Team 'Ass Kickers' lived up to their name in the Donkey Basketball games last Saturday.

PIONEER PHOTO: CINDY FAMA - The CHS staff team takes on the eighth-grade team in last Saturday's Donkey Basketball game.

Last Saturday, the Colton High School boys basketball team went to Scio where they beat the Scio team to advance in the 2A playoffs, and that evening Donkey Basketball hit the CHS gym.

The night, which included a well-stocked concession stand and souvenir Viking gear sale, was a fundraiser for the Colton Boosters, a club made up of student parents and community members who help fund school activities and sports.

Donkey basketball is a variation of the hoop game, but instead of sneakers, teams are required to ride on donkeys. Players cannot pass the ball or make a shot for a field goal unless they are sitting on a donkey's back.

Donkey basketball is played with five players on each team, four riders and one center.

The center does not ride a donkey. Their job is to tip the ball at the beginning of the game, relay the ball and inbound the ball after the opponent's basket is made. The center is not allowed to shoot, but in Colton, they are allowed to act up and make the game even more fun.

The animals, with hooves covered to protect the gym floor, were provided by Donkey Sports, Inc..

"This is so much fun to watch, I just keep laughing," one observer was overheard saying.

The games began with the eighth-grade team, the Jack Asses (JA)- Caleb Behrens, Dominic Combest, Jackson English, Sam Shumate, CMS Principal Grant Hayball and center Hailee Hordichok facing off against the Ass Kickers (AK), a team with high school seniors Morgan Ackermann, Tattum Allen, Janey Ethington, Brooklyn Olsen with school coach Chris Cahoon as center. AK took the win, earning them a place in the championship round.

The second game pitted the Amigo Des Seis, a team comprised of Colton School District staff members and school volunteers. They were Tonya Heavens, Jordyn Hordichok, Lisha Stone, Bethany West, Sheryl Irving and center Chris West, facing off against the community team, Blazing Saddles, with Winthrop Beach, Deborah Brinkley, Mary Ethington, Samantha Sanders, Mary Wilson and center Tim Behrens. The staff team bested the community team to move on to the "donkey dance" round.PIONEER PHOTO: CINDY FAMA - Senior team member Brooklyn Olsen tries to convince her donkey partner, 'let's go this way.'

Players on all teams had to learn that donkeys are not very cooperative animals. Many times players were off their animal trying to steer their donkey toward the basket by pulling on the reins or by trying to guide them from atop the animal's back and ending up going the wrong way. And then there was Jordyn Hordichok, who came with pockets full of vegetable treats to bribe his donkey.

The senior AK team took the win in the final game against the Amigos Des Seis with a score of 8-0.

PIONEER PHOTO: CINDY FAMA - The Donkey Basketball championship team from left to right: Brooklyn Olsen, Morgan Ackermann, Janey Ethington and Tattum Allen.

The gymnasium was filled to the rafters with community and family as they cheered on the donkeys (and riders). Between games, children were invited down to meet the animals. Booster President Vivian Day said the game pulled in more than $1,000 at ticket sales, and money raised at the concession stand and from Viking gear sales had not yet been counted. All proceeds will be used for various needs in the schools.

PIONEER PHOTO: CINDY FAMA - Between games, children were invited down to meet the animals.

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