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Dodgeball Tournament

Survival of the fittest

Teams battle to the finish during Strong B.A.N.D.S. campaign event

Published: 02:26PM June 7th, 2012

Scott Hansen/Northwest Guardian

Norfolk in Chance teammates Brendan Garbe, left, and William Floyd, middle left, battle Not in the Face opponents Jose Lopez, middle right, and Jesse Paulsboe during a game-opening scramble for balls during a recent JBLM dodgeball tournament at Soldiers Field House on JBLM Lewis Main.

Tube socks, sweat bands and short shorts made an appearance on Joint Base Lewis-McChord last week.

Thirteen teams of six people dodged, threw and caught balls during an organized dodgeball tournament at Soldiers Field House May 31 while songs like “Eye of the Tiger” floated out of the speakers. The event was the finale to the Strong B.A.N.D.S. fitness campaign on JBLM.

The cut-throat, double elimination tournament led to a championship bout between two 2nd Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment teams. Seabass entered the championship undefeated while Balls of Fury had suffered one loss. Seabass went on to claim gold at the Directorate of Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation event.

“I think we were one of the most aggressive teams out there,” Seabass’ Alex Larson said. “Sending projectiles down field, not getting hit and catching balls when you needed to. Some people are really out to win and they got into it. The more they got into it, the more we wanted to beat them.”

Seabass lost to Balls of Fury in the first game of the championship, but picked off all six players in the second game to claim the victory outright.

The Rangers weren’t the only unit playing against their own. The 593rd Sustainment Brigade had five teams entered in the tournament. One bout featured 22nd Human Resource Company vs. 22nd HRC — two teams from the same company. One of the 22nd HRC teams finished with a bronze medal.

“We’re fighting against our own people,” one player yelled from the volleyball court-sized playing field.

Kelly Davis, captain of Balls of Fury, was ready to change out of his uniform for the tournament when he was called to staff duty. He heard his team was in the championship game and made a quick trip to Soldiers Field House to see Balls of Fury bring home silver before he returned to work.

“If you look good, feel good, you’ll do good,” Balls of Fury’s Matt Howze said. “We’re just a bunch of goofy guys.”

Of the multiple three-minute games, only one went into overtime, Unfortunately for the “Winners,” they weren’t on the positive side of the outcome as 22nd HRC booted them out of the bracket.

“With my competitive nature and I’m an athlete, it’s real hard to swallow,” Winners’ Kevin Jenkins said.

Regardless of not taking home a medal, the Soldier from the 62nd Medical Brigade said it was a blast.

The positive turnout encouraged DFMWR Sports and Fitness Management Trainee Ebony Austin to plan another dodgeball activity later this year.

“A lot of people like old fashioned fun,” Austin said. “Dodgeball brings you back to your younger years.”