don’t let the underclassmen surpass your enthusiasm for the game.” (Elfelt)

2)“Let’s have a good time while we win! This is likely the last time in our lives that we’ll be part of such an event, so let’s go long and score some touchdowns.” (Lucchetti)

3)“Be aware of the needs around and out- side of you, so maybe some advice would be to invest your time and your heart into the things you haven’t had a chance to before. Take risks, be smart and practice compassion. And use what is unique to you as gifts to those around you.” (Duvvuri)

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