Passionate players reinstate the VHHS Ping Pong team


Evan Kim

Rahil Sheth (12) smiles while receiving Kyle Vernon’s (11) serve.

Every Wednesday after school from 3:30 to 5:00, the VHHS foyer is filled with the soft plinking of ping pong balls. The Ping Pong Club has long been a leisurely activity where any student can pick up the paddle and play. Recently, the club has evolved into an official team, gaining enough traction to compete against other schools in a league. 

Due to a lack of desire from students for a ping pong team, VHHS discontinued school participation in the table tennis league in 2010. Ryan Cerauli (12) was one of 6 seniors who played a pivotal role in restarting the team at the beginning of this year. 

“We didn’t really start the ping pong team, rather we revitalized it. As the season went through, we started gathering more and more underclassmen that will be able to continue the team after we leave,” said Cerauli. 

Ping Pong president, Rahil Sheth (12), helped convince faculty advisor Doug Dusthimer to rejoin the competitive table tennis circuit after a decade of absence of not participating. His goals of expanding the club have ultimately come to fruition with the reformation of the team.

“From the competitive practices to the opportunity to travel to other schools and compete, it’s all been very delightful these past few months,” said Sheth. “Overall, I’d say that’s what makes the team so special are the people that are a part of it, and because of that, we’ve all been able to develop a strong connection around the sport.”

The passions for the newly formed team are clearly evident. Each member has worked hard to make competitive ping pong a reality, according to Cerauli. 

“I think my favorite aspect of the ping pong team is the drive and motivation that we have to improve our abilities, strategize and to just always talk ping pong,” he said. “Every single member of the team this past year was a trailblazer, and there wasn’t a single member who was just there to fulfill a sports credit.”

The team has rapidly grown a community, as it started with the 6 original founding members and has grown to an official roster of 15. Sheth hopes that its continued growth will lead to better competition and maybe even a championship victory in the future. 

According to Sheth, highlights from this year’s season include beating Stevenson at their second meet of the season (competing at a total of five), and competing at the Founder’s Cup tournament, an end-of-the-season tournament where the bottom half of the league gets a chance to compete one final time against multiple other teams.

Although only 6 people compete at each meet, any students interested in competing with the VHHS Ping Pong Team in the future can speak with Dusthimer and attend practices after school on Wednesdays.