Powderpuff football game set for Sheffield today
The fall sports season isn’t set to begin for two months, but as athletes are preparing to embark on their summer programs, they will first head atop Wolverine Mountain for Sheffield’s first Powderpuff football game this afternoon.
Varsity high school football coach Mike Barr — in an effort to think outside the box for fundraising and knowing that his players were always up to try something different — decided a Powderpuff football game would be a fun and unique way to both entertain the community and raise money for Sheffield’s football and cheerleading programs.
“I talked to Melissa Bullock about it and said, ‘Hey, here is my idea,'” said Barr. “I feel that we can combine forces, because Melissa is Sheffield sports through and through and she’s got a lot of respect from a lot of her girls. So, it was, ‘Why don’t we combine and let’s do this as a joint fundraiser.’ She came up with the idea of a T-shirt war. I pitched it to the boys, and they absolutely loved it. The first night I pitched it to them, they were getting in arguments on who was going to be a flyer. She said her girls were all about it.”
Bullock revealed the girls’ first reaction was that they wanted to tackle.
“My girls, they want to go,” Bullock said. “They want to try anything. They want to learn anything new. When we took the idea to them, they wanted to learn what the boys do.”
In the weeks leading up to today’s game, the two programs went to war with T-shirts. According to Barr, not only did Bullock come up with the concept of a T-shirt war, but she and her girls dominated it as well. The boys picked pink shirts with a purple powderpuff logo, while the girls inverted the boys’ idea and went with purple shirts and a pink logo.
“Boys versus girls to see who comes out ahead and we’re splitting the profits of everything,” said Barr, whose household was split between his son, Colby, quarterback for the Wolverines and his daughter, Tymber, a first-year junior high cheerleader. “Everything from this powderpuff is being split between cheerleading and football. I got to tell you: the girls crushed us. They absolutely destroyed us.”
In total, 226 shirts were sold, with the girls more than doubling the boys, selling 165.
To kick things off for today’s donations-only event, there will be a pregame between local law enforcement and the Cherry Grove Volunteer Fire Department starting at 1 p.m. at Sheffield High School. The pregame matchup will be two eight-minute halves of seven-on-seven flag football. The pregame will be followed by the junior high girls versus junior girls in the first of two games that will feature four five-minute quarters of seven-on-seven flag football. The final main event will be the varsity girls versus the varsity girls. Throughout all three games, 20 junior high and varsity boys will be taking on the role of cheerleaders, complete with stunts, halftime shows, and a Sheffield cheerleading favorite, performing to the song “Cotton Eye Joe.”
“A few of the boys said to me yesterday that they did not realize cheerleading was that difficult,” said Bullock. “Between having to know your left and your right and your motions and the words, and we’ve actually done a few stunts with them as well. They’re doing a flip line. Watching them actually try to put each other in the air, they now see why it’s difficult.”
Between junior high and varsity, the girls have 42 athletes signed up for the games. Barr has relished the opportunity to teach football to the girls.
“These girls, the last two nights of practice, they’re having a blast,” said Barr. “It’s so funny coaching these girls. It’s so much fun.”
Barr continued to express the cohesiveness between all the Sheffield coaches and the message that he is trying to get across to all Wolverine athletes.
“How I end my practices, we’re not Wolverine cheer, we’re not Wolverine football, we’re Wolverines. And we all have to work together in a small school to make it work. It’s been a lot of fun. We have to be willing to let kids do everything. I push, please go out for a sport. I don’t care what it is. Do something else other than football. That’s how our school is going to survive.”
Bullock agreed that as coaches, they need to work with every other coach, especially when it comes to fundraising and participation.
“I think this is one of the best coaching groups I’ve worked with in years,” Bullock said. “Not just in football, but working with Melissa (Lemay) in volleyball and Jason (Snell) in track, we are so supportive of one another and so supportive of each other’s groups.”
In addition to the games, the Wolverines will also be holding a bake sale and there will be a small concession stand. Brandon Troutman, Corey Copley, and Tony Richards will be officials for all three games, while the booming voice of Chuck Demko will echo across the valley as public-address announcer.