Unfortunately for their ratings, ESPN 8 (the Ocho) missed a great sporting event last Friday at Gunsaulus Scholastic Academy. The Play with Potential squad, led by Coach Ruth and Mr. Glover, put on a dodgeball tournament to help raise money for the upcoming 8th grade trip to Washington DC. The middle school academies faced off in a round robin to see who would challenge the winner of a faculty v. recess battle. Bapu academy took the academies’ crown by defeating HOPE academy while Okedome, the faculty team, defeated Team Recess in a thriller. Energy was high for the Bapu crew, but they lost to the more, uh, experienced Okedome, which featured both principals Kim and Duffy, as well as some pretty energetic teachers.
Even though only one champion was crowned, the event had some success for all who went. The fans really got into the action as a sound system bumped each team’s theme song when they were announced by the MC eighth graders, and Mr. Glover played Bob Uecker as he called the game. The real winner was the eighth grade class, who earned some much-needed funding for their spring trip. And also maybe the recess team with their amazing airbrushed jerseys.
As fun as the event was, it was even better in the way that it shows how physical activity and sportsmanship can be the focal point of a fundraiser instead of just the usual candy bars and chips sale. The players got a big stage to show off their skills, the fans were treated to surely one of the most intense dodgeball matches since Stiller v. Vaughn, and it all earned some money for a good cause. In this tough part of the school year with everyone waiting for spring, it just took a little dodgeball on a Friday to make it feel as warm as summer in the Brighton Park gym at GSA. We’re so lucky to be a part of great events, and so thrilled to make them happen for our school partners.