Ask any Timberlake camper or counselor which evening activity is their favorite. The answer will likely be one of two things: Sock War or Battleball. And there’s no question why–they are two of the most intense games you may ever play, especially with the Tribal Banner at stake! I’ve only recently acknowledged Battleball as my favorite after years and years of reflection and some real self-searching. Matt Layton, another counselor living in Black Mountain, was a part of a local dodgeball league last year, so when teams started signing up for the next season, we quickly put together a group of five Timberlake staffers: Matt Layton, Alex Deckard, Stephen Owens, Stewart Knight, and myself.
Matt made it a point to inform us that it can get pretty competitive, but we were confident that we were about to turn the world of Black Mountain dodgeball upside down.
We were wrong.
With the new team assembled, we gave ourselves the team name “Totes M’Goats” which we wore proudly on our homemade team jerseys. We were finally ready to play some Battleball…but this was dodgeball, and we quickly learned the difference. Three things were noticeable right off the bat:
- The first thing we noticed was how much more seriously these guys took the game than we did; I think I actually wore a shirt with a puppy on it for our first game.
- Our opponents were 30-year-old-die-hard-dodgeballers, not campers.
- Rather than the absolute pandaemonium that we associate with Battleball, there was actual strategy involved with this sport, and everyone could throw the ball exactly where they wanted to, fast. If Battleball is like a hailstorm, Black Mountain dodgeball is like a lightning storm with a few different bolts that could easily strike twice.
Fortunately for Totes M’Goats, Matt was able to help us get acclimated to the sport, but its tough to teach an old dog new tricks, especially while he’s getting pummeled with foam balls.
We were absolutely laughable our first few games, only getting one win which came from a forfeit. But as the season went on, we improved individually and as a team, slowly earning the respect of the dodgeball community and creeping our way up from dead last.
Last night was the last night of dodgeball for this league, and a tournament took place from start to finish. We were ranked 5th out of 7 teams at the start of the tournament. We won the first round beating the number 4 team. We then went on to play the number 1 and number 2 teams and nearly got shut out in both rounds, but we managed to salvage some Totes M’Goats dignity with a couple of wins in each round. We finished in fourth place, which I think was as much of a surprise to us as it was to everyone else.
Although we weren’t the most dominating team on the court, we definitely had the most fun. And with the next league starting in a little over a month, we are looking forward to another great dodgeball season, hopefully ending this one in Totes M’Goats victory!
Timberlake intern, proud Seminole, and a mighty M’Goat!