By CHIRAG GURUKIRAN, junior
Battle Of The Classes—a school-wide showdown that pits grade against grade to test strength, unity, and sportsmanship—has always epitomized the vigor and competitive spirit that JPS fosters. This year was no different. On May 21, participants from each grade converged to dance, cheer, and battle their way to victory. The competition, hosted by the JPS Student Council, consisted of events ranging from crab soccer to obstacle courses, dance-offs to tug-of-war, and many more. The judges, Mr. Cantalupo, Mrs. Brandstetter, Mr. Canova, and Mrs. Lasko, awarded BOTC points based on team performance, ranking, and crowd support. These points, combined with those earned in class versus class events like Hall Decoration and Spirit Week, were used to determine which class would reign supreme.
The freshmen kicked off the event with an ostentatious display of their hot-pink t-shirts, leopard-patterned bandanas, and war-painted faces. The sophomores’ rendition of the classic “Everywhere We Go” chant and the seniors’ military boot camp garb both earned enthusiastic applause. However, the juniors swept the floor with their percussive barrage, led by drummers Anish Soni, Shekhar Kripalani, and Umang Sheth; their energetic cheer routine; and their Dark Knight themed class banner, painted by juniors Kruti Patel and Dhwani Saraiya.
Next, the sophomores proved their speed and stamina by winning a drawn-out over-under basketball relay, while the seniors demonstrated their ability to work as a unit, forming a human ring and passing the hula hoop along its members.
In an unprecedented turn of events, the seniors lost to their sophomore opponents in the long-awaited tug-of-war tournament: the sophomores soundly defeated the seniors in the first two rounds. The juniors, however, displayed no such weakness: both the girls’ and boys’ matches against the freshman were long and arduous, culminating in a narrow victory for the upperclassmen. The seniors eventually placed last in this event after suffering another loss, this time to the freshman. The sophomores reigned victorious against the juniors—a testament to their physical prowess and determination.
The seniors avenged their earlier shortcoming by defeating the sophomores in the crab-soccer games 2-0, while the juniors played and ultimately won a distinctly offensive game against the sophomores. Though it seemed like the seniors would dominate the juniors as well, the juniors made a critical goal in the final few seconds of the champions’ game, resulting in a 1-1 tie. In a rare turn of events, both the juniors and the seniors were crowned winners.
The obstacle course was the final event and was a conglomeration of rigorous challenges that demanded speed, skill, and teamwork. Each challenge was completed by two individuals, who then ran to the next station to allow the next two people to begin their challenge. The challenges included foul shooting, jumping rope, wheelbarrow racing, soccer dribbling, three-legged racing, pie eating, and frisbee throwing. The sophomores celebrated after completing the course in an impressive 1 minute and 28 seconds, only to watch in shock as the seniors blazed through the course a mere two seconds faster.
The excitement felt in the gymnasium before the results were announced was palpable, and rightly so: this event was the final chapter of an entire year’s worth of meetings, fundraisers, and rehearsals. It was much more than just a competition. In fourth place were the freshman; in third place were the seniors; in second place were the sophomores; and the winners, with a remarkable 2,625 points, were the juniors.
Each team worked incredibly hard to prepare for the event, and the effort put forth was evident in the passion and ferocity with which they performed. “We began practicing two weeks before the event and had practices almost every day the week before,” remarked junior Alexander Bogdanowicz. “It was tons of work, but in the end, it was all worth it. Our choreographers had the most work out of all of us, first creating the dance and then later having to have to reteach it. Finally, our artists, Kruti and Dhwani, did an immense amount of work on our posters and decorations and are really responsible for pushing us over the edge to victory.”
Along with the monumental effort put forth by the participants and the student council, the efforts of the music crew also contributed greatly to the event’s success. DJ President Sohom Sen stated, “The juniors’ dance mix was poorly mastered, so I mastered it like a studio mix in order to ready it for the performance. The preparation needed to DJ an event such as BOTC requires an intimate knowledge of all songs and coordination with the host. These two things were incredibly important to the facilitation of an event like BOTC.”
Perhaps the most intense example of inter-class competition of the entire year, the 2015 BOTC succeeded in rallying JP students and families under a single roof. The blood, sweat, and tears shed to perform for this event made a lasting mark on those who attended it. “It was great to see the final product of all the effort that the performers and council exerted,” commented junior Michelle Qu. “This year’s BOTC took a lot out of the people who participated in it, and I really enjoyed what each team was able to bring.” And while it is true that not everyone rooted for the same team, there was no shortage of enthusiasm, and, as the flamboyant outfits, enthusiastic cheers, and hoarse voices could attest to, there was certainly no shortage of spirit.