SPARTA, NJ – The main gymnasium at Sparta High School was filled last Friday night with more than a hundred students playing volley ball.  The event was organized by Distributed Education Clubs of America students as a fundraiser to offset the cost of sending DECA members to the national competition in California.

“The students were proactive in planning and coordinating this event,” DECA Advisor and Sparta High School Teacher Sandra Chiappini. "It's a good active club.  We have a lot of students participating."

Later this month, 23 students will go to Anaheim having earned their slots after a successful showing at the state level competition in Atlantic City in March.

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Commentators and bracket runners Lenny Fontes and Devon McIntyre kept track of the 14 teams playing in the round robin, double elimination tournament.  The student referees were official in black and white jerseys and whistles.  They were Emily Arugla, Julianna McGuire, Will McKenna, Alex Miliken, Billy Moyle and Brendan Puszcz.

Anne Burnes, Hannah Fagersten, Michaela Kayal, Kate Nash, Michaela Pampin and Emma Rennie were student volunteers helping to make the games run smoothly and selling snacks. 

Teachers volunteered their time as well.  Sparta High School teachers Derek Hall, Kristin Lindsley, Brandon Melford, Kathleen Pavia, Michael Tobin, Daniel Trappe and Sparta Middle School teacher John Procopio played their way to the final round where they lost to a team of seniors.

Of course the students had creative names for their teams which consisted of at least eight players with a minimum of two girls.  The teams were:

  • Athlete Points!!
  • Super Smash
  • Notorious D.I.G.
  • Team Ice
  • That’s What She Set
  • The Blue M & M’s
  • Volleyballers
  • The Spooky Ghosts
  • Team Fish
  • The Donalds Bumps
  • Dub Schemin’
  • Wrist Tape Wonders
  • The Magic Mikes
  • Tye Dye Troop

The winning team was the VolleyBallers with Jeremy Dericks,  Brendan Erickson, Connor Erickson, Devin Gozdenovich, Katie Hastings, Richie McDonald, Sean McHugh and Jack Simon. They won a volley ball, a bag of snacks from the school store and bragging rights.

With a nod to the marketing roots of the organization, the students held a Kripsy Kreme donut fundraiser the week before.  The club members pre-sold 330 dozen donuts.

The two activities have helped the organization on the way to their fundraising goals, according to Chippanni.  She said any wishing to donate to the DECA trip can contact her.  

DECA is a national student organization for students interested in marketing and management. Students enrolled in marketing classes can participate in DECA.  In the competitions, they are challenged to create and present a solution to a business issue.  Students compete alone or in pairs making their presentations to judges. 

The club will gladly accept donations to help fund the trip.  Please contact Chiappini