The Broncos may have won the Super Bowl on Sunday, but donkeys were the highlight Monday night at Lindhurst High for a unique game of basketball.
The Blazers gymnasium was on fire with audience members erupting in laughter and cheer as staff, members and supporters of the Marysville and Lindhurst Future Farmers of America clubs went hoof to hoof to raise money for the programs.
“This is very entertaining, and the kids are loving it,” said Bethanie McGahan, whose daughter, Anna, is a Marysville High student. “No one is too prideful to get onto a donkey.”
McGahan was snapping photos and laughing as students, staff and parents rode donkeys, passed the ball back and forth and took shots.
Donkey basketball, a variation on the standard game, features four donkeys and riders on each team with one center on each team who doesn’t ride a donkey.
“The donkey was way faster than I expected, and I could sort of control him,” said Ashley Conner, a Lindhurst High FFA member. “It was a lot of fun, and I’d do it again.”
Marysville FFA adviser Bonnie Magill, who played the game as a student, said 2010 was the last time the game was played locally.
“I played in high school and brought spurs and a whip, but they said I couldn’t use them,” Magill said. “The donkeys do what they want and go where they want, it’s hysterical.”
Magill and Lindhurst High FFA adviser Jennifer Cummins said each school will raise about $1,000 for the one-time event, which will go to support their respective programs.
Marsyville High FFA member Jennifer Andruchowsky is used to riding horses and playing volleyball — but she was looking forward to the donkey ride.
“It’s definitely going to be different that riding a horse,” said Andruchowsky, who jumps her large 16.3-hand thoroughbred horse, Sera. “The donkey has a mind of it’s own, and I hope I don’t fall off, but if I do, it’s not too far from the ground.”
Jeff Pittsinger, with Donkey Sports Inc., said he travels regularly to schools with the donkeys for basketball games.
“We bring the donkeys to events for the Shriners, basketball teams, track teams and even police versus firefighter events.”
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