MERIDEN – A lot can change in a decade. Just ask the Platt High School powder puff team, who will be gunning for their third-straight win against Maloney High School on Monday, after going winless in the seven previous games against their cross-town rivals.
Platt’s pair of close wins by a combined 12 points has suddenly put them in an unfamiliar position. Instead of seeking revenge, they will be looking to defend the title.
“It’s been growing every year,” said Drew Blythe, Platt’s senior advisor and a member of the powder puff coaching staff. “This year, after two years of winning, the girls are really dedicated. They’re excited to be wearing their jerseys.”
Winning has spawned increased excitement throughout the school. A separate pep rally for the powder puff team will be held ahead of Monday’s game. According to players, underclassmen have already begun to take interest in an event that will put them center stage when they are seniors.
But with winning comes high expectations.
“It’s kind of nerve-wracking,” Platt senior Daniela Sevilla said. “I don’t want to let the school down. We’re putting so much work in at practice.”
Three miles away at Maloney High School, head coach Mike Torda has been working his team hard. But the recent rain has not helped, washing out a number of practices. The rain, however, has not dampened enthusiasm.
“There’s a lot of excitement around powder puff,” Torda said. “The girls believe in themselves. We’re a bit behind schedule in terms of past seasons, but we have more practices upcoming, so we’ll be hitting it hard.”
The reality of back-to-back losses is a sobering one, but as a seasoned veteran of the powder puff scene Torda knows the thin line between victory and defeat.
“I’ve been doing this close to eight to ten years,” Torda explained. “I look back on all the games, and it usually comes down to one or two plays. When those plays go your way, you win, and when they don’t you lose.”
Torda and Maloney will look to make those one or two big plays bounce in their favor on Monday at Falcon Field. The game kicks off at 6 p.m.