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Duck, dive ‘n’ dodge: Teams grab a ball to benefit the senior class

By Omie DrawhornDodge Ball Tournament at Silverton High School

For Scott Maddux and the rest of the BrucePac team, playing in the Silverton Dodge Ball Tournament is all about having fun.

“People dress up and this tournament takes you back to your younger days, for some of us anyways,” he said.

The traditionally schoolyard game is now for big kids, but the object is the same  to eliminate opposing team members by getting them out in a four-minute session.

The third annual tournament, to benefit Silverton High School’s Project Graduation, which pays for the seniors’ all night drug-and-alcohol-free graduation party, begins at 9 a.m. Saturday, April 7 at Silverton High School, 1456 Pine St.

A BrucePac team has participated in the tournament all three years and although they haven’t dressed up in the past, they just might do it this year.

Although the team has yet to walk away with a trophy, Maddux said it’s not really about that. In addition to supporting a worthy cause, Maddux said it is a “great team building activity” for coworkers.

Wes Kuenzi thought the idea of playing dodge ball was a little silly at first.

He hadn’t dodged, ducked, dipped, or dived since he was in elementary school, but when a friend convinced his business, Kuenzi Electric, to sponsor a dodge ball team two years ago, Kuenzi agreed to give it a whirl.

2012 Dodge Ball Tourney
Saturday, April 7, 9 a.m.
Silverton High School, 1456 Pine St.
Tickets: $5 for aged 10 and older,
$4 with a can of food, and
$3 for those 0-9 years old.
All welcome.
503-991-7143 or

“It seemed a little goofy, the idea of dodge ball inside on a sunny day, but it ended up being a lot of fun,” Kuenzi said.

Kuenzi’s team, the Ball Shockers, walked away with the grand prize last year. They are looking forward to a repeat.

Erica Rumpca and Mindi Duerst, who both had graduating seniors during the first year of the tournament, came up with the idea when looking for a way to help fund the all-night party, which costs between $20,000 to  $25,000. The two plan on continuing to run the fundraiser through 2021, after Rumpca’s youngest completes her junior year.

Although at first some people were skeptical that the event would be successful, it has really taken off, Rumpca said.

There are first, second, and first place prizes. The first year, 27 teams raised $5,200. Last year 44 teams raised $11,000. This year, at least 64 teams are signed up to compete.

Rumpca said this year funds will be divided between the junior and senior classes. Each year Project Graduation is unsure how much money it needs to raise, because the group doesn’t find out how much the tournament will bring in until the end of the year. After this year, the event will benefit the Project Graduation associated with the junior class so when organizers start their planning for the senior party they know how much more they must raise.

SHS seniors Austin Munson, Katie Mannion, Derek Bright, Steven Hall, Cassie Church, Makaila Wilson and Maria Tapia are helping out with the tournament as part of their senior project.

Four Easter egg hunts will occur at the tournament and children 0-9 are welcome to participate. Tickets for admission are $5 for aged 10 and older, $4 with a can of food, and $3 for those 0-9 years old.

Kuenzi said the tournament is a great family event.

“The kids really enjoy it. They’re used to the parents coaching them but this time they were coaching the parents.”

He said a lot of people came last year on their own, but it is really for families.

“My wife and kids had a blast, even people who didn’t know a lot of people playing; it was fun watching a bunch of grownups play dodgeball, and it’s for a good cause,” he said.

Maddux also enjoys the community coming together for a great cause.

“I have kids that go to Silverton High School and think it is very important for Silverton residents as well as Silverton businesses to contribute any way they can and what better way than to play dodge ball,” he said.

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