Thomson High School held a powder puff football game Friday.
"We're hoping this event will raise a bit of money for Relay for Life and also let the students have a lot of fun doing so," Assistant Principal Mike Smallwood said during the game.
According to its Web site, the American Cancer Society Relay for Life is a "life-changing event that gives everyone in communities across the globe a chance to celebrate the lives of people who have battled cancer, remember loved ones lost, and fight back against the disease."
The game pitted the Thomson senior and freshman girls, the white team against the sophomore and junior girls, the gold team.
"It's about having fun, teaching unity and all for a good cause," said Thomson girls' track coach Chris Harris, who also coached the gold team.
The game consisted of four 10-minute quarters. Both teams seemed evenly matched, and the score was tied at 13-13 with 28 seconds left in the fourth quarter. Candace Welch scored the winning touchdown for the white team when she intercepted a short pass from gold team quarterback Ashleigh Burnett and ran into the end zone with 11 seconds remaining in the game. The final score was 19-13.
"Making that touchdown was amazing. I just saw the ball coming at me, caught it, ran around the corner and made the touchdown," Welch said after the game. "But I couldn't have done it without the help of my teammates. They really made it possible."
The teams were cheered on by the Thomson womanless cheerleading squads. Halftime featured a parade of the cheerleaders when each student was introduced to a very appreciative crowd under their assumed aliases. Those attending the game were given a chance to vote for their favorite cheerleader, and Thomson's star soccer player, Talles Cardoso, was elected Cheer Queen for 2011.
"I was up against some very stiff competition," Cardoso admitted after the game. "But the cheerleaders told me how to do it, and they helped with the makeup and outfit and everything. This was my first day doing cheers, and it was a lot of fun."
When informed that his leading scorer had won Cheer Queen, soccer coach Zach Tucker said: "I'm very proud of Talles and happy that he was able to win such a prestigious award. I know it will mean a lot to him, and I just hope this is something he can take back to Brazil with him and display with all the pride, honor and dignity that it deserves."
Cheerleaders Dantavious Kitchens, Dontavious Williams, Aaron Johnson, Malik Bell, Raheem Brown and Mikeal Willis pose for the camera during the powder puff game.
Senior Candace Welch scored the winning touchdown for the senior/freshman team.[CAPTION]
Quarterback Shannon Chalker runs with the ball during Friday's powder puff game.