• BEST IN STATE—Senior Courtney Schoen Lewis was named Best PR Student in Utah. Story

White Pine school’s ‘Volleyball Smackdown’ leaves teachers in the dust

April 29th, 2011 Posted in Arts and Life

For the first time in the school’s history, the seventh grade team beat the faculty and staff.

Story and photo by Kate Rouse

RICHMOND– Students at White Pine Middle School’s annual students vs. faculty “Volleyball Smackdown” made history in February, beating the faculty team 25-23 for the first time in the school’s 11-year history.

“I’m totally devastated,” Principal Curt Hanks told the Pine Time News, a weekly news program produced by White Pine students, as he pretended to wipe his eyes. “I’ve been crying for a few minutes, I’m probably going to have to go home for the day.”

The winning team called themselves “Team Grape” and thoroughly enjoyed their victory.

“That day, after we won, everyone in the hall was like, good job, good job,” said seventh-grader Sally Devitry.

“Yeah, we were like celebrities,” said teammate Austin Griffin.

Every year since the school opened in 1999, White Pine middle school has held a volleyball tournament that spans about a month and culminates in the final teachers vs. faculty game, Hanks said. Students organize themselves into teams of six, and anyone can sign up as long as there are three girls and three boys on each team.

Throughout the month leading up to the tournament, the sixth-grade teams play each other and the seventh-grade teams play each other in a double-elimination tournament, until there is just one winning sixth-grade team and one seventh-grade team, who then play each other at the volleyball assembly, Team Grape students said.

“You can lose twice,” Devitry said.

“..and we didn’t even lose once,” Griffin said.

“We were undefeated,” said teammate Kyle Sidwell.

The winning student team then plays the faculty team, which Hanks said usually consists of 12 or 13 faculty volunteers, who rotate in so that there are always three men and three women on the court at a time.

“The Pine Time team had labeled this the ‘volleyball smackdown’ this year and they built it up a little bit,” Hanks said. “Kids got excited about it and for the first time in the school’s history, the seventh grade team did defeat the faculty and staff team. And we haven’t heard the end of it. The kids have just had a great time with it, they stormed the floor after it was over, and I’ve been being harassed and abused ever since.”

Hanks said some of the students claimed that he and a couple other male teachers would paint their fingernails if defeated, and so after students pestered him about it and brought fingernail polish to school, he and two other teachers did finally allow the students to paint their thumbnails.

“That was by far the best team we’ve ever played,” Hanks said. “Of course, we’re getting older, our team is probably not as good as we may have been in past years. This is just my fifth year here, but that was by far the best seventh grade team we’ve played. And they were dynamite.”

Team Grape said the game was really close, with the students down by 7 in the first half.

“At the start, they were killing us,” team member Alex McRae said.

“We were like down by 7 at one point, and then we came back and it was tied, then it went back and forth like crazy,” Griffin said.

After holding it at a tie for a while, the students finally pulled ahead of the faculty, and at one particular tense moment, McRae spiked the ball directly onto the principal’s head.

“We kinda got pumped up and we just kept hitting it over,” Griffin said.

The game stayed neck to neck for the entire second half, with the seventh-grade teaming pulling ahead to defeat the faculty 25 to 23.

“It was way close. They served it for the final point, and then it just went back and forth and we finally got the point and everyone was like screaming and they rushed the court,” Griffin said.

“We have told the students on the Pine Time news that this is a wake-up call for us,” Hanks said. “We’ve always bragged that we are in a rigorous training program which, of course, involves eating Twinkies and Ding Dongs and a lot of soft drinks. But we told them that this’ll spur us on to get into a heavy-duty training program, to be prepared for next year because we never want this to occur again. Now that our record is blemished we want to have revenge next year.”


Tags: , , ,

Sorry, comments for this entry are closed at this time.