Throwing in for Charity

The 2022 Dodgeball Tournament was a major success, raising over $30,000 for clean water access in Africa.


photo by Jess Daninhirsch

Students prepared for their intense matches at Friday’s tournament.

Anna Parsons, Senior Staff Writer

After months of anticipation, the 2022 Project Water Dodgeball tournament finally arrived this past Friday with over 77 teams competing for the title. 

“I think that the Project Water Dodgeball tournament is one of the most fun events that the school hosts,” senior volunteer Sara Weller said. “Everyone always gets really competitive and really into the spirit. And it’s all for a good cause, not just having a good time.” 

Between the hype music, constant ringing of whistles, and dodgeballs flying through the air, there was excitement at every turn in the gym on Friday. The immaculate energy from all the players allowed them to battle it out for a chance at winning it all. 

For many students, the tournament is a special experience, but for seniors who have participated in the club and games for years, this last one was even more exciting. 

“This tournament really means a lot to me because it’s going to a good cause to help out people in Africa, but it’s also letting us have fun here at NASH,” said senior volunteer Ben Welsh, who has been a part of the club since freshman year. “It’s just an awesome experience for everyone involved.”

Juniors who partook in the games on Friday were just as thrilled and even ready for what next year’s competition might hold in store. 

“I feel like this is a really good organization. I enjoy having fun and doing it for a good cause,” junior Lexi Sundgren said. “Next year I’m also excited for the same things, especially because it’ll be senior year. It’ll be a great way to end the year off.” 

However, the whole event could not be possible without the hard work and dedication of the student directors. Adapting to everything, even a last-minute location change, the directors put their whole hearts into creating the best possible experience for students involved. 

“Obviously, it wasn’t ideal to have it inside due to weather, but I think it’s actually turning out for the best. I don’t think location matters too much, just that people get together to play dodgeball for a good cause,” Project Water Publicity Director Claire Majerac said. “I’m definitely really sad this is my last year. I joined a week before the tournament my freshman year, and this has turned into one of my favorite activities ever.” 

All the way until the very last game, the competition among the teams was high. Last year’s winning team maintained great expectations for themselves and positive effort throughout the entire tournament. 

It makes me sad that this is my last year, but almost in a good way. To go out on a high note was incredible, but I am going to miss the excitement.”

— Cole Dorn, NASH senior

“Last year, we were 13-0! This year, we will be 14-0!,” senior dodgeball player and former winner Gannon Sprinkle said. 

But new teams were also thrilled to have the opportunity to be named Project Water Dodgeball Tournament champions. Junior Ethan Peterson enjoyed playing with his team throughout the day and could not wait to compete in the playoffs. 

“I’ve had a great time today,” Peterson said. “We’ve gotten many people out. My arms are feeling a little sore, but we’ve got a good lookout going into the playoffs and we’re feeling good!” 

With the intensity of the final matches, the stakes were getting higher and the teams were throwing dodgeballs like never before. After a day of incredible games, the champions won the final game and took home the winning title. Named “5 Shades of White,” the team consisted of seniors Cole Dorn, Ryan Tresser, Nolan Colinear, Connor Chi, Caleb Schall, Shane O’Neill, and Nick Frisco. 

Dorn was honored to win his last Project Water Dodgeball Tournament.  

“It makes me sad that this is my last year, but almost in a good way. To go out on a high note was incredible, but I am going to miss the excitement of organized dodgeball,” the senior said. “Having fun while supporting a good cause is a great opportunity that most people don’t get. I enjoyed every second of rushing the court with my teammates.” 

Caleb Shall wasn’t the only Project Water winner in his family. 

“The project water dodgeball tournament was always something I looked forward to during the school year. I will miss the overall experience of spending the day with friends and competing with other teams,” Shall said. “I was also a little relieved because my younger brother and his team won the tournament at NAI just a few days before. I knew there was no way I was going to be outperformed by him.”

Overall, the 2022 Project Water Dodgeball Tournament raised $30,000 to help give access to clean water in Africa. The efforts from the student directors, teachers, sponsors, volunteers and dodgeball participants united to create a memorable day centered around the purpose of helping others. Friday’s tournament was a major success and a great way to end the year.