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Dodging hits, having a ball

Nobodys jump away with high school dodgeball title

Nobodys jump away with high school dodgeball title

February 19, 2008|By ALICIA NOTARIANNI

HAGERSTOWN - The Nobodys strode into the gym with high spirits, enthusiastically poking fun at the viability of dodgeball as a serious competitive sport.

"We are so good at dodgeball, we have Adidas, Nike, Puma and L.L. Bean behind us," joked team member Francesco Scottodicarlo, 18, of Clear Spring.

He referred to the brand logos hand-penned by team members on the backs of their white T-shirts. The group of Clear Spring High School students all described themselves as "athletic."

"We're doing it for the love of the game," Scottodicarlo proclaimed with mock importance.

Jessica Dice, 14, said, "We're getting in the zone. We're getting focused."

Team Nobody, the name by which they were commonly referred, was one of three teams competing Monday morning in the Washington County Recreation Department's High School Dodgeball Tournament at Hagerstown Community College's ARCC.

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Gateway Christian Academy had a team called the Benchwarmers. The group of students did not claim to be athletically inclined.

"I'm too lazy," said Josh Engle, 15, of Martinsburg, W.Va.

"I was forced (to participate in the tournament) against my will," said a female player, before straying across the court giggling.

"Our teacher, Mr. Williams, had to teach the girls how to throw," said Benchwarmer Sammi Shank, 14, of Hagerstown - a girl herself. "Then we practiced by putting one person in the middle of the gym and everybody had to throw balls at them."

Team Orange took its name from the bright T-shirts its members wore for the tournament. Hailing from Williamsport High School, the students said they signed up for the tournament just for fun and did not practice at all.

"We wung it," said Sarah Gisriel, 15, of Williamsport.

After the first six games, no team was a standout. Each team had two wins. Orange had a solid presence, Benchwarmers surprised themselves with their ability to contend, and Nobody team members traded their sardonic tone for a more earnest and competitive one. When the teams were seeded, underdog Benchwarmers was first, Nobodys second and Orange third. Orange was eliminated, leaving the nimble Nobodys against the scrappy and energized Benchwarmers for the best two out of three.

Nobody narrowly took the first game after a heated exchange in which all six balls seemed to shoot by at bullet speed. Benchwarmers made another strong showing in game two, until ultimately only Shank was left standing. The six aggressive Nobodys took her out to win the tournament championship.

"We are somebody now!" shouted Danny Mott, Nobodys team captain, reverting back to a playful mode.

Washington County Recreation Department Program Coordinator Marsha Moats said the tournament was offered as an alternative sport for high school students and "to give students something to do on a day off school." Schools were closed Monday in observance of Presidents Day.

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