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Players practice for powder puff game

By John Craven, Reporter, JCraven@wfmz.com
Published On: Apr 08 2013 12:47:52 PM CDT

It may not be fall yet, but a huge high school football rivalry is heating up in Allentown.

ALLENTOWN, Pa. -

It may not be fall yet, but a huge high school football rivalry is heating up in Allentown. The players might just surprise you.

Saturday afternoon, they were running drills at J. Birney Crum Stadium, but the players are a little older than you'd expect.

"I graduated in '92," said player Tiffany Polek.

"This is Powder Puff for Pancreatic Cancer," said organizer Jennifer Glose.

Call it football -- "soccer mom" style.

"Oh, things hurt after practice!", said player Krissi Brogna O'Mara.  "A little sore!"

These women, all William Allen High "powder puff" players two decades ago, are re-uniting for a special game later this month.

"It's a lot different coaching high school boys compared to 35, 40 year-old women.  It's a little different," said Allen's current head football coach George Clay, who graduated with many of these women.  "Let's just say, 40 year-old women say and do what they want, and you just pretty much go along with it."

Things are a little rusty.  Balls got dropped and plays were confused, but Clay has hope.

"They're in a little shape, so they're alright," he said.  "They're going to be alright."

O'Mara said:  "We look pretty good.  I mean, we're not terrible!"

But for all of the fun of this class reunion, there is one classmate -- one teammate -- who is not on the field."

"One of our fellow classmates and teammates, Josette Burton, passed away from pancreatic cancer three years ago," said Glose.

This practice is for the big match April 20 against old rival Dieruff High.

"It's for a great cause," said Clay.

It's all to raise money for pancreatic cancer research.

"It's really not about winning," said Glose.  "It's just about bringing friends together, bringing two schools together, and bringing the community together."

Pride against a foe far bigger than the football field.

The game will be played April 20 at 2 p.m. at Birney Crum Stadium.  Tickets are $5, and up to 60 door prizes will be given away.