The Cheshire-Southington annual powder puff football game has been canceled this year due to low Cheshire turnout amid concern of potential injuries. Southington’s annual game against New Britain will continue as scheduled.
Cheshire High School Athletic Director Steve Trifone said interest in the game among Cheshire students has decreased in recent years.
“Our numbers were low,” Trifone said. “We had girls who were interested, but they understand we did not want to send a team out with 20 girls.”
Trifone said some girls, who also participate in scholastic sports, were concerned about getting hurt in the flag football game. Last year, the game was halted in the fourth quarter after a Southington girl suffered a significant injury. Southington eventually won the game, 34-14.
“Injuries on a whole factor into it,” Trifone said. “A lot of athletes are worried about getting injured in an activity that may jeopardize their sports season.”
“That’s a big chunk of our kids, that really hurts our numbers,” Trifone added.
Trifone said about 60 girls would previously participate in the powder puff game, which would allow players to rotate between offense, defense and special teams. Numbers have been declining for several years, he said.
In 2009, the Cheshire-Southington powder puff game was canceled following accusations of unsportsmanlike play and biased officiating the year prior.
Southington, which in years past has played New Britain in powder puff prior to playing Cheshire, will now travel to New Britain to take on the Golden Hurricanes at Veterans Stadium on Wednesday, Nov. 22. Kickoff is scheduled for 6:30 p.m.
“It was disappointing we couldn’t keep the game going this year,” Southington High School Athletic Director Greg Ferry said. “We’re just going to make the best of it with our game against New Britain.”
"There was a big level of disappointment mostly because you have that huge school rivalry there," Southington powder puff head coach Charles Kemp said.
Ferry believes the powder puff games have not become increasingly physical in recent years.
“Accidents do happen, we never like seeing it,” he said.
Trifone said the athletic department will likely pursue an intra-school, juniors vs. seniors powder puff game next year.
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