At N.C. Central University students come together to compete and participate in a wide variety of activities available on campus. One of these activities are the intramural flag football games.
On Friday, October 15, two teams met up to face for the second time in their rivalry. “The environment is very exciting, entertaining, and unpredictable,” said Summer Washington, a sophomore track and field athlete who played for the powderpuff intramural team called the Gremlins.
‘Powderpuff football’ is a term generally used to describe a game of football between women. The Gremlins faced off against the Aces, led by their coach Jaquan Milliam. “It’s (the games) honestly very competitive. The players take it seriously, as if it was an official sport,” Milliam recalled.
In their first game of the season on October 2, the Aces defeated the Gremlins 14-6. The victory was spear-headed by Amari Williams, who scored both touchdowns for the Aces.
A 50-yard screen pass and a pitch that was snatched from the air and returned for a defensive score sealed away their first win of the season. Unfortunately for the Aces, their win was not officially recorded and did not count toward their overall record.
Nearly two full weeks after their loss, the Gremlins returned to the NCCU practice field ready to play. Due to missing players, the team had to play with six, in the traditional 7v7 game.
Despite not having the right amount of players until the second half, the gremlins won their matchup 14-0. “There was tension here and there, but it was fun being able to participate in something other than my normal sport,” said Washington after the win.
The boy’s intramural games happen weekly, amidst an abrupt cancellation or forfeit, on Wednesdays. Only recently has the Powderpuff games begun to be sponsored through the University again. Last year’s Powerpuff was completely student-led and operated and only conducted one game.
Milliam, who was a coach in last year’s defeat, lost in the final seconds of last year’s game by a 60-yard quarterback scramble. The practice field was filled with a minimum of 50 people screaming, cheering, and smack-talking the players.
“It’s more friendly and not as harsh when competing with other teams,” said sophomore student Aslisha Bell. Bell also participated in last year’s game and was a part of the winning team.
The intramural staff who ref the games, set up the field, and clean up are made of the Rec and Esports staff. Many have some officiating experience with the intramural flag football and basketball games last year.
Led by Graduate student Marcus Harris, the staff is taught to cultivate a fun, safe, and competitive environment. Up until this point, there has not been any instance where a flag football game was called off because of participants. Players are told at the beginning of each game that there will be little tolerance for unsportsmanlike conduct.
“Intramural sports, in my opinion, are a great way for us students at NCCU to meet new people, create new bonds, and use communication skills while working with a team of different people,” said Bell.
By all means, the intramural season will continue for the remainder of the natural football season. Due to some uncertainty with the team composition and schedule, it is unclear when the next powderpuff game will be, but the game and the competitive nature it represents will not be easily forgotten.
Until their next face-off, the Gremlins and the Aces are 1-0 in the series. With the Gremlins having the only official win between the two.
Story by Micah Speed
Echo Staff Reporter