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Farewell To A Tradition?
Time Out 10-25-23
Dennis D. Cruz

When I started working for The Oakdale Leader in 2014, it was a big opportunity and I was excited to hit all of the sports (I still am). Every once in a while, I would be hit with something that would catch me off guard and the journalist would feed off my reaction. I had no clue then what The Oakdale Testicle Festival was or Cowgirl Luncheon was or other traditions in the Cowboy Capital. Same went for the sporting community. I was asked by my editor if I was going to Powder Puff in 2015 and I had no idea what I was going to see. You see, growing up where I did, we did not have powder puff games. Our school did have fundraisers like Teacher/Staff vs. Student dodgeball, Parents vs. Students basketball and even Teacher/Staff vs. student baseball. My only experience with Powder Puff came off the television show Friday Night Lights. So, I went into that game blind.

It turned out that it was a physically-intense, yet light hearted tradition that Oakdale High School had. With Mr. Pete Simoncini announcing making jokes throughout the night; student coaches and royalty being crowned at halftime; it quickly became one of my favorite nights of the year.

If you do not know or have not attended a powder puff game in Oakdale before; it is supposed to be a flag football game between junior and senior female students. Usually within the first few drives, the game gets intense and sometimes they will deliver the boom and forget about the flag. It can get out of hand with the level of intensity. But at the end of the evening, they are shaking hands and hugging. Most of the time the seniors would end up winning (even if it means a little help from the scoreboard malfunction from a few years back).

I attended the Monday night, Oct. 16 Oakdale Powder Puff game and heard that it could be the final time that it is played. If this is the case, I am sad to see it leave. I think the students really enjoy it and look forward to it each year. I understand that there is a plan in place for what could turn into a new tradition but I really do think this was a great bonding experience for all students of every walk of life at Oakdale High School; athletes, drama kids, band members and even students who do not participate in extracurricular activities. If Oct. 16, 2023 was the final game of OHS powder puff, then I will have been lucky to have been a part of it for eight years.


Dennis D. Cruz is a staff reporter for The Oakdale Leader, The Riverbank News and The Escalon Times. He may be reached at or by calling 847-3021.