HSM Dodgeball: THE True Underdog Story
On March 13, 2015, the 2014 HSM Dodgeball Champion, “Freedom Fighters,” walked into the Herb Young Community Center Gym with confidence, ready to defend their title. The team saw quite a bit of turnover, including multiple seniors graduating. However, junior captain, Kevin Mantica was ready and confident in his teams ability.
This year’s tournament featured 14 teams in a single elimination tournament. This truly was HSM’s version of March Madness. The first round went by in a flash, seeing some competitive games, but ultimately 6 teams were eliminated from championship contention and relegated to the consolation bracket. Both team “A-Pecs” and “Mean Machine” made quick work of their opponents and looked to be extremely strong entering the quarterfinals. However, “Mean Machine” from Cary, was set to go up against the defending champs in the 2nd round!
The match was truly epic. And back and forth battle between some of the best athletes HSM has to offer. After several minutes of catches and hits, it came down to two people. Green Hope junior, Alex Mayhew, pulled out the win for the “Freedom Fighters,” keeping the champions alive in the tournament.
The semi-finals were set. The games featured “Aim for That Kid” from Holly Springs against the up and coming youngsters from the North Raleigh House, “Untouchaball.” The 2nd semi-final matchup saw defending champion, “Freedom Fighters,” take on the powerful team of upperclassmen from the Apex 11/12 house, “A-Pecs.”
In a surprising upset, the young guns from the North Raleigh house advanced to the finals! The championship matchup had yet to be determined until the “Freedom Fighters” came up big in their semi-final match against Apex. The defending champs from Green Hope, laid down the law, and advanced back to the championship to defend their title. The matchup looked to be a true underdog story, a real-life David vs. Goliath. The young, mostly freshmen, team “Untouchaball” was set to go up against the defending champion, red-white-and-blue patriotic, America-loving, “Freedom Fighters.”
As the two teams prepared for faceoff, the consolation bracket finished up with “Aim For That Kid,” from Holly Springs, coming out victorious and they took home third place in the tournament. Eventually, the finals were set to begin. Thanks to some hype and buildup from the tuxedo-clad Dodgeball Hosts- Jake Darr and Ricky Bjork- the crowd and the teams were ready.
The “Freedom Fighters” went on the attack first and took down a player or two quickly, but then the game took a turn as the young guys from North Raleigh began to catch everything that was thrown at them. And soon enough, there were several players out for the “Freedom Fighters” and several back in for “Untouchaball.” The tide quickly changed, and all of a sudden the freshmen were on the offensive. Eventually they narrowed it down to one solitary “Freedom Fighter.” The match looked to be over when a ball was caught, but it looked like there could have been a deflection off another ball. The referees met and conferred and ultimately ruled the throw a no-catch and everyone was safe. The “Freedom Fighters” still had life. But ultimately that wasn’t enough. The numbers game caught up to them, and in the end the underdogs, “Untouchaball,” came out on top!
An amazing celebration ensued as the gym erupted! The youngsters from North Raleigh, the underdogs, had done it. They had defeated the defending champs and had become the 2015 HSM Dodgeball Champions. And to the victor go the spoils. The team was awarded a trophy, customized champion t-shirts, and a victory party the next week in small groups! It was an amazing tournament, and it is already building up to what we even be a bigger event in 2016!
Check out our photo album of the event by clicking HERE!