Dodge, duck, dip, dive...Dodgeball

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Jordan Castelan
  • 86th Airlift Wing Public Affairs
An ancient tradition testing the courage, agility, strength, fineness, the application of dodging, ducking, dipping, diving and annihilation of participants was held at the South Side Fitness Center on Feb. 21, 2014.

Scores of teams turned out for the quarterly dodgeball tournament, with more than 160 dodgeballers and 20 teams putting their pride on the line.

"Events like these are key in improving morale for everyone involved," said Airman 1st Class Harry Andrews, 786th Force Support Squadron fitness specialist. "Not only do the players have a great time but so do all the friends and family that accompany them."

Facility members weren't the only ones preparing for this day. Tournament participants varied but all shared one common factor, the desire to win.

"We all come out here ready to give 110 percent," said Airman 1st Class Michael Copeland, 569th U.S. Police Forces Squadron patrolman. "I think everyone here is ready to lay it out all on the line and take home that trophy."

Not everyone grasped the concept of the four D's however, as the whistle blew balls were flung and bodies quickly followed.

"The team that beat us definitely took us by surprise," said Copeland. "They came out looking underprepared, broken and exactly like bums. All of a sudden they started taking off layers of clothing finally revealing their true uniforms, jorts[jean cut off shorts] and ripped up white t-shirts. We were shocked, they were so real, and they stunned us! I have to say they played a great game though."

The crowd varied drastically from game to game. Participants in wigs and men in short jean cutoffs were not an unfamiliar site.

"It's a great way to spend a Friday afternoon," said Airman 1st Class Jonathan Garcia, 352nd Network Warfare Squadron intelligence analyst. "It's very relaxed and all of us are having great time seeing what other teams are showing up in. It's a very community oriented activity that not only keeps us all active, but keeps us all smiling as well."

Victory is always followed closely by defeat, but every proud dodge baller left the tournament knowing that they are more than just average Joes.