Student Council has begun a new tradition this year in their quest to raise money for Lurie’s Children’s Hospital. This new tradition is a GaGa ball tournament, where students pay to play a newer children’s playground game, GaGa ball. Each participant paid a $10 entrance fee and the top three players were given a $10 Buffalo Wild Wings gift card. This year’s tournament was held Thursday Oct. 22 at Eisenhower Elementary School. Student Council President Matt Gerona explains what inspired him to host this tournament.
“I remember that in 5th grade everyone liked GaGa ball from like Camp Tecumseh, and I went to Eisenhower, and everyone liked GaGa ball there,” Gerona said. “So I said, ‘Hey, they built GaGa ball pits after our class left, so why don’t we just do a GaGa ball tournament, since everyone wanted to play this game and no one got the chance to play it.’”
Sophomore Tyler Hudak won the tournament, followed by senior Carson Rettig and senior Sebastian Ashbach. Hudak says he enjoyed the win.
“It felt great,” Hudak said. “I was pretty confident from the start, [sophomore Quinn Day] had my back the whole time. I had one supporter, but that’s all I needed.”
Second place winner Rettig says he was sad that he did not win, but was satisfied with his performance.
“I wish I could have got first, but I guess second is the best, or second is the second best. I had to fight through a lot of adversity, a lot of challenges, there were a lot of people rooting me out, thinking that I got hit multiple times, but I told them ‘nope,’” Rettig said. “After final reviews, they said I wasn’t out. I ended up losing that round, but coming back in the final round, I was really starting to doubt myself, but came back in the end to win second place.”
Rettig noted some strategies he used to secure his second place spot, as he picked up on movements from his competitors to gain an advantage.
“I noticed how [Ashbach] would always jump up and try to jump over the ball whenever I hit him,” Rettig said. “So in one round it was just me and him as the last two people, and I faked the ball, as if I was going to him with the ball. He jumped over it, then I turned about and hit the ball and ended up hitting him in the legs.”
Hudak, the only winner who was not a senior, says he is planning on competing in the tournament next year as well. He advises new players to keep a few things in mind if they want to win.
“You need to believe in yourself,” Hudak said. “Don’t get hit with the ball and don’t be cocky. Just be confident.”
Gerona says he was satisfied with how the event turned out, as he felt it was a success. He recommends those who did not attend this year come out and participate in the future.
“This is a very fun event, and you guys should come out and join the next time,” Gerona said. “I think it went way better than I thought it would, and the weather was perfect.”