Day Student Express Repeats as Dodgeball Champions

The Day Student Express succeeded in winning its second straight student dodgeball tournament last Friday, as Chris Cameron ’11 snatched two throws in a row to seal the championship in the team’s final game against the Blue Lazer Eagles. DSE, with a flawless 8-0 record in 2010 and 2011 combined, is the first Andover dodgeball team ever to repeat as champions. “I saw the ball sail out of Ricky [Goldstein ‘12]’s hand, ran back, and luckily was able to catch it securely,” said Cameron. “However, these catches were nothing compared to the efforts of all nine members of our team, as well as the coaches. Everyone played a role in each and every victory.” “When we established the DSE last year, the purpose was to win two championships in a row,” said Ryan Hartung ’12. “This year we had everyone back from last year’s team, so our chemistry was great. We are already recruiting for next year as we look to continue our dynasty.” The team began its 2011 championship run with a very one-sided victory over The Invasion. Sarah Onorato ’11 caught an opposing throw to make the first out of DSE’s tournament, and it did not let up until the end of the game. The Invasion’s last player proved to be a small threat by forcing a dropped throw, but Day Student Express was quick to react, and finished the game with seven players on the court. Its next opponent was The Untouchables, who displayed talent by playing very defensively and causing two dropped passes. However, DSE regrouped and easily finished the team off to move on to the semifinal game. Tom Palleschi ’12 provided the highlights of the semifinal against War and Pease, mowing down the opposition with his blistering throws, including the final strike, which nicked Nathan Wagner ’11 as he jumped up in the air. Palleschi fell to the ground after the semifinal win, only to be revived by a fake defibrillator in celebration. “Going into the tournament, I knew my role,” said Palleschi. “Being such a big target, the chances of me staying in were much lower than my other teammates, so I had to take out someone before I got taken out. Turns out I never got hit, but I continued to hit other people.” DSE quickly changed into neon green t-shirts for its championship game, which the crowd soon realized read “2010-2011 champions” before the team had even won the championship. “Coming in as defending champs, I think we were all just trying to stay humble,” said Jay Dolan ’11. “It’s easy to let stuff like championship rings get to your head but I think this team did an outstanding job of just maintaining its quiet confidence.” DSE got out to a slow start in the championship against the Eagles, at one point in a 3-on-6 situation. “We were used to coming back in games because of many tight situations last year,” said Hartung. “I wasn’t worried about the possibility of losing because we had experience in these types of situations.” Palleschi hit two people with one throw to bring the game within reach, and some quick outs made for a 2-on-2 situation. Cameron ran backwards to make an over-the-shoulder grab to isolate one Eagles player, then attempted to win the championship with a hard strike after jumping off of Palleschi’s back. After this failed, Cameron caught a throw to secure the victory. Despite the absence of Head Coach Blake Grubbs ’12 due to illness, Dolan said that the team’s strategizing abilities allowed it to win. “We had an outstanding coaching staff that deserves recognition,” he said. “Unfortunately Blake was unable to coach, but with Katherine Woonton [’11] drawing up the gameplan for us every game, and with Brendan O’Connell [’13] and Greg Cameron [’13] as the offensive and defensive coordinators, respectively, you just can’t lose.” DSE continues its recruiting process for next year’s tournament in preparation for a three-peat.