49th Samaha Bowl: Wallingford Seniors Missing The Moment But Not The Tradition

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For the first time in 48 years, the annual Samaha Bowl Powderpuff football game won't play the day before Thanksgiving. Like many other traditions this Wallingford staple is postponed because of the coronavirus.

“It would not be a senior year if we didn't have powderpuff,” said Rachel Hill, a Sheehan High School senior.

“My mom played in powderpuff, my sister scored in powderpuff, so it's been a big thing in my family,” said Lyman Hall High School senior Ellery Campbell.

The day before Thanksgiving tradition was set for a 49th season.

“To get on the field that day and be in the spotlight for so many girls, it's been life changing,” said Cheryl Colwick, the Sheehan powderpuff coach and physical education teacher.

But this year, even just a practice felt special for the Titans.

“It felt so good especially getting to know all the girls,” said Hill.

“Start getting those feelings, those memories out there so the girls could have something instead of nothing,” said Colwick.

Five miles away, the Trojans were making their own memories, getting to pick up their jerseys and take a photo.

“I've always imagined myself out there playing so getting to put it on makes me picture getting to play,” said Campbell

“Putting it on felt like a senior,” said Lyman Hall senior Ciara Senberg.

An important right of passage not just for them, but for a piece of the tradition, neither side will ever get back. Judy Samaha, the woman who started it all in 1972, passed away in July.

 “It's gonna be tough, it's gonna be tough,” said Colwick. “It’s very important that we keep the tradition alive, even like a year like this. What Judy Samaha has done for the girls in Wallingford is just an amazing, amazing tribute.”

And the best way both teams can pay tribute to her: keep the school spirit strong but keep their spirits stronger.

“Just trying to think, we'll be the first ever to powderpuff to play in the spring so we're unique,” said Campbell.

“I'm really hoping that we can still be able to do this game for her,” said Hill.

The teams are hoping to play in the spring, but nothing is set in stone.

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