Chugiak-Eagle River area residents gathered Sat., Nov. 26, 2016 at Community Covenant Church for the 8th Annual Dodgeball Tournament. The $979.93 raised will be used to directly support Chugiak-Eagle River area military service members and their families.
Good times were had by all, over $900 in door prizes were given away thanks to donations from Community Covenant members. This was also the first year that Military members were able to participate for free, usually it is an $80 ($10 per member) team entry fee.
There were 12 teams consisting of 95 participants competing for the title of tournament champions. Dangerous 8, in its fifth appearance, took home the honors this year; however, the top military team and overall second place team was the Cheeze-Puffs made up of military members and students from the Eagle River High School JROTC program.
Participants spanned middle school through retired Military Veterans, and included three military teams; Hurricanes, from the 725th Brigade Support Battalion; the ICU Dodgers from the 673rd Air Base Wing; finally, the Cheeze Puffs, from the Eagle River JROTC program.
The tournament consisted of a five round, round-robin with 1 point awarded for each victory. After the round-robin eight of the top 12 teams advanced; this year was the first year for a double elimination format, giving teams additional paths to victory.
Members of Ivory Coast, this year’s third-place finisher improved in each of its first four years. Last year they finished fourth; the previous two, they finished last. They are looking forward to next year, when they hope to win it all. The team was made up from high school Sophomores from Community Covenant Church that attend Chugiak High School.
Mary Rall, the Communications and Connections Director for Community Covenant Church expressed her optimism for the future of the tournament. “Our hope is that this event will grow in such a way that we’ll be able to host a free annual tournament in support of military service and family members. We’d genuinely like for it to be something the area military community looks forward to every Thanksgiving weekend.”
Dangerous 8 was definitely happy that they won, and provided a little insight to their tournament strategy, “Rush the line at the beginning of each match, and be the first to get the dodgeballs.” This sounds simple enough but to execute it in 10 consecutive matches was truly a sight to be seen. Dangerous 8 after coming up short for the past four years, finished this year’s tournament a perfect, 10-0.
Some matches were closer than others, with several coming down to 1 v 1; however, Dangerous 8 managed the quickest victory of the day in the quarterfinals against the Grizzlies Blue, the match lasted 20 seconds.
There is no doubt that next year Dangerous 8 has the target on their back. They will have to defend their title against Ivory Coast, Cheeze Puffs, and even more military teams as word continues to spread. Dodgeball is a game that all can enjoy regardless of age and ability.
Editor’s Note: Andrew Stonerook is an editorial intern with The ECHO News and is a student at Chugiak High School.