Camaraderie is the key to Maloney Powder Puff success

Camaraderie is the key to Maloney Powder Puff success


Girls work on blocking drills during Maloney's powderpuff practice in Meriden, Nov. 13, 2013. | Christopher Zajac / Record-Journal

MERIDEN — Maloney High School powder puff coaches have several goals for this year’s team. They want the girls to forge a bond, work hard, enjoy the experience—and beat Platt High School.

“It’s a rivalry,” said Assistant Coach Dan Lobner. “The girls take it very seriously.”

Maloney earned bragging rights for a year with its one point win in last year’s flag football game. The two schools square off Monday at 5 p.m. at Falcon Field.

The Spartans have defeated the Panthers three out of the past four years. The teams tied in 2011.

Spartan Brook Gambardella said unity is the key to winning.

Teammate Brianna Alicea said bonding was emphasized the first few practices.

“We’re definitely molding together now,” she said.

“When you have eleven girls working together at once, that’s when you win football games,” Gambardella added.

The Spartans have enough players to field three teams. Lobner estimated two-thirds of the senior girls joined the team.

Gambardella attributed powder puff’s popularity to tradition. Girls start anticipating it in ninth-grade when they see senior players dressed in their uniforms at school on game day, she said.

Lobner said most of the girls have attended every practice. Every girl who attends at least five practices will be guaranteed playing time, he said.

“We’re not just gonna play our best girls,” he said. “We want to get as many players into the game as possible.”

“I just want to see everybody work as hard as they can and compete to the best of their ability,” he added.

Lobner said the everyone-gets-to-play mentality does not translate into a corresponding just-have-fun approach.

“There is a lot of strategy involved,” he said.

Coach Mike Torda said the team will use real football formations, with at least seven girls on the line of scrimmage, and is working on an offense that will consist of six to ten plays. He said coaches are emphasizing the technical aspects of each play and teaching all eleven girls on the field their individual responsibilities.

Torda said the girls are approaching their preparations for the game with a startling level of intensity.

“The activity I see on the field” during practices “is the fiercest I see during the school year,” from the ladies, he said

He hopes to channel that energy into extending Maloney’s winning streak against Platt.

Maloney High School 2013 powder puff roster

No. Name

0 Casey Altmannsberger

1 Briana Alicea

2 Jeydeliz Perez

3 Crystal Gagne

4 Ashley Pociadlo

5 Victoria LeVasseur

6 Briana Burt

7 Robin Dichello

8 Kendra Newkirk

9 Stephanie Ortiz

10 Breanna Pianka

11 Jerrilynn Charlton

12 Emily Herz

13 Dalayda Garcia

15 Kiala Foy

16 Laura Gaughran

17 Jackelynn Zeledon

18 Alyssa Spisak

19 Shaina Torres

20 Brandin Calderon

21 Kaliana Tom

22 Chelsea Schott

23 Jacqueline Ruiz

24 Xiomary Rosa

25 Bethany Haynes

26 Ashja Vargas

27 Francesca Fontanez

28 Rachelle Connors

29 Brooke Gambardella

30 Shelia Rosa

31 Kandace Askew-Flowers

32 Brittany Felton

33 Larissa Correa

34 Shanell Woolard

35 Allayah Nelson

36 Cindy Alonso

37 Ariah Law

38 Brianna Berthelson

39 Alexia Vargas

40 Emily Niemiec

41 Antonia Nieves

42 Lindsay Pytel

43 Frida Cano-Pacheco

44 Noel Rieth

45 Jasmin Nunez

46 Samantha Burgess

47 Melissa Gutierrez

48 Rachel Daley

49 Amanda Lavoie

50 Javonne Williams

51 Klarissa Class

52 Leah Miller

53 Natalie Zambrano

54 Bethany Wetherell

55 Julissa Lacen

56 Sabrina Garcia

57 Olivia O’Brien

58 Emily Rosa

59 Cathleen Cusachs

60 Cassidy Cooley

61 Rachel Gumlaw

62 Lindsey Massicotte

63 Mickeelia Thompson

64 Marwa Fedda

66 Jacqueline Kevorkian

67 Mya Rios

70 Karinne Hart

71 Kaleigh Scott

72 Sage Kilbourn

73 Christina Maldonado

75 Valeriay Dion

77 Elizabeth Gable

78 Meghan McLear

79 Samantha Piccoli

80 Melissa Chino

83 Ashley Chevrette

84 Bailey Hettrick

85 Monica Grego

88 Courtney Myles

95 LeShania Anderson

96 Carmen Santana

97 Rebekah Collins

98 Alyssa Sweigard

99 Amanda Chatfield

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