FORT WORTH, Texas (SWBTS) – Children might leave Spring Kickoff talking about the tantalizing time they had jumping in the bounce houses.

Hungry students might leave raging about the $1-per-slice pizza they inhaled.

Professors, such as Matt Queen, whom spectators cheered on while hoisting photographic signs of his face above the crowd, might leave feeling hopeful about post-seminary careers in professional dodgeball.

But for Assistant Director of Student Life Tyler Durham, it was what happened after the balls were thrown, dodged and then dropped into the background clamor of the final ‘out’ of the championship round that stuck in his mind.

“It is a huge help at the end of the night that we always have a huge group that hangs around and helps clean everything up,” Durham said of the 2013 Spring Kickoff Dodgeball Tournament held in the Recreation and Aerobics Center (RAC). “It just adds to the greatness of the event that so many people are willing to hang around and just serve. It embodies student life on campus, what we’re trying to achieve.”

Durham said he sees a lot of relationships and connections built and strengthened as students, staff, faculty and families pitch in and work together. Helping to foster growth of fellowship and relationships like those, Durham said, is the whole heart of the Spring Kickoff.

“It is one of our favorite events that we do with student life because of the combination that it gives,” Durham said, explaining that students enjoy pizza and dodgeball, children enjoy bounce houses, and new Southwesterners enjoy learning about how to get involved with campus groups and opportunities in the community.

Twenty-four booths offered that type of information to those looking for ways to plug into the community. Student organizations and seminary departments interacted with students and welcomed them to the spring semester.

The end of the evening found the Drama Kings—a team of college and seminary students—and the RAC team in a down-to-the-second fight for the dodgeball championship. The Drama Kings won one game, and the RAC team won the next, making the third and final game of the utmost importance. The Drama Kings went on to thrill the crowd and disappoint the RAC team as they beat them in the final game.

“Whoever won that game won it all, so it was intense,” Durham said. “The crowd loved it. Seeing students and professors clash in the dodgeball cage is always a favorite.”