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Orange After Dark tournament gets SU students to dodge, dip, dive, duck -- and scream

The competitive, contact sport of dodgeball brings spirit to Syracuse University’s Flanagan Gym

With forest green paint streaked across their faces and hot pink and neon green socks pulled up to their knees, student teams filing into Flanagan Gym’s dodgeball tournament looked nothing short of The Average Joes.

Hosted by Orange After Dark and Recreation Services, the Syracuse dodgeball tournament had every remnant of the Ben Stiller and Vince Vaughn big-screen comedy -- minus the Las Vegas setting of course.

As students made up teams of six, they battled each other under names like Army and Kitties of the Rainbow, with even SU officers making an appearance on Team DPS. While pump-up music blared through the speakers and a table of snacks and drinks sat sideline, the team members had every ounce of energy being stimulated. The winners of best costume -- and blue and orange Syracuse University snuggies -- Team ‘MERICA wasn’t shy to show it.

“Of course we’re gonna win,” said senior Zak Krug, “’MERICA wins…every time.”

With a love for their country and a love for the game, the patriotic team, composed of one SU student and five ESF, dressed in all different fabrics and shades of red, white, and blue. As dodgeball players, they fit in, but excitement-wise, they stood out.

“If you had to sum us up, we’d be coffee and lots of sugar,” said junior Jim Schloemer.

‘MERICA’s two senior, two junior, and two sophomore makeup created a lively dynamic expected from any team competing in something as forceful as the game of dodgeball.

As teams narrowed down to a Sweet 16 bracket and winners advanced, battling until the 1 a.m., teams like ‘MERICA found the fun wasn't in losing or winning but in showing up.

“We did have the most spirit out there, obviously,” Schloemer said. “We’re Eagles damnit.”

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