Honors students help pets with spikes, sets

Nov 21, 2022

Dartmouth National Honors Society students held a volleyball tournament at the high school on Monday night, Nov. 21 raising over $2,000 for the local humane society, according to the organizers.

The fundraiser is an annual event that has been running for about 10 years according to Marcia Vieira, co-advisor for NHS along with Meaghan Tully, but the students pick a different charity each year to be the beneficiary.

NHS officers said it was only natural that they chose the humane society, as the group’s mascot has been Sadie the shih tzu, the pet of Honors Society co-secretary Serena Carnes.

“Sadie’s a pretty popular dog,” Carnes said. “A lot of people know her.”

She added that the service dog in-training also has her own social media profile and attends all the Dartmouth home games.

And with Sadie behind them, at least in spirit, the fundraiser was a success.

“This event is going insanely well,” said honor society Treasurer Nayan Bala during the tournament. “The energy is really infectious — it’s awesome.”

In fact, it was the largest such tournament ever, with 24 teams vying for the championship.

“We’ve definitely got a lot of involvement,” said honor society Co-President Phoenix Campbell. “We’ve got a whole subcommittee just to make the bracket and they’ve got their hands full.”

Co-Secretary Alexandra Cojocaru said the historic attendance was the result of good advertising by the organizers, explaining that they had hung posters all around the school with QR codes linking to the tournament sign up.

“So I think that’s why we had a lot of teams,” she said. “We made it really accessible.”

The organizers said they were also happy to be able to host the event without complying with Covid-era rules that affected last year’s fundraiser.

“Last year, we had to wear masks and social distance, so it’s a lot different,” said Bala.

Competing in the tournament were a variety of teams, including two middle school teams, a teachers’ team, and a team from the Dartmouth Police Department called “the Blue Team.”

Most of the teams, though, were made up of Dartmouth highschoolers, including the two that faced off in the final — the “B-Cho’s” and “Booyakasha.”

The B-Cho’s were made up of Dartmouth volleyball players Maddison Goldizen and Gaby Velazquez, Dartmouth High students Lucas Martinez, Logan Matos, and Luke Bessette, and the team’s not-so-secret weapon, a six-foot-five New Bedford High graduate named Andre Santos.

The team made it to the final by combining the technical skill of the two volleyball players with Santos’s high-powered spikes and Martinez’s wicked serves.

“If there’s a ball I can’t reach, I just put it up there and Andre is always there,” Matos said.

On the other side — dressed in orange — was an all Dartmouth High junior team made up of Michael Correia, Louie Freitas, Aidin Griffin, Aubrey Carberry, Victoria Carvalho, and volleyball player Haley Jenkins.

In the final, the B-Cho’s got out to an early lead, but Booyakasha stood tall and started to find ways to block Santos’s power shots. Soon the tides had turned and it was the team in orange that walked away with the victory.

“I felt like we wouldn’t win one game,” Jenkins said after the game. “But, through the power of teamwork, we did it.”

“And hydrating,” added Freitas, who had to fight to finish the final game after getting a leg cramp. “You gotta stay hydrated.”