By Jordan Fox
Five days. Five grades competing in almost 60 events. A junior class looking for back-to-back victories, a senior class looking to graduate with a win and a freshmen class looking to silence the doubters. Which grade will win? This battle-of-the-classes type of competition, called Showdown, is a Wheatley High School tradition. Every year, the school principal, Dr. Sean Feeney, designates one week towards Showdown. Each grade battles each other through events for money towards their prom and also competes to collect the most for charity. The week ends with a grand finale on a Friday night where the most highly weighted point events take place, and the winner of Showdown is chosen.
Every day of this week consists of a theme and events. Some themes are Sports Day, College Day and Class Color Day. Each day, students dress up to fit each theme. After students are tallied, the grade with the largest number of people dressed up gain a certain number of points. Students go all out, decked in clothing for the theme in head to toe.
The events during each day vary from puzzles, donations and sports. Students are excused from classes to help their grade compete in each event. One of the most popular of these events is the puzzle. Each grade has a large table where a very difficult puzzle needs to be completed. The grade that finishes first gets points for this event. At least 20 students can usually be found at their class’s designated table, working extremely hard to find matching pieces to help finish the puzzle.
At the grand finale on Friday, students from each grade compete in a dozen sports events. Then, Dr. Feeney announces the winner in front of 435 anxious students. One of the most popular events on this finale night is a can/personal care product donation for The INN. Whichever grade brings in the most items gets three times as many points as they would in any other event.
On this year’s scheduled Friday finale, there was a snow storm. So, Dr. Feeney had to postpone the finale to Saturday night. This gave students an extra day to buy cans and prepare for their events. Students also spent the night speaking to each other and strategizing on how they could win.
Going into Saturday night, the seniors were winning by a small margin over the juniors, with the freshman trailing them. On Saturday, students came with truckloads of cans/care products. During the finale, the seniors were crushing every grade in each event. It looked as if the seniors were going to be graduating with a victory. However, then came the volleyball event. The seniors were playing against the reigning-champion juniors. In a close match, the juniors came out on top. This appeared to give the juniors some inspiration that they could beat the seniors. Then came the over-under ball event. In a close race, the freshmen came in first place, juniors in second and the seniors in third. Finally, came what everyone was waiting for: Dr. Feeney’s announcement of the winner. His speech began with “More than $2,000 and 16,250 cans/products were collected.” He finalized his speech by saying, “With a slim eight-point margin…the juniors have beaten the seniors.” The juniors quickly rushed the gym floor. All around, you could see seniors in awe. The juniors had done it again. The seniors were extremely saddened. However, they were extremely happy about how they came together as a grade. It was another competitive year of Showdown at The Wheatley School.