Cobwebs, skeletons and caution tape transformed The Gymnasium Thursday night, which hosted over 100 students dressed in costumes for the Halloween-themed dodgeball tournament.
The campus recreation department held the seventh annual event with a record high of 16 teams in participation, all clad in various wild costumes in the spirit of the season.
Teams dressed as Santa Claus, grandmas and grandpas, moving targets and many more, all geared up and ready to knock each other out and become the reigning dodgeball champions or winners of the costume contest.
Special events co-manager, Lizzie Lumanlan, said the main goal of the event is to provide a chance for students to come together on the commuter campus.
“The dodgeball tournament is an event that brings students and faculty together in friendly competition and really showcases our Gator pride,” Lumanlan said. “A lot of hard work goes into it, but it’s worth it when you see the community come together to have a great night.”
Students were also encouraged to participate in other activities if they were not playing dodgeball or had been eliminated from the tournament. The activities included pumpkin pong, a twist on beer pong where participants threw whiffle balls into pumpkin baskets, a ring toss and a tattoo station. Participants could earn raffle tickets for prizes at the end of the tournament.
Last year’s champions, Pi Kapp Raiders, did not hold their title, but still enjoyed participating in the event again.
“It’s about more than just winning,” said team captain of the Pi Kapp Raiders, Michael Overby. “It’s about having a great time with all of your friends. The comradery among our college community has grown so much since I first came to this school.”
Between games, students enjoyed socializing, dancing to the music and taking pictures with their teams in front of the blood-splattered photo wall.
Students patiently stuck around to find out who would win the tournament and for a chance to win raffle prizes. The final battle came down to campus recreation’s team, “Get Rec’d,” and Phi Kappa Tau’s team, “Make Dodgeball Great Again.”
The gym erupted as Phi Kappa Tau won and became the newest dodgeball champions.
“We came out here and had a coordinated attack,” said RJ Silva, member of Make Dodgeball Great Again. “We stuck together as a brotherhood.”
“Phi Tau loves sports, and we love being part of the campus and attending all the activities on campus,” said Devin Perry, another member of the winning team. “We wanted to have a good game and have fun with the other students.”
As students started to file out of the gym and members of campus recreation began to take down caution tape, Christian Enos, special events co-manager, looked around the room in his pizza costume, pleased with how the event turned out.
“Great turnout, lots of energy, it was awesome to bring the student experience to life,” Enos said. “Something that a lot of times we don’t get here a lot at State, so it was great to have an event where we could all come together and participate.”