ANDOVER — What do Lakers do for fun before spring break? On April 17, many Laker students participated in Springfest. Springfest is an annual event put on by the boys football team as a fundraiser. Prior to the event is the Lift-A-Thon, which the entire football team participates in. Each player does the maximum weight they are able on the bench press. Before the event each football player collects donations from various sponsors throughout the community. The winner each year receives the honor of getting their name put on the giant Lift-a-thon trophy for an entire year.
During the Springfest event, students can sign up for 3 on 3 basketball and 7 on 7 dodgeball. During the event there is also a dance in the school cafeteria along with nachos, cookies, pizza, and drinks being provided. The cost is five dollars to attend, allowing students to participate in all events. This helps the football team with various expenses throughout the year including buying new weight machines, buying practice shorts and t-shirts, pre-game meals, and jerseys.
Usually around 125-150 students attend the event and over $1000 is raised. The event was originally started around 14 or 15 years ago by former football coach Ken Parise. When Parise first started this event, a dance, liftathon, and funfest was held. Each sport also had their own section of the cafeteria to decorate. Parise said he is glad to see current football coach Neal Croston carry on the school tradition. Croston has hosted the event for the past five years, and plans to continue this event in upcoming years.
Principal Dan Jackson said he was excited for this event because it served as a way to get everyone together before Easter weekend as both a fundraiser and to enjoy each other’s company. This event also served as a way to encourage students to become more involved throughout the school, along with giving students something positive to do.
In the dodgeball tournament there were five different teams who competed. This year’s winning dodgeball team consisted of Quintin Ratliff, Nick Blascak, Nick Such, Kaleb Saxion, Tim Cross, Savannah Kirby, and Melanie Stilson. There were also seven basketball teams that competed in the basketball tournament. The winning basketball team consisted of Tim Cross, Quintin Ratliff, and Nick Blascak. The lift-a-thon winner has not yet been revealed, but was a tight competition with football players lifting over 300 pounds.
Many students came to be part of one of the teams, danced, or even came to be a spectator. Many fellow staff members also participated in the various games and activities held at the event. All who attended the event had a good time while benefitting some of their own, the Pymatuning Valley football team. Upcoming dates for Laker students include prom on April 26, the Laker Mini Relay for Life on May 9, pride day on May 29, graduation on June 1, and the last day of school on June 10. Students at PV have a busy schedule ahead of them with many events planned. All students are encouraged to participate and become involved, in order to exemplify their Laker pride.