Powder Puff: The show must go on

Anna Laone beckons to the crowd as she charges onto the field during pregame festivities. Powder puff football kicks off Southington’s week of football. (Photo by John Goralski)



Southington powder puff almost didn’t have a game to play this season. Cheshire has long been on the sideline, but New Britain joined them this year. The Lady Knights didn’t have an opponent, and time was ticking.

“I’m just happy that the Class of 2019 got a program this year, because it was done,” coach Charles Kemp said. “There was no one to play. New Britain canceled at the 11th hour, and Rocky Hill just showed up. I’m glad they did, because now we have a new rivalry.”

Kemp talked with Rocky Hill coach Michael Dudis after a 21-0 Lady Knight victory on the home turf on Nov. 19, and both are already looking forward to next year’s game, which would be at Rocky Hill.

“I love playing these guys. Their head coach is so cool,” Kemp said. “He said this is so much fun, we don’t normally see an atmosphere like this with all the people around. He said this is great for my kids. I said ‘are your kids having fun?’ He said they’re having a blast. I think that’s more important than anything else. At the end of the day, as long as the kids have fun.”

Kemp gave credit to his team, which endured plenty of uncertainty.

It’s become an event with cross-dressing cheerleaders, packed stands, and sidelines filled with media and cheering players.

“We try to get at least 10 practices a season in, and we didn’t have that. We had like six, because it was a shortened season,” Kemp said. “It was the season that almost didn’t happen, but it did happen, and they made it work.”

Southington did get to scrimmage Amity and North Haven, but Rocky Hill didn’t dance to the offensive tune of most other powder puff teams. The Terriers attempted 15 passes and completed four of them for 58 yards. Southington did get beat downfield a couple times, but the defense adjusted, especially Hailey Morelli, who had two interceptions.

“Playing against Cheshire, playing against New Britain, against even teams like North Haven—for everybody, it’s run run, run, run, run,” Kemp said. “For them to be able to adjust in the secondary and wait on something like that, and for her to [intercept] it twice, that was very impressive. I think she did a fantastic job, and she was there when we needed her.”

Kemp said he was nothing but excited after the game, and he had every right to be. His girls got to play a game, and they now have a new rival.

To comment on this story or to contact staff writer Kevin Roberts, email him at KRoberts@SouthingtonObserver.com

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