Aces and Kings returns to CPHS

Alex Mendoza

     One of the year’s most fun and entertaining fundraisers is back once again: Aces & Kings. What began as a student council fundraiser back in 2006 has since grown highly anticipated annual event. Instead of the usual sales for coupon cards or frozen cookie dough venture, the Aces & Kings volleyball tournament raises money through high school spirit and opens its doors for all to come and see. This volleyball extravaganza allows junior and senior guys to be coached by Cedar Park’s volleyball girls in order to raise money for the program here at school. This year’s Aces & Kings tournament had the biggest turnout on record, and the games were even more exciting.

     “This fundraiser was more for fun than raising money, really,” Coach Jennifer Almanza, volleyball coach, said. “Most of the money raised goes to covering T-shirt costs and such.”

     The cover charge to get in was only two dollars, and fans could also purchase T-shirts of their favorite teams for fifteen dollars at the snack bar. After 4:00, fans started pouring in to support the boys, including relatives and homegrown fans and friends from CPHS. This year, there were eight teams in total competing to reign supreme: The CP Yacht Club, Pinkies, J-Hooks, Victorious Secret, Honey Badgers, Above Average Joes, Stallions and the Stepdads.

     “The guys were so awesome this year, since they were all athletic and used to being part of a team, they made the tournament really fun. They had a lot of sportsmanship,” Almanza said. From after-school practices to the very last game, the guys showed high spirit, athleticism and maturity. Though the games were not competitions between separate schools or districts, they still maintained a heightened intensity one would normally find in a high-stakes playoff match. Replete with dramatic dives to save falling volleyballs, yelling between the nets and great energy from start to finish, this year’s Aces & Kings tournament was both a casual environment for friendly competition and a serious battle for honor.

     Separated into three courts, two in the main gym and one in the small gym, the eight teams were split into three tourney pools to duke it out and try to rank above third place. The remaining teams would then have one last, winner-take-all match at 7:45.

     “They just want to get out and play. They worked hard and followed the girls’ rules and guidance, but at the end of the day they just wanted to have fun,” Almanza said.

     After grueling rounds of tournament play, two teams proved to be superior and made it to the final. The Honey Badgers comprised of seniors Spencer Drango, Taylor Timbs, Beau Smith, Matt Posey, Efren Collier and Lucas Reuling faced off against the J-Hooks team made up of juniors Ryan Walker, Jordan Lachowsky, Felix Romero, Zach Espinosa, James Johnson and Blake Griffin. Ultimately, it was the men in black, the J-Hooks, who came out on top ending a fun-filled and rewarding Aces & Kings series that won’t soon be forgotten. The boys played hard all night long and kept things interesting and fun the whole way through, starting each game with roaring enthusiasm and hard-hitting serves and ending them with high-fives and praise from each side. Parents and students came in dozens and were just as enthusiastic as the teams they cheered on. Another great Aces & Kings tournament comes to a close with plenty of rambunctious antics, exciting close-calls and a school that definitely puts the “fun” in fundraiser.