“If you can dodge a wrench, you can dodge a ball,” Coach Patches O’Houlihan (Rip Torn) tells members of the Average Joe’s Gym team in the 2014 motion picture, “Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story.”
Great Bend High School’s annual dodgeball tournament also featured a team called Average Joe’s, along with a purple-shirted Globo-Gym team another reference to the comedy.
But the winning team at Tuesday’s double elimination tournament was the Dodgefathers, featuring GBHS students Nathan Broeckelman, Dominique Rideaux, Keaton Sander, Jacob Murray, Payton Mauler and Braulio Vargas.
“This is an event that we hold every spring,” said Abby Sandmann, GBHS English teacher and StuCo adviser.
StuCo Vice President Allison Regehr said seven six-person teams preregistered for the event at the Panther Activity Center. Each team’s $18 entry fee helps the student organization fund projects such as the Community Service Day that will take place in April.
Members of the winning team had their choice of candy bar.
The prize might be small, but the competition at this annual tournament is always fierce, Regehr said. “Extremely. It gets very intense,” she said. “People will do everything they can to not lose.”
That’s why Sandmann explained the rules before competition got underway. Foremost, “no hitting anybody in the head,” she said.
In “Dodgeball,” O’Houlihan tells the team, “Remember the 5 D’s of dodgeball: Dodge, duck, dip, dive and dodge.”
Most of the students said they played dodgeball in middle school physical education classes. In high school, the StuCo tournament provides an opportunity to relive that fun.
“I’ve been (in the GBHS tournament) for the last two years,” said Max Jerke from the Average Joe’s team. There isn’t a lot of strategy going into a tournament. His plan: “Don’t get out; keep everybody in.”
Globo-Gym member Calista Long, who may have been the only female in Tuesday’s tournament, described a more offensive strategy: “Just throw the ball and hope I hit someone.”