The Student News Site of Monta Vista High School

El Estoque

The Student News Site of Monta Vista High School

El Estoque

The Student News Site of Monta Vista High School

El Estoque

Changing the game

Exploring the historical and current state of Reverse

MVHS held its first-ever Reverse event on Friday, Nov. 17, a spinoff of Powderpuff. The event, organized by the class of 2026, featured two flag football teams and a cheer team. The football game was divided into two halves, with each one lasting eight minutes long. The team of freshmen and seniors won 16-8 against the team of sophomores and juniors. The game also included a cheer performance during halftime, which incorporated a choreographed routine set to the song “Baby Shark.” 


In the past, the Powderpuff event involved girls playing on the flag football team while boys would participate on the cheer team. With the revival of the event came the renaming of Reverse and other changes to promote inclusivity. Sophomore class president Elaine Chen underscores the importance of making everyone feel welcome through the implementation of the new name. 
“I know in the past and still currently, we have problems with misrepresenting our LGBTQ+ community, and they’re underserved and often excluded,” Chen said. “So when we had the idea of bringing back Powderpuff, we wanted to make sure we were gender neutral and inclusive. So then we came up with the name Reverse as an alternative.”

The original Powderpuff game included the reversal of traditional, binary gender roles when participating in flag football and cheer events. However, assistant principal Mike White believes the term ‘Powderpuff’ was derogatory, causing MVHS staff to reconsider the naming of the event. In 2019, one year before the COVID-19 pandemic, the name of the event was changed from “Powderpuff” to “Powerpuff.” Reverse is the first instance of this event since 2019, and White hopes this event will continue in the future.

“Last year, the class officers didn’t bring it up,” White said. “And then this year, the sophomores wanted to bring it back. There were a couple of schools in the district that were still doing it, so the sophomores heard about it.”

White adds that Powderpuff, Reverse’s predecessor, used to be a week-long event held in the spring, with games held every day. The seniors would play the sophomores, the juniors would play the freshmen and then the winners and losers would play each other. He also notes that the cheer performances were much bigger, often requiring months of preparation and practice. Cheerleaders would perform throughout the week, and the winning cheerleading squad performed at the Farewell Rally. White said the event was very intense, with people often getting injured in the games.

“I really liked what the sophomores did though,” White said. “It was a more fun, relaxed environment out there and I think people took it with the appropriate amount of seriousness. Lots of people came out and watched, and people were having a good time participating.”

Senior Cara Constant winds up to throw the ball to a team member. Photo | Brandon Wang

The class of 2026 decided to bring this event back after searching for an event that was more interactive and appealing to students, in contrast to its usual events like movie nights. Reverse was originally intended to be for underclassmen, but after receiving interest from other grades, the class of 2026 decided to make it a school-wide event.

The event received 76 signups, and 15 football players and about 20 cheerleaders were chosen to participate. Senior Anvitha Mattapalli attended the event as a spectator with her friends and enjoyed how the environment emphasized school spirit. After hearing about events similar to this via social media, Mattapalli decided to come to Reverse.

“To me, I feel like both cheerleading and playing flag football are equally interesting, so by having Reverse, you’re able to try both things,” Mattapalli said. “I personally didn’t think that Powderpuff was necessarily a dated term, but if other people feel more included by saying Reverse instead of Powderpuff, then I definitely feel like it’s the right move and it’s good that we changed it.”

Overall, Chen was satisfied with the turnout of the event and believes that MVHS had a strong response to Reverse. As a result, the class of 2026 plans to hold similar events in the future if there is enough interest in continuing the event. 

“We didn’t want to use stereotypical gender roles so we had both football and cheerleading available and let people choose,” Chen said. “It doesn’t matter what you identify as, you can still participate. I think it was a fun experience and everyone was going out of their comfort zone and trying new things. The event is meant to be really inclusive for students.”

About the Contributors
Ethan is currently a Junior and staff writer for El Estoque. He enjoys playing the trombone and playing video games. He is also a webmaster for the Model UN club.
Taryn Lam, Co-Editor-in-Chief
Taryn is currently a senior and a co-editor-in-chief for El Estoque; she has been on staff for three years and enjoyed her time spent as a features editor during her junior year. In her free time she enjoys exploring cozy book stores, going on adventures, spending time with family and hanging out with her super spicy friends.
Brandon Wang, Staff Writer
Brandon is currently a sophomore and a staff writer for El Estoque. Outside school, he enjoys reading, playing video games and dodging homework.
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