By: Ashley Major and Jasmine Anderson
Spikefest is a Thurston tradition since 1996 and is all about having fun and playing volleyball. Mrs. Colleen Donakowski founded the Spikefest which is a day of fitness and fun for staff members, students, and alumni of South Redford Schools.
“I love volleyball. I played in high school and intramurals in college. I participated in and was on the student organization team for WMU’s Spikefest and had to bring it to Thurston,” said Donakowski. “It was so much fun!”
Students and alumni at Thurston High School had so much excitement for Spikefest this year.
“It was a lot of fun to play volleyball with my best friends again,” said sophomore Kentia Fearn.
Many people participated in Spikefest for the first time.
“This was my first year participating in Spikefest and I would love to participate in the future. I do it because it’s a blast and I love volleyball. Even though it is just for fun, it can be very competitive so we want to be better next year,” said class of 2015 alumni Amanda Roach.
Since participants only have to have a tie to Thurston, the age group of players varies greatly. Some are current students and one group had graduates from 1996.
“Many students see the ‘veterans’ with their kids and think, ‘They’re old; we’ll crush them.’ Conversely, the ‘veterans’ who won this year have won back to back tournaments, as well as won many other times. It’s actually the alumni who have won the most,” said Donakowski.
Seniors and juniors that attend Thurston say that they are surprised that they lost against the alumni/champions.
“We lost. I’m salty and they were like 36,” said senior DeKobye’ Bibbs.
If you are someone who is interested in getting involved with Spikefest here is what to expect. Teams can have as little or as many participants (male, female, or both) as they want, with a standard of six on the floor at a time. Typically, Spikefest has every team play against each other and then have the top teams in the championship playoffs while the bottom teams are in the Golden Toilet Seat bracket. The champions will win individual trophies with the year and Spikefest Champs on it, while the Toilet Seat division gets their team name and year on the Toilet Seat trophy. It is recommended for participants to have volleyball experience in order to enjoy the fun. All games are officiated and they do expect participants to have the skill that will allow for true game play.
“Spikefest is always well organized and a lot of fun. I love that so many people are still interested in this event. I participate in Spikefest for a few reasons, it’s fun, it’s nice to catch up with old classmates, and it’s a way for me to make sure I can still play volleyball,” said class of 2005 Thurston alumni Madison Petrosky.
There are always good vibes with this event. People come together just to play volleyball, have fun, and some come just to watch and be entertained. Even though there might be competitive players and teams, there will always be laughs and smiles on everyone’s faces at the end of the day.
“Special shout outs go to Jeannette Armstead, who designed this years’ shirts– everyone raved about it. Thanks to Madeline Zerial, Tenisha Thomas, and Jacob Johnson for helping with sign-in, score keeping and referreing. Also, a special thanks to Scott (Coach) Grey, Emily Kuhn, Al Chambo, Doug Donakowski, Ed Paul, and the Eagles’ Nest crew for all the behind the scenes work,” said Donakowski.