Playing for Powder Puff Pride

Rayannah Ward rushes for 3 TDs in Del Oro’s 1st Powder Puff game
Miley Hernandez Moreno (left) dives for Mariana Lopezs flags Friday afternoon during Del Oros first-ever powder puff football game .
Miley Hernandez Moreno (left) dives for Mariana Lopez’s flags Friday afternoon during Del Oro’s first-ever powder puff football game .
Estefany Cano

Del Oro’s first Powder Puff game had it all: Trash talking and intensity. War paint and colorful jerseys. Sizzling plays for the highlight reel. Cute cheerleaders with pom-poms and tutus. And touchdown celebrations that would make Deion Sanders proud.

But most of all, it had fun.

“It was a great opportunity to be able to meet new people and make new friends and play a sport that I love,” said freshman Valerie Vargas, who scored for the Silver team.

After two weeks of hard practices, the players on the Silver and Gold powder puff teams finally took the field Friday afternoon. The powder puff game was a reversal of roles as girls battled over the football while guys shook their pom-poms on the sidelines. The powder puff football players were taught the basics of football by Pete Hernandez and Peter Lango, Del Oro’s head varsity and junior varsity football coaches, respectively.

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“Powder puff was an amazing experience,” said Brooklynn Garzon, the Silver team’s quarterback. “As a student who moved schools not long ago, it helped me get out of my comfort zone and meet new people.”

Garzon’s team was coached by Lango, with assistance from varsity football players Ernest Jones and Jason Jimenez. Hernandez’s Gold squad was aided by assistants Daniel Oats and Jorge Campos.


One of the players Garzon became familiar with was freshman Rayannah Ward, who scored three touchdowns to lead the Gold team to a 23-20 win.

“My experience with the powder puff game was great,” Ward said. “I had a lot of fun and got to meet new girls. It was both competitive and amazing, and I will definitely be doing it again my junior and senior years.”

Rayannah Ward (right) performs a touchdown dance with teammates Genesis Martinez Espinal and Ashley Guerrero. (Estefany Cano)

Gold breezed to an 18-7 lead at the end of the first half, thanks to two rushing scores from Ward.  Silver fought back in the second half with scores from Michelle Hernandez Moreno and Valerie Vargas. But with time running out at the end of the second half, Gold quarterback Ashley Guerrero Zermeno knelt on one knee after the ball was snapped to secure her team’s win.

“For it being the very first Del Oro powder puff, it was such a great experience being able to switch roles for a day and letting us decorate our jerseys,” said Guerrero, who also scored for the Gold team. “Shout out to Coach Hernandez for helping us. I can’t wait for next year’s powder puff. Gold team on top!”

Guerrero, a junior, wasn’t the only powder puff participant who already looked forward to next year’s game.

Junior Vanessa Hurtado said the game was a strong reflection of the Del Oro student body’s school spirit.

“Everyone played their hearts out, and as a cheerleader it was fun to be on the other side,” she said. “We make fun of our football players but it was a brief taste of real life football. I can’t wait to see y’all next year.”

“Powder puff was definitely the best event of the year, and an overall great experience,” said sophomore Khushwant Kaur, who helped coach the cheerleaders. “From practicing to performing, we were excited to share a part of being a cheerleader with other students. Honestly, it got us 10 times more excited for the upcoming football season!”

Friday’s matchup wasn’t just Del Oro’s first powder puff game. During halftime, the Sunett’z debuted as the first majorette team in the Kern High School District.

Jalynn Hammond, captain of the Sunett’z, said the halftime performance capped off a long journey for the group.

“I think they did phenomenal for their first performance and the short time we had to practice,” she said. “I’m so excited to start the season with them!”

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