Story by Petty Officer 2nd Class Jonathan Jiang

PACIFIC OCEAN – After a whistle blow pierced the air, rubber sports balls sailed overhead as Sailors from USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74) participated in a dodgeball tournament in its hangar bay, Nov. 27.

Thirty-one teams of 10 Sailors each competed in the tournament, representing different departments around the ship.

The winners of the tournament were Sailors from weapons department G-1 division.

G-1 was victorious in all five of their matches, coming out on top in a showdown against the team from the ship’s media department in the finals.

“It feels great,” said Seaman Michael Fort, from Chicago, a member of team G-1. “We did it as a team, we worked together.”

While the goal for the players was victory, James Howard, John C. Stennis’ fitness director and event organizer, had a different aim altogether.

“We wanted to help build morale for the crew for this underway,” said Howard. “Its tough to be separated from our families. The dodgeball tournament was something we tried to put on to give the crew a little bit of relief and camaraderie during the underway.”

The crowds roared as victors emerged from each match and players congratulated their former competitors on a good game. Howard said that due to the event’s positive reception, he is already planning a second tournament.

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