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11/13/2013 2:27:00 PM Email this articlePrint this article 

Photo by Sebastian Moraga
The eighth-grade volleyball team, waiting for the Cashmere Middle School to serve, during the annual game between adults and children at CMS. The adults won again in two sets.
Tradition continues at middle school

Sebastian Moraga
Staff writer

It's your dream, too, admit it. Someone walking up to you and saying, "if you're good at your job, you can pelt your boss in the head with a ball."

Well, the dream sort of came true for a bunch of budding salespeople at Cashmere Middle School. The seventh- and eighth-grade students who did best at the annual magazine-sale fundraiser, got to smack their teachers with balls. And we only say sort of because the teachers could also smack back.

"It's dodgeball," teacher Stephanie Ball said.

In addition, students and teachers engaged in a different kind of battle, but one that also thrills the children plenty: The staff-versus-students volleyball match.

The eighth-grade girls' volleyball team faced off against a rotating group of teachers and staffers.

Teacher Jeff Cravens said that the match began about six years ago when staffers and students noticed that the boys' basketball team had an annual game against staff, but no girls' team had one.

"She really wanted equal time for the girls to be able to play against the staff at something," Cravens said. "So she brought in the volleyball and they have been doing it ever since."

Teacher Megan Carlson agreed, saying the staff thought it was unfair only the boys got to play with the teachers. Both Cravens and Carlson played in the volleyball match, as did Carlson's husband, Jeff.

Staffers are undefeated so far, with the 2013 version of the game going their way by a score of 25-10 and 25-20.

"We are a pretty skilled volleyball and basketball group so the kids don't usually have much luck," said Ball, who also coached during the match, and whom Carlson credited with starting the tradition.

The game was what soccer fans might call a friendly, with lots of high-fiving and smiling on both sides. Sportsmanship prevailed with the teams exchanging handshakes at the end.

On the stands, it felt like a real match, with the band cranking out tunes like Rock and Roll Part II, and the rest of the students making a ruckus, screaming all sorts of nutty stuff, or thumping on the floor to make it sound like the opening riff of Queen's We Will Rock You, but mostly encouraging the students to score one to the body and for the (student) body.

The craziness only picked up when dodgeball was introduced, with the cheers mostly going for those students with the better aims. The teachers didn't kid around, either, some of them firing two balls at once.

"Bring it! Bring it!," Megan Carlson shouted at her pupils-turned-opponents across the gym, smiling the entire time.

And they did, some of them doing their very best to dodge the light-blue spheres. Not everyone who excelled at selling mags plays -dodgeball isn't for everyone and that's OK, said Ball--, but those who do get into it, she added.

"Some of them, they love it," she said. "They love it. You can see it in their faces."

Sebastian Moraga can be reached at 782-3781 or

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