Chapin High’s Erik Hernandez and Cesar Higadera last week took top honors at the Tag Team Rebote Rumble, the first inter-school tournament of its kind in the city.
Doubles teams from Chapin, Bowie and Jefferson high schools competed in the first Royal Rumble at Bowie High for rebote bragging rights – showcasing the not-so-well-known but highly-competitive sport known in English as wallball or handball.
“It was good competition,” Higadera said, holding his rebote trophy. “I’m so happy we got the win.”
Administrators have been using rebote tournaments and games at their campuses to boost attendance and build a rapport with the students who hang out at the courts at lunchtime and before school. The campuses have noticed an increase in attendance and decrease in referrals.
“Education starts with attendance, if they have a reason they will continue go,” said Marty Roland Lara, Bowie assistant principal. “We have all grade levels here. If we have an adult to check their grades and attendance, we can make sure they walk across the stage at graduation.”
Chapin assistant principal Jose Carlos, who had previously worked at Jefferson and conducted tournaments there, sees rebote competitions as a great motivator for his students.
“This has been an awesome thing for our kids,” Carlos said. “The rebote kids are the same culturally at all the schools. They don’t ask for much but they are very grateful for what we do for them. They’re humble kids.”
The lunchtime tournament united 16 teams or 32 players on the courts at Bowie. After teams were eliminated, they continued playing against each other on other courts for fun.
“It’s special to us,” Roland Lara said. “It shows we’re united. We are all one community.”
The passion for the game was evident at the competition as students fought hard for points and strategized against their opponents.
“People don’t think of it as a sport but you need skills to play,” said Hernandez. “We play with our love.”