By Tom Zulewski
Iron County Today
Mike Sharp had memories of good times playing dodgeball as a student in elementary school. The good times came back in college as dodgeball made its debut at the Utah Summer Games on last Saturday.
Sharp came together with a few friends from the Southern Utah football team, including Brady Measom, for one more romp through childhood in the single-day event held at the Multipurpose Building on the SUU campus.
The game wasn’t the customary game from childhood. The ball was smaller and softer, and teams raced to the center line to claim as many of seven balls as they could before the throws began.
“We used to play in sixth grade all the time. Our teachers versus another teacher’s class, just before lunchtime.” Sharp said. “It brought back good memories.”
Sharp and his team, the Huge Ballers, rolled to the gold medal through an estimated 15 games against different opponents, some from local businesses. After the initial scramble, teams threw their balls at their opponents until getting hit.
Among the rules: A ball can’t bounce on the floor before hitting a player and a ball can be used to defend from getting hit. If a ball hits one player and is caught by another off the deflection, the player who threw the ball is out.
All teams played best-of-three matches, and the last te
am with a player standing was declared the winner. Sharp was involved with a rule where a player can’t cross the center line to retrieve a ball. Despite his best attempts to reach it, including throwing his Arizona Diamondbacks hat, Sharp couldn’t get to the free ball.
The tournament was originally planned to run two days, but was reduced to Saturday due to a lower number of entries.
As for Sharp’s status, the finance major said he plans on returning to school to finish his course work. The wide receiver, who finished his senior season ranked fourth in the Big Sky with 75 catches for 898 yards and 12 touchdowns, said his workout with the New Orleans Saints went well, but is ready to try football north of the border.
“I’ve got a few classes to finish up, but if nothing happens NFL-wise, I’m thinking of playing in Canada for a little bit as long as the wife lets me.” Sharp said. “She’s a good sport, though.”