A true underdog story


Lorelei Barry, staff writer


Dodge! Duck! Dip! Dive! Dodge! Competition kicked off on April 19 for this year’s dodgeball tournament. Set up in a bracket style, where a team is eliminated when they lose, there were three rounds of competition leading up to the championship game on April 28.

Round 1 began with 16 teams, and the eight winners would move on to Round 2 of competition. During Round 2, the faceoff between Team Reese’s Puffs and Team Fruity Pebbles came down to a 2-v-1, with junior Nico Armell holding on for the Fruity Pebbles to take the win against Reese’s Puffs’ juniors Richard Obert and Ty Hurst.

Round 2 had four teams move on to the semifinals, where fans saw matches between Team Corn Chex and Team Fruity Pebbles and between Team Trix and Team Cocoa Pebbles. The semi finals saw the Fruity Pebbles led by Joey Pancheri and the Cocoa Pebbles led by Eric Gant victorious and moving on to the final.

The championship game was played in a best two out of three format. Team Fruity Pebbles started off strong taking the win in the first game, but were overpowered by Team Cocoa Pebbles in the second game after an intense 1-v-1 between Dylan Empeno and Nico Armell. Game 3 had everyone sitting on the edge of their seats, as it was a time restricted round where the team with the most players at the end of the lunch period would win. 

With only a couple minutes left, the Fruity Pebbles only had one player on the court– Nico Armell. The Cocoa Pebbles were left with seniors Dylan Empeno, Eric Gant, John Kersey, and Wences Juarez on the court while their team members senior Kaden Snead and junior Dylan Curry cheered them on from the sidelines. Empeno threw the game winning shot, getting Armell out and securing the win for Team Cocoa Pebbles. 

“It felt amazing to make that throw and end the long game. Our team’s chemistry is what made us so successful,” Empeno said. 

This was the first year the tournament had occurred since May of 2019, so only the class of 2022 had witnessed the tournament before. Team Cocoa Pebbles left it all on the court, and all their hard work paid off by securing them the championship title.

“It felt great to win,” Gant said. “All our hard work paid off and all those years of little league came into use.”

Following their title winning game, the Cocoa Pebbles faced off against a team of teachers on April 29. Team Synonym Toast Crunch, the teachers team, consisted of Ms. Hall, Mr. Fox, Ms. Abtahi, Mr. Talley, Mr. McKee, Mr. Zeis, and Mr. Jackson. The Cocoa Pebbles were missing Empeno, but despite being outnumbered they held their ground and defeated the Synonym Toast Crunch.