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Block M Games: Teachers vs. students
Manteca High Director of Activities Jon DeRoos gets ready to take on Manteca High senior Sam Jorgensen in the Block M Game. - photo by HIME ROMERO
Lorena Ayala and Devra Stapleton are soccer players.

The two Manteca High seniors earned their letter varsity playing the sport. But during Wednesday’s annual Block M Games, Ayala and Stapleton played volleyball against the teachers, coaches and staff.

“It would give us great pride just to beat them,” said Stapleton.

Added Ayala, ‘”The teachers win almost every year.”

The teachers’ team consisting of Neil MacDannald, Tim Horning, Bridgette Madden, Dave Asuncion, Justin Conenberg and April Pliler had little problems against the students squad made up of Bernadette May, Karen Mark, Taylor Trout, Amanda Porter, Kristina Martinez, Lauren Beaver, Ayala and Stapleton.

According to Jon DeRoos, dean of student activities, the teachers vs. students game has been a long-standing tradition at Manteca High.

“It’s just something we’ve always done here,” he said.

The Block M games consisting of volleyball and basketball are with some guidelines.

All student participants were required to have earned letters playing varsity sports and must be seniors.

In basketball, however, players earning varsity letter in that sport are prohibited from playing.

DeRoos remembered those games during his years as student at Manteca High. “We actually beat the teachers (in basketball),” he said.

DeRoos, who lettered in hoops, may have been ruled out from playing as a student. But he looked forward to playing on the familiar hardwood of Winter Gymnasium, facing the squad consisting mostly of football players and some wrestlers.

“There was a huge buzz around campus about the game,” DeRoos said. “A lot of students were talking about coming out to watch the game.”

Incidentally, the teachers came away with a narrow 48-45 victory.

The Block M Games, for girls, did allow for some varsity players to take part in volleyball, with May and Mark lending their experience to the group.

But most of the team was thin in volleyball experience.

“We really don’t play volleyball except for PE,” Ayala said.

The girls team spent several days leading up the Block M Games practicing. But in the end, the experience of the teachers proved to be too much.

Proceeds from the Block M Games will go towards making letters possible for varsity sports, DeRoos said.