86th MDG powder puff wins despite rain

Story and photo by Airman 1st Class Alexandria Mosness
86th Airlift Wing Public Affairs

Through rain or shine, the game must go on. In true football fashion, this was exactly the case as the 86th Medical Group women’s powder puff football team trumped the 86th Vehicle Readiness Squadron team 25-7 Sept. 14 on Vogelweh as rain gushed from the sky.

Coming back from an early deficit, the 86th MDG showed they would not give up.

“We were down early in the first part of the game, but we did not give up and were able to come back for the win,” said Staff Sgt. Viji Varkey, 86th MDG biomedical equipment technician and the defensive coach. “Our team played with a lot of heart, and once they got the lead, they never looked back.”

This was the third win of the season and the players knew they wouldn’t have succeeded without teamwork.

“This was classic football out here,” said Senior Airman Lindsay Bly, 86th MDG medical technician. “The defense held well the whole game, and I can tell you my team is awesome.”

Scoring on three of their four interceptions, the 86th MDG showed their practice paid off.

“At first we were practicing three times a week, but due to mission requirements we had to bring it down to one a week,” said Senior Airman Jeffery Huff, 86th MDG biomedical equipment technician and the offensive coach. “We also practice an hour before the game, and while we don’t get a lot of time, the girls are truly dedicated and it shows on the field.”

Coaching, although rewarding, can sometimes be a stressful job, but not for the two MDG coaches.

“Being a coach for girls is so different than guys,” Airman Huff said. “They listen. Guys seem to be hard headed, so having this team makes it a lot easier on us.”

Sergeant Varkey said he also likes to coach.

“These ladies have the desire and want to be here,” he said. “They want to come out and practice and they enjoy it.”

While flag football is a lot of fun, it also helps players to keep up with Air Force physical training standards.

“This is a great way to stay in shape,” said Airman 1st Class Kayla Pixler, 86th MDG medical lab technician.

While there are many reasons they play, the most important is for fun.

“I play because it is simply fun to do,” said Airman Bly, who has been playing flag football since high school. “Also, you get to meet new people.”

With the hard work the 86th MDG puts in during the duty day, it is nice to take the stress out on the field.

“Working the lab is such a different environment then on the field, and it is nice to have a place to let it all go,” Airman Pixler said.

Although the season is only beginning, the 86th MDG has their eye on the prize.

“We are going to win the championship,” Airman Pixler said. “So, come out and support us.”