Passing the Paddle

Senior Takes Over Ping Pong Club


Derek Walker

 Decatur’s Ping Pong Club is no stranger to leadership changes. Two years ago, it was an exclusive after-school club where a select few seniors played ping pong in the Career Academy. It was only last year when then-senior Gabriel Kay decided to open the after-school sport to the entire school. He got Christopher Curtis, the humanities teacher, to sponsor and he moved the tables to the purple hall. For all of last year, students of every grade could come and play ping pong every Wednesday afternoon.

Pictured Left to Right: Da’Shon Leggette and Lucas Sampson play team doubles, the most common format in Ping Pong Club

However, both leaders left the school. Kay graduated and Curtis moved to teach at another school.

Instead of sinking into oblivion, the Ping Pong Club members stepped up to keep the club going. Senior Will Hentz took on the role as leader and asked humanities teacher John Sommer to become the sponsor.

“I’ve played ping pong ever since I was a little kid,” Sommer said.

He gladly took on the role.

Sommer wants to keep the after-school program and learning connection going and even “increase the membership.”

This year, the Ping Pong Club made a few tweaks to their management model. They have introduced positions such as president and vice president.

“This year the club will be a lot more organized,” Vice President Elizabeth Swank said.

She hopes to develop the club even further. This includes hosting tournaments and more organized competitive play.

“We may even make T-shirts,” she said.