Winners of Water Assassins wash out opponents


Photo courtesy of @opwaterassassins2021

Senior Dani Heidman from H2Hoes takes out Annalise Sean from Tongue-Tide on the way to school.

It had been two years since a full run through of this game had seen the light of day and the rain of Super Soakers, but Water Assassins finally made its reappearance in 2021, channeling a flood of students eager to participate in thirst for the money prize.

“Have fun and stay dry!” are the final words of the 18-page 2021 Water Assassins manifesto, saturated with extensive rules and regulations of this year’s senior game.

This second semester antidote to senoritis has been a long-standing tradition at Oak Park High School, finding its source in the 2015 school year, ignited alongside other high schools in Southern California. Players are incentivized to liquidate fellow seniors using a water gun. As long as they are not shot with water themselves, whether it be that they choose to runoff or sea-k coverage, they are safe. Soakings are captured on camera for legitimization, until a final team earns the money prize, generally wavering between $1,000 and $1,250.

Unlike its rite-of-passage counterparts, such as Vice, prom and graduation, Water Assassins is student-run, making this game an oftentimes contentious endeavor. In the past, organizers’ money-handling has been put into question, community members frightened and the ultimate decision by school administration to intervene and force seniors to drop this game for the 2019 school year, dampening the excitement of this tradition

Alumna Audrey Farnsworth was determined to reestablish this game in 2020, but it, too, was extinguished, this time by an unexpected pandemic, with the proceeds collected being donated to Feed America and students being forced to wave goodbye yet again.

Wet’s New Scooby Doo wins the 2021 Water Assassins game. (Photo courtesy of @opwaterassassins2021)

When the waterworks of the Class of 2019 and 2020 finally subsided, Water Assassins found its place back at Oak Park High School for the “High Tide” Class of 2021, who have been patiently waiting their turn in the rally stands since the graduation of the other blue-themed Class of 2017, and it was with the skillful planning and organizing of seniors and Water Assassins commissioners Ally Adamski and Solana Moye that this was possible. 135 seniors participated.

“This year was a tough year [for] the Oak Park seniors,” Moye wrote to the Talon. “Water Assassins is usually [run] independently by seniors, so we decided it would be fun to offer this activity to our peers to have at least one normal thing.”

Making the game safe for all to play was a top priority of Adamski and Moye, strongly encouraging teams to wear a mask and stay socially distanced; students with COVID-19 were not allowed to participate, either. Choosing not to follow these suggestions and protocols could result in a slippery slope, with “kills” oftentimes disputed and discounted later on.

“The biggest drawback was creating COVID[-19]-efficient rules,” Moye wrote. “We had to decline a lot of ‘kills’ through the game because of failure to wear [a] mask and stay socially-distanced … We also made all money collections touch free, to avoid germs spreading, where[as] it was usually cash collection.”

Those who qualified for Round 5 include Fifty Shades of Spray, H2Hoes, Hydro Kids Hydro Wife, iSquirty, Wakandan Warriors, Washy Walruses and Wet’s New Scooby Doo?. 

Wet’s New Scooby Doo, however, dived headfirst into the competition, and with their hydro-combat prowess and stealthy flow, their team gave all others a run for their money, rinsing out competition entirely and winning Water Assassins for the 2020-2021 school year. Of the five members –– Eemon Bashiri, Kyle Blatz, Holden Frey, Sean Hurley, Neal Purohit –– each were rewarded $200, receiving a total of $1,000.