RTR takes top three spots in dodgeball tournament
By Lance Cpl. Dorian Gardner
| | March 31, 2006
MARINE CORPS RECRUIT DEPOT SAN DIEGO --
The Commanding General’s Cup dodgeball tournament came to a conclusion at Murphy Field House March 21 after fierce competitions and eliminations left 1st Battalion victorious.
Depot basketball enthusiasts came to the gym in hopes to play a few games during their lunch breaks. A few were intrigued at the site of drill instructors and other Marines playing organized dodgeball.
“I was upset at first,” said Staff Sgt. Arthur L. Rainey, operations chief, Combat Camera. “The games were cool though. I stayed and watched a few.”
More than 15 teams showed up to play. Marines and Coast Guardsmen filled the stands to support their comrades.
Nearing the final games of the tournament, Recruit Training Regiment’s three battalions overwhelmed the competition, along with a single 12th Marine Corps District team that stood in their way of complete domination.
“I had a lot of fun playing in the tournament,” said District’s Sgt. Rebekah Leon.
In the fight for the top spot in the finals portion of the tournament, District was defeated by 1st Bn. After its defeat, District faced 2nd Bn. for a chance at third place. While 1st Bn. and District waited, 2nd and 3rd Bn. battled it out for the last spot in the championship game.
Losing to 3rd Bn., 2nd Bn. overwhelmed 12th District with ease. Outnumbered, District scrambled to keep up against 2nd Bn.’s offense.
“They had a better aim than we did,” said Leon. “I think we were just flustered. They got us out quick.”
Succeeding early in the tournament wasn’t hard for District, but holding it together near the end was a different story.
“We did good in our first game,” said Leon. “The second game was pretty close, but we couldn’t come together on that one.”
Eventually beaten out by 2nd Bn., District went home and 2nd Bn. accepted trophies for third place.
A final battle took place around noon. First and 3rd Bn. faced each other for the last time.
“They were a good team,” said Cpl. Jesse Leon, 1st Bn. “Looking at the brackets, we knew that we would be playing them in the finals.”
Overwhelmed by five at the end of the first match, Sgt. Oscar Hernandez was the last 1st Bn. contender standing before he was struck out. Starting again in the second match, disadvantage occurred when 1st Bn. had some early shots against them.
Because of this, catching thrown balls from the opposing team was the only way to recover team strength.
Jesse Leon, after catching multiple throws, brought in the team and kept the game going until 1st Bn. regained the match.
The game came down to strategy.
Jesse Leon said the team concentrated its efforts on specific players, targeting the stronger individuals and eliminating them quickly. He attributed much of the team strategy to their coach, Gunnery Sgt. Michael M. McLaughlin.
Singling out players took 1st Bn. to the winner’s circle and onward for a chance to compete as the depot’s finest in a dodge ball tourney April 29 at the Staple Center in Los Angeles. Military teams along the West Coast will be competing.