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Oh yes, there will be dodgeball

by: Matthew Sherman, 
The members of Team Brady celebrate after capturing their second consecutive dodgeball championship, winning 4-2 in the title match. This is the fourth year of dodgeball, which is put on by the Community School and offered to Lake Oswego and Lakeridge High School students. Over 100 students participated this season.

If it's late spring in Lake Oswego, that can only mean one thing. It's time for the heated high school dodgeball championships.

For the fourth consecutive year, the Lake Oswego Community School has held a dodgeball league and it still proves to be exceedingly popular among Lake Oswego and Lakeridge students.

This year over 100 students participated and made up 11 teams.

The teams played at Lake Oswego High School once a week through the spring, playing eight regular season games. Each match consists of a best-of-7 series.

Every team qualifies for the playoffs, which are held during the season's final two weeks.

As always, the league attracted a wide variety of students, many of whom were athletes competing in spring sports. This year there were more female participants than any year before.

There were two co-ed teams and two all-female teams, including one fielded by members of Lake Oswego High School's dance team.

'It's all about the kids and it's set up just so everyone can have a good time,' said Ryan Durrett who has put on the league since its inception.

Uniforms and original team names are always encouraged. This year featured a squad complete with team capes.

While the league is casual and the emphasis is on fun to say the least, the atmosphere alters a bit entering the playoffs.

'During the regular season the teams play and kind of goof around but always make sure they win but the mood changes in the playoffs,' Durrett said.

And the teams that reach the finals are certainly playing to win.

This year saw the league's first dynasty form as Team Brady won the championship for the second year in a row.

And, also for the second year in a row, they did it shorthanded. Team Brady had a small team to begin with and injuries often left them with only six players going up against a full eight from an opposing team. Team Brady's only losses this year were by forfeit.

In the championship match, Team Brady took a 3-2 lead and then, in the potential clinching game, Nick Halberg, a member of the team who broke his ankle and was in a cast, came on to the court.

He stayed toward the back before attempting one throw and forced an opponent out with it to help his team win its second title.

'It was sort of a Willis Reed moment for them,' Durrett said.

This season also marked an impressive feat for two players, Matt Murray and Scott Kibler from Lakeridge. Murray and Kibler participated in the league in all four years of high school, starting as freshmen in its first season.

With turnout staying high each year and students approaching him as early as February inquiring about the league, Durrett doesn't see much need to mess with success although he says there has been a small amount of talk about starting a junior high dodge ball league as well.

'The Community School has done a great job putting this on. It's just something fun outside the normal high school experiecne,' Durrett said.