Penny Wars 2013: Buck defeats McGorry in sumo wrestling match

Item photo by Shea Singley
Item photo by Shea Singley
Item photo by Shea Singley
Item photo by Shea Singley

Penny Wars returned to Hamburg Area Middle School for the 18th year and the winners were announced during an all school assembly on Dec. 20 before winter break.

Santa hats and antlers as well as holiday decorated outfits filled the middle school gym as student awaited the totals from the classrooms and the results between Mr. Buck, middle school principal, and Dr. McGorry, middle school assistant principal. While they waited a slideshow was shown of photos from the holiday dance.

When the assembly began, the students were asked if they wanted to see what Mr. Buck and Dr. McGorry did over break and were shown a Jib Jab video (where the faces are placed on animated character bodies).

After that it was time to see the totals. The students cheered as their class appeared and jeered at the classes that had more silver than pennies. So far the Penny Wars have raised more than $40,000 of which goes to local charities and community fundraisers.


They began in November. Most points and most raised went to Ms. Francis’s classroom with a total of $305.90. The winning classroom won an ice cream sundae party.

All together Penny Wars raised $2,788.40 this year with staff raising $307 for “Jean Days.”

Then it was onto the main show of the afternoon to see who won between Mr. Buck and Dr. McGorry. The score was so close, that it was decided a tie and the two had to sumo wrestle to see who the winner was.

In a best of three, each wrestler took a win with the students cheering loudly. During the third match, both were going strong and not giving up without a fight when they both fell over. It was determined that one more match was needed using the smaller circle on the mat.

After an intense match that could have gone either way, Mr. Buck was victories in the 2013 Penny Wars.

“Thank you to all of the students for your hard work,” said Dr. McGorry at the end of the assembly.

Both wrestlers were good sports and the students are already looking ahead to the 2014 Penny Wars to see what happens at the assembly.

About the Author

Shea Singley

Shea Singley is the editor of The Hamburg Area Item. She grew up in Berks County and spent three years at the University of Arizona, Tucson, where she double majored in Creative Writing and English before transferring to Kutztown University where she majored in Professional Writing. Shea graduated from Kutztown University in 2012 and during that time completed an internship in the publication department of a non-profit organization in Washington, DC. She joined Berks-Mont Newspapers in March of 2013 and had enjoyed getting the chance to explore the Hamburg area and meet the readers. Reach the author at or follow Shea on Twitter: @hamburgitem.