First Annual Western Mennonite School Dodgeball Tournament

By Jeremy McDonald

SALEM, Ore.–  As Memorial Day and the Memorial Day Weekend was coming to a close, the community associated and involved with Western Mennonite came together to host the First-Annual Western Mennonite School Dodgeball Tournament Monday evening on the school campus.

Alumni, family, friends and students all jammed packed the gym as they zigged and zagged volleyballs crossed the divided line as the basketball court they were on was divided down half-court to create the two playing courts this Memorial Day along the Highway 221.

“It was really fun, it was fun playing against them.  I’ve always like dodgeball, so yeah it was fun,” said Pioneers Freshman Makennan Hopper.

The trash-talking was there Monday as everyone had their fun Monday evening (Picture By Jeremy McDonald)

Jennifer Webster, who’s sons Rylan and Sean Webster go to WMS with Sean about to graduate and Rylan wrapping up his freshman year at the school, was part of Missy and the Mom’s squad as the team tried to advance through the bracket against the kids who some of them parent off the court.

“It’s a blast, it was so much fun.  We wanted to beat our children though, that was the whole goal of it,” said Webster as Rylan played and Sean was a referee in the tournament.  “It was mom-pressure, it was nothing more than mom-pressure and supporting the school.  Two things that was enough, that’s all it took.”

And as the tournament came down to its final game for the Championship, Pionner sophomore Alex Nicoli found himself undermanned being the lone guy on the court for his squad as the crowd around him were cheering him on against the older team in front of him.

Strategy, as it was throughout the day, became key as Nicoli tried to figure out a way to rally back for the win (Picture By Jeremy McDonald)

The volleyballs zipped around like fastballs in baseball as Nicoli eventually found himself in a 1-versus-1 set-up to decide the Dodgeball Tournament as he missed an opportunity to seal the win with a catch but couldn’t finish the catch as the game win went to the other side of the court.

“Oh it’s intense, I’ve never been in match-up like that before,” said Nicoli.  “I think it was five-to-one and it got one-one and I just couldn’t catch it, I tried for it but I couldn’t get it.  But it was intense, it was fun.”

And that’s all you can ask for is just a fun little tournament to close out a great Holiday Weekend as the school year is approaching it’s closure here in a few days.

With young kids all the way up to the older people who suited up on this Memorial Day, it was great to see the turn-out for the first-time out with the Dodgeball Tournament.

“It was amazing, everyone that came out made it fun, made it competitive, I had a great time,” said Nicoli.  “It’s just so much fun, I mean generations that are just coming back and just enjoying the community again.  It’s something special that Western brings.”

Photos By Jeremy McDonald

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