Senior assassin returns for seniors


Photo used with permission from Janie Vanoverwalle.

Seniors Janie Vanoverwalle and Alexis Howard take the traditional post-elimination picture after Vanoverwalle eliminated Howard at her house on April 29.

Nate Albin, Editor-in-Chief

     Despite the pandemic causing some end-of-year events to be canceled, senior assassin is back. Since late April, FHS seniors have armed themselves with water guns to defend themselves and eliminate others in this weeks-long event.

     Players must follow certain rules after paying their entry fee. If a senior is hit by their assassin or hit while trying to eliminate their assigned target, they are out. Being that this is not an official school-sanctioned event, all competition must occur off of FHS property and one cannot be eliminated during a school activity. Players cannot break any laws, but outside of those precautions, seniors must be on their toes at all times.

     “Fortunately, I don’t have to worry too much about it until I go to work,” senior Janie Vanoverwalle said. “That’s when I’m most vulnerable. It is stressful, but it is a fun stressful. It’s stress in a game.”

     Because the school is not involved with this activity in any way, the entire event was student-planned and has been student-run. The job of running it has fallen to the senior student government officers.

     “It’s fun and cool,” senior Zayd Almaya said. “I get to see who has who. When my friends come up to me and say ‘I think this person has me,’ obviously I can’t tell them, but it’s interesting to see their thought process when I know the whole time if they’re right or wrong.”

     Throughout the year, seniors have had to deal with an ever-changing final year at FHS. Many popular social activities like school dances and sporting events were either canceled or modified due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. This motivated the leadership group to make sure this activity went on. 

     “A lot of seniors missed out on a lot of things this year,” Almaya said. “There was a lot of normalcy that was missing, and I think a lot of seniors were looking forward to senior assassin. Me and some other class officers thought it would be good to have some sort of senior assassin activity.”

     This being one of the few and last activities for FHS seniors was a reason for Vanoverwalle to compete. For her, though, it was also something she wanted to do because of her experience with her brother doing it.

     “My brother did it when he was a senior and he involved me a lot,” Vanoverwalle said. “I was a freshman and it seemed really fun and he was a competitive person. Since we didn’t get a lot of our senior year, I was like `We get this opportunity, why not have some fun?’”

     Vanoverwalle is still in the fight to win the competition. After eliminating one of her friends in the first round, she had to research her next two assignments to get intel. Recently, she had to crouch under her car’s dashboard for over an hour at her target’s workplace to get the elimination. For her, the actual elimination causes some mixed feelings.

     “I feel really bad,” Vanoverwalle said. “But it feels really good. Every time I get someone out, they’re always telling me ‘Oh, I had this great plan to get out my target’ and ‘I was getting so far into the game’ and I just feel so bad because I eliminate them and they lose their chance to win all this money and the title of senior assassin champion. But then again, I have to do it.”

     Round four began Monday at noon. To follow along with eliminations, the official Twitter account has live updates.