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Pee-Wee Dust Bowl is back!

Updated: Apr 2

All photos by Eristheo Raif

Over the past 4 years, a tremendous amount has occurred, the most prominent and impactful being the Covid-19 pandemic. Many things were canceled or shut down, one of them being the Pee-Wee Dust Bowl. Mr. Hicks remembers having bought all the shirts, the students doing all the practices, and being fully prepared to play before the shutdown. He wasn’t able to distribute the t-shirts to the players until after the pandemic, and by then they had already passed their middle school years.

Once school started back up in late 2021, this event was not resumed, and was forgotten about for a couple of years. After the riveting inaugural season of the girls flag football team, Ms. Wilkins was inspired to bring this tradition back. Coached by high schoolers, the 7th and 8th graders were set to battle it out in a game of flag football on the 15th of March. The initial meeting for the Pee-Wee Bowl had a surprising turnout with dozens of middle school girls interested in participating, plus the experienced high schoolers to coach. After practicing for weeks and working tirelessly to improve their skills at flag football, the middle schoolers were ready to play.

Taylor Williams, an 8th grade wide receiver, says that this entire experience has been super fun and enriching. “The coaches are all great at teaching and encouraging the team. I may actually consider playing flag football next year now that I have some experience!” She pleasantly recalls the practices being both informational and fun. “Once when we were making hand signals for one of our plays, named YMCA, we all started laughing and doing the dance. So now every time the play is called, everyone on offense starts to sing the song and dance.” 

7th graders Violet Odishoo and Lennon Turner both agree that the Pee-Wee Bowl has been one of the best experiences this year. Lennon, who plays as either a receiver or corner, says that everyone has been so supportive, since the sport was new to most of the people who played. “It was fun to learn it together, and I definitely think that 7th grade will win.” Violet also comes from a competitive angle. “We have been working really hard at practice and we have the stuff to win,” she states when confronted with the question, “And even if we don’t, I really want to play again next year and try out for the team as a 9th grader!”

The game started off with a bang as the 8th grade team almost scored a stunning touchdown, only for a flag to be called that prevented them from gaining the points. Though disappointed, the 8th graders didn’t give up, but were pushed down once again when the 7th graders scored their first touchdown via an amazing pass by quarterback Peanut (Bailey) to Jane Croshaw at four minutes into the half. Then, five minutes later, they scored again when Croshaw intercepted a pass and managed to run it down to the endzone, performing what is called a “pick 6”. At this point the 7th graders had obtained 12 points, as they were unable to score any of the extra points after their touchdowns. The 8th graders were relentless, though, and were able to score their first touchdown via a spectacular catch by Lucinda Haynes at the end of the first half, gaining the two point conversion as well.

This was the turning point for the 8th graders for, after being scored on twice by the younger class, were fueled by the desire to win and had a newfound energy to them. The defense of both teams were remarkably skilled and made it hard for the opposing team to score. At 3.4 seconds before half, Zoe, the running back for the 7th graders, made a spectacular sprint into the endzone after dodging three defenders attempting to pull her flags.  Though they had a hard first half, the 8th graders came back strong in the 2nd half, scoring two more touchdowns and most of their conversions. After a hard fought game, the 8th graders claimed the win! Their spectacular passes and sprints, plus their determination, sealed their triumph in the 2024 pee-wee bowl. The cheers were endless as they relished in their victory as the newest Pee-Wee Bowl champions.

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