Kill or be killed: Senior assassin

Mayson Weingart

On Sunday, Mar. 27 Senior Assassin, a game that the majority of seniors have been waiting four years to play, officially began. With roughly 75 teams of three to four members each, the pool of money has reached roughly $3,000. As the money is to be divided between the first, second and third place teams, the game is surrounded by a mutually competitive energy and strong desire to win, along with the tradition of the game that has been carried over from previous years. Wendell Laidley, the senior who organized the game, assigns each individual team with an opposing team that they have to “assassinate” before the end of the week. To eliminate a team, participants must attack them using water guns and water balloons, specifically aiming for their team captain. Each team captain is kept secret because if they get eliminated their team is out of the game completely. 

To prevent stress, specific location rules limit eliminating players when they are inside their house, attending a sports practice or game, at school or at their job, which allows students peace of mind once within those parameters. With the constant suspense created from the secretive aspect of the game, teams are forced to constantly be on the lookout. 

Enjoying the company of their chosen teams, seniors prepare for battle with heavy duty water guns. ( Photo courtesy of Greer Diaz )

“My fellow classmates asked me to run Assassin. Originally, I really didn’t know what that entailed, but I love diving head-first into a challenge and sort of stuck with it. Over three weeks we formulated a plan to start the game, and were able to get the rules from previous classes. With this, I was able to create a hybrid model of the game,” Laidley said. 

Laidley has been committed to developing the game to its peak efficiency through several platforms such as Remind, and has had huge success so far. As he is set to receive a cut of roughly $300 for organizing it and therefore not being able to participate, his hours of work will not be in vain. Laidley has the duties of assigning and informing teams of their groups to kill for that week, as well as running instagram and all other forms of communication; the game has kept him very busy in his senior year. Moreover, he is very enthusiastic about the benefits of the game to the Redwood senior class, as a community has been created through its high participation.

“The aspect that I most enjoy about [the game] is seeing the joy that it brings to the community, as well as the entertainment seen on our Instagram that speaks volumes about how far people will go to defend their teams and a strong desire to see the results of the game,” Laidley said. 

Sharing Laidley’s enthusiasm, senior and current player Greer Diaz also loves the competitive drive of the game. 

“I’ve always heard about assassins from previous senior classes over the years. I think it’s something I’ve always looked forward to and definitely want to succeed in. It’s super entertaining because it feels like when I was a kid wanting to be a spy, like you’re just running around trying to figure out where peopl
e are and what people are doing, which makes it overall super thrilling,” said Diaz.

Powered by the drive for success, Diaz and her teammates were willing to go to extreme lengths to accomplish their goals. To make time for their plans to assasinate another team’s  player, they made the combined decision to skip a day of soccer practice for the sake of the game.

Aiming to kill, teams compete to eliminate their opponents by following them to their house. (Photo courtesy of Greer Diaz )

“Me and my friend stayed in the back of our opponent’s car for two hours, and camped out in the trunk until she came back. We took shifts leaving the car with our heads constantly on a swivel, and then finally she got back into her car and drove toget gas. The rules say you have to wait for your opponent to be stopped, so we shot her after she got back into the car from filling up her tank of gas,” said Diaz.

Sharing Diaz’s competitive spirit, senior Jacob Smith, who is also a contender, has made plans with his team with an optimistic attitude. Smith has a strong aspiration to win the large pool of money, and has successfully eliminated one of his targets by following him to his house, and then proceeding to shoot him in his driveway. In preparation for the game, Smith and his teammates took a timid approach in order to remain unknown to those who they were attempting to eliminate. 

“My team planned for the game by purchasing large and small water guns, and once we got our assignments for the team we had to kill, we tried to be discreet in uncovering information about them, like their addresses and sports teams, without revealing ourselves too easily,” said Smith. 

The game has managed to bring together a large portion of the 2021-2022 Redwood senior class as they reach the final stretch of their high school career. Through Laidley’s dedication to the game’s function and players such as Diaz and Smith, it has been made possible and extremely desirable due to the large pool of money waiting to be separated among the winning teams.