Greg Groves of Bethel, hurls the ball; Bryson Walker, on left. Rose Lincoln

Rachael Hoffman, of Woodstock, gets ready to take off. Rose Lincoln

The Telstar Middle School Student Leadership group hosted a dodgeball tournament in the gym for their fellow 6th, 7th and 8th graders. Rose Lincoln

Landon McPherson, of Bethel is the last one standing on his team during one round of the Telstar Middle School Student Leadership’s dodgeball tournament Rose Lincoln

BETHEL — Telstar Middle School dean of students Lindsay Luetje, along with a handful of teachers, officiated sixth, seventh and eighth grade dodgeball tournament in the Telstar gymnasium last Friday.

A volunteer group,  Telstar Middle School Student Leadership, hosted the tourney. On Fridays at lunch they huddle with teacher advisors, Deb Doyle, Hali Andrews, and Renee Bouchard to come up with events that build school spirit while having fun. They do community service, host dances, and hold spirit week competitions.

They talk about what leadership means, too. “Because of our grade span we don’t have a single middle schooler who knows what regular middle school is like. We’re re-inventing, we’re team building,” said Luetje.

Some of the kids wore green beads and hats. One had a mustache for Saint Patrick’s Day.

In the gym, Luetje prepped the teams, “Rule number one, do not argue with refs. Let’s remember why we’re here. It’s about school spirit, moving our bodies … what does the winner get? Bragging rights.”

The four teams: the Lucky Leprechauns, the Scoobs, the Outlaws and the Airbenders were ready. “It takes a lot of courage, to get on the line,” said Luetje.

As the tournament ended, Luetje said, “today was about sportsmanship.”

She said a competitive 7th grader, Bryson Walker, was hit and was out. But as he was leaving the court, he was cheering on his teammate, “good job, buddie,” he said.

“That’s what it’s about.” said Luetje.

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