MARYSVILLE — A bright, warm summer evening drew thousands of spectators to the annual Powder Puff football game at Quil Ceda Stadium on Friday, June 28, when the Lakewood Cougar Mamas and the Marysville Charging Tomamamas battled for the Powder Puff title, all in the name of youth football.
“It’s amazing. It’s a once in a lifetime experience,” said Sarah Kummer, a Cougar Mama. “It was brutal this year. It was my third year playing, and it was definitely more physically challenging than it’s ever been.”
Despite having less time to practice, having shortened the season from several months to only six weeks of preparation, the Cougar Mamas extended their undefeated streak — by running in a touchdown during overtime.
“It was a really tough game. They played really hard,” said Stephanie Neiffer, the Cougar Mama who scored the only touchdown of the night. “There was strong defense on both sides, but it was really fun. When I scored the touchdown, I was exhausted and my adrenaline just kicked in. I was determined to get it in — it was not an option not to.”
The final score was 6-0 for Lakewood, but that doesn’t mean that Marysville missed out. The event raised thousands of dollars for Marysville Youth Football, though the total had not been calculated as of press time. “With just ticket sales and ad sponsors we probably raised $4,500,” said Kym Gallo, a Charging Tomamama who helped organize the game. “That’s not including the money raised from concessions for both games.”
The Cougar Mamas helped raise $5,700 for Lakewood Youth Football, before expenses were calculated out.
“I’ve played since the very first game with a lot of these women and it’s been a fun ride getting to know everyone,” said Neiffer. “I’ve made a lot of friends, and it’s such an amazing experience to see how dedicated these women are and how great our coaches are. We are all doing this for our kids.”
Spectators who crowded the stands were able to purchase concessions and the funds raised go to support the youth football organizations for each community. They also had the option of choosing which entrance to use based on which team they were supporting.
“We just wanted to support the kids,” said Tabitha Moser, a player on the Lake Stevens Valkyries, a first-year Powder Puff team supporting Lake Stevens Youth Football. Moser brought her family along for the Marysville vs. Lakewood game. “We heard about this game from playing Marysville last week and we wanted to come out and support them,” she said. “I am not sure on the exact amount of money that we raised but it was a good amount for both teams. It was really fun. We had a blast.”
Jane Severson, Neiffer’s mother, described watching her daughter score a touchdown.
“It was just so exciting,” she said. “I am so proud of her and the whole team. They worked hard for this.”
The event included youth cheerleader performances and music during halftime.
“I should also add that some of us have just football players and some just have cheerleaders. And some of us, like myself, have a football player, a cheerleader and a coach,” said Gallo, whose husband Kevin was one of the coaches for the Marysville team, and whose children are involved in both youth football and youth cheerleading.
“To me — regardless of which team walks away with the trophy — it’s really the kids from both programs who win,” said Gallo.
Powder Puff football is becoming increasingly popular in Snohomish County, with Lake Stevens being the most recent team to form. Arlington’s Eagle Mamas will play their fourth annual Stilly Puff Cup against Stanwood, their natural rivals, at Haller Middle School Stadium on Saturday, July 13. Funds raised for that event will also go to support scholarships for players involved in the Arlington Youth Football Association and Stanwood-Camano Youth Football.