Watch your back, and don’t get wet during senior assassin


Photo courtesy of Vincent Leon

Senior Vincent Leon stands outside the WCHS Main Entrance with his water guns that he bought from Target.

By Diya Kachoria and Collin Chen

266 students. 56 teams. One winner. It’s time for Senior Assassin, WCHS’s firecest and wettest tradition.

With the year coming to an end, the annual “Senior Assassin” game will be played by seniors as they wrap up their time as a WCHS student. With the game being successful last school year, it has drawn even more participants from the Class of 2023. Some students at WCHS are ready to do whatever it takes in order to win the game, even if it interferes with their daily schedule.

This game is played by seniors across the country, and is a competitive, but fun group game that students can play with their friends and peers. To play, each group is assigned a target, which is another team, that they must “assassinate” by spraying water on them with a water gun. The goal of the game is to be the last team standing and assassinate as many targets as possible without being eliminated by anyone else. To make sure an elimination counts, every team must record a video of the “assassination” in order for a student to be completely out of the game.

This group game rose in popularity last year when students were thinking of ways to create a tradition throughout schools that students could enjoy. Uniting the grade one last time before graduation for a harmless, but exciting game is what students aimed for. As the game started with a student from Virginia, it quickly spread across the country and different high schools have put their own spin on the game to make the idea unique.

This year, WCHS has more participants than any other previous year with 266 seniors seeking the to-be-determined prize money. With this larger player field, the organizers have decided to establish a new bracket style format where seniors form teams of five or less and go against each other. Teams will have two days to eliminate their opponent before the next round starts. The team with the most players left standing will continue on in the tournament and the other team will be eliminated. However, if two teams tie then both will be eliminated.

“I think establishing a team format was a great idea,” said senior Konnor Lee. “Trying to manage 250 plus students would complicate the game for the organizers and would drag out the tournament too long. Also, the team format allows offenders to coordinate attacks and defenders to strategize defense and counter attacks.”

The bracket style tournament has many rules in place that regulate how gameplay can be done. From the times 7:30 A.M. to 2:45 P.M., no students are allowed to be assassinated in order to allow school to focus on school and give them time to get to their form of transportation to and from school safely. Another rule is that students are given a fifteen minute “grace period” after any sport practices or games in order to give them enough time to get off school campus before being vulnerable to being eliminated once again.

“I think many people will agree with me when I say some of the rules just make the game less fun,” said senior Bora Barclay. “No one in our school knows where everyone will be at what time, and the universal location for assassinating is school. However, with the 15-minute grace period, it’s nearly impossible to get someone out at school since seniors usually don’t arrive before 7:30 am and can leave immediately after school.”

Along with the complaints about the rules, the WCHS Senior Assassin was organized by seniors playing in the tournament, so many are questioning if the brackets are being rigged to benefit certain teams.

“I feel like the rules are pretty reasonable but not everyone is following them,” said senior Sanaz Wyckoff. “I think there’s way too much time for athletes going home, and the bracket style isn’t the most fair since matchups were hand picked rather than being random. I would change who’s running the game because I feel like the organizers shouldn’t be one of the teams. Either a group of kids across different groups should do it or kids from other grade levels.”

While there have been mixed feelings about all the details, overall it has proven to be a very bonding activity for the seniors as they enjoy their last month in high school together. 

“It’s a fun way to interact with people you’ve never interacted with,” said senior Vincent Leon. “This tradition makes us feel like we are kids again, playing with friends outside, and getting messy. In a few months, our new lives begin and we may never see each other again so it’s important to make the most out of our high school experience.”

The fierce competition has led to blood, sweat and tears from participants, but at the end of the day it is all in good fun. Friends on the same team have been able to spend time together whether on late night planning calls, or afternoon hunts. When paired against a team of kids they do not know they get to meet new people, and to find out about their whereabouts they reconnect with mutual friends. The game has provided a great opportunity to close out the Class of 2023’s senior year with fun and joy. 

“More than anything, I am excited to play a game with the peers that I have been with since middle school,” WCHS senior Anusha Sastry said. “Memories will be created during this game that I will remember long into the future.”