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THROWN INTO SPIRIT WEEK: DODGEBALL RECAP

Dodgeball+in+hand%2C+visual+senior+Paige+Duffack+aims+for+her+opponents.+Backed+up+by+communications+senior+Rebecca+Nir%2C+Duffack+and+the+Class+of+2019+played+hard+against+both+the+freshman+and+sophomore+classes%2C+but+ended+up+taking+fourth+place+overall.+
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THROWN INTO SPIRIT WEEK: DODGEBALL RECAP

Dodgeball in hand, visual senior Paige Duffack aims for her opponents. Backed up by communications senior Rebecca Nir, Duffack and the Class of 2019 played hard against both the freshman and sophomore classes, but ended up taking fourth place overall.

Dodgeball in hand, visual senior Paige Duffack aims for her opponents. Backed up by communications senior Rebecca Nir, Duffack and the Class of 2019 played hard against both the freshman and sophomore classes, but ended up taking fourth place overall.

Shelby Rabin

Dodgeball in hand, visual senior Paige Duffack aims for her opponents. Backed up by communications senior Rebecca Nir, Duffack and the Class of 2019 played hard against both the freshman and sophomore classes, but ended up taking fourth place overall.

Shelby Rabin

Shelby Rabin

Dodgeball in hand, visual senior Paige Duffack aims for her opponents. Backed up by communications senior Rebecca Nir, Duffack and the Class of 2019 played hard against both the freshman and sophomore classes, but ended up taking fourth place overall.

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As music shook the gymnasium floor and students piled into the bleachers, dodgeball competitors from the junior and freshman classes gathered at the boundary line, marked by fluorescent cones. The freshman team exchanged quick words with one another, discussing their plan of action: They would pair up and both aim for the same opponent. Across the way, the junior boys huddled up, bringing out the energy in one another through chanting, clapping, and a hyped-up jig, courtesy of band junior Quinn Stolberg.

“We’re going to go to victory,” theatre junior Eddie Force said during the pre-game hype.  “My goal is to win, to bring pride to my grade. That’s what it’s all about.”

After both teams had strategized, SGA Co-President and piano senior Annemarie Gerlach counted down to the start of the match. Upon reaching “Go,” the two teams scrambled toward the 12 colored balls in the middle of the gym. The freshmen scooped up as many as they could while the juniors flung the balls back to their side of the court. Both sides waited for a beat before throwing at each other. The freshman team broke the stalemate with a green ball headed straight for the juniors but received retaliation from the other side within seconds. Twisting and turning to avoid getting hit, players arranged themselves offensively and defensively.

“My role was to lay back and wait until the later stage of the game, instead of the initial heat,” visual freshman Dennis Gettinger said.  

The junior team decided to play off of each other’s strengths, working as a team to both dodge incoming balls and launch outgoing balls to and from their side.

“I’ve always had a really strong arm,” communications junior Hunter Goodman said. “People would give me the ball to throw instead of them.”

The game wrapped up with six juniors against one freshman and came to a close with the juniors emerging victorious. Even before the match began, strings junior Kyle Owens thought that the “freshmen [were] pretty much going down from the get-go.” Despite the competitive energy of all teams, they exchanged handshakes after each game.

Next, the sophomores and seniors entered the arena. The emcees shouted the time-old “Two-Oh” chant, rallying up the sophomore team, who formed a huddle and jumped around calling out their graduation year, 2021. The seniors were the only team with girls competing, including communications senior Rebecca Nir.

“My role in the game was actually unexpected,” Nir said. “They needed a last-minute team member, so I offered to join. I think the senior class was the only one with girls because it is an accepting class and very supportive.”

During the game, Soulja Boy’s “Crank That” began to play, which the senior participants started to dance to while dodging hits. Sophomores soon caught on to this, and the game became half dodgeball, half dance-off. The seniors also adopted the strategy of keeping balls on their side, leaving the sophomores victim to bombardment with nothing to defend with. As the game dragged on, the sophomores stayed strong with a 3-1 ratio in their favor. After the final senior player was eliminated, the sophomores pulled to victory.

“I just throw as hard as I can, try and lay back until the best people [start playing, and] get all the balls,” communications sophomore Jared Civin said. “The people who aren’t as good at throwing stay back.”

To determine the third and fourth place, a game between the seniors and the freshmen commenced. The freshmen’s strategy was to go as far forward as they could and throw, while seniors stayed back and threw from where they were. For the second half of the game, the freshmen looked to be in the lead. Despite the emcees’ cheers for their own senior class, the freshmen won and took third place.

“I’m a freshman; I don’t expect to win this early,” Gettinger said. “[But] it was fun, I would definitely do it again.”

As the match for third place came to a close, the sophomores and juniors readied themselves for the final game. At the call to begin, both teams ran for the balls, gathering as many as they could. A 20-second standstill, in which the teams sized one another up, persisted before the sophomores threw the first shot at their opponents. Players on both teams attempted everything from side-stepping to jumping over lower throws in an effort to avoid being hit.

“My favorite part during the game was [when] there was a dodgeball thrown at me and I jumped over the ball, Superman-style, and then landed on my hands and knees,” Goodman said.

The sophomore team tried to trick the juniors by kicking a ball toward them and attacking whoever reached down to pick the ball up. The plan failed, causing the juniors to come back with a variety of maneuvers. Stolberg began throwing curveballs, while Goodman deflected anything thrown at him with the two dodgeballs he was holding. When the remaining player counts stood at six juniors to four sophomores, the latter team began to drum up a 2021 chant for encouragement. Even so, the juniors took out the rest of the sophomores within minutes, clinching first place in the first of Spirit Week’s many lunchtime competitions.

“Winning sports and games has always been one of the best feelings, even if it’s something as small as Spirit Week dodgeball,” Goodman said. “The adrenaline [is] pumping, your legs get wobbly with energy, and you get nervous because you want to show off and do your best.”

 

Haley Johnston
Waiting for the countdown from SGA co-presidents, piano senior Annemarie Gerlach and band senior Armin Khoshbin, strings juniors Kyle Owens and Justin Tortorella get ready to run for the dodgeballs in the center of the court.

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Heather Rollins, Cover Editor

Heather Rollins is the Co-Editor of the Cover section.  She enjoys writing, filmmaking, and reading sci-fi and fantasy books.  Cover section...

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THROWN INTO SPIRIT WEEK: DODGEBALL RECAP