Parched Madness


Photo Courtesy of Creative Commons

After studying and ranking each drink, the J staff came up with a winner for Parched Madness.

By Eli Gordon, Brandon Li, Joe Raab, Staff Writer

When you chow down on a sandwich or sub for lunch, choosing an appropriate drink to complement your meal is often difficult. To find out which drink the WCHS community prefers, we created a 16-team bracket, in the spirit of the upcoming NCAA March Madness tournament, to see which drink comes out popping. Comprised of four divisions, our tournament will include some classic beverages, as well as some quirky bracket busters. Ladies and gentlemen, your 2019 Parched Madness Bracket.


To evaluate each drink, we decided we need to keep a few variables constant to maintain a fair competition.. We used the rubric below to compare the many aspects of each drink. The drink that meets the most requirements, or the drink that is most well-balanced, moved on to the next round.

Initial Taste:

What happens in the first 5 seconds of having the drink in your mouth?


The drink makes your taste buds dance, but is it a well choreographed tango or a poorly organized flash mob in your mouth?

Quench Factor:

Its 95 degrees and sunny, you have just come back from your 3 mile hike at the Billy Goat trail and you need something to drink. Will this drink quench your thirst?

Overall Impression:

Would you drink it again? Would you recommend it to a friend? Does each sip make you want more?

Side Note:

In order to make the drinks more even compared to its competitors, we decided to keep each drink at the same temperature. This is especially important for the water division because temperature plays a large role in the initial taste.


Fiji, Voss, Dasani and WCHS water fountain. This star-studded group of talent is considered to be in the most prestigious division: Division I. In the first round, the luxury brand Fiji enters as the division favorite. The cascading aroma reminds drinkers of a classic waterfall scenery. Facing off against this powerhouse is Dasani. With Fiji’s refreshing and high-class reputation that justifies its high price tag, it is easy to see why Dasani lost in this blowout matchup.

Coming in as the ultimate underdog, WCHS water fountain water is forming a name for itself. Just like Loyola University Chicago in the 2018 March Madness tournament, the water fountain is a force to be reckoned with. The water is always cold, free and never seems to run out. However, it faces off against another tournament favorite: Voss. But the endless hydrogen bonds prevail, as WCHS water fountain defeats Voss in a huge upset. WCHS water fountain water advances and will face off against Fiji for water dominance.

In the quarterfinals, we have an epic matchup between team Fiji and team WCHS water fountain. After running some numbers, Vegas has Fiji as a three-point favorite, but that does not stop the heart and determination of the water fountain. After being down by 25 going into the half, WCHS water fountain put on quite a show, seemingly making a miraculous comeback with 4 seconds left in the game. With Fiji up ahead by two, all seems lost for water fountain. Fiji turns the ball over on the inbound and WCHS takes the jumpshot, makes it and gets the and-one. With the entire season resting on this free throw, WCHS has to come up clutch. WCHS drills the shot, proving that its ice-cold veins are unstoppable. Team water fountain claims the division title and will face off against the winner of the Kids’ Drinks division.

Kids’ Drinks:

Before the era of Cookies and Cream milkshakes and Pumpkin Spice lattes, it was a simpler time. To give the tournament a nostalgic vibe, we introduce the four contenders for the Kids’ Drink division.

As one of the more popular beverages, chocolate milk enters Parched Madness as the leader of the pack among Kids’ Drink. It qualified over its arch rival: 2 percent reduced fat milk. Back then, chocolate milk used to be the second favorite to regular milk. Today, many people still prefer regular milk, but chocolate milk is making a miraculous comeback, as its darker opacity adds a unique contrast.  

However, chocolate milk was barely superior to Capri Sun. The classic blue pouch with its iconic waves rolled its way into our elementary school lunch boxes. Not only did our young minds think these fruity juices were healthy, but our obsession for the juice set the bar high for our taste buds.

While both Capri Sun and chocolate milk are solid options, only one can come out on top. In this epic matchup, chocolate milk’s sweet and savory taste propel it past Capri Sun and the milk will move on to round two.

The next two options are still classics but are not as popular as the previous two. In this matchup, we have team apple juice versus team Danimals. Apple juice was pretty common during lunch, but as other fruit drinks started taking over the market in the cafeteria, it quickly faded away. Danimals are in a unique category by itself. Not only is it considered a yogurt, but it is also a drink. If you had a cool mom and a childhood, then you are probably hip to Danimals. For those with mothers that preferred healthier options, you are missing out. No chance for an upset here: Danimals wins this one.

In the Kids’ Drinks division finals, we have chocolate milk up against Danimals. Again, both were, and probably still are, paramount to a packed lunch. With a thick and dark presentation of the classic regular milk, coupled with Danimals’ small bottle size, chocolate milk easily wins and advances on to face WCHS water fountain in the semi-final.


As spring rolls around, WCHS students turn to their favorite bubbly drinks to quench their thirst. Going head-to-head in the first competition of the soda division, we have root beer facing off against Coca-Cola. While some may consider them to be very similar as they are both brown, bubbly and delicious, Coke has prevailed as the victor. The original American soda has advanced onto the second round.

In the other first-round matchup in the Soda division, we have everyone’s favorite refreshing lemon-lime soda facing off against the doctor himself: Sprite vs. Dr. Pepper. Sprite showed promising signs early on in the matchup, but “the good doc” manages to pull ahead and win it all with its one-of-a-kind flavor.

In the Soda division finals, Dr. Pepper faces off against Coke. Dr. Pepper comes out first in flavor but faces minor penalties for excessive carbonation. Coke takes the cake in terms of refreshment and also has the better aroma. Advancing on to face the winner of the Lemonade division is Coca-Cola. The winner of this semi-finals matchup will advance to the finals, where they will face the winner of the Water-Kids’ semi-finals.


When life gives you lemons, you make lemonade… but what type? In the first matchup in the Lemonade division, we have legendary golfer Arnold Palmer’s staple beverage, a mix between iced tea and lemonade, creatively titled “Arnold Palmer,” versus the classic lemonade. While lemonade does earn points for evoking childhood memories and nostalgia of lemonade stands on the front lawn, Arnold Palmer pulls out the victory with its unique addition of iced tea and extremely prevalent thirst quenching ability.

The next matchup is very tight, and is almost too close to call. In this matchup, we have pink Lemonade against strawberry lemonade. As two different takes on the classic drink, this match could’ve been anyone’s game. While pink lemonade was the favorite coming into the matchup due to being easily accessible and going well with almost any lunch food, strawberry lemonade pulled off the upset to advance. The addition of the strawberry flavor adds a whole new dimension to the lemonade, and the high powered flavor plowed pink lemonade right off the chart.

The matchups lead to Arnold Palmer versus strawberry lemonade in the division final, and unfortunately the matchup wasn’t close. Arnold Palmer, the favorite to win the division, overpowered strawberry lemonade in both thirst quenching ability and taste. This left Arnold Palmer to face off against Coke, a powerhouse since first created in 1892.

Semi Finals:
In the first semi final matchup, there are 2 powerhouses facing off. On one side, they have been perfecting their recipe for success since 1892, their red can has been a staple in the beverage industry, it’s coke. On the other side another powerhouse, created in 1960s, the refreshing mix of lemonade and iced tea, it’s Arnold Palmer. This matchup was quite the offensive shootout, with both teams refusing to give up. However, at the end of the day, the thirst quenching ability of the Arnold Palmer was able to edge out Coke to the victory.

In the second semi final match we have chocolate milk vs. WCHS water fountain water. Both of these beverages have been around for a long time, both are considered classics. It will be a close match-up. Both are full of flavor, both on occasion or brown, but what really separates them is the outstanding flavor of chocolate milk, and with that chocolate milk will advance to the finals.


It all comes down to this: the epic showdown between team chocolate milk and team Arnold Palmer, a David versus Goliath bout. After a tough round one and Kids’ Drinks division championship, chocolate milk has seen its fair share of rough matchups. However, Arnold Palmer has had it pretty easy, blowing out lemonade, strawberry lemonade and Coke on its way to its second-straight finals matchup.

With the two legendary drinks facing off for drink dominance, only one will come out on top. Channeled with the energy of the legendary golfer Arnold Palmer, team Arnold Palmer proves why it has ice in its veins, taking down chocolate milk to hoist its first championship trophy in tea history.

With Arnold Palmer claiming the top dawg award, and with the real NCAA March Madness tournament right around the corner, who do you think will come out on top?