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Powderpuff Preview: Class of 2009 vs. Class of 2010

By Andrew Klegman
Published: November 2008

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With Thanksgiving just around the corner and the chilling winds of winter in the air, the stage is set for the final battle on the South football field. No, it is not the boy’s thanksgiving game against Lincoln-Sudbury, t’s Powderpuff.

After the last game played at “Winkler Field, a tough 28-6 loss for the boy’s football team against Acton-Boxboro, the senior girls are determined to take home a win in the final game played on South turf this year. After suffering a tough loss to the senior class of 2008 last year, the ’09 Lady Lions are storming back with a vengeance.

At quarterback, Sam Tye is the backbone of the offense. Alongside Tye are receivers and running backs Niki Sholemson, Laura Crowe, Katie and Julie Salerno, Patty Yee, and Nalis Mbianda. With great speed in the backfield, the seniors hope to tire their opponents quickly. Sarah Bikofsky will also step in at tight end when short yardage is needed. Malina Stavropoulos stands strong at center, providing an impenetrable force on the offensive line that should give Tye plenty of time in the pocket.

Ever since last year’s loss, Tye has been preparing heavily both on and off the field for the game. “I have spent time getting in shape during soccer season. I have been working so hard with my goalie coach to have prime foot skills and agility on the football field, she said. “I have also been told that I resemble JaMarcus Russell, so I spend a lot of time studying his game film and picking up some of his techniques.

Under the reins of seniors Jake Tucker and George Kaplan and math teacher Andrew Kelly, the seniors look to be very successful in the game. Kaplan’s training for the big game includes stressing simple work ethics. “We’re preparing by just kind of going through the motions, but getting the girls in position and trying to explain to them what they have to do is a lot easier said than done, he said.

Kelly, no rookie to the game, has coached teams four of the last six years.  As usual his strategy is “carb-loading, and he says that this year a few dedicated girls are even setting alarms during the middle of the night to wake up and eat small meals.

Though the coaches refused to reveal any plays or formations for the game, Kelly revealed a few “x-factors he hopes will succeed. “If we can get Patty Yee and Roxanne Striar to play to their full potential, I guarantee victory, he said.

As for defense, the three coaches only had one thing to say. “We need to contain Ariel Kirshenbaum, Kelly said. “I heard that she straightened her hair to make her more streamline.

Nonetheless, the coaches are confident in their abilities and have high standards for their players. “I expect to annihilate the juniors, simply on the basis that we have far better female athletes than they do. They have a couple of studs here and there, but we are solid all around, and also have experience on our side, both players and coaches, Kaplan said.

Tye had similar feelings about her fellow teammates. “My expectations this year are to show the seniors’ superiority over the juniors in athletics, only one aspect of many in which we excel over the class of ‘Ëœ10.

The girls also have confidence in their coaches and know that they will lead them in their drive to perfection. “This year the coaches are exceptional. Andrew Kelly runs a tight program: slackers are not tolerated and organization is key. George Kaplan oversees the team dynamic and always provides extra help for the football “beginners, Tye said.

Though Tye and Crowe lauded their coaches’ abilities, there was also some skepticism about Tucker’s coaching approaches.

“Jake Tucker reminds me of Rick Pitino in his final year with Celtics in 2000: He finished 35-47, which lead to his resignation the following year. Pitino struggled handling high profile players and made poor tactical decisions. Pitino had great success at the collegiate level, so Tucker should probably consider a similar move, possibly to an institution like Oak Hill Powderpuff, Tye said.

“And Jake? Well, maybe if my coach didn’t have cinderblock hands then I would learn to catch, but hey, nobody’s perfect, Crowe added.

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