The rivalry of the third annual Dodgeball Challenge, sponsored by the Harker Heights Rotary Club, will awaken Oct. 14, from noon to 5 p.m., in the gymnasium at Harker Heights High School.

“The number of clubs and participants increases every year and that’s exciting!” said Evan Hodson, coordinator of the challenge.

Eighteen teams competed last year. There are 22 teams signed up for this year’s challenge. Over 175 players will be participating in next weekend’s contest.

The latest team to accept the challenge was the Village of Salado. At the Board of Aldermen’s Sept. 28 meeting, Mayor Skip Blanchett picked up the gauntlet on behalf of his fellow aldermen following the reading of the proclamation by Rotary President Richard Bean at City Hall in Salado.

Hodson said, “The names of teams always add a certain amount of restrained conflict on and off the court.”

Some of the more notable entries include: the OSJA (Office of the Staff Judge Advocate) is fielding a team called the “Court Marshalls,” The Fort Hood USO team is “Seeing Stars and Stripes,” and the Rotary Club of Killeen/Heights has dubbed its team “Not in the Face.”

“They should be fine; head shots are illegal,” Hodson said.

Two of the team names are “Straight Outta Belton” and the “Heights Dodgefathers.” They are both city teams and will be playing in a six-city division.

“The event is not what most people expect,” Hodson said. “It is fast, furious and fun. Ask a returning player to tell you about the best shot they delivered last year and their face will light up. Watching those three courts in action simultaneously is a hoot and the fans really get into it.”

Admission is free to the general public and a large crowd is welcome.

HHHS Rotary Interact Club members will run a snack bar to support their service projects. The club is also fielding a team for the first time this year.

The Heights Rotary Club grossed over $15,000 at last year’s challenge and supported local Rotary programs such as Coats for Kids, which began in 2009 with distribution to students at Harker Heights Elementary and later expanded the effort for students in the Homeless Awareness Response Program (H.A.R.P) in Killeen ISD,

Hygiene Kits for H.A.R.P. is another program — distributing basic hygiene kids (toothbrush, toothpaste, soap, etc.) to students in need,

Also:

Interact — a Rotary-sponsored student organization at HHHS that carries out two service projects each year; one that supports their school and one that promotes international understanding,

Early Act — a program that helps elementary students gain an increased awareness of their community and world. Early Act FirstKnight brings alive the values of noble character and service through a theme of gallant knights and chivalry

RYLA – The Rotary Youth Leadership Award (RYLA) program is an intensive co-ed training experience for high school students.

All fees for each summer camper are paid by a sponsoring Rotary Club as a way to support leadership in their community.

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