Coronado is surrounded by water, but even that doesn’t explain why you might’ve seen teenagers wearing children’s swim floaties around town! The floaties are part of a senior class tradition at Coronado High School — the game of Senior Assassins.
The game is not sponsored or endorsed by the school or the district, and even before the pandemic’s distance learning, the game has always been an off-campus only game. CHS seniors organize the game and communicate the rules, and results, through a dedicated Instagram page. Students use toy water guns to spray water at other students to eliminate them from the game. Wearing a floatie anywhere on their body protects the student from being eliminated except for during designated “purge” times when everyone is vulnerable. Each participating student is assigned a specific CHS senior to target. Once a target student is sprayed and eliminated, the senior is assigned another target student so that motivated assassins could eliminate several students in one day. Successful assassins proudly post images of their sad (but usually laughing), wet victims on the Instagram page. This year, the game started in September and will go until there is one student left or until graduation in June 2021.
The goal of Senior Assassins is to be the last student standing which brings glory, bragging rights, and prize money of $1,057. Participating students paid $10 to join the fun. The CHS Class of 2021 has over 260 students and 151 students are playing, so the game raised $1,510. Seventy percent of the game fees go to the first place student who never gets eliminated, and the remaining 30% goes to the student who eliminated the most targets.
To minimize distractions from school, Senior Assassins cannot be played on campus or during school events, including sports; nor can a student get hit while they are at a job. As a result, students get creative trying to find their assigned target around town. “I got out on Purge Day, and it was not my target who shot me. I was dumb and went out on Purge Day because I thought I could get someone else out,” said Mia Haddaway.
Some residents have raised concerns about students hiding behind bushes or cars and jumping out suddenly as part of the game. A violation of trespassing or safety rules gets the student eliminated and students are encouraged to play responsibly and safely and respect the community.
While the CHS Class of 2021 has had an atypical start to the school year, they are excited to continue this senior tradition.