Poof to “Powder Puff”

Students not stoked about the homecoming changes

Erin Crow, News Editor

A packed gym filled with muffled cheers and painted faces has echoed through Homecoming history at Gunnison High School (GHS) for as long as anyone can remember.

But like many good traditions gone to the wayside, “Powder Puff ” is now a tradition of the past. The unfriendly rivalry brewing between upperclassmen and the liability issues surrounding the annual series of contests between seniors and juniors has simply become too much.

“I hope to encourage a culture with less class animosity,” said GHS principal Jim Woytek. “The tradition of a healthy rivalry has grown to have a negative undertone.”

Woytek also sited the safety of students as a reason that no “Powder Puff” events took place during HoCo2021.

“I want to ensure people are engaging in Homecoming activities, but that it doesn’t negatively affect sports and other activities,” he added.

In place of the traditional “Powder Puff” football and volleyball games between seniors and juniors, a seniors versus staff kickball game took place on Tuesday. The “Lighting of the G,” the after party at the I-bar Ranch, and Saturday’s usual chaos of a football game and dance still took place.

For many seniors at GHS, who missed out entirely on the “Powder Puff” experience due to COVID during the 2020-2021 school year, Homecoming was missing its usual fervor.

“Because there was no rivalry and healthy competition, Homecoming just didn’t feel right,” said senior Rory Dawson.

Kaitlyn Fuller, a junior at GHS who never had the opportunity to compete in “Powder Puff” competitions, echoed Dawson’s sentiments.

“Growing up I always looked forward to participating in powder puff,” said Fuller. “It was one of the biggest nights in high school and it was really frustrating to get taken away.”

 Staff participated in a version of “Powder Puff” for the first time this year, squaring off against the seniors in a short kickball game on Tuesday. While the game provided a glimpse of friendly competition, the desire to have more student participation at events in the future still remains.

“The senior versus teacher game was fun, but I definitely think there should be more students involved in the future,” said Taylor Martin, Student Leadership Council advisor. “Things will change every year and so I think this was a good learning experience.”

“While I really enjoyed some of the homecoming traditions of the past, there’s no question that some things got out of hand in the past few years,” added GHS teacher Matt Smith. “I really look forward to us finding the right combination of fun rivalries and positive support.”

Every tradition runs its course in time, allowing it to open doors to new opportunities and experiences. The future of GHS Homecoming might look different in years to come, but new traditions are already making their way.