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home : sports : huskie sports July 27, 2016

3/5/2013 4:36:00 PM
Donkeys invade OHS
FFA member Carly Gearheart moves into position for a shot on her donkey at the OHS gym Friday, Feb. 22. Photo by Erik Pague.
FFA member Carly Gearheart moves into position for a shot on her donkey at the OHS gym Friday, Feb. 22. Photo by Erik Pague.
Erik Pague

Friday Feb. 22, marked the return of donkey basketball to Othello High School as students, staff and city employees participated in the event hosted by the Future Farmers of America club. The high school staff defeated the City Slickers 12-8 in the final round to become the undisputed champs of playing basketball on the lovable animals.
In the past, OHS did have donkey basketball but haven't put on an event like Friday night's for a long stretch of time. FFA advisor Jen Mason decided to revive the event in time for national FFA Week that ran from Feb. 16 through 23. Mason said the event was a lot of fun and helped the Othello FFA club raise some money to buy awards and prizes for future events.
"I think it's going well and we earned some money tonight," Mason said on the sidelines a few feet from a couple of donkeys. "That goes in to our nice little FFA pot so we can do some other activities ... and I think everybody's having a good time."
During FFA week, clubs are urged to do community service and host fun events for locals and the money raised helps put on events like the FFA's annual trap shoot that took place the day after donkey basketball. Mason said this year's donkey basketball will serve as a valuable learning experience and she hopes to advertise more for the event to encourage more people to attend.
"We did get on the radio this morning," Mason said. "That worked out okay and we did put flyers out so we did learn from our mistakes."
Bruce Wick, owner of Donkey Sports Inc. based in Entiat, Wash., provided the specially trained donkeys. Wick said he's been in this business since 1980 and never thought he would have so much success providing his animals for entertainment. When he first started, he thought it would be something he would do for a few years, but it blew up and more than 30 years later his company provides donkeys for events all across the Pacific Northwest.
OHS athletic director Don Bullis participated in the event and said this was the first time he's seen donkey basketball since he was in high school.
"I saw it a bunch of times in high school, but I've never been a participant," Bullis said. "(Mason) put out an e-mail for interested staff and I jumped at the chance."
Bullis hopes the event will become a tradition at Othello once again because he had fun and saw everyone there laughing and having a good time.
"This is such a fun activity for people who are fans and playing," Bullis said. "I would have liked to see a lot more people come, but I just don't think people knew about it. I think this place would have been filled."
So apart from a few instances where the donkeys answered nature's call, the event was fun and nobody got hurt. And luckily, the custodial staff had a few brave volunteers with shovels to help take care of the mess!

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