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Crossfire club attracts massive crowds

By Dayun Keum
Published: June 2010

One of the South’s largest clubs, the Crossfire club, ends its first year successfully as its senior coordinators move on to college. The club, which meets Thursday J-Blocks in Gym B, plays dodge ball with fifty or more students every week.

The number of participants from week to week varies, but that has no effect on the club. Even with students walking in to play mid-game, no matter how many students are in the gym, the game goes on.

Crossfire was first created by now president of the Crossfire club and senior Jake Palmer towards the end of first quarter.

“One day in November I turned to my friend and told him it would be really fun if we could play dodge ball at school, Palmer said. “[At first], I approached the Athletic Director, intending to ask if some friends and I could play dodge ball at Gym B.

But then, Palmer recognized the opportunity to make dodge ball a regular event, open to every student since so many students were interested in playing.

Creating the Crossfire club was not easy, however. Athletic Director Scott Perrin told Palmer that in order to play dodge ball during J-Block, they required a faculty advisor.

Math teacher Andrew Kelly was chosen to be the faculty advisor but due to his coaching after school, Palmer had to ask different teachers to supervise his club on a weekly basis.

Another technicality that had to be addressed was the fact that dodge ball is no longer allowed in public school curricula.

“When I originally approached Mr. Perrin and Mr. Stembridge about making the club, I called it Crossfire Club, to avoid the conflict surrounding playing dodge ball at school, Palmer said. “Since then, no one has challenged us so we call it dodge ball now.

As the leader of the club, Palmer organizes the games by bringing dodge balls every week. Once the game begins, however, his leadership becomes nominal and he takes on the role of just another player. The game gets competitive but everyone remains friendly and respectful.

Junior Tony Wang explained that he was encouraged to join the club by several of his friends.“Because of large number of students playing the game, there are some people who do not always follow the rules, but [nevertheless], the games always run well and smoothly, Wang said. “The transitions between games are quick and very little time is wasted during each game.

Palmer, graduating from South this year, plans to pass on his role of organizing next year’s Crossfire club to junior Alex Gershanov.
At the end of its inaugural year, Palmer is satisfied with the results of the club.

“I think it was a great success largely because so many kids showed up every week, spanning so many social groups at South. The club is open to anyone and will be a great time for everyone, Palmer said.

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