'Spike-a-Palooza' scores for Soldier's Journey Home

Over the past week students have been participating in the first annual spikeball tournament, "Spike-a-Palooza." The competition, which started on Nov. 1 and will continue for the next two weeks, involves around 200 students total.

The popularity of the tournament was due to a multitude of factors.

"I love playing spikeball with my friends and this was a great way to do it while contributing to a great cause," senior RJ Quinn said.

"I thought it had potential to take off, especially if we ran it during P.E. classes and gave students CV credit for it," physical education teacher Chad Freeman said.

The tournament was started as a fundraiser for this year's Soldier's Journey Home event.

"I came up with the idea after I saw my classes playing really competitively, and Mr. Miks sending me messages about our new solider," Freeman said.

Each student had to pay a $10 entrance fee to join and this will raise about $2000 in total for this year's veteran, marine Eric Morante.

The games are played during each gym period in a double-elimination style structure, meaning each team will have to lose two games before being knocked out of the tournament. The respective winners of each period will then go on to play each other in the later rounds. The competition has produced a lot of excitement.

"The best part has been the close games between each team we have faced," senior Cristian Rodriguez said.

"The more competitive the game, the more fun it is to win or lose," Quinn said.

Because of this year's success and the ease of learning spikeball, there are aspirations to continue this tournament for years to come.

"Absolutely this can become a school tradition. The game is something that everyone can learn and enjoy very quickly," Quinn said.

Students especially appreciate the fundraising aspect of the tournament.

"Everyone loves the game of spikeball and every year we do a Soldier's Journey Home [fundraiser] I think the tournament will become a part of that established tradition," Rodriguez said.

With the intuition of the P.E. department, the goal is to have the tournament continue to be a fun way to raise money for the cause.

"We have creative minds in the P.E. department, I am confident we can continue to grow this or something like it for years to come," Freeman said.

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