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The student news site of Utica High School

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    Utica Water Wars 2024

    Over 30 teams of seniors compete for a prize of nearly $5,000 in annual, non-school sponsored, competition
    After registering for the game, teams created names and photos to be posted on social media.
    Tyler Watford
    After registering for the game, teams created names and photos to be posted on social media.

    Splash! Watch out as the Utica 2024 Water Wars competition is underway.

    39 teams, each team filled with five seniors, have one goal: Eliminate your opposing team and come out victorious, following strict rules to win a weekly bracket.

    The winning prize is a $4,975 cash prize to be split amongst the five winning members, and that puts a lot at stake for the competitors.

    Teams get creative with their name choices, such as “Two Pump Chumps,” “Squirtified Offenders,” “Talk Squirty to Me,” “The Leaky Blinders,” “Federal Bureau of Squirters,” and “Aqua-Holics.”

    To play is hard, but to put the competition together is an even harder task.

    “I would’ve hated for our senior class to not have water wars,” senior Emma Pipitone said, “so I took one for the team and ran it.”

    It seems like it would be a challenge to get the best players together to win.

    “It was a little difficult,” senior Jacob Choluj said. “We had to get players who weren’t too far and were committed to come outside.”

    The water wars action kicked off April 8, at 6:00 am and already there was a victim of an early morning camp out.

    Mackenzie Waterhouse’s house was the very first to be visited, by the Two Pump Chumps.

    “Our whole team met at McDonald’s to get breakfast,” senior Landon Drew said, “after we finished eating, we pulled up to her house in my car and waited for her.”

    The Two Pump Chumps consisted of Drew, Timmy Geottes, Mason Brodi, Riley Sangster, and Blake Dean.

    This year’s seniors’ level of competitiveness and seriousness was strongly influenced by the amount of money at stake.

    “I’m taking this very serious,” senior Blake Jahn said. “I need this money to help pay for school.”

    Jahn’s team, Squirtified Offenders, consists of Danny Boyd, Matt Jenkins, and Daniela Cesario.

    The match ups have been heated ever since the start.

    “Just in the first week, my team took it very seriously,” Drew said, “even though one of our teammates was injured from baseball.”

    All the teams keeping their eyes on the prize.

    “We are taking this very serious,” senior Nick Gocjaj said. “$1,000 is a lot of money and, I want it.”

    Some joined to help friends.

    “Honestly, I wasn’t planning on doing water wars,” senior Daniela Cesario said, “but after my friends told me they needed a fifth member, and I knew I’d be a difficult target, I made the decision to play.”

    Although a fun event for those involved, local police departments have warned seniors of the risks, warning participants to be mindful of those not aware of the game.

    “The water fun game in meant to be fun in spirit, but with people hiding behind vehicles or bushes, it can cause some confusion for others,” the Shelby Township Police Department said in a social media post. “There can be serious consequences for playing this game, which have resulted in felony charges when the game goes too far.”

    The police reminded seniors to follow the law.

    “Please drive safely and don’t play while on the road,” Shelby PD continued. “Safety is our #1 priority. Make good decisions and play responsibly while thinking of others.”

    The competition is just another event to end the seniors’ high school careers, even though it’s not organized or sponsored by the school.

    “My team and I thought it would be fun to end our senior year doing something fun,” senior Jacob Choluj said. “Water wars came up so we decided to play.”

    Seniors are having fun making memories. “Just being with my friends and being together,” senior Nick Gocjaj said, “is a lot of fun.”

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    About the Contributor
    Tyler Watford
    Tyler Watford, Sport Editor
    Tyler here is very, VERY excited for this new school year with Mrs. Stacy Smale and LoRiAnA MaNniNo. Tyler plays two sports, football in the fall and Track in the Spring. It's his second year on the newspaper staff and he has high hopes for this year and what it brings.

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