Joe Brown, left, of Cooperas Cove, takes possession of a dodgeball and the black gauntlet as he poses with Evan Hodson following accepting the challenge to field a team for the first time at the Heights Rotary Dodgeball Challenge, which will take place Oct. 14.

Bob Massey | Herald

The sound of the battle cry grows louder and more robust as the gauntlet continues to be tossed down in communities all over Bell County for the Harker Heights Rotary Club Dodgeball Challenge.

The showdown begins at noon Oct. 14 in the gymnasium at Harker Heights High School.

Teams continued to add their names to the contestants list as the final day of registration came to a close on Sept. 15.

A partial list of those who have accepted the challenge include the Killeen Police Department, City of Temple, City of Harker Heights, Fort Hood USO, Harker Heights Elementary School, Harker Heights School Interact Club and the Jim Wright Company.

The cities of Copperas Cove, Salado and Belton all wish to make it known they are serious about Rotarian Dodgeball by hosting a “Throw Down the Gauntlet Ceremony” at their respective locations. Belton’s throw-down is yet to be determined.

The Cove held its ceremony on Wednesday. The Salado Aldermen plan to hold theirs Thursday, during their regular 7 p.m. meeting at City Hall.

Several members of the Heights Rotary Club are expected to be in attendance in Salado.

Dodgeball Challenge Coordinator Evan Hodson said, “Salado and Copperas Cove will join Temple, Belton and Harker Heights in a six-city division and each will play a match against the others!”

The City of Killeen team, which is made up entirely of Killeen police officers, took home the winning trophy last year.

Killeen City Manager Ron Olson accompanied his team during the throw-down.

While waiting for the ceremony to begin, the discussion turned to how serious the players become when they step on the court.

The semi-Shakespearian prose of the challenge proclamation read by Hodson escalated as Harker Heights City Manager David Mitchell’s message contained an admonition to “divest yourself of the borrowed glory, namely, the Rotary Dodgeball Challenge Cup, that rightly belongs in Harker Heights and which has made but a wayward detour to the City of Killeen.”

As Olson picked up the gauntlet himself he replied, “Tell Mr. David that if he wants this trophy back, he can come and get it!”

Hodson said, “It wasn’t precisely the wording on the Gonzales flag but it got the message across.”

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