WALLINGFORD, Conn. (WTNH) – It’s the longest-running powderpuff football game in the country, and on Wednesday, it was the 50th anniversary. That means the girls playing on the field have their moms, aunts, grandmothers, and cousins who were once where they were.
“My mom played forever ago and all of my friends and cousins have played, and it’s just a great experience I wanted to be a part of,” said Lauren Cretella, Lyman Hall senior.
Quarterback Lauren Cretella was suiting up for Lyman Hall on Wednesday. Her mom, Tracy, played for rival Sheehan High School 30 years ago.
“I played in 1990 for Sheehan. My sister played for Lyman Hall, my other sister played for Sheehan, so this means a lot. I’m so excited for her,” Tracy said.
“I’m running back, I’m a winger and a tight end,” said Amanda Castaldi.
Sheehan’s Amanda Castaldi never stepped foot on the gridiron before playing powderpuff.
The Samaha Bowl is a Wallingford tradition that dates back to the creation of Title IX Federal Legislation mandating equal opportunities for female scholars and athletes. It was started by the late educator Judy Samaha as a way to give young women an equal playing field with their male peers.
Since then, senior girls from the town’s two high schools have gone head-to-head every year.
“Little did she know, this would be the biggest even in the town of Wallingford,” said Cheryl Colwick, Sheehan Head Coach.
“These ladies don’t realize this is a feminist ideal or something that women couldn’t do in 1972. It was a new thing, and it was kind of a fun thing for girls to do and now, with equality, they say this is ours, this is something not just for the boys, this is something for the girls too,” said Ed Neilender, Lyman Hall Head Coach.
This is the hottest ticket in town!