Get served: ACHS ping pong gets competitive

The past month, many students may have noticed the growing interest in ping pong being played in the commons. Students enjoy the games during study halls and after school as the competition between games grows.

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Ashley Lubkeman

“The best part about playing each other is it’s a very lowkey and competitive sport but it’s not very physically demanding so pretty much anyone can do it,” senior Zach Lewis said.

If a student at Antioch Community High School were to have a lunch or study hall in the commons, they would be surrounded by their friends, hearing laughter, studying and the rhythmic tapping following competitive remarks over the beloved ACHS ping pong table. Students and staff alike can be found watching and playing ping pong games throughout the day.

Senior Zach Lewis says the ping pong games can make a study hall pass a little quicker and relieve stress from classes and outside pressure.

“It is nice to take your mind off classes and just play a game or two,” Lewis said.

According to senior Peyton McCafferty, the games encourage a welcoming environment for everyone.

“It is inclusive for everyone and no one is discriminated,” McCafferty said. “Just like ACHS, we do not discriminate and love bringing everyone together.”

The games have grown in popularity in the past month especially. Lewis thinks the ping pong games reflect the nature of ACHS following the spirit weeks and homecoming events.

“The games reflect our school’s spirit because it shows that our students can take pride and have fun with any sport or activity,” Lewis said.

Senior Eddie Tindell thinks they not only reflect school spirit but enhance it as well, as it encourages students to play together and root each other on.

“School spirit is shown when you see an intense game and people start watching,” Tindell said. “Especially during passing period, there will be a good 20 to 30 people surrounding the table while the game is being finished.”

The games, depending on who is playing, can last any range of time depending on how many points are being played to and how good the two competitors are. According to McCafferty, the longest game he ever witnessed was one he was playing in.

“[Hunter Booker and I] played up to 50 points,” McCafferty said. “We played for two and a half hours.”

While ACHS ping pong has definitely become a competitive sport throughout the commons, Lewis says a student does not have to be a master to start playing.

“The best part about playing each other is that it is a very lowkey and competitive sport, but it is not very physically demanding, so pretty much anyone can do it,” Lewis said.

McCafferty says the games are meant to be lighthearted and a fun break for anyone.

“Anyone can play ping pong, even though some are better than others,” McCafferty said.

Despite its inclusivity, Lewis claims there are some students known for being especially good at the game and more challenging to beat.

“I would put myself top three along with Eddie Tindell and Isaac Piccard,” Lewis said. “Depending on the day, we all sort of switch the order, but for the most part, it is that three.”

While the sport is less physically demanding than most others, Lewis said being athletic may help some be more skilled or tactical when playing.

“I think I am good at ping pong because of my baseball experience,” Lewis said. “I understand the rotation of the ball, how it will bounce and also how to hit it to put certain spins on it.”

Regardless of grade level, skill or experience, anyone at ACHS is welcome to join in on the growing school spirit for ping pong in the commons. As more players become interested and improve, it creates excitement and curiosity of what the future of ping pong might become at ACHS.

 According to Senior Isaac Piccard, math teacher William Zambole is hoping to expand the competitions district-wide.

“Mr. Zambole’s hoping to set up a ping pong competition with Lakes,” Piccard said.

The competition is in the works along with many other district competitions such as dodgeball through the National Honor Society and a spikeball tournament with Model United Nations and Interact Club. The competitions show how small games such as ping pong in the commons can grow and become events that bring the community closer together.