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PowderPuff earns D1 status

After 10 long months of discussion, the PowderPuff program, an all-women campus football club, earned NCAA Div. 1 status.

Starting in the Fall of 2010, the women who once competed against each other on the Olsen field turf will now combine forces in a single mega-team to take on some of the top programs in the nation– and nearby Villanova.

The women will trade in their flags and brightly colored t-shirts for pads and helmets and are starting practices immediately to learn how to tackle and play with 11 people on the field instead of eight.

“I’m so excited to finally have the chance to show the world what Eastern football is all about,” junior Pollie Poquet said. “Those big boys won’t even know what hit ‘em.”

Former club leaders alumni Brittany O’Neal and Taylor Kiser first proposed the idea to Director of Athletics Mark Wagner. He immediately jumped on board, calling the NCAA to see what steps needed to be taken.

Several scouts attended the fall competitions and were impressed by the level of play.

“I really thought this whole thing was a joke when my boss told me to come watch girls play football at some small, Christian D3 school, but I was wrong–very wrong,” Notre Dame scout Chad Zitt said. “Those girls went out every day looking for blood. You couldn’t pay me a million bucks to step foot on that field on a Sunday afternoon.”

The decision to go D1 gained even more steam with the increase of injuries during the fall season. Since it was only a club, any injuries made the University liable. However, as an official athletic team, the school cannot be sued by angry parents.

“We didn’t like what we were seeing last fall,” Athletic Trainer John Post said. “Every Monday morning, there would be a line of girls waiting outside my door at 6 a.m.”

The final piece of the puzzle lay in how Eastern would host home games. To put it simply, Olsen field does not meet D1 standards.

To make sure that the University would not lose out on this incredible community-building and money-making opportunity, Student Development began to search for solutions immediately.

The recent purchase of both the Valley Forge Military Academy and Cabrini College campuses is a result of these efforts. The football stadium will take up the entire former site of Cabrini, so that spectators will be able to tailgate without worries of being fined. 

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