Clash of the Classes resumes after two-year hiatus

Seniors Isaac MacIntosh, Molly Esque, Maddie Rogers, Owen Gunther and Katie Jude participate in the tug of war competition during Clash of the Classes Nov. 23. (Photo by Nik Robinson)

The first traditional Clash of the Classes in two years was held in the high school gymnasium Tuesday, Nov. 23.

Student Council adviser and social studies teacher Michael Featherstone said the event looked similar to how it was before the pandemic. He said with Clash of the Classes returning to the gym, students were required to wear masks during the event.

Student Council events chair and junior Nicholas Minkin said this year’s games included a three-legged race, scooter race, musical chairs, three-point contest, tug of war and a dodgeball tournament including all of the classes.

The seniors came out on top, winning the overall event with a score of 17 points. Following the seniors were the sophomores with 16 points, the freshmen with 15 points and the juniors with 13 points. Each class won at least one event: the seniors won tug of war, the juniors won the three-legged race, the sophomores won dodgeball and the three-point contest and the freshmen won musical chairs and the scooter race.

Featherstone said COVID-19 had no effect on the process of setting up Clash of the Classes for this year.

“I think it marks an important step in returning to what things were like before COVID-19 hit,” he explained. “Some of the events have changed, but some of the events have always changed. It’s not really different in that respect of COVID-19.”

Minkin said contact games were not an issue and there were no restrictions on game possibilities. He explained that compared to last year’s contact-free Clash of the Classes, this was a big step toward normalcy.

Student Council president and senior Quinn Hall agreed that effects of the pandemic weren’t seen during the event.

“COVID-19 hasn’t really affected any of our decision making outside of masks,” Hall said.

Featherstone explained that Clash of the Classes being outdoors in the 2020-21 school year introduced the idea of having two Clash of the Classes events throughout the year: one indoors during winter and another outdoors during spring. He said that without COVID-19, the idea of having two Clash of the Classes events during the year would have never happened.

Junior Morgan Agriesti, a participant in Clash of the Classes, said he felt that the event being inside the gym again did not live up to the expectations he had for the games.

Sophomore class vice-president and member of the Student Council Events Committee Samara Kahan said that Clash of the Classes was a new experience for herself and other underclassmen.

“I definitely think that Clash of the Classes lived up to the hype that was talked about, and my expectations were passed,” she said.

Kahan said that many sophomores including herself were unsure about how the event would turn out, but that it is an experience that she is looking forward to having again.

“The energy from every grade was extremely exciting, and it was overall a very fun event,” she said. “I am happy with the turnout…everyone had a great time and it brought people together who may not share classes or extracurricular activities.”

Math teacher Keary Ryan said he enjoyed seeing the students’ excitement and school spirit inside the gym again. He added that the outdoor version of the games is not the same.

“I remember how loud it was inside that gym, like it’s mayhem,” Ryan said. “I think it’s really exciting, and I don’t think that you get that same energy outdoors.”

When he was a student at Bexley, Ryan said all of the classes were incredibly competitive with each other.

He added that similar competitiveness and class-oriented spirit were brought into Clash of the Classes this year, even after a two-year break.

“Once the first race starts, the mayhem ensues,” he said. “The crowd is deafening, and it’s music to my ears every year.”