Water Wars starts with a splash of excitement for class of 2021

Wetty or not, the school year is coming to an end, and the last of the senior traditions has just begun. 

Water Wars, a senior event at P-CEP that is run and organized by students, kicked off with its first round on Monday, April 19. 

Due to COVID-19, the 2020-2021 school year has had many changes, so many seniors thought that traditions would be lost. With a campus of over 6,000 students, events at P-CEP, especially when run by students, can come with many difficulties.

Jaydon Kurowski, a Salem senior, rose to the challenge and took on the responsibility of organizing Water Wars to give his fellow classmates a sense of normalcy.

Water Wars is a bracket-style competition with 55 teams competing this school year. Each week participants are put up against another team, the winning team advances to the next round, while the other team is eliminated.

“It is basically like a giant water gun fight,” said Kurowski, “where there are teams of six, and they are shooting another team of six to win money at the end.” The cash prize can vary from year to year depending on the number of teams that are participating. Each player is required to pay a ten dollar entrance fee which goes towards the cash prize.

Megan Mullenax, a senior from Plymouth High School, participated in the first round of Water Wars. Mullenax’s team, H2hose, won its first round. The team was able to get five people out on the first day of  Water Wars and got the last person out on the opposing team the second day. The team is currently safe, said Mullenax.

Some seniors consider the game as their last hurrah. “Water Wars is basically like a fun thing for the seniors to do,” said Mullenax, “to get a last chance at something, and it’s just a big water gun fight, which is kind of like the last part of our childhood.”

Brenden Jankowski, a senior at Plymouth High School, is another participant in Water Wars. Jankowski has been looking forward to participating in this event since he was young.

“I first heard about Water Wars when I was in elementary school, around the fourth grade when my sister was participating in it her senior year of high school. I believe she was actually the second class to ever do Water Wars at P-CEP in 2013.” said Jankowski.

COVID-19 has changed many aspects of how we attend school, including the schedule, which has also impacted the way Water Wars is played. The new schedule at P-CEP requires students to go to school in person for three hours, travel back home and eat lunch in a 90-minute time frame, then go on Zoom again until 2:10. Water Wars participants are not allowed to get people out during school hours, but lunchtime is fair game.

“I would say it is more difficult to get people out because there is less going on. People don’t leave their house as much anymore,” said Jankowski, “but with the schedule change at P-CEP, having a block schedule and the hour and a half lunch time adds a unique aspect and period of time to get people out.”

To successfully participate in Water Wars, participants must follow the rules in the eleven page rule book that is posted on the P-CEP Water Wars Twitter. These rules help the game run smoothly, and settle any disputes between teams. 

Some basic rules of Water Wars is that participants may not break any laws. A commonly broken law is trespassing. Participants cannot go into someone else’s house, garage or backyard without verbal permission from a resident at the house. Participants are also not allowed to use their cars to block the opposing team, This is considered reckless driving. Breaking these laws can result in participants being eliminated from the round or suspended from the game, said Kurowski.

The high stakes can sometimes bring out the competitive side of participants. Kurowski wants players to remember that Water Wars is just a game. “Just have fun with it. Don’t take it too seriously. It’s supposed to be a game to have fun with,” said Kurowski. “Sure there is prize money at the end, but we’re just trying to have fun. Something for our senior year, and just be safe. Don’t do anything stupid.”