Challenge Night, the most anticipated annual event between SPS and SSA, was held Monday, April 28, in the Gene Bennett Sports Complex. St. Paul’s students had practiced for their assigned events throughout all of April in the hopes that they would “wipe the floor” with SSA, but lost in an exciting tiebreaker.
Events during Challenge Night included: a volleyball game, dizzy bat, uniform run, hippity hop race, cheese puff throw, egg toss, ping pong ball carry, over/under, and the cookie contest.
To start the night off, as always, there was a best two out of three volleyball games. It was the SSA volleyball team against eight St. Paul’s seniors. The SPS team was coached well by Ethan Gunter and Chris Russo, with additional credit given to the juice box manager, John Frey. Even though the boys gave it their all on the court, they fell short to the mighty volleyball Doves.
Next was the dizzy bat run, in which a student from each grade level would sprint down the court, grab a plastic bat, and put his or her head on the end and spin ten times in a circle, and run back in a weird way. The running styles included: a normal run, backwards run, crawl, crab walk, and a one-legged hop. St. Paul’s got off to a great start, and then SSA crept up from behind and took this event as well, and SSA moved up 2-0.
The uniform run was a very strange, but clever, event. It included a kid from each grade, and participants had to put on one of the uniforms from each school. St. Paul’s started off very strong and held the lead. Then, SSA sped up and took the lead on the last runner. She had trouble taking off the uniforms, which gave Kramer Jackson of St. Paul’s just enough time to run down, take everything off in one pull and get the first win for SPS. The SSA lead fell 2-1.
As the night progressed, the stands got louder and louder cheering on their school. The next event was the hippity hop race. This had been a strong event for St. Paul’s for the past five years. It included five students all from different grades. The object of the event was to bounce on a ball in and out of cones, up and down the court. Once St. Paul’s took the lead in the beginning, they never lost it. The race came down to two seniors, and Nick Taylor of St. Paul’s took the win by a couple of feet. St. Paul’s had created a tie 2-2.
As the fans were starting to wear down, there was halftime which included the results of the attendance winner and a dance-off. The winner of majority attendance was SSA with 54% of the school compared to SPS 50%. SSA regained the lead 3-2.
Next was the dance-off, which is always a fun event. It does not count for points, but is rather about having fun. SSA came out with a nicely choreographed dance which received much-deserved loud applause. Then the SPS dance showed the SSA Doves that boys can move, too. Their dance included Matt Radar jumping over someone, half of the boys standing on each others backs pretending to ride surfboards, and Willis doing the pop, lock, and drop.
The cheese puff throw was a new challenge this year, during which a student from each school was sprayed in the face with whipped cream, and three other students took turns throwing cheese balls onto his or her face. For SPS, Griffin Guzan took the whipped cream and cheese balls to the face while Colin Ross, Chris Barnett, and Sam Duffor tossed the cheese balls. Colin put the team on his back and nailed Guzan with enough cheese balls to pass the Doves and capture the next win for St. Paul’s. SPS tied it back up 3-3.
Another new event was the ping pong ball carry, during which ten students from each school each had to carry a ping pong ball between the two open ends of a soft drink bottle without touching the ball with their hands. This event seems very easy and simplistic, but it requires steady hands and quick feet to get to the other side before the ball drops. SPS had some trouble in the beginning, but pulled it out in the end to give SPS their first lead of the night at 4-3.
The egg toss was another skillful event which requires both partners to cooperate. Four pairs of students from each school received one egg, and after every toss were asked to back up a step. It came down to two pairs of St. Paul students vs. one pair of SSA students. One SPS team’s egg cracked, which put the pressure on the two pairs left. As the pairs were nearly 30 ft. apart, SSA tossed their egg and cracked it, while SPS successfully caught their egg, giving them another win. SPS extended the advantage 5-3.
The over/under was a quick contest where there were 20 students from each school in a line. The object of the game was to have the students pass a yoga ball through his/her legs or over the head to the next person in an alternating pattern, then the last person had to run to the front of the line and sit down. SSA moved the ball with ease and took the win. SPS still lead 5-4.
The final event was the cookie contest. Five students from each school were to put an Oreo cookie on their foreheads and get it to his/her mouth without using their hands. This event was to determine whether St. Paul’s was to keep the trophy for another year or force the night to a tie breaker. SSA’s five competitors had this event in the bag and won swiftly again. This tied the score 5-5, which had both schools nervous. There was not a single person siting down in the stands.
The tiebreaker was a 1 vs 1 cookie contest where a student from each school went to mid court to battle face-to-face. The suspense was killer, and right when the contest started, the gym erupted with cheers from both schools. It was a close battle, but SSA emerged with the victory and took home the Challenge Night trophy.
Throughout the whole night, the memo was “do not storm the court or you will lose.” Well, since St. Paul’s lost already, the whole student body completely swarmed the court, just for the heck of it. They were immediately kicked out of the gym, and that was final.
The fate of Challenge Night has yet to be decided on whether there will be another one next year or not.