Feuding for Philanthropy: Behind the Scenes of Enloe’s 2022 Kickball Tournament


On November 18, Enloe Student Council hosted its 5th annual kickball tournament throughout the school’s back practice fields. In an afternoon of (generally) good-natured competition, students and staff were given the opportunity to participate or spectate for a small fee. Alongside concession funds, all revenue generated throughout the evening was funneled toward Alliance Medical Ministry, Enloe Charity Ball’s 2022 beneficiary. 

Concluding this past year in a triumphant victory for the Winloe Weasels, one of the tournament’s 13 competing teams, Enloe’s kickball tournament has long stood in extension of the school’s athletic aptitude and commitment to student-geared initiatives. 

“It’s important to me because I’ve been seeing this tournament run since my freshman year, so it’s been a circle moment,” says Jakai Dickerson, student council’s vice president of service. Having engaged in efforts to coordinate the tournament and keep the student body informed, he finds it crucial to recognize the greater significance this event holds: “It’s not just an Enloe event; it’s a community event. It’s bringing people together, and our community together.” 

Upon a closer look into the discourse leading up to the tournament itself, some may find that the event is made most distinct for its web of inter-team rivalries and camaraderie in the midst of competition. Senior Madison De Prima was vocal in his enthusiasm at having the opportunity to return for his second year as captain of the Average Joe’s, which was named in homage to the early 2000’s film Dodgeball. Easily spotted across the field in their signature purple uniforms and founded upon a team mantra to “dodge, duck, dip, dive, and dodge,” the Average Joe’s widely attribute their success to the diversity and skill among their players. 

“The beauty of the Average Joe’s is that there isn’t really a stand-out. We take all these little pieces from everywhere around Enloe and make a great overall team,” says player Feehan Tuttell. He strongly cites his participation in Enloe’s Marine Conservation Club as having a positive impact on his performance on field. “We clean up the oceans, and now we’re about to clean up our competition,” De Prima agreed. 

Prior to the tournament, the pair had identified their only weaknesses as “being too fast” and “being too good,” feeling confident in a victory for the Average Joe’s. But these sentiments did not go unchallenged. 

“We’re still gonna win, obviously,” says Walt Heath, captain of the Kareem Hunters, a team affectionately named after the Cleveland Browns running back Kareem AJ Hunt. Although composed primarily of sophomores, many of this team’s players attribute their strength, kickball knowledge, and high spirit to their participation in Enloe baseball and Eagle Club. Enthusiastic to sport their Cleveland Browns-inspired orange and black uniforms at the tournament, members of this underdog team urged others to “be afraid.”

Although a majority of the pre-tournament feuding unfolded among student teams, the staff team Student Services and Friends had just as much to say. Moving into the tournament, Enloe counselor and team pitcher Brooke Kearney was excited to participate in her second Enloe kickball tournament amongst an assembly of fellow counselors, teachers, and coaches. “It’s fun to talk to other people in the building that you don’t see all the time,” Kearney said.

But with Student Services and Friends having lost by just one point in what turned out to be a close game, Kearney recognizes the competitive nature of the tournament. “This competition was definitely intense, especially with the student teams,” she says. “They’re lucky that the game ended when it did.”

During the tournament, Kearney had found the comparably small size of her team to be of great challenge. “They had a lot more players than us to man their outfield, so I guess that was our biggest disadvantage.” Furthermore, in what proved to be a difficult adjustment, players were required to tag outs while holding the ball as opposed to throwing, as Kearney had during her childhood. “I guess it’s a new Wake County policy,” she joked. But ultimately, Kearney found the tournament environment very rewarding: “It would’ve been really funny to beat the student team, but it was fun, and there was a lot of sportsmanship.”

With Enloe Charity Ball successfully surpassing its $175,000 fundraising goal in December and the Winloe Weasels going on to dominate each of these teams, many have left the Charity Ball season with high spirits. Stephen Alston, cross-country runner and senior captain of The Dream Team, did not leave the tournament feeling disappointed despite his team’s loss. He recalls his experience losing in the 2021 year: “We won one game, and lost immediately after… but that one game was very good.” Remembering both the 2021 and 2022 tournaments fondly, he found the sportsmanship among both his team and the Enloe community to be of utmost reward: “We always have each other’s back, and we never let each other down.”