If the amount of trash talking this week at North Surry High School is any indication, the return of powder puff football after an eight-year hiatus is not a moment too soon.
“We’re calling it The 2013 Greyhound Powder Puff Tournament. If we’re going to bring it back, we’re going to bring it back in a big way,” said organizer Daron Atkins, who also Student Council advisor at North Surry. “The games will start with a 20-minute game between the juniors versus the freshmen and then another game between the seniors and sophomores.”
Atkins said the winners of those two games will face off for the championship in the third match of the evening which will last 30 minutes. The event is scheduled for Friday beginning at 7 p.m.
“We are actually going to crown a Homecoming King,” Atkins said. “This will be a true homecoming king who will later help crown our Homecoming Queen on Oct. 18. This is the first time we will have done this as a community event, and it’s going to be held on our open football night. The Boosters will have the concession stand open, and our special referees will be Principal Neil Atkins and Assistant Principal Brandon Whitaker.”
Daron Atkins said the format of the games will be seven-on-seven flag football. He said coaches at the school have been impressed by the level of commitment among female players. Originally, the event was an assembly activity for only juniors and seniors. The event also will feature male cheerleaders which are being tutored by Greyhound cheerleading coaches. The announcer will be none other than the school’s “resident sage” business teacher Eric Jessup.
“The girls have taken this to another level, we have varsity football players serving as coaches and they are actually teaching the girls to run plays,” Atkins said. “Just the other day one girl told me her team had to run laps.” He said more than 60 students are participating.
The Greyhound SGA is a community service driven council and is affiliated with the North Carolina Association of Student Councils. Proceeds from the game will be split between the state council’s charity (The Victory Junction Gang) and the remainder will go the North Surry Council for local projects. Atkins and his wife, Kim, have been SGA sponsors for 13 years.
“We have set a goal of $2,000 for this and hopefully we will earn a lot more,” said Atkins. The cost of admission for the games if $5 for middle school aged children and older with elementary and younger children admitted free. Atkins said that while the Booster Club pays for admission to athletic events for students, it is asking fans attending to pay because it is a benefit event.
He said this year North Surry is the President School for the Association with student Riley Phillius serving as president of the executive council and Katlyn Hodges acting as student body president for the council. As such, NSHS will host the state SGA Conference March 28-30 in Mount Airy with more than 500 participants expected. This honor follows the group opening membership on the local council to anyone who would like to attend.
“It’s grown with more than 40 at every meeting. We’ve changed meeting rooms twice,” said Atkins. “North Surry amazes me with the way they give and help.”
The group has also been a supporter of the annual Sheriff’s Department Toy Drive raising $60,000 to go to that cause over the last 12 years.
Atkins said he is “expecting to see some good football” and said he felt the girls are going to show football is not necessarily a guys sport.
Sophomore Taylor Tickle said she volunteered because she has “went out for everything” and enjoys sports. She said she likes the practices but the hardest thing is how everybody yells at the coaches.
Senior Keyshia Smith said she went for it because this is her last year.
“I went all in from the beginning,” said Smith. “We are going to dominate. I’m having fun doing something different and all my classmates have been supportive. I hate running though.”
Sophomore Jaden Gentry, a cross country runner and multi-sport athlete, said she likes the running because “it’s the only thing I do.”
All agreed they hate practicing in the dark.
Coaches Nolan Stanley and Caleb Thomas both agree they have been “blown away” by the level of commitment of the girls and the fact they really want to practice. Stanley said the chatter during practice was a challenge early on because many of the ladies only agree to do what he says after they show how far they can throw the football.
Persons may obtain more information on the game by calling Atkins at 401-3708.
Reach David Broyles at firstname.lastname@example.org or 336-719-1952.