Dodgin’ Dutchess Loves Competition

By Alex James Cummins

Dodge, Dip, Dive, Duck, Dodge. The five D’s of dodge-ball according to the hit movie, “Dodgeball,” are five rules that  Penn Manor science teacher, Erick Dutchess, relies on when he plays competitively outside of school. Competition is an important aspect in Dutchess’s life. Well actually, it might be THE most important part of his life.

Erick Dutchess wants to win everything, even arm wrestling with a student. Photo by Alex Cummins

One night a week, Dutchess laces up his gym shoes and plays competitive dodgeball with his team, Blitzburgh. This shouldn’t be surprising to many people due to Dutchess’s competitive and fun attitude noticed by many throughout the school.

“I get an intense feeling of satisfaction when I peg someone in the face,” said Dutchess.

As if everyone gets that feeling when playing dodgeball.

Dutchess is a very active person outside of school. Grading papers, coaching rec basketball, coaching lacrosse and much more – it just adds to Dutchess’s competitive life style.

Dutchess is always looking for ways to challenge himself against other people and destroy them.

As much as he likes to come out on top in competitive situations, he uses competition to help others as well. In Dutchess’s mind, competition is engaging life to the fullest.

“I try to use competition in the classroom as much as possible as a motivational strategy, so the students can achieve higher acedemic goals.”

Dutchess uses competition in the classroom while he teaches, to help enrich the lives of his students.

Fans can catch Blitzburgh, which currently has a record of 1 – 1 playing once a week at Wheatland Middle School in Lancaster. The games are at 7 p.m.  on Tuesdays every week. The team consists of 11 players and includes other Penn Manor staff members such as teachers Britney Clugston, Jarod Staub, Nick Swartz and Liz Kelly.