Survive and advance: seniors give preview of this year’s edition of assassins

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Luke Hottovy

Assassins is a game considered a tradition for the senior class.

Luke Hottovy, Staff writer

With the looming joy of graduation comes end of the year activities specialized to the senior class that underclassmen look forward to throughout their high school tenure. One of these exciting endeavors conducted by the senior class is “Assassins.” The game consists of “assassinating” specific targets tailored to each individual participant through means of a water gun.

Certain rounds of elimination and time frames exist and the winner who “assassinates” all their targets wins the cash pool that each participant pays into. Senior Trey Kays was appointed by last year’s head member to lead assassins for the class of 2020. Although the game is considered a tradition by many, it is entirely planned and organized by the soon-to-be graduates.

“It’s strictly private; it’s not associated with the school,” Kays said.

Kays then approached long-time friend, senior Sophie Oatman to help him plan out the game for this spring.

“The previous senior class hands it off to someone,” Oatman said. “Trey needed a girl because it’s a guy and a girl who run it and I was willing to help because I thought it would be really fun because I wanted to be involved whether I was playing in it or organizing it.”

Kays highlighted some of the major rules and guidelines that the seniors are playing “assassins” by this year.

“It’s $20 to play,” Kays said. “It starts right after spring break, and then it ends whenever the last person gets out, which is usually around the week after prom. The first round is going to be longer than all the other rounds just because there’s the most amount of people, so that’ll be like five days to a week as your target range for the first three or four rounds. Then it shortens down to like three days and two days.”

As for how targets will be selected, Oatman and Kays said they want to mostly randomize it.

“I think, personally, there should be some kind of randomizer as far as who targets [are],” Oatman said, “I know that can get kind of tricky when you get into friend groups and all of that.”

But Kays also added how they can pair up friends while not damaging relationships.

“We kind of want to do it randomly but throw in some friends here and there,” Kays said.

Kays also discussed the guidelines behind legal eliminations in the game’s rules.

“You can’t get someone in the school, in the school parking lot, at their house, in their garage or at their work,” Kays said. “But as soon as they leave their house or their garage, they’re fair game, or if they get off work their work parking lot is fair game.”

Senior Joey Hellen plans to participate in assassins this year and said he has looked forward to it since he first learned about the game.

“I’m really excited just based off [of] what I’ve heard from prior seniors,” Hellen said. “It’s definitely going to have a lot of excitement being able to do it with my friends and stuff before we head off to our other endeavors.”

In addition to the hype, Hellen also has some goals and plans in mind for the game.

“I mean, [my] personal goal is to get the dub,” Hellen said. “Intentions like the glory of the money pool. So [to] get that grand prize and just be able to get to the final spot that’d be pretty impressive.”

However, getting to that final spot is going to take a considerable amount of strategy and energy.

“[I’m most excited for] getting told who I have and coming up with a strategy on how to get that person and completely catching them off guard,” Hellen said. “I want to completely catch people off guard.”

Catching people off guard is a large part of the game, but with so many people the mediators of the game have to officiate as well as plan it out.

“We’ll use [Twitter] and the GroupMe to be able to say ‘you’ll have this amount of time and that,’” Kays said. “And then they’ll send photos, like proof, that they actually got the person, and then if there’s a dispute then we’ll handle that.”

With playing and attempting to win Assassins comes a very large time commitment that might fluster some seniors.

“I definitely am going to be busy with tennis and stuff [during Assassins],” Hellen said. “But if I make it a couple rounds I’ll be like, ‘okay, I got a shot.’ So, then I’ll really put my time and effort into it.”

As the game progresses and more participants become spectators, the means and creativity of eliminations becomes a big point of the game as well.

“I’m most looking forward to just seeing all the creative ideas people come up with,” Oatman said. “And I just think people make it really funny and entertaining.”

Finally, although Assassins is very competitive with all the money on the line, at the end of the day it’s still mainly a fun tradition between members of the senior class before graduation.

“I’m mostly just [excited about] the atmosphere changes and people are usually a lot more excited because it’s getting close to the end of the year, everyone’s about to go to college,” Kays said. “It’s like the last big thing we can all do together.”