HAYSVILLE, Kan. (KSNW) — Dozens of school children got a good workout Thursday as they tried to capture a turkey. Don’t worry. It was not a real turkey.

Rubber “turkeys” wait to be captured during the Capture the Turkey Tournament at Rex Elementary in Haysville, Nov. 17, 2022. (KSN Photo)

Third, fourth and fifth-grade students at Rex Elementary in Haysville played a game that looked a bit like flag football. But instead of a football, the goal is for a player to grab one of the turkeys (rubber chickens) lined up at the end of the field before someone takes the player’s flag.

This was the fifth year for the turkey game. This time, it was renamed the Dave Kahmann Capture the Turkey Tournament. Kahmann owned a Haysville construction company and donated turkeys every year to needy families. Unfortunately, he died earlier this year.

“Dave Kahmann and Holli Kahmann were a big part of getting this off the ground,” Matt Peschel, Rex Elementary PE teacher, said. “They donated several turkeys throughout the last five years.”

Matt Peschel, PE teacher at Rex Elementary, coordinates the Capture the Turkey Tournament on Nov. 17, 2022. (KSN Photo)

Peschel said a former teacher got the idea from Mulvane and brought it to Rex Elementary.

“We’ve been doing it ever since,” he said.

Students are eager for the tournament.

“They talk about it in August, and they’re ready,” Peschel said. “‘When’s the Capture the Turkey Tournament?’ It’s something they look forward to, and it’s a big day.”

The turkey tournament was held at Colt Stadium in Haysville. Children ran across the field, racing to get a turkey or to stop another player from getting one.

The students who win play against the staff in the championship game.

“It’s getting bigger and bigger every year. The kids kind of know about it now,” he said.

The day includes a raffle where students can win a turkey (not a rubber chicken) for Thanksgiving.

“It’s important to the kids, and they know the reason we’re out there and to have fun and just to have that one last fun day of school before Thanksgiving break,” Peschel said. “It’s just kids making memories.”

Haysville USD 261 takes its Thanksgiving break starting Monday, Nov. 21, through Friday, Nov. 25.