Bethel alumni team wins national dodgeball tournament

 -  -  44

What used to be just a college hobby turned out to be a real prize-winner for a group of Bethel alumni this winter. Aaron Engbrecht, 31, captained a team of former Bethel students who called themselves “BC Legend,” and went on to win the championship in Division II of the National Amateur Dodgeball Association’s Winter Indoor National Tournament in January. Engbrecht attended Bethel from the fall of 2001 to the spring of 2006 and said he first got started playing dodgeball during his freshman year. “When I came as a freshman, Bethel had recently started playing dodgeball,” said Engbrecht. “A group of guys out of Oakwood got together and played. So I started playing, and I guess the rest is history.” The team that went on to the tournament wasn’t the same group of guys from Oakwood hall, however. Engbrecht describes the team’s beginning as an “Interesting story.” He said, “My brother and myself and my brother in law were headed back from a hunting trip with my dad (in) Nevada and we started reminiscing about dodgeball.” The conversation about the sport stemmed from Engbrecht’s father, Dr. Dennis Engbrecht, mentioning that he was considering adding a chapter of a book he was authoring about the various fads on campus, one of those fads being dodgeball. “Basically, we just said let’s go play in a tournament and let’s go ask some of our friends that we played dodgeball with and see if they would play with us,” Aaron Engbrecht said. Engbrecht said that not all the members of the team actually knew each other directly. “They’re all kinda connected through me,” he said. “I went to school with all of them.” Engbrecht was the captain of the team. He got in contact with the National Amateur Dodgeball Association and registered the team. “There were 8 of us,” he said. “The way these tournaments were it was 6-on-6. We would rotate and (substitute). We pretty much all played equally.” It certainly wasn’t an easy task to make it to the finals, despite the team’s encouraging beginning. “In our first 6 games, we started out with three wins, two losses and one tie,” Engbrecht said. “Then we figured out that it was actually decently competitive.” The team was able to adjust, though. “We kind of started getting into the swing of things,” Engbrecht said. “From then on, we actually didn’t lose another game.” However, the team didn’t take that for granted. “We really had to step it up and play together as a team,” Engbrecht said. But for Engbrecht, the tournament wasn’t just about winning or even making it to the finals. “Just to be around friends from Bethel that I don’t get to see a ton,” said Engbrecht, “I think the whole experience was what was most exciting for me.” But as far as what’s really important, Engbrecht had this to say: “I’m thankful for the talents that God’s blessed me with and the awesome grace that we’ve been given in Jesus Christ. That’s the most important thing to me.” Engbrecht now teaches business at Tippecanoe Valley High School, and he stated that he still keeps in contact occasionally with the other members of the team. The group represented not only Bethel’s athletes, but the entire campus’s Christian attitude. As a testimony to this, Engbrecht told a story about the team they played in the final. He said that one player came up to him while they were shaking hands and said, “I really want to hate you guys, but you’re just so (stinking) nice.” Point, Bethel alumni.
bookmark icon