Ready, set, dodge

CNJ staff photo: Liliana Castillo Texico junior Laiken Crist dodges a fast ball Saturday during the third annual Turkeybrawl Dodgeball Tournament at Texico School’s gym. Her team, called Who’s Next, brought three years of experience to the dodgeball court.

By Liliana Castillo: CNJ staff writer

Orange, red, yellow and purple rubber balls flew across Texico School’s gym Saturday during the third annual Turkeybrawl Dodgeball Tournament.

The air was filled with shouts from teammates and attendees. “Catch it” and “Move, move” they yelled from the sidelines and stands as players threw and dodged the projectiles in a fast-paced frenzy of action.

The 18-team tournament, sponsored by Clovis High Plains Rotary Club, gave local families an activity for the chilly post-Thanksgiving shopping weekend. The tournament also serves as a fundraiser, with the proceeds going to causes in the community, according to Todd Spencer, a past president of the Rotary Club.

The tournament raised about $5,000 last year, according to Rotary Club member Todd Farrell. They expected less this year, he said.

“It’s fun for kids, adults and for us. It’s something for families looking for something else to do besides shopping,” Rotary Club president Michelle Reeves said during a break in play.

Participants were divided into three divisions, according to age.

“It’s a fast game. The time limit is five minutes, but games rarely last that long,” she said.

Though each six-person team is required to have three women, men dominated the arena.

“I don’t know why there aren’t many girls here,” said Clovis High sophomore Sharae Kuchta, who played on the Toon Squad.

Teammate and Clovis High freshman Lynnae Logan tried to shed some light on the mystery.

“I can’t throw, but I can dodge,” she said.

One of the tournament’s star players, 17-year-old Stephanie Vega, brought her experience to her team, Los Tigres.

“This is the third year I’ve played. I like catching because they always get really mad,” Vega said. Catching a ball brings a team member back onto the court, and takes out the thrower.

The inspiration to have a dodgeball tournament for a fundraiser came to High Plains Rotary Club member Charlie Vanetta while he was watching the movie, “Dodgeball.”

After some research, Vanetta found that dodgeball tournaments were running all around the country, cementing their plans to sponsor one.