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Donkeyball comes to Minerva Central School

Chelsea Wright taking a leisurely ride around the MCS gym on a gentle donkey.

Chelsea Wright taking a leisurely ride around the MCS gym on a gentle donkey. Mike Corey

— Donkeyball was the name of the game.

Donkey (noun) — A long-eared domesticated member of the horse family, descended from the African wild ass. Latin name: Equus asinus.

Donkey Basketball (noun) — An interesting (some might say bizarre) combination of donkeys, a basketball game, and people, often requiring patience, occasional falls, ability to play basketball under difficult conditions, and humility.

These two nouns were combined on Friday evening, April 27, in the Minerva Central School gymnasium, for a time of fun, laughs, and yes, humility. There is little more humbling than trying to hang on to the smooth back of donkey with a mind of its own while trying to shoot baskets in the presence of a large crowd of laughing, pointing, and cheering fans. A lot of people did indeed accomplish this at the school this past Friday, and it was a great time with a great crowd. It was a fun thing to participate in, and it was certainly a swell spectacle to witness.

This successful event was sponsored by the Minerva Central School Class of 2013. In fact, MCS Juniors didn’t just organize the fun — they participated in it, opposing the MCS Seniors in a no-holds-barred (almost) contest to complete the evening. The first game was equally cut-throat, involving a battle between MCS faculty and members of the Minerva Volunteer Fire Department and Rescue Squad. The whole evening was, in a word, intense and fun.

Provided by Green Mountain Donkeyball of Danby, Vt., the donkeys at Minerva Central School were polite and thoughtful, at least most of the time. According to a lengthy definition found via Google, donkeys have a strong sense of self-preservation, with can sometimes be regarded as stubbornness. Some of this stubbornness was witnessed on Friday evening. Lynn Green, a rider for both the fire department and MCS faculty, summed up the experience: “It was a lot of fun, with fine, gentle animals and a great company to work with.”

Along with the basketball games, kids in the audience were welcomed to ride the donkeys during the intermission period, which was popular indeed. Thanks to the Class of 2013 and their advisors, Candace Gereau and April Williams. And, a great job of emceeing (with color commentary) on the floor was done by MCS math teacher Jed Armstrong.

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