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October 24, 2016
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Peaceful warriors

The Sullivan West Class of 2015 (sophomores) cheer on their team during the obstacle course. “We’ll make history” touted their yellow shirts. They came in third behind the juniors and seniors respectively.

LAKE HUNTINGTON, NY — There has never been a day in recorded history when war was not raging somewhere on this planet. With its potential for death, destruction and mayhem, war is mankind at its worst. But each March, this writer gets to document an entirely different kind of warfare, one replete with fun, good sportsmanship, artistic creativity and athletic verve.

In the Sullivan West Color Wars, classes vie against each other as spirited peaceful warriors for the bragging rights that come with accruing the most points from a variety of events. Each year one class exults in victory following the three hours of non-stop competition. As War and Pieces VII commenced on March 21, the Class of 2013 looked to defend the title it had claimed one year prior. Clad in red, the “Thirteens” got set to battle the blue-bedecked juniors, the yellow horde of sophomores and green-colored freshmen, entering this fray for the first of what will amount to four times in their high school careers. The senior “Super Heroes” hoisted a banner promising to “Go Out With A Bang,” while the juniors lauded themselves as agents of Jet Blue “Taking Off And Considering This Year’s Trophy Taken.” That banner slogan would prove to be prophetic as they would top the seniors by a lone point to emerge as this year’s champions. The sophomores declared, “We’ll Make History,” while the freshmen zombies stated, “Dead or Alive, We Still Thrive.” Class cakes and lip synch skits reiterated the class themes.

The events were as follows: a timed obstacle course that required hop scotch, jumping rope, throwing a football through a hoop, a commando crawl, a skateboard slalom course and a hockey goal before tagging the next member of the team to do the same. The six contestants then arrayed themselves in a pyramid to stop the clock for their recorded time. The seniors took first in the event, while the juniors were second. All the athletic games yielded three points for first place, two for second, and one for third. The banners, cakes and lip synch competitions were worth six points for first place, four for second, two for third and zero for last. The basketball free throw shootout resulted in a tie between the seniors and juniors as each completed 11 in the allotted time. The hard throwing seniors edged the juniors in dodge ball and steal the bacon before tying the sophomores in crab soccer, a wild encounter that involved legions of kids seated on the floor trying to send a ball up against the opposite wall to score a goal.

In an epic upset that would augur their one-point victory in the Color Wars, the juniors trumped the seniors in the tug of war. The juniors and sophomores tied in the gummy bear toss as their teams caught the flying candy in awaiting mouths with voracious skill. The seniors led the juniors 16-11 after the athletic event portion of the foray, but the juniors won the cake decorating and lip synch battles over the seniors who had won the banner honors. The three artistic endeavors afforded the juniors a 16-12 advantage resulting in the final 29-28 victory for the class of 2014. The juniors’ skit provided a Jet Blue dancing/singing tour of Mexico, Paris, Egypt and Korea replete with appropriate costumes, dancing, music and enactment for those trips on the excursion.

All of the class skits were impressive, humorous and creative. For an album of photos from this year’s Color Wars, visit