The parking lot at the Ninth Grade Academy was packed with teens eating pizza, scaling a rock wall, being thrown from a mechanical bull and enjoying a great time with friends Wednesday evening.

Music was blaring from a small stage where a live band played contemporary Christian music. It was the Back 2 School Bash for students in grades 7-12 and was hosted by First Baptist Church (FBC) of Waxahachie in cooperation with Waxahachie ISD.

WHS 10th grader Ryan Johnson said he found out about the event through a friend.

“I like playing the basketball game,” said Johnson of an inflatable game where participants are strapped to a bungee cord which is pulling them backwards while they attempt to put a basketball through a hoop.

“It’s awesome,” said WHS tenth grader Seth Mitchek of the event. “And the funnest thing here has got to be the boxing,” said Mitchek of another inflatable game where participants climb into a ring wearing large boxing gloves to “fight” with their friends.

Mitchek, too, learned about the event through a friend, as did WHS tenth grader Mallorie Gentry.

“I rode the mechanical bull,” Gentry said.

“She lasted five seconds,” Mitchek reported.

“But she had the time of her life,” Johnson added.

“It’s great to see all the kids come out and they’re having a good time,” said FBC member and WJHS teacher Donna Harvey, who added, “and they’re glad to be back in school.”

“Tonight was very fun,” said WJHS eighth grader Deven Denemark, whose favorite thing at the event were the numerous prizes that were given away. “I think it was a good experience for everyone who came and I hope it becomes a tradition. I encourage everyone to attend in the future.”

FBC student minister Jake Benson agreed. This is the first Back 2 School Bash and FBC plans to make it an annual event.

“I am very thankful to the community for their support of the school district and this event to provide a stress outlet for the students on the third day of school,” he said.

WISD board member Bill Kelley and his wife Leanne Kelley are both members of FBC and work as volunteers on Sunday morning with the 11th and 12th graders.

“I’m extremely pleased with the turn-out. It looks like the kids are all having a great time and great fellowship,” Bill Kelley said.

“It’s tons of fun,” WJHS eighth grader Kelsey Hayes said. “I am enjoying being with all my friends. It’s great to be here with all my girlfriends having a good time and it’s all free.”