The Whatcom Community College Pavilion was filled with multicolored foam balls and playful taunts as the faculty versus students dodgeball game was getting ready to begin. The teams each claimed their names, Staff Infection for the faculty, and Class Warfare for the students.
“I teach leadership development, but today, I’m going to teach them what it feels like to lose,” Laura Singletary, a proud member of Staff Infection, said while laughing.
“The teachers will be obliterated and eviscerated,” said Christian Rhinehart, a student at Whatcom.
Dean Haghin, the director of student services, noticed that the students’ team had begun to outnumber the staff’s. “Okay, maybe we should warm up,” he said as he started to roll his shoulders in preparation for the game.
The balls were arranged along the center line of the basketball court as the teams divided into their sections. The uneven distribution of players became obvious as the teams squared off, six staff versus 12 students.
Singletary’s 8-year-old daughter shouted from the top of the bleachers with rigorous enthusiasm, “one…two…three…go!” Footsteps pounded towards the center line as everyone raced to grab the most ammunition and create an advantage for their team.
The five rules of dodgeball echoed over the court as students and staff dodged, ducked, dipped, dived and dodged out of the hurtling rainbow balls’ paths.
Shouts of encouragement were heard from both sides and synchronized “oh’s” were echoed when players were hit. Students and staff were quickly tagged out and then back in as the games were fought out.
Director of Student Life Kris Baier said, “we like to have fun; it’s great exercise,” as he leaned against the wall waiting to get tagged back into the game. “Everyone has a smile on their face and no one takes it too seriously. It’s a blast!”
Despite Staff Infection’s confidence and spirit, Class Warfare’s numbers put the staff at a disadvantage.
The faculty lost 8 games to 1. The loss had no effect on the team’s mood, however. “I think we held our own. The score doesn’t reflect the depth or the length of each game,” said Baier.
“In the end we have some incredibly talented students that are unbeatable, I tip my hat to them, or rather, my sweatband,” said Baier as he wearily pointed to the blue sweatband around his head. “Dean Haghin gets MVP for his no-holds-barred approach and throwing velocity.”
Baier said anyone thinking about playing dodgeball should “bring a sense of humor, and a sweatband!”
Dodgeball at Whatcom is “definitely for everybody … even if you’re just on the sidelines, it’s a great way to connect and hangout” said Baier. “A huge part of going to college is about meeting people and developing a community.”
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