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Battle of the Classes: The Inside Scoop

A junior competitor and a senior spectator uncover the truth behind New Hyde Park's first Junior/Senior Battle of Classes.

The Junior Gist

By Fiona O'Reilly

For all of NHP’s participating juniors and seniors, Battle of the Classes was a night of intense competition and school pride. However, only one class could come out on top. The series of competitions throughout the course of the night kept both the Class of 2023 and the Class of 2024 on their toes and in high spirits.

To kick off the event, the students participated in can collection and bleacher-decorating challenges. Each student brought in a number of canned foods to be donated to charity in hopes of piling up more cans than the other class. The juniors lined up their side of the gym with blue decorations including posters with anti-senior and pro-junior slogans, big letter balloons reading “JUNIORS,” streamers and more. Not only were the stands covered with blue, but the group of students organized to all wear blue attire.

Source by Areej Zaidi

The Class of 2024 radiated confidence and pride as they painted their faces and wore matching shades of blue, determined to reign victorious over the seniors.

Though the juniors did not win points in the can collection or bleacher-decorating contest, they brought the intensity for the athletic challenges.

“I participated in over-under basketball and had a blast,” junior Brandon Noguera said. “The joy amongst our team when winning off of knowing the rules [of over-under basketball] rather than genuinely beating the seniors at the event was sensational. The occurrence was a mood lift and set the tone for the rest of the night.”

“I thought that the scooter relay was so much fun,” junior Olivia Tomalska said. “Balance was key. I enjoyed being dragged across the gym on little wheels, but bringing back a partner brought pressure to be a fast runner and to have a strong grip on them.”

Source by Christina Wilson

Juniors stand unified with resolve during the pledge of allegiance and each athletic event that took place throughout the night.

In between each of the speed events, three separate rounds of tug of war were held with 10 members of each class assigned to each round, attempting to pull the victory to their side. During these events, the junior spirit was unmatched, as the Class of 2024 won all three rounds.

After the three official rounds of tug of war, additional rounds were held. For the first, each class put forth whom they deemed their five strongest girls to compete against each other. For the second, an identical process was held for the boys.

Source by Christina Wilson

Competitive spirits rise as the juniors anxiously take their stance and prepare to pull as though their lives depend on it.

“I felt really proud that people picked me to be in the all-girls round,” junior Alexa Stec said. “I went to grab a drink of water and everyone was screaming my name trying to find me. I thought that was really cool, and I love that everyone trusted me to help win for them.”

Undoubtedly, those involved in pulling the rope worked tirelessly, but they couldn’t have done it without the crowd cheering them on.

Source from Olivia Loubriel

Alexa Stec, Aashi Patel, Vallerya Rojas, Rosina Zehnter and Fiona O'Reilly celebrate their victory after being chosen to compete in the all-girls tug of war round.

Before the final event, the juniors were tied 4-4 with the seniors. It was up to the score of cage volleyball to determine the winners of the Battle of the Classes, leading to a 5-minute round of high pressure and intensity.

The event ended in a 3-1 score favoring the juniors, bringing the total score of the night to 5-4. With the announcements of the winner, juniors rushed the gym floor, ending their night of triumph and victory.

Source from Mr. Patrick Maguire

The junior class accepts the first place title in Battle of the Classes for the first time of any class in NHP history.

The Senior Side

By Rachel Houng

For the senior class, the event began March 3, three school days before Battle of the Classes, in Ms. Pincay’s classroom to create the decorations. Students spent two or three hours after school to create handmade posters celebrating the senior class. The seniors took the competition seriously, coordinating t-shirts and even creating a flag. Not only had decorating begun earlier, preparation for the can collection was posted on the Google Classroom on March 6, asking each student to bring five cans of food.

Source by Tina Torre

Seniors put their heads together to create catchy slogans to show their support for their class, collaborating in arts and crafts that ultimately paid off.

Source by Christina Wilson

The Class of 2023 advisers Mrs. Pincay and Mr. Chuba support the seniors in their matching t-shirts.

"I was really excited to run in with the flag because seniors got picked to come in first which would set the mood for the rest of the competition. It was so much fun having a part in it," senior Maggie Gray said.

Source by Christina Wilson

Seniors "Just Wanna Rock" their entrance as they wave their flag high.

Seven seniors were chosen to serve as captains to both represent and motivate the senior team. They wore matching neon arm bands with the letter "C" written on them as a symbol of their position.

Source by Morgan Oberwiler

Captains Max Zembra, Matthew Ramos, Walter Reyes, Thomas Reilly, Brandon Thomas, Morgan Oberwiler and Nikki DiMartino get pumped up before the onset of Battle of the Classes.

"Morgan Oberwiler, great captain. It's because of her team spirit and inspirational voice," senior Joel Massey said.

Members of the Class of 2023 shared their experiences about the athletic competition.

“My experience playing hit the deck was amazing,” senior Kevin Reilly said.

“It was very fun being a part of hit the deck,” senior Matthew Zatz said. ”This was definitely a new game that was fast paced, intense and kept the crowd involved. Being that it was a relay-style event, the suspense was gained from constant lead changes which kept the game interesting.“

“Me and Max went first and got off to a good start, and I think that’s what led us to win because we’re awesome,” senior Ethan Siegel said.

“It was very fun but super stressful. We had to figure out who was over and who was under very quickly, and we were all nervous about losing the basketball. I think we worked together really well as a team and everyone was so encouraging,” senior Madison Reilly said.

Source by Christina Wilson

From Ms. Pincay's Spanish classroom to the gymnasium, intense seniors persevere through every challenge they face.

Without a doubt, many seniors spent time and dedication creating posters that supported the Class of 2023. Their hard work definitely paid off as they were able to decorate three bleachers worth and win the decorating competition.

Source by Christina Wilson

Seniors spread out on the decorated bleachers, palms sweating as each challenge takes place.

“I think we did a great job showing our love for our grade with the posters because they were all handmade and ended up covering so much of the gym. We took what little time we had and put in a lot of effort which definitely paid off,” senior Aidan Donohue said.

Many seniors resent the consecutive junior wins in the tug of war due to a variety of different circumstances.

“The juniors had a stronger person, and the chalk made it difficult to avoid slipping,” senior John DiCanio said.

There were two additional matches held, which some attribute to controversy surrounding repeat competitors and chalk spillage. The two matches were against the five strongest girls and then the five strongest boys of each grade.

Source by Christina Wilson

Seniors put their heads together as they get ready to compete in the tug of war event.

“I didn’t really expect to be chosen for the tug of war since I hadn’t signed up for any events, but I felt very nervous at first when I was chosen, but after seeing all the girls and hearing encouraging words from people in our grade, I felt confident and ready to give it my absolute best shot,” senior Abigail Varghese said.

Despite the losses that the seniors faced, morale was boosted by the enthusiasm filling the gymnasium.

“The school spirit in the gym was ecstatic. The tension the juniors and seniors caused was a rivalry I haven’t seen in a long time. It was fun competing with my peers even though we lost,” senior Zain Ali said.

The last five minutes of the night were spent with audience members gripping their seats as it was the determinant of who would win.

“I loved how exciting it [cage volleyball] was and how we were able to collaborate so well as a team. Although we didn’t follow through, the experience was so rewarding,” senior Ava Geigle said.

Many seniors continue to resent the victory as they feel as though the games were very biased towards the juniors but nonetheless still enjoyed the event.

“I thought it was very fun. I wish that I was able to participate in more events. Everyone was working as a team to achieve one goal to win, and I wish the chalk was not dropped on the ground and then maybe we would have won,” senior Adrianna Gomes said.

“It was rigged,” senior Anjali Patel said.

“We may have lost but charity won,” senior Nicole DiMartino said.

Many members of the audience hope to eventually take part in this event after watching the pride each respective grade had for their own class.

“Battle of the Classes is an amazing new event for NHP, and it definitely helps bring up the moods of the juniors and seniors especially working on SATs and college applications. I hope it becomes a new tradition, and it’s a fun event. I hope freshmen and sophomores can be included too,” sophomore Janice Zhang said.

Source by Tina Torre

Senior Romanettes, twirlers, steppers and cheerleaders unite in a performance showcase after the Battle of the Classes.


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