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Teams gear up for dodgeball tourney March 14

Mar. 6—It's a day that teachers and students, parents and children eagerly look forward to each year. It's not Christmas or Halloween, but the annual Superior Business Professionals of America Dodgeball Tournament.

Every spring six players unit to form teams young and old and duel it out at the Superior High School Gym. This time the throwdown will commence at 6 p.m. on Thursday, March 14.

Once the rules are announced and the bracket is set, six brightly colored balls are placed across the half court line, teams must touch the opposing wall behind them and wait for, "Three, two, one, Dodgeball!"

Business teacher, and BPA Advisor, Michael Cooper exclaimed, "There is definitely been some rivalries that have built up over the years. And honestly, who doesn't want to smack a member of Staff Infection (i.e., a teacher) with a ball —and get cheered on to do it!"

As his third year as BPA Advisor, he's not sure when this beloved ball beaning event was created.

"I have asked around and nobody can seem to recall the exact start to it. It seems to always have been here," Cooper said.

Some records suggest that this contestant and fan favorite competition has been going strong for almost 20 years.

"We only have a few at the moment, but we usually get around 10 teams," Cooper said.

They try to cap the tournament at 12 teams.

He added, "At some point, it becomes a really long evening. With 10 teams, we can usually get done in two and a half hours."

Students from St. Regis usually bring one or two teams. In the past, teams as far away as Charlo have participated in the throwing and dodging. Cost is $12 per player on a six-player team. Per team, that is $72.

Some people really get into it.

Cooper remarked, "You can already see this when they turn in their team names: Staff Infection (staff team), The MissFits, Bucket Ballers (they all wear bucket hats), Mayonnaise is Spicy, The Dodge Fathers, etc. There are some great ones. I can't wait to see what they come up with this year."

The senior class usually has a solid team and everybody wants a chance to take them down. But last year Cooper noticed, "Probably the most popular was the Bucket Ballers, a group of 6th graders that decided to stand up to the test. I don't remember how they did, but I know they — and the crowd — loved it."

From his perspective as the emcee Cooper expressed, "It is always amazing to see how many community members that show up that don't have any kids playing. It is just a fun event to come and watch."

Normally, it's a challenge to get the are first few teams to step and get registered.

"Once we start getting these teams and it is announced, it has a bit of snowball effect, and more teams start to sign up. You can definitely feel an excitement in the school hallways in the week before the event," said Cooper.

Aside from partaking in the throwing, ducking, and catching action — the other hardest job during the event is to referee the games.

Cooper described, "Dodgeball is an extremely fast-paced sport that takes up the whole court. It is not always clear who threw a ball that got caught or if a person was actually hit by a ball or not. In most cases, the participants are great about it and will leave the court when called out by a ref."

The funds raised here go to the BPA members that are heading on to Nationals. This fundraising event is one of the groups biggest during the year. Cooper said, "We have already run more than 10 fundraisers, with Turkey Bingo, Valentine's Day and Dodgeball being our three biggest." Superior has 11 members going to the State Leadership Conference in Billings, March 9-11.

Cooper encouraged anybody, students, family, friends, that wants to take a shot at the Dodgeball Title to contact him directly at mcooper@ssd3.us.

He said, "We do have usually at least one team that is made up of community members or has community members on it.

At the event they will try to have concessions but it is not yet confirmed.

The Dodgeball tournament is free to come watch, however donations are welcome at the door. Cooper noted, "We can usually fill the stands on one side of the gym and the crowd really gets into it." To catch all the "dodge, dive, dip, duck, and dodge" combat be at the Superior High School Gym at 6 p.m. Thursday, March 14.

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