By Jacqueline Liao
A cacophony of shouts echoed throughout the gym, overlaid by an irregular beat of thumps from volleyballs either hitting the ground or ricocheting off peoples’ arms. Spectators filled the bleachers, sometimes dodging the stray volleyball that veered threateningly close to their faces. On the courts, players of all different skill levels played together.
It’s the annual Charity Volleyball Tournament at South.This year’s tournament on Nov. 12 and 13 once again featured teams of at least four players, two girls and two boys minimum. Teams comprised of both faculty and students faced off against one another in hopes of winning the tournament.
“It is an important event because it has become such a tradition in our school,” said science teacher Mr. Andrew Tuomey, who has participated in the tournament for the past 10 years. “I enjoy playing against other students. I talk about it in class a bit and try to get everyone to participate. I find many students look forward to the challenge of playing against their teacher and trying to win; it brings out the competitive spirit.”
Gym teacher Carol Nesdill and the Girls’ Varsity Club have organized the
yearly tournament for the past 19 years. “Altruism with students is always an
important concept to remind teenagers that there are others less fortunate,” said
Every team, regardless of how many players, is required to contribute $36. Last year, South raised $2000, all of which was donated to the Stony Brook University Pediatric Multiple Sclerosis Foundation. Mr. Tuomey called the event a “win-win” since “it is lots of fun and raises money for a great cause.”
However, for senior Esther Cho, this year’s tournament was bittersweet because it was her last. “I’ve participated every single year I’ve been in high school,” Cho said. “I’ve come back to play every year because I love playing volleyball, and this is a way to do what I love while also raising money for a great cause.” Cho, a member of the girls’ varsity volleyball team, also said that most varsity volleyball players, boys and girls, participated since the tournament “[gave them] an opportunity to keep playing even after the season ends.”
“I think it’s important for our school to host this annually because it gives people a fun reason to donate to charity,” Cho added. “It also brings people together in a fun competition where winning isn’t the most important thing.”