Assassinate the assassinator

Senior class spends the remainder of high school in a water gun war


Camping out in the parking lot, senior Ernie Miranda prepares to wait as long it takes to capture his target. For this particular assassination, Miranda figured out where his target worked and the time they normally got there. “The key to success with Senior Assassin is to wait around for people much longer than anyone would ever expect you to,” Miranda said. “You also have to study the Life360 circle to find patterns throughout your targets day if you really want to win.” Photo by Kelsey Nunnenkamp

Kelsey Nunnenkamp, Managing Editor

On Sunday, April 30, 100 seniors kicked off their annual game of Senior Assassin. Names of targets were sent out at 5 p.m. and not too long after that at 5:43 p.m. the first target had been unsuspectedly pelted by water, marking the official start to the water gun war. 

The object of the game is to be the last man standing. At the beginning of the game, each player is assigned a target. From there, they must do everything in their power to sneak up and blast them with a water gun when they are found not wearing their goggles. If they are assassinated, they are out and cannot assassinate anyone else. On the other hand if they assassinate their target, they receive their target to assassinate and so on. 

“I offered to organize senior assassin because I have played assassin with my friend group the past couple of years and I wanted everyone else to get to play,” senior Tayler Hand said. “I sent a poll in the senior GroupMe asking who would be interested in playing, then I created another GroupMe with everyone who wanted to play. I then wrote rules and sent out information so that everyone could pay the $5 fee to play and join Life360.”

Life360 is an app that provides location-based services, including sharing and notifications so that all players can see where their target is located at all times. A player who is caught turning off their location is automatically eliminated from the game. 

“To choose targets, I took the list of everybody playing and randomized it,” Hand said. “I then individually texted everyone playing who their target is to keep it secretive. Since the game started, I have had to monitor kills and let people know who their next targets are as they assassinate theirs.”

To keep things running smoothly, there are boundaries set in place. The rules have been posted in the GroupMe and on the Instagram page (@mwhsseniorassassin) and those who don’t follow the rules, cause any harm or trespass are automatically disqualified from the game.

For example, goggles can protect you from being shot only if they are fully over the player’s eyes and strapped to their head. However, there are also random purge days announced on Instagram where goggles are ineffective completely. Players cannot be assassinated inside of the school building, at their place of work or during any organized events/activities, but all parking lots are fair game. In the end, the game is every man for themselves, but alliances are allowed.

“My strategy is to work together with my friends to get people easier,” senior Taryn Petrik said. “I got two people out in 10 minutes because I knew who my next target was and they were close together. I like the rules because it keeps it fair and I enjoy watching the proof videos of people getting out.” 

For some, this game of Senior Assassin is just something to have fun, but for others the idea of winning the $500 grand prize is enough motivation to launch a new lifestyle. 

“I take it very seriously because I am very competitive and want to win,” senior Ernie Miranda said. “I love the feeling of hunting people down and eliminating them from the game, it makes my adrenaline skyrocket. Some of the strategies I use are leaving my phone so they can’t track me, dressing up in all black in the night time, keeping a spare water gun with me at all times and always having my goggles in reach. I think this game is really really fun and every class should have a competition like this for their senior year.” 

Throughout the remainder of the school year, the senior class will continue to terrorize their peers with water guns and wander around the Millard area wearing swimming goggles, until the final player is able to take home the grand prize.