The highly anticipated annual dodgeball tournament came to a close this Thursday, bringing an end to yet another year of the fun-filled sport. However, for those fans who unfortunately missed this year’s games or simply want to relive the intense matches, here’s a quick recap from the last three rounds of the tournament.
SNIP vs. Despacito is Epic
A close match, SNIP struggled to beat Despacito is Epic, but committed to a strategy of mainly catching balls. Though Despacito is Epic initially seemed likely to win round 1, the tables quickly turned, leaving only one player from Despacito is Epic against four on SNIP. The last player put up a good fight as he managed to take down one opponent, but ended up being hit in an ensuing barrage of balls. The next round ended quickly also in favor of SNIP, but this time with two final players.
Caught It vs. Santa’s Favorite
Returning team Santa’s Favorite faced Caught It in yet another game of quarter-finals. Though Caught It proved to be the crowd favorite due to a mostly senior-led team, Santa’s Favorite was able to gain momentum after a period of intense back and forth action in the first round. They managed to defeat Caught It in just two rounds and earned a spot in the final four.
Hine-kins vs. Mother Quackers
After braving several intense games, each of two newly-minted teams – Hine-kins and Mother Quackers – fought to prove themselves in the quarter finals and eventually climb to the top. In Round 1, Hine-kins made an unlikely comeback after losing almost all of their team. Down five players to one, the Hine-kins found themselves in a difficult situation as only senior Akhil Jakatdar remained. He quickly caught a ball in mid-air to bring Mr. Hine back into the game, and proceeded to catch another ball to even the match-up. Within seconds of re-entering the match, senior Elodie Rebesque caught yet another ball which led to their winning the first round. However, in round 2, Hine-kins was beaten by Mother Quackers. Audience members saw history repeated in round 3 when Akhil hit final player senior Zach Murphy and won the game.
“I actually didn’t think we were going to do that well from the beginning because our team was kind of in shambles,” Hine-kin’s senior Elodie Rebesque. “But we finally pulled it together, we got Mr. Hine, [and now] we’re going to try and get a win.”
The Hine-kins vs. These Guys Duck
In the first round of semi-finals, the crowd watched the necktie-clad Hine-kins team compete against predicted winners These Guys Duck. Similarly to their previous games, These Guys Duck showed off their skills with a solid offense, forcing Hine-kins into a more defensive strategy. These Guys Duck continued to dominate the court as Hine-kins failed to strike back and found themselves in a similar position as their first match. As a result, These Guys Duck won both round 1 and 2, earning them a spot in the championship round.
“We didn’t expect to win [against These Guys Duck] at all,” Hine-kins’ senior Trevor Labuda said. “Going into this tournament, [we] wanted to throw this team together because it’s our senior year and we thought it would be fun. We expected to lose by the second game… and These Guys Duck is a pretty dominant team, so we were [expecting to win] only if we could pull off a miracle.”
SNIP vs. Santa’s Favorites
Although Santa’s Favorites played a strong offensive game, they were not able to overcome SNIP’s strong catching and throwing abilities. Both teams landed several solid hits on the opposing team, but at the end of both rounds, SNIP cleared out the opposite court with more than half their team still in the game. They ended the match with a 2-0 victory.
“We have a lot of confidence in each other,” SNIP’s junior Oliver De Visser said. “They took away our E, so we had something to go for and we took the W.”
In the championship match, the highly anticipated matchup of These Guys Duck vs SNIP played each other for the honor of best dodgeball team at Los Altos. In the first round, These Guys Duck eliminated each of SNIP’s players one-by-one until only one was left, with SNIP managing to get only one hit on them. In the end, senior Justin Ratner was the last remaining player and faced off against all six These Guys Duck players. He succeeded in landing a hit on senior Hayden Hoffman, but soon after was struck out, ending Round 1.
In round 2, both teams showed their catching abilities, with half of all outs resulting from catches. Mr. Chaffee immediately catches the first throw of the round, setting the stage for the rest of the round. After two catches from both teams, both have five players and begin to play more defensively. Many calls made by the referees in favor of These Guys Duck were disputed by the fans, and several students in the crowd booed These Guys Duck throughout the championship match. However, the team persevered in spite of the audience’s boos and continued to make better plays throughout the game. Despite their many hits and catches, SNIP’s players eventually dwindled down to one, with Justin Ratner standing solo yet again. This time, Justin was unable to land a hit and senior Nolan Brennan caught his ball, securing a 2-0 victory for These Guys Duck.
“[Winning] felt amazing,” These Guys Duck’s senior Hayden Hoffman said. “I’ve been on a dodgeball team for four years now, and every time, we’ve never won. [We] always leave with a sour taste in our mouth and [we were] always hungry for more, and now I’m satisfied.”
After the tournament, The Talon selected the top twelve players of the entire tournament to create the ultimate dodgeball team. Here are our picks for MVP, First Team and Second Team:
Tournament MVP: Mr. Chaffee (Math Teacher)
Akhil Jakatdar (12)
Mr. Chaffee (Math Teacher)
Ms. Raffo (P.E. Teacher)
Ethan Ho (11)
Oliver De Visser (11)
Vincent Colodny (12)
Kabir Wagle (11)
Evan Labuda (12)
Elodie Rebesque (12)
Casey McConnell (12)
Everett Pustell (12)