Ping pong club begins playing tournaments

Club strives to participate in local competitions

Dani Orloff and Breanna Thompson



Hannah Leff
Junior Caleb Mesick plays a warm-up game of ping pong at ping pong club Feb. 16. Ping pong club meets behind the old gym and has met six times this year.

When ping pong club co-president Rafferty Kugler reflects on the first year of the ping pong club, she says she wanted to create a club with a relaxed atmosphere.

Kugler said the club consists of a mixture of playing ping pong and informational meetings.

“This is our third time actually playing ping pong, but we had three meetings before that where we didn’t play, we just talked about it (in an) info meeting,” Kugler said. “Right now we are just a new club and experimenting with what we want to do and how many people were going to join.”

Ping pong club adviser Jeffrey Cohen said the club meets behind the old gym.

“There’s a bunch of ping pong tables that we have or that people donated and everybody just grabs a racquet and plays and practices and has a good time,” Cohen said. “(I wanted to be the adviser because) I love the noise the ball makes when it hits the table.”

Kugler said she looks forward to many opportunities the club can participate in.

“We’ve been doing small tournaments to get used to each other and just get accustomed to it, and then we are trying to hopefully do games or competitions,” Kugler said.

According to Table Tennis Minnesota, the format of high school tournaments depends on the number of teams that register, however they can include a round-robin preliminary format followed by a single-elimination bracket.

Freshman Maggie Klaers said she enjoys ping pong club because she has the chance to spend time with friends.

“I have a table in my basement but I don’t really play that often,” Klaers said. “It’s been really fun so far. My brother is in ping pong club, so that is how I got invited, and my friend Ruby joined too, so I thought it would be fun.”

Kugler said the co-presidents created shirts for the members of ping pong club.

“We just (made shirts) so if we were ever going to do a competition we would have a uniform,” Kugler said. “(Ping pong shirts will) peak interest among students.”

Cohen said there are many competitions available to the club to participate in in the future.

“There’s the opportunity (to participate in competitions), but I don’t know if we’ll get into them this year or not, but that would be something fun to feature,” Cohen said.

Kugler said she strives to expose students to ping pong and teach them about the game.

“(My goal is) just that people enjoy (playing ping pong),” Kugler said. “I guess right now we are just figuring out what we want to do and I guess we will start to look into doing more intense stuff, right now it’s more for people to have a place to go and play ping pong after school.”

Cohen said ping pong club seeks to grow and welcomes all students.

“(Ping pong club is) open and available for any type of student, anybody who would just like to have a good time,” Cohen said.